November 12th 2009 03:23:28 PM
On Oct. 17, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which boasts the largest concentration of Bosnian Muslims outside Bosnia, published one of its typical Bosniak-bruise-stroking pieces, this time in the Religion section by writer Tim Townsend. The particular event being reported on was a visit paid by Bosnia’s ubiquitous chief mufti Mustafa Ceric, doing one of his usual “interfaith” numbers. Here is an excerpt from the seemingly innocuous report from that evening:
Grand Mufti of Bosnia addresses St. Louis interfaith gathering
About 420 people of all religious stripes converged on the Hilton St. Louis Frontenac Thursday night to share a meal and hear from the night’s keynote speaker, Mustafa Ceric, the grand mufti of Bosnia.
Imam Muhamed Hasic of the Islamic Community Center, a largely Bosnian mosque in St. Louis, said Ceric was “the highest authority for Bosnian Muslims. He’s like the pope for us.”
St. Louis is home to between 60,000 and 70,000 Bosnians, according to the International Institute, making it the largest Bosnian community outside Bosnia and Herzegovina. Many of them fled their country during the Yugoslav civil war of the early 1990s, an ethnic conflict that killed an estimated 100,000 people, including 8,000 Bosnian Muslims during the massacre [sic] in 1995 in Srebrenica.
“It means so much to us,” said Hasic. “He’s the most respected person in Bosnia and in the diaspora.” […]
The item recalled the steady stream of Post-Dispatch pieces which dutifully reinforce the already cemented, exclusively Muslim version of the Bosnian war that we get as the official truth. The newspaper habitually lavishes more victimhood on the Muslims than they themselves ever imagined they could garner. I recalled the Post-Dispatch article titled “The Long Shadow of Bosnia’s Genocide” by a Patrick McCarthy, a victimhood-monger who’s apparently made a career of casting the Bosniaks as innocent victims of genocide. A no longer online-accessible excerpt of his Holocaust-language-laden op-ed from 2007 reads:
Thousands of Bosnian Muslims and Catholics had been herded into the Omarska mining complex outside the city of Prijedor where they were being subjected to unspeakable acts of barbarism and cruelty. Images broadcast around the globe of skeletal Omarska inmates echoed the Holocaust and awakened the realization that genocide had returned to Europe in our lifetime.
After working hard to reestablish themselves in a new culture, Bosnians from Prijedor now are ready to tell their wartime stories. The St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center will present an exhibit this fall called “Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide” that will feature documentary artifacts, photographs and first-person accounts by Prijedor survivors in St. Louis.
The Prijedor exhibit at the Holocaust Museum and Learning Center offers us another opportunity to witness, listen and learn as we renew a tattered commitment to the pledge, “Never Again.”
Of course, we don’t need this hack to tell us what the Omarska camp was or wasn’t. But for good measure, a St. Louis Jewish publication helped shill for that “Holocaust” exhibit at the museum, which is a department of the Jewish Federation. Even more appalling, Bosnian Ambassador Bisera Turkovic — who issued passports to mujahedeen — inaugurated the exhibit.
Then the next nauseus Post-Dispatch account came to mind, this time concerning a “Memorial Quilt” that the Bosnians were sewing and hoping to place in the U.S. Holocaust Museum. Here was the dripping, dramatic opening to that one:
Tribute to massacre victims
By Michele Munz
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Senahid, 17, student.
Saban, 48, father of six children.
Nino, 20, a journalist.
These are just three of the 20 Bosnian genocide [sic] victims whose names were woven into a quilt unveiled Sunday in St. Louis….The memorial quilt was woven in Bosnia-Herzegovina to commemorate the 1995 genocide in Srebrenica.
“It is very comparable to the AIDS quilt in how it raised awareness,” said Nihad Sinanovic, who was 11 when he escaped from Srebrenica in 1993 [i.e. bussed out by the Bosnian-Serbs along with the rest of the women and children]. “It will bring a lot of attention to how 8,000 men and boys [of fighting age] were killed.”
[Advocacy Project director Iain] Guest hung the quilt outside the Islamic Community Center in St. Louis, where a special religious commemoration ceremony was held Sunday. He snapped pictures while women in traditional head scarves laid roses underneath the quilt.
“It’s a perfect idea,” said Rusmin Topalovic, vice president of the local group of Srebrenica survivors. “We are going to work as much as possible to get all the names on it.” He said he envisioned the quilt eventually resting at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum — “to stay there forever.”
The same summer, some St. Louis Jews helped Bosnian Muslims get a new mosque approved by the city: “Jews help Muslims fight county council,” July 16, 2007, by Tim Townsend:
When Rick Isserman found out last month that St. Louis County wouldn’t allow a group of Muslims to build a new mosque in south St. Louis County, the story sounded too familiar.
Forty-eight years earlier, Isserman’s grandfather, Rabbi Ferdinand Isserman, fought to move his congregation, Temple Israel, from the city to the county, where the Jewish population had been relocating for some years. The city of Creve Coeur cited zoning problems and tried to block the move, but the rabbi and his flock took the case to the Missouri Supreme Court and prevailed.
In the spring, the St. Louis County Council refused the Islamic Community Center’s request to rezone a 4.7-acre parcel it bought a year before for $1.25 million. The Muslims — mostly Bosnian immigrants — planned to build a second mosque and community center in addition to the current mosque and center off South Kingshighway in St. Louis.
When Khalid Shah, a member of the mosque and a friend of Isserman’s, told him about the council’s decision, the 53-year-old Department of Agriculture employee began making the connection to his family’s legal legacy. “I’m fighting the same battle as my grandfather 50 years ago,” Isserman said. “It’s a different community and a different place, but it’s the same issue.”
A county attorney brushed off notions that the dispute is rooted in dramatic constitutional questions of religious freedom… “They didn’t think it was appropriate zoning,” [Robert Grant] said…[T]he charge of discrimination is contentious, even among Bosnians. “In my opinion this was not religious discrimination,” said Sukrija Dzidzovic, publisher and editor of Sabah, a Bosnian-American weekly newspaper based in St. Louis. “This was a mistake on Imam Hasic’s part. He should not have bought land that was zoned for commercial use, hoping that he could change the zoning.” […]
Finally, I remembered another Post-Dispatch piece from that year, titled “Local Bosnians condemn U.N. acquittal of Serbia in genocide,” (Feb. 27) which yet again presented the Muslim side with sympathetic indignation:
They saw their houses destroyed, family members killed and were forced to flee their homeland. On Monday, many Bosnians in St. Louis suffered what they called their latest indignity when the International Court of Justice cleared Serbia of direct intent to commit genocide although it says the country failed to prevent the 1995 massacre [sic] at Srebrenica.
On Gravois Avenue near Bevo Mill, in the heart of the St. Louis Bosnian community, the court’s ruling was met with indignation and anger. “Obviously, I’m upset,” said Enes Bajric, as he sat in a booth at Cafe Milano, smoked and sipped strong coffee. Bajric, 24, came to St. Louis 10 years ago. He lost an uncle and two cousins in the war. “It can never be repaired, what’s been done to us,'’ he said. “They killed us.”
“With this ruling, the world has confirmed that genocide and extermination of European Muslims was justified, and anyone who wants to continue and do it again will have support from Europe,” said [Amir] Hotich, a travel agency owner who also operates a Bosnian language newspaper.
SO GETTING TO THE POINT. By the time I read about the mufti’s recent visit, I’d already had enough. So I decided to politely reach out to one of the nobodies who run that small pond press. The letters editor seemed like a logical choice to start with. And so I emailed letters editor Jamie Riley the following:
Dear Ms. Riley,
Is it too late to respond to a piece that ran on Oct. 17??
It’s actually a rather important letter, as it responds to the benevolent presentation of the Bosnian mufti to your readers. In fact, he speaks out of one side of his mouth when speaking to Westerners, and out of another when speaking in Bosnia or to Muslims in Europe. Criticized recently by the Bosnian-Muslim media (for glossing over a pedophilic imam’s crimes), he accused the Bosnians of Islamophobia. But that’s the least of the disturbing news about chief mufti Mustafa Ceric. He’s not the man that Tim Townsend is portraying to your readers.
Sorry for the yapping. Would just like to hear if it’s not too late to proceed with a letter about the grand mufti.
I got an immediate, pleasant reply:
From: Jamie Riley [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 5:20 PM
To: Julia Gorin
Subject: RE: quick question: is it too late…
It’s not too late.
I look forward to reading your letter.
So I wrote the following letter and emailed it to Ms. Riley that night. Here is what it said:
I spent the last three hours cutting this in half. I’m still over the proper word count, but I wanted to give you the option of determining what’s most interesting to keep in, and what can go. Thanks again, and I’ll stay tuned.
Your paper should be careful about inuring readers to the Bosnian mufti Mustafa Ceric as he does the interfaith tango on our shores. (“Grand Mufti of Bosnia addresses St. Louis interfaith gathering,” Oct. 17.) These one-way tolerance-building exercises have been a good cover for the mufti, who says one thing to Western audiences and another to European Muslims. They also help fair-minded Americans let their guards down. But Ceric’s background calls for our guards to be up.
Ceric twice this summer called for incorporating Sharia law into the Bosnian constitution — which also governs increasingly wary Catholic Croats and Orthodox Serbs. He recently conducted Bosnia’s first mass Sharia wedding, paid for by Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi. Before that, Ceric suggested that all European Muslims should have a single political and religious leader, and last year he defended fundamentalists who beat up a TV crew reporting on a pedophilic imam. When criticized, Ceric called the Bosnian media Islamophobic.
