August 2010

I recently blogged about the Angelina Jolie directorial debut to be shot in Serbia. The film is about a Bosnian Muslim female and a Serbian soldier who fall in love during the 90s war. So I just wanted to share the thoughts of source/reader/writer Stella Jatras, who thinks the scenario sounds familiar:

Gee! I wonder where they got that idea — perhaps from [an Oct. 1994] report out of Japanese TV [about “Sarajevo’s Romeo and Juliet”], which states, “The Japanese State Television NHK said Friday that a Muslim-Serb fiancé couple was murdered by Bosnian Muslims rather than Serbs on Sarajevo’s Vrbanja Bridge in May 1993. A 50-minute documentary containing both Bosnian Serb and Muslim testimonies collected by Japanese reporters, said Muslims were responsible for the murder of Serb Bosko Brckic, 25, and his Muslim fiancé, Admira Ismic, 25, whom western media has nick-named ‘Sarajevo’s Romeo and Juliet’.

“The documentary contained testimonies by the couple’s parents, Bosko’s best friend Misa who has found refuge in Belgrade and notorious Sarajevo paramilitary leader called ‘Celo’ who said Bosko and Admira had left Sarajevo’s Muslim-held section aiming to cross the Vrbanja Bridge on to the Serb-held section. They said the couple was prompted to do so because the Muslims had beaten and tortured Bosko and threatened to kill him.

“The couple finally decided to leave after Muslim authorities told Bosko he would be drafted into their army and threatened to send him to the frontline to fight the Serbs and then kill him there.

“Before leaving Sarajevo, Bosko and Admira had assurances from both the Serb and the Muslim sides that they would be allowed to cross the bridge safely. Bosko’s pre-war friendship with [Celo] was his ticket out. Both Serb and Muslim testimonies in the documentary showed that the Muslims would have done anything to have Bosko shot because he refused to fight against the Serbs.

“The embraced bodies of Bosko and Admira had been lying on the bridge for days as no one, in fear of sniper fire, dared remove them. Bosko and Admira were buried side by side.”

According to the Wikipedia entry about Bosko and Admira, it is still unclear who shot the couple, but an undefinitive clue comes from the original May 1993 report by the late Reuters reporter Kurt Schork, who wrote that the couple were shot at while still making their way through Bosnian lines, on their way to a Serb-held neighborhood. Of course, just logically: Aside from the Bosnian-Muslim M.O. being precisely to not keep their word on anything promised to any infidel parties, one would have to wonder why Serbs would shoot at them if they had chosen Serbia over Sarajevo.

Here is a mention of CNN lying that it was a Serb sniper that shot them, and in 2008 the New Zealand Herald repeated the lie, with an Irfan Yusuf writing, “One tragic image of the war was two young lovers, a Bosnian Serb, Bosko Brkic, and his Bosnian Muslim girlfriend, Admira Ismic, gunned down by Serb snipers while attempting to flee Sarajevo.”

Bottom line: Not only will the Jolie film be the usual anti-Serb schlock, but it sounds like yet another Hollywood inversion.

Below is just an update on the film’s progress, from Aug. 20:

Angelina Jolie is coming to Belgrade

The famous Hollywood movie star Angelina Jolie is coming to Belgrade on September 3 to agree with Serbian producing house ‘Abarit’ shooting of a movie in Serbia and the region. The film shall be the first directed by her. The producer shall be Filip Gajic, a reputable Belgrade director. In one of minor roles there shall appear Rade Serbedzija, while Angelina shall be in the leading female role.

The ‘Abarit’ was a co-producer of a film ‘The Myth of Sizif’ that Angelina decided to make after her recent visit to refugee camps in Bosnia/Herzegovina.

According to our source the film shall be a love story between two people who found themselves on opposite sides during wars in former Yugoslavia.

Here is a photo of Jolie this week visiting with the terror-connected Bosnian president Haris Silajdzic:

“Angelina Jolie hit Bosnia over the weekend to meet with some political officials there to discuss refugees and shooting a movie there.”

In an unrelated follow-up to recent posts, we see that the “Serb returnee” village of Zac in Kosovo has been attacked yet again.

Kosovo: Returnee homes damaged again
24 August 2010 | Source: Beta

ŽAČ — Unknown perpetrators once again demolished a part of a wall of a Serb returnee’s house under construction in the Kosovo village of Žač.

Representative of the Serb returnees Nebojša Drljević says that the incident happened on Monday at around 21:30 CET.

Kosovo police, KPS, spokesman for the Peć region Zeqir Kelmendi has confirmed that the wall was demolished last night.

“Two suspects, who participated in the stoning of the returnees’ camp before, were arrested last night and they have admitted demolishing the wall in a house which is being built for Serb returnees,” Kelmendi stated.

According to Drljević, the returnees are upset about the incident which happened only a week after two walls on another house [were] demolished, and concrete blocks for the construction of two more houses in the village were broken.

A day later, a newly cleaned well, from which the construction workers and the returnees were taking water, had been covered with soil.

