December 2010


While Youtube is persecuting my pal Maxime Lepante, banning as “hate speech” his videos showing nothing more than Muslim worshipers spilling out illegally onto Paris streets during Friday prayers, tributes to Jew-killers remain up and unmolested on youtube. For example, this one by Bosnian-Muslims:

Bosnian Muslims post tribute video to Nazi ally Hajj Amin al-Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalem (Nov. 5)

Pamela Geller recalls: “During World War II, the Mufti lived in Berlin, where he met Hitler and traveled in top Nazi circles (he even stayed in Hitler’s bunker toward the end of the war). Among his close friends was Adolf Eichmann, who is commonly thought to be the architect of the Holocaust. Journalist Maurice Pearlman, author of the 1947 book The Mufti of Jerusalem, said that the Mufti advised Eichmann on the best ways to persecute Jews. Hitler gave the Mufti a radio station, which al-Husseini used to preach Nazism and genocide in Arabic.”

The explanation on this video reads: “This video is a small contribution, and small thanks from Bosniaks to the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Amin al-Husayni (Let Allah s.w.t be pleased with him) for his spiritual and military leadership against the enemies of the Bosniaks, the faith of Islam and the Homeland.”

And yet the Left and its Islamic supremacist allies would have you believe that the anti-jihadists are the ones dallying with Nazism. Yeah, surrre. The real convergence and harmony of views is between Nazis and Islamic supremacists, as this illustrates yet again.

(Video thanks to Newstime.)

Meanwhile, here was the letter from Maxime Lepante announcing the removal of his latest video:

Hello to all my friends,

Today, at noon (Paris time), YouTube has banned my last video, which was showing the illegal Muslim prayers in Myrha Street, that I had made and uploaded last Friday, December 10th!

Now, when you click on my embedded video, you can read this message from YouTube (I translate it) : “This video has been banned, because it doesn’t respect YouTube’s community guidelines that forbid incitement to hatred” !!!

So, for YouTube, showing an offence committed by Muslims, without adding any commentary, is “incitement to hatred” !

I have the phone number of YouTube in California, and I will contact them personally, to ask them to put my video back online.

If you know how to fight this YouTube ban, if you have any advice as to how I shall act or if you know someone I can call in YouTube’s offices, please tell me ! All help will be welcome !

For the time being, I have put back online this banned video on our second YouTube channel :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OE5UXh8A8VQ

This vidéo was enjoying a tremendous success : 28,000 people had seen it in 55 hours ! Our first YouTube channel had become the 9th most watched YouTube channel of France !

Please, forward this message to your friends, and help spread the information about this shocking censorship by YouTube.

Best regards from islamized France,

Maxime.

When Maxim originally publicized the latest video — the one now banned — he mentioned the following:

You will notice that the prayer is now broadcasted at a very loud volume. So, in one year, nothing has been [done] by the French politicians to apply the law in this Parisian district ! On the contrary, the situation has worsened, since the prayer is now broadcasted louder than it was before.

Some of his earlier videos:

I have just opened on YouTube a new channel totally in English for our organization, “Riposte Laïque”. On this channel, you can find my videos showing the illegal muslim prayers in the streets of Paris, translated in English : http://www.youtube.com/user/cicerodidot…The aim is to have 30 videos in English online at the beginning of the year 2011. Some of those videos will offer spectacular scenes.

Here are the links to the 2 most interesting videos in English that are already online :

Islamized Paris 4 - Muslims take over Myrha Street


Islamized Paris 5 - Muslims take over Léon Street

It’s important to spread the information about the scandal of the illegal muslim prayers in the streets of France.

Best regards from France,
Maxime Lépante.

I have uploaded on YouTube 3 new videos in English showing the illegal Muslim prayers in Paris, on our new English channel…I particularly recommend the video No. 8, which is spectacular: Shocking video ! Barbès Boulevard taken over by Muslims (Islamized Paris 8 )

The video 7 is impressive too:
Islamized Paris 7 - Poissonniers Street taken over by Muslims from top to bottom

The third video is [here]:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxiRT_WDPMI

But Bosnia wasn’t a jihad, right? And all those charges of ‘mujahedin’ presence were just vicious serbianationalist propaganda, right? Right?