Ceric regularly insists that no one in Bosnia is cooperating with al-Qaeda. In addition to the disrupted, Bosnia-hatched plot to assassinate world leaders at Pope John Paul’s funeral in 2005, the Washington Times in 2003 reported that Bosnia “now serves as a base for al Qaeda operatives.” A 2004 AFP dispatch read, “Osama bin Laden is actively directing terrorist cells in the former Yugoslav republic of Bosnia.” Further, Bosnia’s Zenica region provided the training ground for those who conducted a series of Baghdad suicide attacks in August 2003. And a 2005 raid on a Sarajevo apartment turned up suicide vests, exploding bullets, rifles and a machine gun, to be used on the British embassy. The International Herald Tribune recalled that “Bosnia gave passports to more than 800 former fighters and ‘aid workers’ from the Middle East.” These included 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, whom Bosnia had secretly granted citizenship to.
In 2007 Ceric attended a Mecca conference, hosted by the Saudi-funded Muslim World League, which has called Jews and Christians “apes” and “pigs” and beseeched the world’s Muslims to “put pressure” on Serbs and Jews. Ceric’s co-panelists included authors of textbooks denouncing Christians and the “wicked nation” of Jews as enemies of Muslims. The same year, Ceric dispatched imam Sulejman Bugari to tour North America. Bugari has told his Sarajevo flock, “With the Americans’ help, [Jews] have again outsmarted the entire world, especially the economy. We consume American-Jewish products every day…” At sermons he reminds worshippers that “jihad was necessary and will be necessary.”
Ceric was recently named by the Bosnian NGO ‘Croatia Libertas’ in charges it filed against Bosnian-Muslim political, military and religious leaders for war crimes committed at over 300 concentration camps set up for non-Muslims by the Bosnia-Herzegovina Army in 1991-95. And yet St. Louis Bosnians refer to “the most respected” Ceric, “the highest authority for Bosnian Muslims,” as Tim Townsend reported.
Townsend’s article was just the paper’s latest in a continuous stream of dutiful affirmations of exclusively Muslim victimhood and Serbian villainy. This doesn’t do any favors for the wider readership, surrounded by the “largest Bosnian-Muslim community,” as the paper likes to boast. The longer we adhere to Bosnian war dogma, the harder it will be to stray from it later, as more light is shed on that era. The Post-Dispatch must start giving St. Louis a more realistic and balanced assessment of the war, and thereby of the community in its midst. Salt Lake City got that assessment the hard way, via the 2007 Trolley Square massacre. The Bosnian shooter’s father lied about his military record on his refugee application. He wasn’t the only one.
The following day passed without a peep from the initially responsive Ms. Riley. And so did the next day. Not even a rejection, nor a response to my one-sentence follow-up asking if I should shorten the letter further, nor to my note below:
From: Julia Gorin
Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2009 3:58 PM
To: ‘email@example.com’; ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’
Subject: so am i still staying tuned?
Just checking in — since October is almost over and Oct. 17th is seeming more distant. You said you were looking forward to getting the letter that I therefore proceeded to work on. I submitted it yesterday morning. Just hoping to get a status report. Thanks much.
So it was pretty obvious that my usual experience with mainstream editors and their great wall of silence concerning the Balkans was replaying itself at yet another clone paper. But in the event that Ms. Riley had taken a sudden vacation or died, I decided on Friday morning to just make sure my letter would be considered, and therefore emailed the next nobody — the paper’s editorial page editor, Gilbert Bailon. Here is what I sent him:
From: Julia Gorin
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2009 4:58 AM
Subject: The Post Dispatch’s Bosnian-Muslim coverage
Dear Mr. Bailon,
On Tuesday Oct. 27 I emailed Jamie Riley asking if it was too late to respond to a piece that ran on Oct. 17. I explained why the Bosnian chief mufti whose visit Tim Townsend covered was not someone that St. Louis readers should be inured to…Jamie emailed back almost immediately saying that it wasn’t too late, and that she was looking forward to my letter.
After crafting it for several hours, then spending as many hours cutting it in half, I sent it to her Tuesday night, so that she would have gotten it Wednesday morning. But in contrast to her initial responsiveness, the entire rest of the day — and then all of Thursday — I got only stone silence…
I fear that, unless she coincidentally took a vacation these past two days, the letter may have scared her off. (I include it for you below.) This is actually a frequent phenomenon when editors are faced with the unthinkable: a dissenting voice on the official narrative of the Bosnian war…
In addition to illuminating mufti Ceric’s background, my letter made a wider point, and perhaps that’s what scared off Ms. Riley. It was asking for a more realistic, balanced, and accurate approach to Bosnia-related coverage than your paper habitually gives…I’m not going to use the hostile word “pander” when I say that I understand your paper’s need to serve your 60-70,000-strong Bosnian-Muslim community. But sometimes a readership is better served when it is challenged, and not always nodded to. The readership should be challenged to recall what many Muslims of the armed Srebrenica “safe haven” did to neighboring Serb villages — for years before they finally met with a response.
I’ll understand if you simply delete this email. Not to sound too dramatic, but I speak from my own experience and that of others when I say that casting a critical eye on the Balkan wars is the hardest thing a journalist can do — and so most don’t. Certainly if you endeavor to present readers with a more realistic and accurate picture of the war and therefore some of those 60-70,000 in your midst, the paper will not have the peace it currently enjoys with the news and opinion as it is. After all, Serbian-Americans are used to the one-sidedness, the demonization and the futility of asking for balance, and therefore do not call, fax or email by the thousands with angry reactions or threats every time a paper publishes another fictitious claim about the 1990s. But if your coverage ever did do what journalists used to do — create controversy by presenting uncomfortable truths — you’d see a clear change in reaction.
If you’ve gotten this far, I thank you. The reason I wrote to you specifically is that I don’t know what forum in your paper I could make this point in other than the opinion section (there is no ombudsman section for longer letter-publishing). In the unlikely event that you would be willing to publish my nearly commentary-length letter below as an op-ed (it’s 500-some words), I’d be willing. Or I could compose an altogether new piece if you indicate what you feel are the most compelling points between what I’ve written above and the letter below. Thanks very much.
True to clone form, Bailon didn’t write anything back either. And so the complacent Post-Dispatch continues to enjoy the temporary peace it gets from coddling its Muslim readership. Such that when the St. Louis version of the Salt Lake City shooter Sulejman Talovic finally introduces himself to Post-Dispatch readers, it will take them completely by surprise.
No sooner did I call this small pond press’s attention to the real Mustafa Ceric than there was an update on the good mufti, who has it in for the U.S. ambassador to Bosnia, Raffi Gregorian, whom he accuses of being behind a recently published report and criminal-network diagram “that featured a number of top Bosnian Muslim political, religious and business leaders. Ceric and Fahrudin Radoncic, the owner of the country’s largest newspaper publisher Avaz, were shown at the centre of the criminal network, which also included the Muslim member of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency Haris Silajdzic and the leader of the Muslim main Party of Democratic Action (SDA), Sulejman Tihic. …Ceric said the published documents resembled the “(Nazi Germany’s) final solution for Jews in Europe.”
The episode echoes Ceric’s comments from the summer of 2007, when Gregorian finally first admitted that many of the still un-deported mujahedeen in Bosnia have al Qaeda links and that there are Bosnian officials who help al Qaeda by “hiding agents [and/or] giving financial assistance or false documents.”
In response, Ceric “accused Deputy High Representative Raffi Gregorian of spreading Islamophobia with his claims that some persons of Afro-Asian origin who were granted Bosnian citizenship are probably linked with this terrorist group… ‘It is a sin and immoral to link Bosnian Muslims with terrorist organizations,’ Ceric said. ‘Such statements give us grounds to fear that this is an introduction for the next act of genocide against our people,’ Ceric told believers who gathered in the south-eastern town of Nevesinje for the ceremony of opening a reconstructed mosque. In his strong-worded address, Ceric said that the same language had been used about Jews before the Holocaust was committed.”
So that’s our Bosnian mufti. An excellent summary of this “pope” to St. Louis Bosniaks follows, from blogger Colin Meade in 2006:
[Ceric] demanded the introduction of religious education in schools, and said that Muslims had to reject “European trash” — alcohol, drugs and prostitution. He launched a campaign against ethnically mixed marriages. He prohibited the sale of pork in Sarajevo — an order taken by the Western media as proof that Islamic fundamentalism was penetrating the heart of Europe…He has suggested that Bosnian Muslims should follow the example of the world’s 1 billion Muslims and reject western secular society.
According to Ceric himself, Bosnia today is a halfway house between the House of Islam (Dar al-Islam) and the House of War (Dar al-Harb). In this halfway house, known as the Dar al-Sulh (House of the Truce), “Islam or the shariah cannot be implemented fully, but the government should endeavour to put it into practice as much as possible”. [So in Bosnia] “it is unrealistic to expect us to implement shariah completely. That’s what I want, of course, but it will not happen just like that.”
On interfaith dialogue, Ceric has this to say: “Muslims who want to meet people of other faiths have every right to do so but it is wrong to accept much from such forums (…) Islam is the religion of God and it is the best way forward known to man. In it lies the salvation of humanity, dignity and all that is required for a creature to be classified as a human”. [incidentally does the last bit mean that non-Muslims are non-human creatures?]
In Europe, as Ceric explained to the BBC’s Dominic Casciani in February 2005, “governments must essentially buy the trust of Muslims by institutionalizing their faith — giving it state sponsorship through schools, official bodies and so on…” He also calls for the establishment of a unified European representative Muslim agency at European level. Thus, according to Ceric, the way for Europeans to integrate Muslims is to allow — or even force them — to live under an Iranian-style system governed by authoritative figures such as himself in the very heart of Europe.
In interviews with Western journalists, Ceric gives replies of the utmost obscurity, hoping that our fervent desire that there should be no “Muslim threat” will lead us to hear what we wish to hear.