Representatives of Kosovo police said at the time that three underage ethnic Albanians had been detained over the incident and that several persons were investigated

Drljević stressed that some returnees announced that they would leave the camp because they did not feel that the Kosovo Albanian authorities were showing the will to prevent the attacks on the returnees and their properties and the houses which were being built by the Kosovo Return and Communities Ministry.

Ever since the group of Serb families, driven out of their homes and land in 1999, returned in March, they were subjected to various forms of pressure, including shots being fired and stones thrown at their temporary tent camp, while two returnees were physically attacked.

Local ethnic Albanians also staged protests against the returnees, saying they had been involved in war crimes. The Serbs, however, believe that the opposition to their return stems from the Albanians’ wish to continue usurping their farmland.

Human smugglers try river crossing (Ottawa Citizen, Aug. 20)

Amherstburg police officers have nabbed five people — three children and two adults — attempting to enter Canada illegally by boat, the second time in a month they have foiled a human smuggling bid. The latest group was caught about 4 p.m. Wednesday after they were observed near Amherst Point by residents living in the Lakewood area. The group claimed to be a family who had paid $2,000 to be transported across the Detroit River from Michigan, where they claimed to have lived for six years. The family said they were originally from Kosovo. The group claimed refugee status and were subsequently turned over to officers with the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency.

Now, for anyone who doesn’t yet know, Michigan — especially Dearborn, which neighbors Detroit and Hamtramck — is the Muslim capital of America. Coincidentally, there also seem to be a lot of Albanians who gravitate to Michigan, although this supposedly has nothing to do with Albanians being largely Muslim themselves. Anyway, here is a recently circulated 2007 article describing Michigan as the Islamic capital of America. It comes via reader Anna, who reminds us that “Michigan can thank former Senator Spencer Abraham for the high population of Muslims in Michigan. Abraham said that if he were reelected, he would have increased the quota for Arabs to come from the Middle-East.”

Michigan: the Islamic capital of the US by Sher Zieve, Jan. 11, 2007

As of 2005, Michigan held the largest and still growing Muslim population in the United States and the second largest Arab population outside of the Middle East. Outside of Muslim-run countries, Paris — which still experiences nightly vehicle torchings and mayhem in its Islamic neighborhoods — has the largest. It is estimated that eight million Muslims now live in the US and their numbers are continuing to grow. Islam is now the second-largest religious body in the United States and is said to be its fastest growing religious movement.

Although hundreds of long-time residents of Hamtramck, MI protested the city allowing the five-times-per-day Muslim call to prayer to be broadcast over Hamtramck’s loudspeakers, the city council voted unanimously in April 2004 to allow it. Prior to the city council making its decision, public input from any citizens (except Muslims) had not been allowed. This continues today. Hamtramck resident Bob Golen was outraged by the city council’s actions and said: “So they had made up their mind before any public meeting and it’s been five-nothing ever since. This is only the beginning. They’re going to use Hamtramck as a precedent. This is coming to your town, to the town down the road, and to the [next] town down the road.” Golen added that, after the city council voted to allow the calls to prayer, one of the city councilmen said that he was “proud to set a precedent in this country.”

Note: The most dangerous element of this “precedent” appears to be a US city council making a unilateral decision. No input from non-Muslim US citizen-residents was required — or permitted. Sound a bit like Shari’a law (which requires only Islamic clerics to make decisions) to you? It should. Only one-third of Hamtramck’s population is Muslim. However, it is the group that appears to now wield the proverbial sword when and where its religious practices are involved. Hamtramck’s Christians and Jews need not waste their time protesting, as this pro-Muslim (to the exclusion of other religions?) city council now firmly appears to be in control of matters relating to Islam.

Just outside of Detroit, the city of Dearborn, MI (the tenth most populated in that state) holds the second densest Arab community outside of the Middle East…Terrorist Hezbollah is also firmly established in Michigan and in 2006 the owner of the La Shish chain of 15 US restaurants, Talal Chahine, fled to Lebanon rather than facing federal charges that he had both evaded paying taxes and funneled $20 million in profits to Hezbollah. This is but one case and there is little doubt other terrorist-supporting activities continue to occur right under our radar. Dearborn’s Al Mabarat “charitable organization” has also been named in providing funds to Hezbollah and on 31 July 3,500 Dearborn Muslims marched in support of Hezbollah and shouted: “Jews are diseased!” The assertions by many that Michigan is the capital of Hezbollah in the United States, seems an appropriate assessment. But, Hezbollah is not the only Islamic terrorist organization that has a stronghold in Michigan. Terrorist groups al-Qaeda, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Gama’at al-Islamiyya are also firmly entrenched in the state. And it is not only in Michigan that these terrorists have gained a foothold — their presence is now spread throughout the US. […]

So indeed, it’s possible that Hezbollah Central might have freaked some Albanians right out of America, causing them to pay to escape.

It’s nice that Jews and Muslims have something in common aside from not eating pork. What a symbiotic relationship: Jews want to die, and Muslims want to help them die. Obama is like the Kevorkian president. I’m sure he’ll give them both what they’re asking for.

Muslims, Jews still like Obama as his approval rating slips

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Muslims and Jews in the United States remain among the most ardent supporters of President Barack Obama, whose overall job approval ratings have been falling sharply, a Gallup poll showed Friday.