In fact, Bosnia and Kosovo weren’t jihads only in the eyes of the West. The Muslim world — including former Pakistan president Musharref in his book — knows better.

As Liz, who sent me this, wrote:

Everyone shed a tear for this dear, sweet Iranian who “went to Bosnia as ‘diplomat of Iran’, but was ‘martyred’ by those ‘racist Serbians.’”


Documentary Film about the Life of the First Iranian Martyr in Bosnia

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - According to the reporter of Navideshahed; the documentary film about the life of “Martyr Rasoul Heydari” has been made and produced by “Revayat - e Fat’h” Institution. This documentary film will be broadcast from Channel One of TV today (Saturday, November 6th 2010) and tomorrow (Sunday, November 7th, 2010).

It should be mentioned that “Martyr Heydari” was born in Malayer City in 1960. He was the only son of his family. Rasoul spent his childhood with religious studies. Since he was a clever boy, he became the honor student when he was at school. He was in the second grade of high school when his family moved to Ahvaz City. They returned to Malayer City after two years. He registered in a technical school in order to continue education when they came back to Malayer City. Since then, he became familiar with the basic alphabet of politics at that time.

Concurrent with the Islamic Revolution of Iran and along with the revolutionary people of Iran, Rasoul participated in anti - regime demonstrations. He was once arrested by the police forces of the Shah Regime. After finishing education in 1979, Rasoul joined Sepah Pasdaran [The Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution] in Hamedan City. Later in 1980, Rasoul formed the Sepah Pasdaran in Malayer City. He severely started to fight against the agents of SAVAC [The intelligence service of the Shah Regime before the Islamic Revolution]. After some time, Heydari went to Kordestan Province. He fought against the anti - revolutionary forces in Paveh City there.

Rasoul Heydari created epic in solving the problem in “Serish Abad” and also freeing “Bayangan” in 1979. Following the beginning of the imposed war, he went to the battle fields. He participated in different operations. He was injured in these operations several times.

He got married in 1981. And after some time, he went to the battle fields again. Rasoul fought with the Iraqi aggressive forces in “Gilan - e Gharb” and “Sar - e Pol - e Zahab” battle fields for some time.

In 1984, Rasoul stopped the enemy and prevented the enemy to reach to the considered targets in the North West region of the country. Rasoul sincerely served in the battle fields during the imposed war for 65 months.

Rasoul started to study in “Political Sciences” Course in “Imam Hossein University” after finishing of war. Concurrent with the aggression of the racist Serbian to the Bosnian Muslim people, Rasoul went to Bosnia as the diplomat of Islamic Republic of Iran.

Finally and after years of jihad and fight in the way of truth, Rasoul Heydari was captured by the Serbian forces on “Eyd - e Ghadir” [An Islamic celebration day] of 1993. He was passing over a road at that time. Then he was martyred by the Serbian forces on that day. He was 32 years old at that time. Rasoul Heydari has three children.

Those heartless Serbianationalists!

And on a Muslim holiday, no less. Unlike the Bosnian Muslims and mujahedin of Srebrenica, who would mainly raid and slaughter surrounding Serbian villages on Orthodox Christmas, Easter, Saint George’s Day, Saint Vitus’s Day, and the holiday of Blessed Peter.

I wanted to run some excerpts from the best pieces on Richard Assholbrooke’s death.

First, Diana Johnstone: “Holbrooke or Milosevic: Who is the Greater Murderer?

It is usually considered good form to avoid sharp criticism of someone who has just died. But Richard Holbrooke himself set a striking example of the breach of such etiquette. On learning of the death in prison of Slobodan Milosevic, Holbrooke did not hesitate to describe him as a “monster” comparable to Hitler and Stalin.

This was rank ingratitude, considering that Holbrooke owed his greatest career success – the 1995 Dayton Accords that ended the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina – almost entirely to Milosevic. This was made quite clear in his memoir To End a War (Random House, 1998).

But Holbrooke’s greatest skill, made possible by media complicity, was to dress up reality in a costume favorable to himself.

The Dayton Peace Accords were presented as a heroic victory for peace extracted by the brilliant Holbrooke from a reluctant Milosevic, who had to be “bombed to the negotiating table” by the United States. In reality, the U.S. government was fully aware that Milosevic was eager for peace in Bosnia to free Serbia from crippling economic sanctions. It was the Bosnian Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic who wanted to keep the war going, with U.S. military help.