But the Mufti dissembles. “At a dinner to honour the [British] foreign guests who attended Mustafa Ceric’s installation as Ra’is al-Ulama”, writes a British Muslim who was there, “Dr Ceric…spoke brilliantly, totally at ease, free of the constraints that the presence of non-Muslims had imposed elsewhere.”
In closing, I’ll just note that my odyssey with the Post-Dispatch was actually my second attempt to get a letter into its pages. I’d sent the first one to the previous letters editor, a Maureen Tomczak, in response to the 2007 Put-Our-Quilt-in-the-Holocaust-Museum article, and it too was summarily ignored:
This is the letter I had in mind. Just a warning: it’s not pretty, it’s not politically correct, and it will be a bitter pill for many to swallow…
“Tribute to Massacre Victims” (July 9) quoted Srebrenica survivor group spokesman Rusmin Topalovic as saying that he envisions the memorial quilt eventually resting at the US Holocaust Museum. If the museum does agree to hang the quilt, it should do so after it hangs up photographs of the Bosnian Muslims who fought alongside the Nazis during WWII as part of the Waffen SS Handzar and SS Kama divisions. These, too, are an important part of Holocaust history. As is the Jerusalem Mufti Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, who created these units of Bosniaks with the intention of clearing Europe, and then Palestine, of the Jews — killing thousands of Serbs, Roma (gypsies) and Jews along the way.
Next to the quilt and these companion exhibits, the museum should display a photo of the late fundamentalist Muslim president of Bosnia, Alija Izetbegovic, who remains a hero to Bosnian Muslims everywhere for starting Bosnia’s war of independence from multi-ethnic Yugoslavia — and who in his youth was a recruiter for the Waffen SS. This would be the same Alija Izetbegovic who resurrected the Handzar Division in 1991 and unleashed them upon Serbian and Croatian civilians.
[In 1991, six months before the civil war started], the cover article of a glossy Bosnian-Muslim youth magazine named “VOX” was titled “The Handzar Division is Ready…The Fourth Reich is Coming; Welcome,” and showed a drawing of a Muslim in a Nazi SS uniform and a fez, with his boot on the blood-dripping, severed head of the Bosnian-Serb leader Radovan Karadzic (pictured next to three other severed Serbian heads). This Sarajevo-based magazine should be included in the exhibit as well, along with photos of the mutilated, decapitated and burned bodies of 3,262 Serbs killed by Srebrenica Muslims who were launching attacks from that designated “safe haven.”
With the full exhibit thus in place, Bosniaks might better understand how it came to be that between 3,000 and 7,000 of their males of fighting age were put into their graves after they refused to surrender their position at Srebrenica and later fled with their guns blazing. Further, with the above-suggested reminder of the contributions by their parents, grandparents and revered leaders to the Holocaust, Bosniaks might also understand why their quilt should be rejected by a Holocaust museum, though it probably won’t be.
As a post-script I’ll add that, in the midst of my back-and-forth with the Post-Dispatch, the next clone paper committed more of the same. This time it was Connecticut’s Hartford Courant, publishing a Bosnian Muslim with his usual lamentations about Western indifference to the self-imposed Bosnian-Muslim suffering. So again, I set pen to paper and promptly heard nothing back:
It couldn’t escape my notice that every relative Mr. Duric mentions as killed in the Bosnian war ( “I Dream, but I’m Still in Bosnia,” Nov. 1) was a male of fighting age. He might notice that he, a seven-year-old, was left alive in the Serb-run concentration camp that the West gives Bosnian Muslims free reign to compare to WWII concentration camps — where upon arrival Jewish children were sent to the gas chamber and babies had their skulls smashed into walls. The same happened to Serbian children in Croatia’s never-mentioned WWII concentration complex Jasenovac, where Bosnian Muslims guarded the grounds and helped round up Serbs, Jews, gypsies and anti-Fascists. So naturally, when Croatia and Bosnia illegally seceded and usurped the internationally recognized borders of UN member Yugoslavia, the regions of Serbs they took with them weren’t prepared to live under the knife of the Croatians who had killed their families, nor under the Islamic state that was the ambition of our pal, the fundamentalist Bosnian wartime president Alija Izetbegovic.
Mr. Duric wants readers to think that in the 90s only Muslims were placed into concentration camps; pay no attention to the charges filed by the NGO “Croatia Libertas” against Bosnian political, military and religious leaders for war crimes committed at 331 concentration camps set up for non-Muslims by the Bosnian government. Indeed, as Mr. Duric describes the feeling of seeing the man who killed his father — perhaps in combat, but the writer won’t tell us — walking freely, he doesn’t seem to have any qualms about the free-walking Naser Oric, commander of the Srebrenica Muslims who slaughtered whole villages of Serbs nearby. Nor is the writer disturbed by any number of other Bosnian-Muslim commanders and soldiers who were either acquitted or had their sentences reduced or overturned after the Hague — almost 10 years into the Tribunal’s mandate — finally started prosecuting more than just Serbian war criminals.
Amid the phantasmagoria of exclusive and pure Bosnian victimhood, there isn’t an iota of print space devoted to even one non-Muslim victim of a war that the Muslim side forced — and then ensured when Izetbegovic removed his signature from the 1992 Lisbon Agreement. There are more documented cases of Serbian women raped by Croatians (800) than the long-debunked figure that Mr. Duric recycles of “50,000” Muslims raped by Serbs. (See Peter Brock’s 2006 book “Media Cleansing.”) Mr. Duric’s statistical handiwork reappears with the “200,000” Bosnian war dead that he attributes “to some sources.” Mr. Duric is cleverly referring readers to pre-2005 sources, since the figure has been reduced to a confirmed 93,000 on all sides, expected to go up to 100,000, according to Sarajevo’s Investigation and Documentation Center, as first reported by Reuters in 2004.
Mr. Duric continues to berate the West for not doing enough and reproaches the UN weapons embargo — an embargo which we went around illegally in order to help the Muslim side, which was also receiving help from Croatia, Iran, and thousands of mujahedeen. Why was the West supposed to do even more than we did on behalf of the bellicose party? Neither our one-sided help nor the one-sided history we’ve been writing on their behalf is enough for Bosnian Muslims. But having thus reinforced their sense of grievance, in response we get Bosnian Muslim Sulejman Talovic shooting nine Americans in the 2007 Salt Lake City massacre (killing five); a Bosnian conspirator named Anes Subasic in the North Carolina-based plot that was disrupted over the summer; a Bosnian nexus for the plan targeting world leaders at the pope’s funeral in 2005; and a Bosnian soldier’s bomb instructions found by our troops when they invaded Afghanistan in October, 2001. To name just a few.
I am not going to call Mr. Duric a liar, because when a person has suffered greatly, as Mr. Duric clearly has, it’s natural to engage in self-deception about the big picture in whose crossfire he was caught — as were so many Serbs and Croats who suffered at the hands of Bosnian Muslims and their chainsawing mujahedeen accomplices. But it doesn’t mean the rest of us also have to keep lying to ourselves about that war and continue swallowing the cartoonish and exclusively Muslim version of it.
November 11th 2009 02:51:44 PM
Below is the original version of my letter that The Wall St. Journal published yesterday. Because of space considerations, there was no room for the whole story on Dole’s sordid machinations in the Balkans, which the version below details:
It was a perverse Orwellianism to see Bob Dole opining on Bosnia in the Wall St. Journal ( “Bosnia and American Exceptionalism,” Oct. 23). He was criticizing President Obama for not demonstrating the traditional U.S. “leadership” in the region — that is, urging greater centralization of government in the 44% Muslim country, and strong-arming those “recalcitrant” Serbs in the direction that the country’s Muslim leadership wants to go.
For a snapshot of the Bosnia Mr. Dole hopes American leadership has created, he should look at Sarajevo, where the long tradition of Grandfather Frost — a non-denominational Santa — was recently banned from schools, and exclusively Islamic education introduced, while Sharia police crack down on hand-holding couples and pig-shaped toys in malls. Such is the “democratic development” that Mr. Dole worries will be impeded by a more loosely organized system among the Croats, Serbs and Muslims.
He goes on to lament that “The current [U.S. and EU-sponsored] reform package will vindicate Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik in his years-long, nationalist campaign to weaken and undermine the state of Bosnia…”
It’s interesting to see how Milorad Dodik went from being a Western favorite to being — what else — a Serbian “nationalist.” We saw the same labeling arch with Milosevic’s pro-Western, U.S.-backed successor Vojislav Kostunica. When this Constitutional scholar didn’t bend to our will on the illegal Kosovo secession, by 2005 he too was a “nationalist” according to our bureaucrats. Indeed, the man whom Bill Clinton declared a partner for peace at the 1995 Dayton Accords was none other than Slobodan Milosevic. But by 1999 we needed this multiculti socialist trying to keep the union together to become a virulent “nationalist” so that we could label as “ethnic cleansing” his belated crackdown targeting the cop-killing, civilian-dismembering, Albanian terrorists known as our friends the KLA.
Specifically, the “ethnic cleansing” was what we called the Yugoslav Army’s temporarily clearing out civilians from areas where they’d get caught in the crossfire, and then it’s what we called the Albanians, Serbs and everyone else running from our bombs.
If there is one place on earth where the opposite of “American exceptionalism” is on display it’s the Balkans. The Dayton Accords that Bob Dole, like every other politician, cites as American leadership that “ended the war” and “brought peace” in fact achieved the same result that the 1992 Lisbon Agreement — signed by Bosnia’s Serbs, Muslims and Croats — was about to achieve without bloodshed. But our ambassador Warren Zimmermann flew to Sarajevo with a wink and a nod to the fundamentalist Bosnian president Alija Izetbegovic by essentially telling him, “You know, you don’t have to settle for that; you can get more.” Confident that he had Western backing, Izetbegovic promptly removed his signature and the war was on. This is well known among diplomatic circles from that time.