The survey which tracked opinions over a period from January 21 to July 31 showed 78 percent of Muslims and 61 percent of Jews approved of Obama’s job performance.

The president’s overall rating in the Gallup poll has slipped from 63 percent from the January-June 2009 period and 53 percent in July-December 2009, Gallup figures showed.

But Muslims and Jews — which each represent less than two percent of the US population — have remained largely favorable to Obama even though his ratings have fallen among all faiths.

Among Protestants, which represent a majority of Americans, Obama’s approval rating has slipped to 43 percent in the latest poll from 58 percent a year earlier.

Catholics gave Obama a 50 percent approval rating from 67 percent last year.

Just 24 percent of Mormons, who have been among the least favorable toward the president, approved of Obama’s job performance, down from 43 percent a year earlier.

“The pattern that pertained when Obama first took office — high ratings among Muslims, those with no religious identity, those identifying with non-Christian religions, and Jews; and lower ratings among Protestants and Mormons — continues today.

“Although his standing has dropped among Americans in each of these groups, Obama has retained a little more strength among Muslims, the group giving him the highest ratings, and has lost a little more among Mormons, the group giving him the lowest ratings.” […]

It’s worth noting that only two news outlets — both part of the same company — thought it was newsworthy to report on the indictments unsealed this week for an organized ring of racketeers and murderers. This is despite — or perhaps because? — the fact that the arrests include a senior aide to the deputy prime minister of Albania.

The arrests were announced on Tuesday, and as of Friday only the NY Post and Fox5 carried the story.

Meanwhile, one certainly wonders if this has ever happened to us before: that a top-level foreign official’s aide has been charged with criminal activities including murder in the U.S. Or if this is just an Albanian phenomenon.

Here is the NY Post/Fox5 report, from Weds. Aug. 25:

“Albanian Aide Arrested For NY Murder”/”Albanian big busted in NY slay, kidnap”

A top aide to Albania’s deputy prime minister has been busted in that country for murder, kidnapping and racketeering crimes committed in New York City on behalf of a vicious drug gang, authorities revealed yesterday.

Almir Rrapo, the senior administrative assistant to the deputy PM, was arrested by Albanian National Police at the request of American authorities on July 2, but US prosecutors only yesterday unsealed an indictment against him.

Another 16 people have also been criminally charged in connection with the marijuana-dealing ring allegedly operated by Staten Island brothers Bruno and Saimir Krasniqi in New York state, Connecticut and Michigan.

Rrapo, 27, is accused with the Krasniqi brothers of the July 2005 fatal drive-by shooting of Erion Shehu outside a Queens cafe during a turf battle over marijuana sales, the Manhattan US Attorney’s Office said.

A month before the killing, prosecutors allege, Rrapo, the Krasniqis and other gang members kidnapped a rival drug dealer at gunpoint, pistol-whipped him and placed the gun’s muzzle in his mouth while threatening to kill him if he did not reveal the locations of other members of his ring.

Rrapo, who faces a possible death sentence for Shehu’s murder, also is charged with narcotics and robbery conspiracy.

I’ve written before that Hollywood can save us by offering an industry alternative to the terror industry, for Middle Eastern would-be-terrorists-turned-actors. After all, current news is fodder for an ever increasing roster of terrorism-related plots, whether fictional or not. For Middle Eastern actors, there would be very little acting involved — indeed, it would be the ultimate in Stanislavsky ‘Method Acting,’ since the actors could bring their direct experience to the roles. And they’ll still be able to moonlight as terrorists on the side.

Sure enough, one of the Muslims arrested in the Canadian mini-sweep this week, had tried to become a singer by auditioning for “Canadian Idol,” but like other struggling artists, he held on to his back-up plan:

Terror Suspect Sings on Canadian Idol

Before Khuram Sher was a suspected terrorist, he auditioned for Canadian Idol. This clip shows Sher trying out for the program in 200[8] with a stirring rendition of Avril Lavigne’s ballad “Complicated.” Sher was arrested this week along with two other Toronto residents for alleged conspiracy in a terrorist plot…


…A Canadian of Pakistani descent who auditioned for “Canadian Idol” two years ago has been detained in a terrorism investigation that has connected him to “high-level Al Qaeda affiliates abroad.”

The Toronto Star reports that Khuram Sher, a Canadian doctor who graduated from Montreal’s McGill University, was arrested Thursday morning as part of a wide-ranging yearlong terrorism investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. Sher is the third arrest so far in the probe, which Canadian officials say involves a cell of radical Islamists with ties to senior al-Qaida figures.

In the “Canadian Idol” appearance, Sher claimed to have recently emigrated from Pakistan, but the Star says that was a put-on: He was born in Canada. […]

Some predictable ‘twists’:

…The picture that emerged Thursday of Khurram Sayed Sher was one of stark contrasts.

The comic performance and an alleged terrorist.

“It’s sort of absurd. It is a little weird,” Jake Gold, a judge on “Idol” and music manager in Toronto, said of the allegations.

No it’s not! This is our society — terrorists, with dhimmi help, have gone mainstream. (Remember the college student showing up at the dean’s Halloween party dressed as a suicide bomber, and no one there, least of all the dean who was photographed with him, batted an eyelash. Or how about all those art exhibits everywhere paying homage to the “martyrs”?) Besides, for many, terror is an alternate path to glory for those whose other ambitions prove too difficult to realize.