In reality, the U.S. bombed the Serbs in order to get Izetbegovic to the negotiating table…The real purpose of all this, as Holbrooke made quite clear in To End a War, was to demonstrate that Europeans could not manage their own vital affairs and that the United States remained the “indispensable nation”. His book also made it clear that the Muslim leaders were irritatingly reluctant to end war short of total victory, and that only the readiness of Milosevic to make concessions saved the Dayton talks from failure — allowing Holbrooke to be proclaimed a hero.

Milosevic had hoped that his concessions would lead to peace and reconciliation with the United States. As it happened, his only reward for handing Holbrooke the victory of his career was to have his country bombed by NATO in 1999 in order to wrest from Serbia the province of Kosovo and prepare Milosevic’s own fall from office.

Holbrooke and Milosevic were born in the same year, 1941. When Milosevic died in 2006, Holbrooke gave a long statement to the BBC without a single syllable of human kindness. “This man wrecked the Balkans,” said Holbrooke.
“He was a war criminal who caused four wars, over 300,000 deaths, 2.5 million homeless. Sometimes monsters make the biggest impacts on history - Hitler and Stalin - and such is the case with this gentleman.”

Who was the monster? Nobody, including at the Hague tribunal where he died for lack of medical treatment, has ever actually proved that Milosevic was responsible for the tragic deaths in the wars of Yugoslav disintegration. But Holbrooke was never put on trial for all the deaths in Vietnam, East Timor, Afghanistan, Iraq and, yes, former Yugoslavia, which resulted at least in part from the U.S. policies he carried out.

From his self-proclaimed moral heights, Holbrooke judged the Serbian leader as an opportunist without political convictions, neither communist nor nationalist, but simply “an opportunist who sought power and wealth for himself.”

In reality, there has never been any proof that Milosevic sought or obtained wealth for himself, whereas Holbrooke was, among many other things, a vice chairman of Credit Suisse First Boston, managing director of Lehman Brothers, vice chairman of the private equity firm Perseus LLC, and a member of the board of directors of AIG, the American International Group, at a time when, according to Wikipedia, “the firm engaged in wildly speculative credit default insurance schemes that may cost the taxpayer hundreds of billions to prevent AIG from bringing down the entire financial system.”

Here I have to comment on Holbrooke’s private industry dealings. No one in the mainstream ever brings up that the man had gone through an ethics probe as an investment banker, except in this Nov. 2005 AFP article about him which reads like a biographical endorsement for a position as secretary of state should a Democrat win the 2008 presidential election. What’s left of the Republican in me couldn’t help but notice the difference in journalists’ tones when writing about a Democrat who is in both business and government, and when writing about a Republican, in which case a suspicious eye is perpetually cast on the person’s private sector entanglements. Cheney, Perle and anyone in the Bush administration who was involved in the private sector was blasted for conflict of interest, but note the way Holbrooke’s business dealings were written about glowingly…until, er, the last few sentences:

“Richard Holbrooke, the ‘Kissinger of the Balkans’”

Richard Holbrooke…remains a man of influence in Washington whose name is often bandied about for top jobs.

Dubbed the “Kissinger of the Balkans”, Holbrooke, 64, is the embodiment of muscular diplomacy and his crowning achievement was brokering the Bosnia peace deal….

His no-holds-barred negotiating, which insiders said reflected an abrasive nature honed by years of experience at the poker table, saw him shuttling back and forth between rival capitals in the former Yugoslavia, alternately browbeating and cajoling….

In parallel Holbrooke has conducted a distinguished career in the private sector.

During the 1980s Holbrooke earned more than one million dollars a year at the Lehman Brothers brokerage house and served at Credit Suisse First Boston as vice chairman of the US unit, even as he continued to serve as consultant to the White House and the State Department, returning on various occasions after leaving diplomacy to aid in talks in Bosnia.

His links with the Swiss bank were the source of difficulties in Congress where the Senate first blocked his appointment in 1999 as ambassador to the UN over alleged misuse of influence.