There is perhaps no harder realization or admission for any patriotic American to make than to understand that U.S. leadership is what ensured the horrific Bosnian war. America simply wasn’t America in the 1990s, when we stoked and joined an aggressive war against a natural post-Cold War ally — indeed our ally from two world wars — with one goal being to win over a new global enemy, and reassure the Muslim world after Desert Storm. Yugoslavia had been the most Western-facing, Hollywood-devouring country in the Communist Bloc next to Poland, and it was useful to us against Soviet Russia — while it was useful to us. Afterwards, it went on the chopping block.
If there is one place that calls for “multilateralism” and “dialogue” — which Mr. Dole urges Obama against — it’s the Balkans. And if there is one thing Obama is doing right, despite his VP’s violent Balkans record which Mr. Dole hails ( “All Serbs should be placed in Nazi-style concentration camps,” and “Serbs are illiterate degenerates, baby killers, butchers and rapists” — “Larry King”, Aug 1, 1993), it’s that an American president is finally listening to the very real concerns of Serbs sharing power with a Muslim majority — rather than consistently spitting into Serbian faces the way Mr. Dole is used to America operating in the Balkans. Naturally, Mr. Dole calls this unusual non-hostility “empowering the Serb entity.”
About that entity, he should try talking to a true Muslim reformer in Bosnia rather than the closet radicals we like to back. His name is Dzevad Galijasevic and in Sept. 2008 he said, “[The] Serb Republic is the better half of Bosnia…That is how it has to stay, because that is the only way that at least half of Bosnia remains unwelcoming for operatives, terrorists and al-Qaeda criminal[s].” This is because, as Galijasevic has been screaming from the rooftops, the Bosnian-Muslim third of the presidency, Haris Silajdzic, nurtures Wahhabists and harbors terrorists. Had Mr. Dole been following the Balkans at all, he would also know that increasing numbers of Serb-loathing Croatians are scampering out of Sarajevo and moving to the Serb Republic. Indeed, the Croatians are calling for a separation from Bosnia’s Croat-Muslim Federation, to have an entity of their own like the Serb Republic. But it’s understandable that Mr. Dole, like the other architects of our “successes” in Bosnia, doesn’t want to see the charade fall apart.
Mr. Dole writes that in Bosnia “a country and its people were under attack,” perpetuating the popular mythology that Bosnian Muslims, like Catholic Croatians, were responding to some kind of aggression by Yugoslavia. Aside from underscoring that our foreign policy elite is unable to grasp the basic concept that you can’t “invade” your own country, the easily followable chronology shows that the multi-ethnic Yugoslav Army responded to illegal secessions and border usurpations by Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia — entities that wanted to have their own countries, where their race or religion would reign supreme. That is not an assessment — it is documented fact, and was stated by the then leaders of those republics, by their publics, and by the discriminatory laws on their books.
In both Croatia and Bosnia, regions of Serbs who had been there for generations suddenly found themselves no longer in Yugoslavia, but at the mercy of the Croatians and Bosnians who exterminated their families in Croatia’s Jasenovac camp, the third-largest and conspicuously never mentioned concentration camp system of WWII. Naturally, these Serbian populations wanted to remain part of multi-ethnic UN member Yugoslavia. Survival dictated that they secede from the secessionists. Hence, war.
The US actively aided the supremacist designs of our old WWII Croatian and Albanian enemies — with weapons, military strategists, money and mujahedeen –alongside Iran and bin Laden himself, as the record shows, available even at the time. We then cleverly inverted the roles of aggressor and responder. It worked brilliantly every time. Because us exceptional Americans just can’t be bothered with figuring out the Balkans, and so our bureaucrats and “leaders” like Bob Dole have the continued luxury of operating in the shadows.
Very much like the Dole-praised Joe Biden and Richard Holbrooke, who called Serbs “murderous a**holes,” Mr. Dole’s own blind hatred for the Serbs was on display via his wife, who as president of the American Red Cross refused to leave any supplies for Serbian babies at the sanctions-starved Serbian hospitals as her convoys made their Serb-approved way through Serbia to the Bosnian Muslims.
More directly, and more disturbingly, Mr. Dole’s own anti-Serbism was bought and paid for going back to the 1970s and culminating in his unsuccessful 1986 Senate Resolution No. 150 decrying Yugoslavian repression of Kosovo Albanians — which is what we called the boycott of Yugoslav institutions by the Albanians building up a parallel system in preparation for a turf war of their own. In these parallel institutions, the Serbian language was banned, Serbian books burned and Serbian workers fired. Our major newspapers reported on the oft-declared nationalist goal to secede and create a Greater Albania, and on the violent intimidation — which included rape as a tool — that was causing an exodus of Serbs and others from Kosovo. This was while the province still enjoyed autonomous status and Slobodan Milosevic hadn’t even consolidated power to make a bid for presidency.
In 1987 Mr. Dole received $1.2 million from Albanian-Americans for his unsuccessful 1988 campaign against George Bush Sr. Albanian PAC money helped carry him and his wife through their 1996 and 2000 campaigns, respectively. In a July 1999 article, a researcher and Vietnam vet named Benjamin Works noted that “most of the Congressmen speaking loudest against Serbia and Serbs are those receiving money from [Joe] DioGuardi’s PAC,” referring to the Republican former Congressman (and father of “Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi), who after his congressional defeat discovered his Albanian roots and became Albanian for a living.
Warning against the creation of “mono-ethnic conclaves,” Mr. Dole writes that “preserving and defending our values at home and promoting them abroad are essential to protecting our national interests.” This, after leading the way in creating an all but mono-ethnic second Albanian state, where after our intervention even the most basic of American values — rule of law — doesn’t exist. Instead, the Americans and other internationals operating there are being corrupted or blackmailed into falling in line with the thugocracy that we bolstered.
It’s also worth mentioning that a Dole staffer advising the then congressman on foreign policy was a Croatian woman named Mira Baratta, granddaughter of an officer of the Ustasha regime (the Nazis’ Croatian incarnation) and daughter of Petar Radielovic, who called Croatian Fuehrer Ante Pavelic “the greatest man in Croatian history” — and who held fundraisers for the defense of Andrija Artukovic, “the Himmler of the Balkans.” Baratta helped frame a 1995 Senate bill lifting the U.S. arms embargo against Croatia and Bosnia, and even advocated for the Albanian cause against the Serbs. To quote Richard Perle, “Other than Richard Holbrooke, Baratta has been the most influential individual in shaping U.S. policy” in the Balkans. (UPDATE: It’s unclear whether the praise came from Perle, or from Sen. John Warner, or both. According to this page, Baratta “was singled out by Senator John Warner for praise in framing and helping in the passage of Senate bill S-21, of July 26, 1995….”)
But again, money played a role. A March 1993 issue of Defense & Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy quoted a congressional investigator saying that Croatian lobbies spent more than $50 million on Capitol Hill in two years. He added, “Elected officials are being told to either support the Croatian line or face either a removal of funding or are told that funding will be given to their opponents. Or they are literally bribed into supporting the Croatian line. This was going on long before Croatia even made its open bid for recognition as an independent state.”
This sheds light on what former Senate Republican Foreign Policy Committee analyst James Jatras once told me about how when he would schedule meetings on Capitol Hill in the early 90s, to call attention to documented evidence and photos of some of the suffering in Yugoslavia, he would get the meetings easily enough. But when he would reveal that the victims of the slaughter and rape were Bosnian or Croatian Serbs, the doors would shut in his face:
Near the early stages of the Bosnia war — this would have been in late 1992 or early 1993 — Bishop Atanasije of Trebinje (in Herzegovina), whose diocese includes Mostar, visited me at my Senate office. He came with massive documentation of atrocities committed against his people by a militia under the command of [Croatian] Dobroslav Paraga, whose movement openly patterns itself on the WWII Ustashe. These included murders, arson, torture and rape in concentration camps. I phoned a number of Congressional offices (don’t remember which ones) and media (I do remember Washington Times), telling them I had a bishop from Bosnia with information about war crimes and human rights abuses. Their response was one of positive interest until it became clear we were talking about Serbian victims. At that point the tone of conversation changed to one of hesitancy, coupled with some lame excuse why a meeting would not be possible.
Italian General Mauro Del Vecchio told Italy’s “Panorama” publication earlier this year about the same phenomenon in Kosovo:
[D]uring the first three weeks of the [Kosovo] mandate “reports on the found bodies of killed Serbs and Romas arrived on his table each morning”, but that was a taboo topic they were not allowed to speak about with journalists…”The killing continued later but not so frequently. Those that have not fled Kosovo were under permanent risk to be killed or raped. Deserted Serbian houses were leveled to the ground or set on fire. Albanians were attacking the churches and monasteries, too. Their goal was to erase every trace of the Serbian presence in Kosovo,” Del Vecchio said…
As Mr. Works summarized, “All along it has been the ethnic nationalist fascist losers of World War II in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo who have been exploiting the political process in Germany and the United States. Their goal has been to effect the division of Yugoslavia and the cleansing of Serbian populations from their territories, while purporting that ‘Greater Serbia’ was the menace to European security and not the post-fascist ‘Greater Croatia’ and ‘Greater Albania.’”
Given that Mr. Dole fought in WWII, he should be familiar with the Serbian name Draza Mihailovic, the anti-Nazi and anti-Communist Serbian guerilla commander whose men saved 513 downed American pilots in 1944 and who graced the cover of Time magazine in 1942. Shame on Bob Dole for allowing himself to be co-opted to the other side by Nazi dollars and descendants.