“He was a funny guy. At the same time, it’s not a laughing matter.”

Sher, the alleged terrorist, is a father of three, a doctor who graduated from one of Canada’s most prestigious medical schools, and an avid hockey player.

He is someone police said conspired with others in a Canadian bomb plot, but also a doctor who went to Pakistan to help after an earthquake.

I’ve always wondered about that. Every time I saw a Muslim studying a medical text on the subway, I would hope that he wouldn’t veer off-path and get distracted by terror ambitions. At the same time, I’d marvel at how functional these people are. I mean, do you know how much focus and dedication it takes to become a doctor? I wouldn’t be able to pass a single exam, let alone get through medical school. How do they manage to do that — and jihad — at the same time? I can’t multi-task like that; these are talented people.

Sher, 28, born and raised in Montreal, was arrested Thursday at the home he had just moved into in London, Ont., a few kilometres from the hospital where he had just started a new job.

A Khurram Sher was one of thousands of Canadians who auditioned for “Canadian Idol” two years ago, and made it onto television for his entertainment value, rather than his talent performing Lavigne’s “Complicated” to some amusing dance steps.

“Have you ever thought of being a comedian?” judge Sass Jordan asks.

“Not really, I like hockey, music, acting,” Sher replies.

Hockey, music, acting, fatherhood, medicine, terrorisim… This guy is the ultimate renaissance man. Of course, notice how he picks and chooses his piousness: When it comes to music — which isn’t allowed in Islam — he’s not a devout Muslim, but when it comes to killing people, his religious fervor kicks in.

…One fan of his performance said in a posting she was glad at his attempt at showing Canadians that Muslims are “not all extremist.”

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

While the performance at the time drew rave reviews on YouTube and Facebook from fans and supporters, the tone was decidedly downbeat Thursday at the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital, where Sher began a new job Aug. 3 in anatomical pathology.

“I’m really devastated,” Dr. Syed Wasty, the chief of pathology and Sher’s supervisor, said of the arrest. “I cannot say any more.”

In 2007, Sher was one of a group of doctors who wrote the government to protest the situations of three Muslim men held under Canada’s national security certificate regime.

He spent time in Pakistan in 2006 as part of a relief effort after an earthquake.

On the web Thursday, people who knew him or were classmates with Sher at Centennial Regional High School were expressing their disbelief at his arrest.

Paul Collins, the hospital CEO, said he not yet had a chance to meet Sher, but called the situation “very strange” for everyone at the hospital.

“You see these kinds of events as happening elsewhere, not at your own doorstep, so that is surprising.”

Uh, not if you’re hiring Muslim doctors.

Sher did not show up for work Thursday as scheduled.

No sooner did I post a blog making fun of conservatives who are using “the Srebrenica example” as a counter-example to Islamic behavior vis-a-vis the Ground Zero Mosque, than another conservative ignoramus jumped on the bandwagon. Check out this charming contribution to the mosque debate, at American Thinker:

In modern history, a territorial struggle started by Muslims culminated in one of the worst acts of genocidal aggression in modern times. The massacre took place at the end of the Slavic civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the mining town of Srebrenica, on the border of Serbia. Only this time, barbarian Serbs, Christian in name only, targeted a Muslim enclave and systematically slaughtered 8,000 Bosniak Muslim men.

To date, there is nothing on record that indicates that Serbian Christians have ever requested permission to erect an Orthodox church in Srebrenica to pay homage to the memory of the 8,000 Muslims who perished.

So not exactly “barbarians,” then?

But it’s always lovely to see people employing Serbophobia to illustrate that they’re not Islamophobic. (Without stopping to think about which phobia is actually rational.)

The rest of her “column” was equally derivative of everything that everyone else has been saying already.

This piece of Yahoo-highlighted idiocy wants us to think that the Jewish establishment supports the Mosque de Triomphe. When actually these are obscure local progressive groups masquerading as religious community types. But considering that they do represent the way a lot of Jews think, I’ll comment only as I usually do when faced with Dumb Jews: It’s amazing that in WWII we lost only a third.

Jewish Leaders Join Support for Ground Zero Mosque
Jonah Lowenfeld

LOS ANGELES, Aug 22 (New America Media) - Religious leaders from a variety of faiths gathered Friday at the Islamic Center of Southern California in Los Angeles to express support for the building of an Islamic cultural center in Lower Manhattan, two blocks from the former site of the World Trade Center.

The project, often referred to as the Mosque at Ground Zero, has been at the center of a political and media frenzy since late July. The leaders’ statement, released at the event, was drafted by the Muslim Public Affairs Council and signed by 71 religious leaders and clergy, including eight Jewish leaders, from across Greater Los Angeles, and it offered a strong rebuttal to those who oppose the center.

“We support the building of the Islamic Center … in lower Manhattan, and other mosques and community centers across the nation,” the one-page statement says. Standing outside the Los Angeles Islamic Center, Reverend Anne Felton Hines, minister of Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church in Canoga Park, read the statement, which acknowledges the impact of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001 on people of all faiths, yet affirms “the right of Muslim Americans to build a house of worship like any other American, at any location according to local ordinances and U.S. law.”