The nomination was stalled for more than a year as Holbrooke faced a federal ethics probe.[…]

Did anyone even notice that out of his whole Kosovo deal this shady character ended up advising the Kosovo Albanians for a quarter-million dollars a year:

When the “international community” has voiced any consternation at Albanian savagery, it has been at the inconvenience it causes to American policy designs for the region. Holbrooke, returning to Kosovo in 2005 as a $250,000 paid advisor of the Kosovo Albanian regime, suggested that it would be easier to get independence “if [they’d] stop killing Serbs.”

Next we have Nebojsa Malic:

[Holbrooke] admitted in his own memoirs that he tried to swindle the president of Serbia during the Bosnia peace talks; and who took up investment banking when on sabbaticals from diplomacy (Credit Suisse, Lehman Brothers). Ironically, it was the latter that got him in the only spot of trouble in his career, when he had to settle charges of ethical violations before becoming Empire’s ambassador to the UN.

Yes, he ended the Bosnian War - on America’s terms, and only after Washington sabotaged every attempt to end it any other way. He then spent years on trying to undermine and destroy the very treaty he helped broker.

He bought the KLA three months to prepare for the coming NATO attack and set up the Racak “massacre,” a pretext for it.

[H]e would pontificate once a month from the pages of the Washington Post, a newspaper that’s never seen a Russian or a Serb it did not love to hate - unless the said Russian or Serb did Empire’s bidding without a second thought; then he merely could not be trusted.

Holbrooke was not squeamish at all. If it took the establishment of a fundamentalist Islamic regime, a Nazi revival and the expulsion of half a million people to re-establish American hegemony in Europe and in the Balkans, so be it. Arrogance of power, or power of arrogance? He lived long enough to see that hegemony begin to crumble, though.

As someone who helped bring the American Empire into being, Richard Charles Albert Holbrooke was a perfect embodiment of the vices it extolled as virtues. Ultimately, his brand of bullying “diplomacy” did America and Americans no favors… It absolutely debased the country that claimed to stand for values and principles, then went around the world violating them. Holbrooke either never realized this, or refused to let it stop him.

It makes sense, of course, that Holbrooke wrote for a paper that never saw “a Russian or a Serb it did not love to hate,” given that Holbrooke felt the same way, as he expressed with regard to the 2008 protests over Kosovo’s unilateral secession:

The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Richard [Holbrooke], has said Russia was one of the forces behind the violent clashes in Belgrade.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said [Holbrooke’s] statement blamed the wrong country and that the countries which had pushed for Kosovo’s independence hadn’t foreseen its consequences.

For his part, Russia’s ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin called the accusation “an attempt to make Russia responsible for the spontaneous rallies of the Serbian people”.

At the same time, the U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack has said there’s no indication Russia had been behind the violence.

In case he didn’t make his point strongly enough:

Holbrooke: U.S. policy toward Serbia won’t change (March 25, 2008)

BELGRADE — Richard Holbrook says regardless of who becomes the next U.S. president, policies towards Serbia won’t change.

“Kosovo is lost for good, and Serbia can now lose Europe for good as well,” Holbrook said.

Asked whether partition of Kosovo would be a good solution, the former envoy said that the “Ibar is the most explosive point in Europe” and that America expected problems in north Kosovo “especially after we realized that Russia would not lead a moderate policy regarding Kosovo.”

Ha ha ha ha ha! That is to say, realized that Russia would not be adopting our absolutist, coercive, radical policy regarding Kosovo. Or, as Russia’s UN ambassador summed it up in a remark to his Western counterparts in December 2006: “You may be willing to give in to Albanian blackmail, but we are not.”

Also relevant here is this snippet from a July 1998 PBS interview by Jim Lehrer:

JIM LEHRER: And they want an independent Kosovo ruled by Albanians, right?

RICHARD HOLBROOKE: Yes. And more. I met with several Albanian leaders in Kosovo who said their goal is an independent Kosovo, their goal is to recreate the Greater Albania that existed briefly during the 30’s and 40’s, which includes Albania, Kosovo, and part of Macedonia. That, I can tell you, Jim, would unravel Southeastern Europe and dramatically increase the chances of a general war. And that’s why the situation is both not the same as Bosnia and why it’s so dangerous.

…the violent solution which is being advocated by the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army, which is really not an army but a lot of different groups that are gradually forming an infrastructure of resistance, this approach is highly dangerous to stability in the region.