Mr. Dole quotes Madeleine Albright about America being “the indispensable nation,” but it’s thanks to their ilk that America won’t remain such for long. He can thank himself for helping knock America down from exceptionalism to a for-sale thug like the rest.
As for The Journal, might it have been relevant to mention in Mr. Dole’s bio that he gets a paycheck from a law firm whose senior policy advisor worked for the Bosnian-Muslims and Kosovo Albanians — and has been Dole’s foreign policy advisor since 1999? See Marshall F. Harris, of Alston & Bird LLP.
November 10th 2009 01:29:18 PM
Ironically enough, it’s the Israeli unit of Saatchi & Saatchi advertising that is behind the new commercial campaign for Kosovo, falsely portraying the place as a country, and Albanians as “European” when every European can tell you that Albanian crime is the scourge of Europe.
In interviews for the shoot, the Israeli director repeatedly refers to Kosovo as a country, citing “independence” as having occurred a year-and-a-half ago. Someone should tell him that only 63 countries out of 192 have recognized the narco-jihadist thruway as a country. Someone should also tell him that Israel is not one of those countries. And that there’s a good reason Israel hasn’t recognized Kosovo, given — if nothing else — the implications of such an abomination for Israel’s West Bank and Galilee.
But see the love in the eyes of the Israeli production crew as it shoots throughout the mosque-dotted landscape of pissed-on, burned-out, trash-strewn, defaced churches.
Oh how the Saudis, who along with the UAE finance most of the new mosques, must be enjoying the richness of the Israelis’ promotion of their own demise and the caliphate’s newest acquisition. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia — unsure if it wanted to jump aboard the bandwagon for an American-made Muslim state — was only #58 in recognizing “Kosova.” More eager Muslim nations included the UAE, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Turkey, Albania, Senegal, Gambia and Sierra Leone, but Bahrain and Jordan quickly followed after Saudi Arabia.
Any honest advertising campaign would be remiss in not showcasing the above-mentioned desecrated churches, and so for the next promo Saatchi & Saatchi should be sure to include the following:
“His Grace Bishop of Raska-Prizren Artemije visited on Tuesday, October 13 the church in Samodreža. The Albanians have turned the interior of the church into a landfill and public toilet, the floor covered under garbage and feces.”
But don’t be surprised to see a slowdown in church-destruction once Albanians realize that medieval monasteries bring in tourist money; in fact, the Serbian churches and monasteries are already being re-labeled as “Kosovar” heritage.
Here is another shot that the image-makers won’t want to miss: Serbs trying to hurry up and repair their loved ones’ gravesites before they get smashed in the head with a rock (Oct. 29):
In the framework of cleaning up the Orthodox cemeteries in Kosovo-Metohija, which was launched by the Ministry for Kosovo and Metohija, the big weed has been removed from the cemetery in the village of Mušutište, Suva Reka Municipality, today.
The cleaning team involved members of civil protection, fire brigade, Ministry for Kosovo and Metohija, (Serbian) municipality Suva Reka and the internally displaced persons, descendants of the buried persons at the cemetery in Mušutište. Escorted by the strong police force, they started working at the cemetery around 10 a.m. The medical team were also present in case of injury.
The cemetery in the village of Mušutište, the destination of nearly 50 Serbian families willing to return to Kosovo-Metohija, is greatly damaged. Only some 40 tombstones are left undamaged out of the total number of 250, while the rest of them are completely destroyed, taken away or irreparably damaged.
The cemetery cleaning today was only the first step aimed at careful arrangement of the graveyard, planned to take place in several phases, in cooperation with the descendents of those buried there.
Strong police force were engaged due to risk assessments regarding the presence of Serbs in the cemetery, and possible reaction of the local Albanian population. Unfortunately, the police assessment proved correct, since one of the vehicles was stoned and damaged. A large number of Albanians gathered in the vicinity of the cemetery, and there were also some with hunting rifles. Still, beside[s] the stoning of the police car, no other unrest ensued. The police acted in professional way, and as a result everyone involved in the cleaning safely left the cemetery in Mušutište after the planned work was done.
Visiting the destroyed churches of Kosovo (Nov. 2)
On 29 October 2009, the Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk, on a visit to Kosovo and Metochia at the invitation of Bishop Artemije of Raska-Prizren, visited the town of Jacovica where the Church of the Holy Trinity was destroyed in 1999 and burnt to the ground on 17 March 2004. This church shared the destiny of other thirty-four Orthodox churches in Kosovo and Metochia defiled in one day. The church site is occupied by a part at present.
The hierarchs visited the Church of the Assumption of the Mother of God under restoration. After seeing a construction site, Archbishop Hilarion talked with four Serbian women. They are Orthodox Christians, the last innates of the once Serbian town, who live on the church adjacent territory being protected by a policeman. The town is out of bounds for them.
On October 30, Archbishop Hilarion and Bishop Artemije visited the ruins of the Church of the Holy Trinity in the village of Petric built in 1990s by the Serbs who once worked in Russia. All church utensils were made in the workshops of the Moscow Patriarchate. The church was defiled in 1999 and destroyed completely in 2004.
Archbishop Hilarion, Bishop Artemije, and those who accompanied them sang a troparion for the Pentecost and prayed for the rest of the souls of all innocent Orthodox Christians who suffered in Kosovo and Metochia.
And here’s an oldie but goodie. It’s what happens when primates and technology collide:
Remember: THE TRUE FACE OF KOSOVO
November 06th 2009 03:47:37 AM
A couple of items that I’m just getting to belatedly:
Clumsy robbers accidently kill themselves
Two awkward and unfortunate bank robbers were killed on Saturday while trying to steal money from the bank in the Belgian town of Dinant. In an attempt to rob the ATM, they used too much dynamite, and blew up the ATM along with half of the bank.
The bodies of two victims, one of which had [a] Kosovo passport, were found among the ruins of the bank. Police was notified around 3:20 a.m. by the local population, Belgian press reports on Sunday.
The body of one of the robbers was found on Saturday, while another body was found under the ruins on Sunday morning.
Local prosecutors reported that they found excessive amounts of dynamite on the scene which explains the damage. Record Bank’s building suffered a great damage and will probably have to be completely demolished. Police assumes that three people participated in the robbery and that the third person managed to escape.
Wait — it gets funnier. I mean, sadder. It turns out that even if they had blasted the safe successfully, it wouldn’t have yielded anything.
2 burglary suspects dead in Belgian explosion
BRUSSELS — Police say two burglary suspects were killed after the excessive explosives they were using to break into a bank’s safe blew up the whole building.
The explosion in Dinant in southern Belgium destroyed half a banking office and left the rest in ruins.
Police say one of the men was buried underneath the rubble and the other died in the hospital Saturday a few hours after the attempted heist.
The automated teller machines and bank safe were not opened.
Authorities say they have built-in security to destroy money and documents inside if they are opened illegally. Even if it had been successful, the robbery would have been unlikely to yield anything.
Now, in the Belgian item above, you’ll notice that the word “Albanian” is still being carefully avoided. That’s in contrast to this recent item about Albanian killers in the UK. There, it seems the report couldn’t use the word “Albanian” enough (five times), indicating that folks in the UK are getting a bit wise, and a little tired, of Albanian games.
But look what happens when we get back to American media. Again, the word “Albanian” is nowhere to be found in this crime report — relying, as usual, on the formally abolished term “Yugoslav”:
Federal agents seize illegal cash at Dulles Airport
On May 31, officers stopped Yugoslav Beqir Hajdari, 33, as he attempted to board a flight to Austria and then to Kosovo, and asked how much currency he was transporting.
Hajdari repeatedly admitted to possessing only $60,000; however, while inspecting Hajdari’s carry-on bag, officers located six bundled rolls. Each roll contained $10,000.
Officers then discovered an additional $4,000 in Hajdari’s wallet and an additional four rolls of U.S. currency in various pockets of Hajdari’s jacket. Overall, agents say Hajdari was in possession of $102,523.
Record checks revealed that Hajdari had previously under-reported currency while departing Chicago in June 2008. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested Hajdari and charged him with bulk cash smuggling.
November 05th 2009 02:26:59 AM
There’s a movie that just opened, called “Storm,” about a Hague prosecutor and an of course innocent Bosnian-Muslim victim of — what else — Serbian crimes during the Bosnian war. Here’s the NY Times hack review of the hack flick, by Stephen Holden:
Crime, Punishment and Painful Memories of Bosnia
“Storm,” Hans-Christian Schmid’s dry, concise thriller, examines the politics surrounding the prosecution of a former Bosnian Serb Army commander for war crimes. Its United States release seems inspired by the current trial in The Hague of the former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic. In the movie his apparent fictional stand-in, Goran Duric (Drazen Kühn), is charged with supervising the “ethnic cleansing” of Bosnian Muslim civilians.
What seems to be an open-and-shut case against him suddenly falls apart with the suicide of the prosecution’s chief witness, Alen Hajdarevic (Kresimir Mikic), a gaunt, wild-eyed Muslim, who hangs himself after it is discovered that he lied to the court about witnessing events at which he wasn’t present. His death is a bitter blow to Hannah Maynard (Kerry Fox), an intrepid prosecutor who has just been handed the case by her cynical, hard-nosed boss, Keith Haywood (Stephen Dillane).
That alone is weird; a Muslim doesn’t commit suicide unless he’s wearing a belt bomb so he can take a bunch of others with him.
Determined that she not be made a scapegoat for others’ failures and that the case remain open, Hannah is given one week to travel to Bosnia to find new evidence against Duric. At Hajdarevic’s funeral in Sarajevo, she meets his sister, Mira Arendt (Anamaria Marinca, the Romanian actress from “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”), who has returned briefly from Berlin, where she lives with a husband and young son.