In attendance were more than 30 religious leaders, including about half a dozen local Jewish leaders. Also present were Roman Catholics, Quakers, Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Muslims.

“The President said he would not comment on the wisdom of building a mosque and a community center in Lower Manhattan,” said Stephen Rohde, co-president of Progressive Jewish Alliance and chair of Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace. Rohde was referring to a statement made by President Obama last Saturday in which he qualified earlier remarks that seemed to signal his support for the project. “We today are commenting on that wisdom. It is wise, it is right, it is good for that mosque and community center to be built in that place,” Rohde said in the morning’s most impassioned speech.

The project, named Park51 for its street address and which is intended to be the home of the interfaith center Cordoba House, [kind of sounds like Area 51, no?] has been public since late 2009. It became the subject of controversy when several prominent conservative pundits—notably former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich—picked up on a right-wing blog opposing the center’s construction.

Though the center’s website says the building will include a mosque, the majority of the space in the building would not be dedicated to religious activities. With a swimming pool, a gym, a basketball court, a restaurant, a culinary school and other amenities that will be made available to all, it has been likened by many to a YMCA or Jewish community center.

Rabbi Jonathon Klein of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE) pointed to the project’s multiple uses. “This mosque issue is not even a mosque issue. It’s about a community center,” Klein said. “The Jewish community has a history of wonderful Jewish community centers all over this country, without barriers to their existence. Why is it that the Muslim community should be scapegoated at this time?”

Opponents of Park51, who speak of the need for sensitivity to the families of victims of 9/11, have asked why the Islamic center needs to be in that particular location. Indeed, that was the only question asked by a member of the press at this morning’s conference.

A number of speakers offered extemporaneous responses. Dr. Maher Hathout, senior advisor to the Muslim Public Affairs Council, said that the people behind Park51 had a constitutional right to build. “It is two lies [that have] happened,” he said, noting that the so-called Ground Zero Mosque was neither actually on the World Trade Center site, nor would it be solely a mosque. “It is a community center,” Hathout said.

Lewis Logan, pastor of Ruach Christian Community Fellowship, strongly objected to the question. “If it were a Catholic church being proposed,” he said, “there would be no question about the wisdom of building in that particular location. If it were a Baptist church, if it were any other faith, there would be no question about it. I abhor the question itself.”

Did you know that Baptists and Catholics also killed 3,000 Americans in that location?

Over the past two weeks, some conservative dimwits — pundits and politicians alike — have said that building the Mosque de Triomphe at Ground Zero would be like…like…well it would be like — OH WAIT, I’ve got it — like building a Serbian Orthodox church at Serba…Srebre…Sebranka…Srebawho?…Serbawhatchamacallit — WHATEVER — YOU KNOW, THAT PLACE WHERE “8,000 Muslims blah blah blah…”

Glenn Beck got the ball rolling on August 10th, first on his radio show, I believe, and then on his TV show. Here is the relevant part of the transcript from his “Common Sense Moment of the Day,” during which his assistant Pat helped him out:

GLENN: Hum. Who was it that had the idea of building a Christian church where was that?
PAT: In Srebrenica, a Serbian orthodox church on the ground where 8,000 Muslims were slaughtered in Srebrenica and –
GLENN: How tolerant would they be?
PAT: And defending their property rights and freedom of religious expression.

Later that day, Beck tried again on his TV show:

It doesn’t sit well with Americans. It probably sits as well as a Serbian [O]rthodox church on the ground where 8,000 Muslims were slaughtered in Sebranka or — seriously, what is it? Srebrenica. Thank you very much. Whatever. Really? Are they going to build that there? No. Why? Because it would be a slap in the face. To describe it anything other than that is really a second slap in the face. And if they have a reason, well, I’d love to hear it.

(Notice the accidental implication of inherent decency being applied to the purportedly vile Serbs.)

More recently, last Wednesday Aug. 18th The Weakly Standard’s online editor John McCormack cited a Rod Dreher column, writing:

“Rod Dreher, an Orthodox Christian, runs through another thought experiment at Big Questions Online:

In July of 1995, Bosnian Serbs killed 8,000 Bosnian Muslims in and around the town of Srebrenica, in the worst atrocity of its kind since World War II[(TM)]. The Serbs did so in the name of ethnic supremacy and tribalism, not religion, but religious and tribal identities are so tightly knotted together in the Balkans that it’s fruitless to insist on their separation as a practical matter.

“Dreher asks: Would it be a good idea to build an Orthodox church at Srebrenica?

I think absolutely not. The pain and the offense created by the act of murderous terror carried out against Muslims by Orthodox Christians because they were Muslim makes such a project far too risky, no matter how good its organizers’ intentions. It would seem to me to be rubbing salt in the wounds of Bosnian Muslims. If Orthodox Christians really wanted to sow seeds of peace and reconciliation, they should find other, less provocative ways to do it.