That was Richard Holbrooke speaking against Kosovo independence, admitting that it was part of a larger plan — which was destabilizing to the Balkans. But within months, all Albanian demands suddenly became “stabilizing” to the region.

Such that this was Holbrooke’s take in November 2005 (and of course well before): Independence only way forward for Kosovo: Holbrooke (AFP): “I cannot see any final status for Kosovo other than independence.”

And in 2006, by Jeta Xharra (Balkan Insight, 10 Nov 06):

As time runs out for the Vienna talks on Kosovo…America’s former Balkan negotiator says independence, now or next year, is inevitable.

“In the long run Kosovo will be an independent country,” he said, speaking in his Manhattan office… If [Serbs] deny reality and try to hold onto Kosovo, they…won’t be able to retain Kosovo but will also lose the chance to join Europe.”

Unlike the European Union, whose report this week on the Balkans has praised Serbia’s new constitution, Holbrooke dismisses the document - restating Serbia’s claim to Kosovo - as “a real step in the wrong direction…I think the international community will declare Kosovo is becoming independent country and then Serbia will have no choice.” […]

Let’s check in on the reporter of the above item, to see how she’s doing in this promised and bullied-for land. Oh look, isn’t Jeta Xharra the chick whose life is being threatened this year with Prime Minister Thaci’s stranglehold on Kosovo media? The threats are coming in from the public, media, government lackeys, and they’re calling her a “spy for Belgrade” — because she was investigating corruption as well as the very KLA crimes that have come to light this week as Holbrooke’s legacy.

What an “independent” Kosovo! Jeta can thank Dick Assholbrooke.

In a May 2007 article, Balkans observer Stella Jatras noted the difference in the way Holbrooke — whom she reprimanded for being a U.S. diplomat “[railing] against an entire race of people during war” — talked about the Serbs and the Vietcong:

“The Vietcong were dedicated ideologues, committed to a long-term struggle. These guys [the Serbs] aren’t ideologues; they’re just murderous assholes.” [These comments were] made to Ted Koppel during an interview and published in The New Yorker, November 6, 1995…

Holbrooke praises the communist Vietcong, who killed over 58,000 of our young troops and denigrates the brave Serbian people who fought, suffered and sacrificed as our allies during two world wars.

… In Richard Holbrooke, we have an American “diplomat ” who was supposed to be impartial while negotiating a peace treaty in Bosnia. Instead, we were given a treaty by Richard Holbrooke which enabled Bosnia to become al-Qaeda’s corridor into Europe.

“Richard Holbrooke…told a forum marking the 10th anniversary of the Dayton accords in November 2005,” [Kenneth Timmerman wrote in May 2007,] “that among his ‘mistakes’ were the words, ‘Republik Srpska’ and called for the Serbian entity to be dissolved into Muslim Bosnia,” as though 500 years of Islamic oppression were not enough.

To a tee, then, Holbrooke’s position on Bosnia was — as with Kosovo — a direct graft of the maximalist demands of the Muslim side.

So please note for the future: It’s not really bad to speak ill of the dead, because we don’t really die. Whoever came up with that saying simply knew that the dead can hear us. Now’s the time to tell Assholbrooke what you really think of him. It’s the first time he might finally listen.

I actually wasn’t going to write a darned thing about the merciful (for us) passing of the ego named Richard Holbrooke. But then I saw that the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs did an “In Memory Of” republication of a pro-Israel article by the ego, so I had to make a few comments.

They act as if a person had died. But Dick Assholbrooke wasn’t a person. As illustrated in my recent book review, it was just an ego. In fact, when the book’s author approached him on a second occasion saying he had interviewed him and just wanted to ask —– the ego cut him off: “I’m looking for the men’s room.”

So it was an ego with physiological needs resembling those of a human body. But the similarities to humanity ended there.

As “JK” — who worked in the Balkans for 10 years and dealt with the ego — wrote me in August:

One did get the feeling that [former UN High Rep for Bosnia Carl] Bildt resented Hoolbrooke’s taking credit for his work and negotiations at Dayton as well as his Showboat approach to the work involved in putting the country back together…Bildt’s opinion of Holbrooke is well documented in his memoir on Bosnia…[A] lot of what I believe is based on witnessing first-hand attitudes and secular dogma of what people like Holbrooke, Bildt and others (an army of aspirant careerists) have said on and off the record — sober and drunk.