Hannah extracts information from Mira about a hotel that was a Bosnian Serb Army headquarters where atrocities were committed. Mira warily confesses that she was held prisoner there with other women and repeatedly raped. Hannah persuades Mira to travel to The Hague and testify against Duric, although because of time restrictions she can offer no assurances that Mira’s testimony will be admitted.
“Storm” begins with a prologue set three years earlier, in 2005, that shows Duric’s arrest while on vacation with his wife and two daughters. The movie is unambiguous about his presumed guilt. In the courtroom he is a bulky, glowering presence who casts a cold, imperious eye on the proceedings.
Well doesn’t that just say it all right there. Just as in real life, so it is in film: Serbs are presumed guilty. And no one makes an issue of this. Not in government. Not in media. Not in cinema. Like I always point out, entities that normally act as a check on one another — government, media, military, cinema, human rights organizations and so on — are always, always on the same page when it comes to the Balkans, reinforcing, parroting and perpetuating a single version of events. Notice that the filmmakers have no problem with the reality of the presumed guilt of Serbs, and so they depict it with an free conscience in the film. Then, the reviewer seems to have no problem with the presumed guilt portrayed by the filmmaker. Back to the review:
For a political thriller, “Storm” is remarkably restrained. There are no flashbacks to the wars in the Balkans or to the atrocities in the hotel, which Hannah visits seeking information. While there she is surreptitiously photographed and menaced by Serbian nationalists, one of whom throws a rock through her car window.
Mira, just before leaving for the Netherlands, is thrown violently against a wall by a Serbian thug and warned not to cooperate with “those pigs in The Hague.” Ms. Marinca plays her as a worried but brave woman buffeted by outside forces as she prepares to unleash a flood of traumatic memories.
Oh those menacing Serbian thugs, Serbianationalists and all the other Balkan buzzwords! My but don’t I sleep better at night, feeling safe knowing that all those Serbian thugs and nationalists are behind bars at the Hague! Certainly there’s nothing at all for me to worry about from all those Bosnian Muslim “victims” of theirs running around. Is there? Maybe one day there will be a movie showing what happens to prosecution witnesses in trials of Balkan Muslims. A rock through a car window? Pushed up against a wall? If only!!
…As Mira faces the possibility that she won’t be allowed to testify about her ordeal, she blurts out a question about the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia that lies at the heart of the movie: “What kind of court is this? What the hell is it actually for?” The frustrating answer, which Hannah must swallow hard to accept: Partial justice is better than none.
What kind of question is that! What is the court for? It’s to promote Islamic supremacy based on affirming the Muslim sense of Christian villainy and oppression. And the frustrating answer we must accept: Sometimes jurisprudence falls short of giving the Muslim world a complete victory. And this is very hard to swallow.
Let’s just think about how essential Serbs are for show business in general. Just ask yourself: What would show business do without Serbs?
In addition to Law & Order’s Serbian-rape fantasy, and in addition to anti-Serb opuses like Richard Gere’s Nazi propaganda in 2007 and the bogus movie “Behind Enemy Lines” — as bogus as the “real” story reported in our media — below are some recent-past TV and film items that I’ve been meaning to mention.
More Serbian-rapist fantasies, from 2007; sent by a reader in Boston named Ed:
The series (of two 2-hour episodes) was entitled “Prime Suspect” and I’m pretty sure it was the last there will ever be of the Helen Mirren “Prime Suspect 6: The Last Witness” episodes, where she stars as Detective Superintendent Tennison.
She hunts down a Croatian Serb who has murdered and raped a 14-year-old Bosian Muslim IN LONDON. He is an escaped “war criminal” who fled to Britain after the conflict under an assumed identity of a “good” Serb (to escape war crimes) whom she couldn’t arrest because he was being “protected” by the foreign dept or MI6 whatever because he was helping them chase down his old buddies who had also fled, i.e. he turned traitor to his fellow Serbs that committed murders, rape, women, children, torture, etc. of Bosnian Muslims.
She eventually catches him and makes the charges stick because he had committed the rape and murder of a Muslim girl in the UK who was a UK citizen after he had arrived in Britain. He was married and had wife and little girl (very, very caucasian looking, i.e. blond, blue eyes, etc.) who knew everything there was to know about him but cared not. In short, another example of the kind of thing you have been writing about…the fact that the US and its allies have been pinning the proverbial tail all over the Serbs and mentioning nothing of the Muslim part in creating or at least perpetuating this age old clash of cultures and the wholesale slaughter involved.
The show was first aired in April 2004, but these things take a while to reach Boston and PBS airing in the U.S. PBS hauls it out every once in a while for another showing.
Of course, as we know, everything in the show is a direct contradiction of reality. The Balkans people doing the raping in England and Switzerland are Albanians, not Serbs. And the criminals and war criminals and terrorists whom MI6 protects are Albanians, Bosnians and Croatians. And the children who are indifferent — even proud — of their parents’ and grandparents’ crimes are Croatian and Albanian. Croatian teenagers proudly carry on the Ustasha legacy today, even on our own shores. Bosnians, meanwhile, have so internalized their Western-bestowed status as victims that they no longer are even aware they committed any crimes, and so their children are unaware that there’s anything to be either ashamed or proud of.
Ed soon sent me another one:
Sorry to have to mention it, but another taped PBS (out of Boston) “Mystery Theatre” movie story line concerned yet another murder of Albanian-Muslim men, women and children by Serb policemen during the 90’s conflict — but told in the present day carryover to London. One Albanian Muslim woman immigrant being stalked by an immigrant ex-Serb policeman in London and his consequent apprehension by “Inspector Lynley” in a 2-hr issue of the series by the same name.
In this particular movie [episode], the Inspector’s wife is accidentally shot and killed by the Muslim woman who meant the bullet for the ex-Serb policeman whose job in London was to chauffeur a local mob kingpin. Since these movies that I have mentioned to you are all made under the auspices of the BBC, I suppose one can easily tell what the Brit popular point of view is and is being propagated via these stories all having a “blame Serbs for the murder of Muslims” theme.
Only one show approached something reality-reflective when it comes to the Balkans. And that show is Kelsey Grammer’s “Medium,” starring Patricia Arquette. Early in one episode two seasons ago, a criminal was killed off in the hospital where he was recuperating after a shootout or something. When Arquette (playing real-life medium and show consultant Allison Dubois) asked the hospital staff about him, she was told “Serbian mafia — or Bosnian; take your pick.” It wasn’t much, but it was a noticeable departure from the one-side-only-bad-guys version everyone else still tries to give us. And the recent breakthrough movie “Taken” also deserves kudos, going a step farther in accuracy. In it, Liam Neeson’s daughter is kidnapped into sex slavery by Albanians and sold to an Arab sheikh.
November 03rd 2009 03:44:36 AM
Kosovo: Serbs find mine at cemetery
25 October 2009 | 11:24 | Source: Tanjug
STARO GRACKO — An AP mine was removed from a village cemetery, after local Serbs from Staro Gracko in Kosovo reported finding in on Saturday.
Kosovo police, KPS, told Tanjug news agency that KFOR’s teams disarmed the device found at the Orthodox cemetery.
Serbs from Staro Gracko were prohibited from visiting the graves of their loved ones for several years because of “danger and suspicion” that there were explosive devices there, reports said.
And in September some Serbs were inexplicably turned back from an unveiling of a monument to dead or missing Serbs (Sept. 11):
On Thursday night, Kosovo police turned back a group of 80 Serbs who were heading to Velika Hoca/Hoca e Madhe, Kosovo to attend the unveiling of a monument to Kosovo Serbs who have been killed or kidnapped.
Veljko Odalovic, from the Serbian government’s Missing Persons’ Commission, says Kosovo police spent three hours checking everyone’s personal identification documents and information before requesting that the bus, van and three accompanying cars return to the administrative crossing in Merdare.
He claimed in an interview with KIM radio station on Thursday night that there was no reason to turn back the convoy, other than the presumed receipt of orders to do so from the Kosovo government.
The unveiling of the monument is scheduled to take place on Friday in the municipality of Orahovac/Rahovec, a date chosen to correspond with Friday’s Orthodox holiday marking the beheading of John the Baptist.
Keep in mind that this monument to killed and kidnapped Serbs is in a new “state” that’s dotted with much bigger monuments to those who killed or kidnapped them.
Here are previous posts about the dangers of visiting or burying the departed while Serbian in Kosovo. Oh, and in Bosnia.
November 03rd 2009 02:58:49 AM
I happened upon a great site called Refugee Resettlement Watch, and here was a post it had from July of last year. This Albanian-American lawyer is to be commended for his efforts with Iraqi and Congolese refugees.
Class to teach immigrants not to beat their wives or kick their dogs
Posted by acorcoran on July 6, 2008
This is one of those days when interesting news is coming from all directions. One of my favorite (not) volags, US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) has partnered with an immigration lawyer to teach refugees, men in this case, how to behave in America. The article from Schenectady, NY started out o.k. Afterall, we have been advocating for refugees to assimilate.
“CAPITAL REGION — Artan Serjanej understands how difficult it can be for new immigrants to navigate the thicket of unfamiliar laws they encounter when they move to America.
“Now 43, Serjanej fled the Eastern European country of Albania as a young man, arriving in the United States in 1990. He earned his GED, attended law school and is now an immigration attorney at Tulley Rinckey PLLC in Albany.
“Serjanej is leading a series of workshops to help male immigrants understand laws regarding domestic violence, child abuse and animal abuse. He has already held two workshops, one for male Congolese refugees living in the Capital Region and another for Arabic-speaking Iraqi male refugees, and more are scheduled for later this summer.”
Then it reveals that really much of this series of classes is geared toward teaching refugees their rights in our legal system. The participants here will give you some idea of the direction this is going:
“The new program, called Legal Rights and Responsibilities in the United States, began two months ago. The workshops have been organized with help from local community groups, such as the Capital Region chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union and Equinox Inc. Last month, Melanie Trimble, the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, and Serjanej conducted basic civil liberties training with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants staff.”