Between Beck and Dreher/McCormack, Sarah Palin picked up on the trend, sending an Aug. 14th tweet that read:

9/11 mosque=act of fitna, “equivalent to bldg Serbian Orthodox church@Srebrenica killing fields where Muslims were slaughtered” - Raza&Fatah

With “Raza&Fatah,” Palin was crediting the people whom this whole analogy originated with and whom these conservatives are parroting: a pair of Muslims in Canada, who wrote an article for The Ottawa Citizen on Aug. 7th. The relevant sentence by Raheel Raza and Tarek Fatah:

Do they not understand that building a mosque at Ground Zero is equivalent to permitting a Serbian Orthodox church near the killing fields of Srebrenica where 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered?

These two, like the rest of the world, never got the memo that the “killing fields” weren’t in Srebrenica, but on the road to Tuzla, which the Muslim fighters from Srebrenica used to break through Serb-held territory to Muslim-held territory, engaging in gunfights with Bosnian-Serb forces along the way. Even the tape that was being circulated to media by The Hague in June-July 2005, in which six Bosnian-Muslim POWs were executed (thereby “proving” that 8,000 were?) did not happen in Srebrenica.

Of course, even those who have gotten the memo, don’t care. And that’s the whole point. It’s very important that the official story of dissolution of the former Yugoslavia be set in stone. Conservative opinion-makers, for example, are impervious to evidence about what really happened at Srebrenica, because when accused of being anti-Muslim, the story of the ’90s Balkans gives them something to reach for and say, “Oh I’m not anti-Muslim, see? I supported the Muslims against the Christians in the 90s Balkans.”

At the same time, it’s an area and a history they ignore so completely, that they can’t even pronounce the damn place when they suddenly need to make use of it.

And naturally, for the two Muslims who wrote that Ottawa Citizen column which conservatives have found so useful for the mosque debate (and who are merely playing a good-cop/bad-cop game with the pro-mosque Muslims), there wasn’t going to be any divergence from the official view of events in Bosnia, which was Muslim-spun to begin with.

The bio at the bottom of the piece reads, “Raheel Raza is author of Their Jihad … Not my Jihad, and Tarek Fatah is author of The Jew is Not My Enemy (McClelland & Stewart), to be launched in October. Both sit on the board of the Muslim Canadian Congress.”

The Jew not being this Muslim’s enemy is certainly refreshing, but the Serb is an altogether different story, isn’t he? For that is too useful a designated enemy to not be objectified. The book title demonstrates that, as narrow as Muslim views and attitudes toward Israel are, they are actually more diverse than the views vis-a-vis Serbia. But we knew that, and it ain’t saying much.

It’s funny how, no sooner did I write that Canada has more of a spine than America when it comes to questioning the official truth about the Muslim-spawned “genocide” at Srebrenica, than even the “tough Americans” obliviously and eagerly reinforced the point.

So here’s your Common Sense Moment of the Day, Glenn Beck et al:

The analogy doesn’t work, Dingbats. Because the people whom the Muslims killed on 9/11 hadn’t previously been raiding Muslim villages, and killing women, children, elderly and livestock as they engaged in an ongoing civil war. They hadn’t been using the World Trade Center as a launching pad for attacks on Muslim villages. In contrast, all this was in fact being done to the Serbian villages in and around Srebrenica, by the Muslims of Srebrenica. So in Srebrenica, Serbs died too — about 2,000 of them.

This went on for years before the Serbs finally retaliated. Which sheds light on the next inversion contained in this popular new analogy. Muslims were the aggressors on 9/11 and killed unarmed civilians. In contrast, the Bosnian Serbs were reacting to aggression by militarized Muslims. However the fall of the Srebrenica enclave ended, it started out as a defensive or reactive action, to which more than just UN General Philippe Morillon has attested. In the end, there were war crimes committed against a few hundred POWs, as evidenced in some cases by the bodies’ hands having been bound.

The Muslims who killed Americans on 9/11 killed men, women, children, and elderly. In contrast, the Serbs helped the UN bus out women, children and elderly from Srebrenica. The “boys” part of the “Muslim men and boys” mantra refers to boys aged 14 and over — two years older than what is considered legitimate soldier age in the Muslim world (and at least 12 years older than what other parts of the Islamic world consider an appropriate age for waging jihad, if the many photos of toddlers in suicide vests are any indication).

One last bit of trivia: There are Orthodox churches dotting Srebrenica. Is there one at the specific site where Muslims were killed? We don’t know, since no one — not even the UN military observers who were there — knows where that site might be. And that’s probably because mass killings didn’t happen in Srebrenica. So where could Serbs even place such a would-be offensive monument?

There is, on the other hand — as I recently wrote — a monument on Bosnian-Serb land to Srebrenica’s Muslims, including those who had killed Srebrenica Serbs.

And while we’re on the subject of churches in Srebrenica, it turns out that — guess what — three such churches were destroyed and/or looted by the Bosnian Muslims. (See toward bottom of this article.)

So much for yet another inverted Balkans analogy. Enjoy the fruits of your ignorance at the Ground Zero Mosque. Fools.

Which implies something about who the majority of the real victims were.

Strasbourg Court may Bankrupt Balkans (Voice of Russia, Aug. 12, 2010)

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg may make Balkans bankrupt if it fairly treats all property disputes on the territory of former Yugoslavia. The government of Bosnia and Herzegovina was shocked by the court’s ruling to pay € 65,000 compensation to Serb Branimir Djokic, whose house was confiscated by Muslims during the war. At its extra meeting the government stated that the country will face financial collapse if the court makes the same decision regarding 20,000 other households which belonged to Serbian citizens before the war.

During the war Serbs were forced to leave their houses not only in Serbia but also in Croatia, Slovenia and in the Serbian region of Kosovo. In Bosnia and Herzegovina where three ethnicities were fighting against each other the property disputes now seem to be the most complicated ones. We hear from Elena Guskova, head of the center for the Balkan crisis under the Institute of Slavonic studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences:

“The case of the Serb from Bosnia and Herzegovina is the first when a person receives a compensation for the lost property following the ruling of an international court. We may expect the same ruling regarding the cases of Serbs in Kosovo where Muslims began to drive them away back in 1981. If 200,000-260,000 Serbs in Kosovo claim compensations for their lost property this small region will soon go bankrupt. The situation is very complicated. It is unlikely that any international organization on Balkans will be busy with these disputes. It is likely that they will entitle local governments with this unpleasant task and that means that this process will last for several decades.”

First of all these are the former leaders of former Yugoslavia who are guilty of ethnic cleansing during the Balkan crisis. Today the International court of human rights cannot bring them all to responsibility for obvious reasons. However all the person involved in the case of property rights fell into oblivion. Elena Guskova continues:

“When NATO aircraft attacked Serbian positions in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1994-1995 the local Muslims took it as the support of their interests. From this point of view NATO’s support made Muslims more confident and they began to drive Serbs away more aggressively. In 1999, when NATO bombed Yugoslavia, Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija also saw NATO’s strikes as their support and became more active. In 2004, Kosovans rose again to kill Serbs and international organizations let this genocide happen so they are also partly to blame for the tragic events on Balkans.”

Bosnia and Herzegovina asked the court in Strasbourg to reconsider the verdict on paying a compensation to the Serb. So now it is the a moment of truth for the European Court of Human rights. To back down would mean betrayal of the values Europe is so proud of. To keep its decision unchanged would mean to create an important precedent and force the governments of Balkan countries and Kosovo region to pay compensations to Serbs. Considering that the EU and NATO are also responsible for those tragic events it would be logical to advance claims against them too.

Let’s hope.

Further to the point about victim status in the Balkans: You can always tell the real victims from the designated victims by the fact that the former have no international advocates. As Iseult Henry — an international aid worker who spent some years in post-war Kosovo — attests as she tries to help the Nikolic family (still living at a Greek KFOR base) get their appropriated (and burned) property back: “All the cases brought before regional court systems are usually brought by NGOs working on human rights issues [but] I know of no such NGO helping the Serbs or Roma in Kosovo.”

(Note: My use of the words “real victims” is not to discount the fact that there were very real Albanian victims of Western intervention and its KLA cohorts. But being on the winning side, whether they wanted any of this or not, even the non-aggressive Albanian victims got the spoils and the advocates.)

NEW YORK (AP) - An Albanian government aide has been arrested and charged with murder, kidnapping and racketeering for crimes in New York.

The charges were announced Tuesday after the unsealing of an indictment in federal court in Manhattan.

Prosecutors said Almir Rrapo was arrested by the Albanian National Police on July 2 at the request of the United States. They said he was the senior administrative assistant to the deputy prime minister of Albania. He was charged in a prosecution that has also been brought against 16 others.

Prosecutors said he was part of an international crime organization that engaged in murder, kidnapping, narcotics trafficking, extortion, robbery, arson, and other crimes.

It was not immediately clear who represents the 27-year-old Rrapo.

This sort of reminds me of this from late ‘06: “Two officials of Kosovo’s governing coalition have been arrested after police found a minibus packed with heavy weapons and ammunition. A police source said the haul included a 12.7 mm anti-aircraft gun and more than 100 rocket-propelled grenades. Local media reports said the find, made late on Wednesday in the Drenica region of central Kosovo, was the largest in Kosovo since the 1998-99 war and the deployment of NATO peacekeepers. Three men were arrested, including a senior adviser to the Kosovo labor minister and a member of the governing Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), which emerged from the guerrilla Kosovo Liberation Army…The Kosovo government issued a statement expressing regret for what it said was an isolated case [there it is!]. The AAK, a junior member of the governing coalition, said it was “surprised” that two of its members were involved.” (Remember how surprised all of Kosovo officialdom was that Albanians were involved in the Ft. Dix plot?)

Anyway, here is the FBI’s press release:

August 24, 2010 United States Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

Two Additional Arrests Made of Members of Violent International Organized Crime Group
Albanian Government Aide Arrested; Newly Unsealed Indictment Charges 17 Defendants with Murder, Kidnapping, and Other Racketeering Offenses

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, JANICE K. FEDARCYK, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (”FBI”), and RAYMOND W. KELLY, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York, announced the arrests of FLORIAN VESHI and ALMIR RRAPO for their roles in a racketeering enterprise that engaged in murder, kidnapping, narcotics trafficking, extortion, robbery, arson, obstruction of justice, and interstate transportation of stolen goods. VESHI and RRAPO are charged in a new superseding 13-count indictment unsealed yesterday which supersedes charges previously filed against 15 other individuals, including charges of kidnapping, narcotics trafficking, robbery, and firearms crimes.