This is so good I couldn’t help copying a large section of the article so that you can get the full impact of what is being said here.
“‘I’m trying to change their idea of what it means to be a man,’ he said. ‘These people are coming from a very patriarchal society. The man of the house is the man of the house.’
“Serjanej said he understands these attitudes and why the men have them.
“‘Albania is a very patriarchal [Islamic] society,’ he said. ‘When I was growing up, once in a while my dad would get physically violent with me. We didn’t have a Department of Social Services. Women had no way to complain [about abuse], and it was socially unacceptable for them to do so.’
“He said one of the things he tells the men who attend his workshops is that even if their wives do not complain to the police, other people might.
“‘Even if the wife is silent, outsiders can call the police,’ he said.
“‘I tell them that if you get upset, you cannot use your hands,” Serjanej continued. “I tell them that you can only talk and that you should talk in a quiet voice. A real man doesn’t have to get physical. I try to convey that they can use their mouth and voice and be respected in this country by all.
“‘I don’t want people to end up in trouble for something they think is acceptable,’ he added. ‘The idea is to protect them so they don’t have any criminal records. They really need to understand how to live a clean life.’”
Notice that Mr. Serjanej is not saying he is trying to protect women and pets and keep them safe from abuse, he is protecting the men from having a criminal record. It is all about the men!
“In the workshops, Serjanej talks about the age of consent and rape laws and how it’s illegal to kick or otherwise abuse dogs and cats.
“Assimilating into a new culture is very stressful, Serjanej said.
“‘Refugees get culture shock,’ he said. ‘They have certain expectations, and when they reach this country, things are not as great as they thought they would be.’”
Not so great you say? You know what my answer is to that!
Yes, Mr. Serjanej could have chosen his words more carefully so that the reader doesn’t come away thinking that he’s just helping these primitive people navigate the system to their advantage rather than having genuine concern for women and animals. Which I believe Serjanej does have, despite his choice of words. The most interesting part, however, is the upshot to this interview that he gave. Despite his already very politically correct choice of words with regard to the refugees, and his overall pro-refugee stance, what he revealed here was enough to get him booted from his volunteer work. Below is an excerpt from a follow-up blog by Refugee Resettlement Watch, starting with a quote from the Peter Huston blog –which first got wind of Mr. Serjanej’s work — and finishing with the RRW blogger’s comment:
“…Una Hardester, 22 year old idealist activist, and her companions, insisted that…Serjanej’s comments should not have been voiced, as they were not consistent with the view of the world or the view of refugees that they wished to promote. Therefore they did not invite him back to participate in any more programs. Their programs were now sanitized and politically correct. The cultural gap between some refugees and the young American activist community was again preserved! Oooooh Rah! Mission accomplished!”
Seriously, did it ever occur to you humanitarians that by silencing Serjanej you may now be responsible for violence to some women and children whose husband’s [sic] and father’s [sic] do not get his message about what behavior is unacceptible [sic] in America.
The original source, blogger Peter Huston, sums up the mindset of the American do-gooder nicely:
Now Americans tend to be very ethnocentric, idealistic people and therefore the way they deal with people who tell them things they don’t wish to hear, particularly if these things don’t fit their ethnocentric ideals, is often interesting. At times, they will go so far as to argue with people about things they know nothing about if these people have experiences that don’t meet their idealistic view of the world.
November 02nd 2009 05:28:14 AM
It’s where George W. Bush went to find love, and now where Bill Clinton has gone to find relevance: Greater Albania.
Clinton traveled to Kosovo over the weekend to attend the long-anticipated unveiling of the statue honoring him for killing Serbs. The sculpture is taller and heavier than the actual man, and reportedly is more interesting to talk to and has more character.
November 01st 2009 11:59:59 PM
In my recent post “America’s Tangled Kosovo Web,” I outlined the impossible relationship we embarked upon with our “friends” in Greater Albania. I also made the point that rather than showing the lawless, supremacist Albanians the way, they have been showing us the way. To illustrate the point with just one example, I posted an advisory for jobs at the U.S. military base there, Camp Bondsteel:
camp bondsteel jobs
JOBS JOBS JOBS.INFO
Just visit Camp Bondsteel and ask someone. But you should know that for most jobs available to locals you will need to be fluent in English. You should also be aware that they don’t offer as many jobs to people of Serbian nationality because of the risk of infiltration, so basically this means that if you are Albanian you have a better chance of getting a job.
I then wrote: “The most Swiftian part of this is the ‘risk of infiltration’ by Serbs. No worries about infiltration by Islamists or KLA elements, since that is precisely whom Bondsteel serves.”
Further to that “infiltration” concern, as I excerpted before from Hiding Genocide in Kosovo:
KFOR employed several interpreters, both Albanian and Serbian, and some of the Serbian interpreters shared their experiences with me.
One Serbian interpreter recalls that he often accompanied the British soldiers on their patrols. He noticed that the British soldiers swallowed everything they were told by Albanians, especially in the beginning. Right away he began to notice a pattern. He realised at an early stage in that summer of 1999, all the Albanian interpreters suddenly appeared with mobile phones, a rare site in those days. None of the Serbian interpreters had such luxuries.
The strategy was simple: a British KFOR unit would leave their base planning a routine patrol or in response to news of an incident and then one of the Albanian interpreters would phone and tip off the perpetrators.
…[T]he Serbs had very few guns to defend themselves with and those they had were kept in the house or some place nearby where they could be obtained quickly. At this stage Serb households expected an attack at any time. Thus, British KFOR searching houses for guns usually found them inside a Serb house. They almost never found them in Albanian houses because, not expecting to be attacked themselves, and usually being informed beforehand of searches by the Albanian interpreters [for KFOR], they could afford the luxury of hiding them more securely such as burying them in the garden.
…On numerous occasions, an “anonymous” Albanian would report that there were weapons in a specific Serbian house. Very soon afterwards, British KFOR would search that house and remove any offensive items, but later that night the Albanians would know the house was now “clean”, and the house could be torched, usually the same night…
One source began working with KFOR in June, 1999…He remembers that one of the Albanian interpreters working with the British was particularly vociferous in her propaganda campaign against the Serbs. She really tried to poison the minds of the KFOR soldiers against all Serbs. She was having an affair with one of the senior Green Howards [a British regiment] officers and was obviously in a position to influence procedures. Ironically, this interpreter was a member of the family that had opened the Albanian separatist café in the 1990s where the owner had actually worked for the Serbian secret police.
As is often the case, the children of people like this have to prove themselves and show they are more extreme than anyone else.
The cosy relationship between most of the British KFOR contingent in Kosovo Polje and their Albanian interpreters meant that whether they were aware of it or not, British KFOR were being used by the Albanians to help them ethnically cleanse the town and its surrounding villages.
[The Institute for European Policy authors] describe both UNMIK and KFOR as infiltrated by agents of organized crime who forewarn their ringleaders of any impending raids. “The majority of criminal incidents do not become public because of fear of reprisals.
And there was this — Kosovo Polje, 1999, from Hiding Genocide in Kosovo:
No one was prepared for the savage assault launched that sunny September day on innocent market goers. Incredibly, the evening before the attack a phone call warning of an attack on the market was made to a local humanitarian organisation’s offices…Staff at the centre immediately telephoned the UNMIK Police station and the British KFOR base to warn them. An Albanian answered the telephone and promised to inform KFOR of the warning. Somehow, nothing was done. Maybe the message was passed on and maybe it was not. The reality is no warning was given to the shoppers who attended the market the next day. No KFOR security was present even though they had been warned.
That morning as the market was crowded with shoppers the attackers lobbed at least two grenades into the middle of the market. Three Serbs died instantly. One more died two months later and many more were injured. Most of them were elderly men, women and small children. The market was only 500 metres away from the nearest British KFOR base. The two attackers, both in their late teens, were seen running away from the house in which they had hidden to launch their attack. Although they were identified by several eye witnesses, they were never accused of this attack. Later, one of those identified as being involved in the green market attack was detained by Norwegian KFOR who came across him accosting a five year old Serbian girl in the street. He was holding her by the arm and burning her with a cigarette.
Norwegian KFOR soldiers infuriated by this sight took the suspect, stripped him and tied him to a fence and proceeded to beat him. Soon afterwards, apparently alerted by a member of the public, members of the British military police unit arrived and took the suspect away….he was never charged with anything.
To close, here is just some more damning background about our friend Ramush Haradinaj and his blacklisted brother Daut:
The Haradinaj Brothers and Their Involvement in Terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija, Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily - December 15, 2004
…In 1996, back in the Balkans, [Ramush Haradinaj] completed his diversionary terrorist training. In Albania, he took part in establishing the logistics bases of al-Qaida in Kuks [Kukes] and Tropoj, and later used these bases, with a group of trusted associates, as key elements in the chain to transport weapons to Serbia’s Kosovo and Metohija province.
In mid-1997, Haradinaj…together with his brothers, Daut and Shkelzen, organized terrorist attacks against the police department in the village of Ranic, Municipality of Decani, and the village of Ponosevac, Municipality of Djakovica, and on the refugee camps in Junik and Babaloc.
At the beginning of 1998, in Glodjani [Glodjane], he formed a diversionary terrorist group which, following his orders, intercepted and threatened Serbs and Albanians loyal to the Republic of Serbia. This group, headed by the Haradinaj brothers, attacked a police patrol in the village of Glodjani, in which Miodrag Otovic was murdered.
In April 1998, the terrorist group, led by Ramush Haradinaj, established the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) general staff in Glodjani for Metohija….At the same time, on his initiative, a special KLA unit was formed in Glodjani, called “Black Eagles”, whose commander was Idriz Balaj, aka “Toger”. Under the leadership of Ramush Haradinaj, the “Black Eagles” kidnapped and murdered dozens of Serb civilians. A number of bodies were found in the Radonjic Lake and village wells in the Decani Municipality.
After Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) was formed out of the KLA, following the end of the NATO attacks on Serbia, Haradinaj was appointed Deputy Commander to the KPC Commander, Agim [C]eku. Towards the end of 2000, he left the KPC and established the ABK party. In order to maintain his influence over KPC, he managed to place his brother Daut as the commander of the 3rd RTG of KPC which carries out the assassinations of Ramush’s political rivals…
Ramush Haradinaj has been regarded by Serbian authorities as the most influential criminal in Metohija, in the region of Pec, Decani and Djakovica. In cooperation with Ekrem Lluka and Naser Kelmendi, he created a criminal organization which controls the organized smuggling of drugs, cigarettes, oil, oil derivates, weapons, vehicles and other goods….
A part of the acquired profit from the criminal activities of Haradinaj and his criminal group was given to KPC, and from the same source, a significant part of the financial means was forwarded to Nazim Haradinaj, who supplied the Albanian terrorists in Macedonia with weapons.
Aiming to free his brother from prison, Haradinaj, with the mediation of Avdyl Mushkoli [Mushkolaj], organized demonstrations and initiated the formation of a group of some 30 people who attempted to release Daut Haradinaj by force from the Dubrava prison, Istok Municipality.
In January 2003, Haradinaj organized the assassination of Tahir Zemaj, a FARK commander, his son Enis and nephew Hysen, on the Pristina-Pec road, in the vicinity of a lumber plant, due to the fact that Zemaj was supposed to be the State witness in the proceedings against Daut Haradinaj and himself. […]
Dossier: Involvement of Haradinaj Brothers in Terrorist and Criminal Activities in Kosov
Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily - December 16, 2004 Thursday
Intelligence sources, and sources within the Kosovo Islamist and Albanian national movements, have begun to provide detailed information on the two brothers of the newly-elected Prime Minister of the Serbian province of Kosovo & Metohija, [Ramush Haradinaj], 36. …
BUJAR (Rasim) HARADINAJ…was responsible for some 180 terrorist attacks, among which were armed attacks on the villages of Ljodja and Babaloc, in the middle of 1998, as well as for the forced expulsion of the population from the territory of Djakovica, Pec and Decani, and for setting the Orthodox church in the village of Gornji Rasic on fire.
Bujar Haradinaj was the immediate perpetrator of a number of armed attacks on the members of the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Serbia and the Serbia & Montenegro forces. Together with Agim Selmani and Daut Haradinaj, he took part in the attack on the members of the Army and police, in August 1998…
DAUT HARADINAJ…In the Glodjani prison, which was under direct control of Ramush and Daut Haradinaj, a large number of Serbs were murdered… He is the direct perpetrator of a number of assassinations, and he organized the assassination of…political rivals of Hashim Thaqi (Thaci).
After the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) was formed by NATO and European authorities out of the KLA, Daut Haradinaj was the deputy commander…. Upon achieving KPC command, he was in charge of coordinating operations with the Islamic terrorist organization al-Qaida . In that capacity, he organized a meeting with leading al-Qaida military leader Mohammed al-Zawahiri, brother of the ideological leader of al-Qaida, Dr Ayman Al Zawahiri.
Daut Haradinaj was suspended from KPC in 2001 because he was placed on the US blacklist of organizations and individuals who, due to terrorist activities, had restricted access to financial aid; ie: who were forbidden to enter the US.
Until his arrest by KFOR in July 2002, Daut Haradinaj directly participated in the attacks on the security forces of the Republic of Macedonia, together with National Liberation Army (NLA: also known as ANA; a re-emergence of the KLA) members, and he was also active in the area of arms and drugs trafficking, as part of the criminal group led by Ramush Haradinaj. […]
November 01st 2009 01:22:23 PM
Below is an abridged version of a recent piece by Gregory Copley, director of Defense & Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy. He itemizes the ways in which America has been knocking itself down from superpower status, something that half the country has long longed for — and elected Barack Obama to culminate. It’s a phenomenon that I call “third world envy” as I occasionally muse: “I don’t know who’s more jealous — the third world of us, or us of the third world.” Of course, our third-world envy is partly born out of fear of the third world’s envy of us, and so we try to become less enviable, less rich, more socialist. The irony, of course, is that socialism breeds envy. Hence the Russian anecdote about the genie telling the old peasant woman that he’ll grant her one wish, but whatever she chooses, her neighbor will be twice as blessed. Her wish: “Make me blind in one eye.”
I won’t even get into the racist implications of the fact that Americans wishing to see America get knocked down from superpower status have chosen a black man to do it. Instead, I’ll get to my main point, based on one particular sentence from Copley:
What Obama now fails to realize is, that having emasculated US strategic projection and coercive authority, other states no longer need to listen and comply. This situation will [become] increasingly evident.
If this sad fact is the case, the one time I would welcome it being evident is this December, when the International Court of Justice rules on the illegality of the Kosovo secession from Serbia. All five members of the UN Security Council plan to be actively involved in those deliberations — with the US, Great Britain and France on one side, and Russia and China on the other. Every country in the world will be watching with interest as it decides whether to follow Washington’s instructions and recognize Kosovo, or whether to preserve international order, and decline. Meanwhile, the 62 countries who have already recognized Kosovo will have the option to withdraw that recognition after hearing the Court’s non-binding ruling. Let’s hope that one good thing can come out of our shameful squandering of the global position that our forbears built for us.
But Copley’s article is much wider in scope and implication than this one example I extrapolated it for, so here it is:
By Gregory R. Copley
The Extinction of Superpowers
IT WAS CLEAR, WITH THE END OF THE Cold War in 1990, that the Eastern and Western blocs would disintegrate, and the one remaining superpower - the United States, the cornerstone of the Western bloc - would not long remain unassailed. The world, as I forecast then, would return rapidly to multipolarism, and re-form into new alignments. There was a forlorn hope in some quarters in the US that it would retain its superpower capabilities, and that its writ would remain unassailable.
…[T]he US was well-equipped to transform; indeed, it was still the best-placed nation-state to transform sociologically, economically, scientifically, and militarily. If it wished to do so. If it could resist the urge to fritter its hitherto overwhelming strategic strength on all threats and irritants, regardless of the appropriateness of the action. Its strength in all arenas was squandered, as though the currency of its strength could be spent equally, without accounting, on every challenge.
The world has changed. The US did not change with it. On the contrary, without the critical discipline of a highly-capable and, yes, feared adversary, the US lost focus, lost urgency, lost whatever humility it had. It failed to re-invest adequately in the tools and humility to deal with the new world.
Even all of this did not point to an inevitable decline in the US, other than in relative terms, due to the rising multipolar and anomic environment. In other words, there was no real reason for the US to slide inevitably in all the vital strategic indicators.
Equally, there was no reason to suppose that the US would not, could not, reverse its strategic decline…And yet that is what it chose to do when it elected Barack Obama as President; he had committed to reducing all of the factors of US strength: economic innovation and capital formation skills; military strength; reliable strategic alliances; and the ability of the US to defend and enforce its interests globally.
…Obama has massively and rapidly reduced - and in places destroyed - the ability of the US economy to produce the wealth which makes all other strengths possible. Obama - compounding the corruption of the financial system which Congress began years earlier, mandating that the banking system fund non-viable loans to fulfill the populist promises of politicians - rapidly increased Government intervention into the US economy, meaning that a smaller private, productive sector has had to work harder to fund the expanding state sector, while being viewed as an “enemy of the state” by zealous statists.
Obama has covertly and overtly nationalized or neutralized key sectors of the economy; he has alienated the historical allies of the United States to a far more serious degree even than his predecessor, Pres. George W. Bush. He has begun the emasculation of the US Armed Forces, and still - even though he has consistently lied to, and alienated, the US’ most important allies - thinks that he, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, can berate, bully, and intimidate its allies and neutrals, and even a few minor adversaries, around the world.
What Obama now fails to realize is, that having emasculated US strategic projection and coercive authority, other states no longer need to listen and comply. This situation will becoming increasingly evident. The US strategic decline will be partially disguised by the reality that possibly no other military-economic power will, in the coming few years, eclipse it in absolute terms. But that power will essentially be dramatically reduced in meaning and options. The global absence of overwhelming threat, indeed, has also enabled the United Kingdom to cloak its disappearance into strategic irrelevance, apart from its uniquely capable Armed Forces, which continue to “punch above their weight,” despite the reality that the administrations of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have squandered the strategic architecture which had taken a millennium to build.
But US Pres. Obama has no understanding of history, other than he wishes to eliminate what the US, and the West, has historically achieved.
Barack Obama took, as he said he would, strong steps to ensure that the US was no longer a dominant - or predatory - global power. That was his moral or political conviction; his vision that the US should no longer [be] the great capitalist superpower. And yet he expects to maintain, as US President, global authority in his own right. This is narcissism on a global scale. Rather than “speaking softly and carrying a big stick,” as US Pres. Theodore Roosevelt advocated, Ohama increasingly carries a smaller and smaller stick, and speaks more and more loudly. What proved to be a successful strategy for Teddy Roosevelt has been reversed by Barack Obama, and will, ipso facto, lead to US strategic decline.
This reality has already begun to be proven.
I ask again: can the US recover its strategic position before the global context eclipses it? Certainly. But the longer it waits to re-build its economic flexibility and confidence - and this means reigniting the market through less, not more, covert coercion - the more difficult the return of the US to great power status.
Some great powers, some empires, revive. Some.
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