VESHI was arrested yesterday in New York City by members of the New York Joint Organized Crime Task Force, which includes agents of the FBI and detectives of the NYPD, and was detained following a court appearance in Manhattan federal court. ALMIR RRAPO was arrested by the Albanian National Police on July 2, 2010, at the request of the United States. At the time of his arrest, RRAPO was employed as the Senior Administrative Assistant to the Deputy Prime Minister of Albania.

Ten co-defendants—BRUNO KRASNIQI, SAIMIR KRASNIQI, ERKLIANT SULA, SKENDER CAKONI, a/k/a “Neri,” GJOVALIN BERISHA, a/k/a “Cuz,” NAZIH NASSER, a/k/a “Naz,” PLAURENT CELA, GENTIAN NIKOLLI, a/k/a “Genti,” SHKELZEN BALIDEMAJ, and ALBERT TAMALI, a/k/a “Berti,” a/k/a “Daniel Weiss”—were arrested in June 2010 on the prior indictment in this case. GENTIAN CARA, MARJAN TAMALI, and JOANNA PAKULSKI, each residents of Canada, were arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police based on requests for their provisional arrest in connection with a prior Indictment; CARA was extradited to the United States on August 6, 2010, and U.S. extradition requests for MARJAN TAMALI and PAKULSKI remain pending. Two other defendants—DUKAJIN NIKOLLAJ, a/k/a “Duke,” and VISI LNU—remain at large.

As alleged in the Indictment unsealed yesterday in Manhattan federal court and other documents filed in the case:

BRUNO KRASNIQI, SAIMIR KRASNIQI, ALMIR RRAPO, ERKLIANT SULA, FLORIAN VESHI, and others participated in a racketeering enterprise (the “Krasniqi Organization”) led by brothers BRUNO KRASNIQI and SAIMIR KRASNIQI, which operated in New York, Michigan, Connecticut, and elsewhere. The Krasniqi Organization sought to enrich its members through various criminal schemes, including the trafficking of more than 1,500 pounds of marijuana, and used firearms and violence to protect its power and territory, as well as to instill fear among rival drug dealers and victims.

Members of the Krasniqi Organization are charged with two separate homicides. First, as a result of a turf battle with a marijuana dealer whom the Krasniqi Organization had robbed, various members of the Organization, including BRUNO KRASNIQI, SAIMIR KRASNIQI, and ALMIR RRAPO, murdered ERION SHEHU in a drive by-shooting outside a Queens café on July 17, 2005.

Second, approximately six months later, while driving on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway on January 14, 2006, BRUNO KRASNIQI and SAIMIR KRASNIQI shot ERENICK GREZDA twice in the head at point-blank range and dumped his body on the side of the highway. The shooting was the result of the KRASNIQIS’ belief that GREZDA had set up BRUNO KRASNIQI to be kidnapped by a group of Albanian marijuana dealers from whom the Krasniqi Organization had stolen approximately $250,000 worth of marijuana. Following the murder of GREZDA, FLORIAN VESHI and ERKLIANT SULA drove the SUV in which GREZDA was killed to New Jersey, where they set fire to it.

In addition to these murders, various members of the Krasniqi Organization are charged with two separate kidnappings. One kidnapping occurred in or about June 2005, when BRUNO KRASNIQI, SAIMIR KRASNIQI, ALMIR RRAPO, and other members of the Organization kidnapped a rival drug dealer (”Victim-2″) at gunpoint, pistol-whipped him, and placed the muzzle of a firearm in his mouth, threatening to kill him if he did not disclose the locations of other members of his narcotics crew. A second kidnapping occurred in Michigan in or about 2003, when members of the Krasniqi Organization kidnapped an individual (”Victim-3″) at gunpoint and threatened to kill him in a co-conspirator’s residence, because they believed that Victim-3 had disrespected another member of the Krasniqi Organization.

In addition to these charges, the defendants are also charged with having conspired to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, a drug robbery, extortions, firearms possession and use, and obstruction of justice, among other offenses.

FBI New York Assistant Director-in-Charge JANICE K. FEDARCYK stated: “Florian Veshi was arrested this morning for allegedly carrying out a laundry list of crimes. His co-conspirators were arrested months ago and this puts an end to the Krasniqi Organization’s criminal operations. The Brooklyn neighborhood where Veshi lived will now be a safer place with him off the streets.”

New York City Police Commissioner RAYMOND W. KELLY stated: “This case illustrates the nexus between marijuana trafficking and deadly violence, with rivals reverting to kidnapping and intimidation to control the market. I commend the NYPD detectives and FBI agents for their work in successfully apprehending these violent felons.”

This case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys AVI WEITZMAN and MICHAEL FERRARA are in charge of the prosecution.

May god protect them.

“‘Policemen from Bern and Brussels and all the way to Bronx’ are well aware about the insurmountable difficulties when it comes to the attempts to investigate Albanian organized crime.”

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