The people at JCPA probably like the ego for its pro-Israel words over the years — and even some Israel-specific, beneficial deeds. Naturally all without recognizing the ego’s actions which laid the foundations for Israel’s even-speedier-than-otherwise demise. They apparently have no clue that the ego sealed Israel’s fate in the Balkans, where it also expedited jihad in Bosnia and Kosovo. Not good for the Jews, incidentally. They don’t call the Balkans The New Middle East for nothing.

But in his policy-tinkering circles, Serbs were viewed (when they were thought of at all) as even more expendable than Jews. And so it was in the Balkans more than anywhere else that the ego’s sinister character was on parade.

But to have noticed that, you’d have to give a shit about people in the Balkans. You’d have to care that the ego submitted Serbs under Islamic states — and that this created a blueprint for Israelis. The Palestinian leadership has been acting on its 2008 hints that it would use Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence as a precedent, the fruits of which we are seeing this month as the PA pushes for individual recognitions and gets them from Latin-American countries.

But don’t expect Jews to figure out anything that’s of mortal interest.

I’m also having a hard time understanding why it’s so easy for a Jewish outfit like the JCPA to forget that the ego rose to its greatest prominence during the most anti-Israel administration pre-Obama and post-Carter — the Clintons’. (He served in the Carter administration as well.)

With great contributions from Assholbrooke, this is what a European capital was reduced to in 1999:

Two years later it was New York:

And thanks to the precedent in the first photo — a Holbrooke-forged NATO bombing campaign to settle a land dispute in favor of “underdog” aggressors — soon it will be Tel-Aviv (god forbid). That city certainly won’t thank the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs for paying tribute to the ego that helped make it all just a little more possible.

Over the past year, for reasons unknown to me, I thought about Assholbrooke’s physical demise on a rather regular basis, imagining or conjecturing when and how the ego might finally lose its body. Of course, I imagined myself in its presence when death was imminent — either by a captor or natural causes — and kept trying to decide whether, in this hypothetical scenario, I would do anything to intervene. The last time I did this exercise, two or three days before its death, I still didn’t know the answer. But always permeating this visualization exercise was a sense of great inertia coming from me, a disinclination to do anything to help the ego. Here my thoughts would trail off, and what turned out to be a premonition never had a definitive conclusion.

So in tribute to Assholbrooke fashion, let me just say this about his death: Did god take credit for that? He can’t, because I thought of it first.

Of course, the greatest homage to Assholbrooke is current events. The very day after the ego died, its legacy came to life. In breaking news, the whole world is learning what sorts of ghoulish pals the ego had secured for the U.S., driving the biggest nail into the coffin of America’s reputation. The callousness with which the ego rampaged through the region, destroying everything in its path, is finally coming to the surface. A glimpse into what the ego wrought, what it made us a part of, the inversions it concocted, the crime and death it helped unleash as it lied to Americans and the world is now manifestly available.

And yet it thought someone else was the “murderous asshole.”

Of course, since the ego’s slightly more evil co-creation, stolen-organ capo Hashim Thaci, was such a pal of the departed, couldn’t he at least have saved a Serbian aorta for old Dicky?

I’ll close by excerpting from yesterday’s summary of the ego by CHRONICLES Foreign Affairs Editor Srdja Trifkovic, for JCPA’s edification (since this mentions a few things that Assholbrooke did which weren’t exactly good for the Jews):

The settlement at Dayton was not unlike a plausible compromise that would have been reached much earlier had America remained on the sidelines; but the meaning of Dayton was evident from Holbrooke’s boast, a year later, “We are re-engaged in the world, and Bosnia was the test.”

As special representative to Cyprus in 1997, Holbrooke irritated the Europeans by his strident advocacy of Turkey’s membership in the European Union. His bias in favor of Muslim Turks against Christian Greeks in the divided island reflected a consistent bipartisan trend in U.S. foreign policy making. Holbrooke was not the creator of that trend, but he was its enthusiastic supporter – from Indonesia to Bosnia, from Cyprus to Kosovo.

In 1998 Holbrooke was back in the Balkans, preparing the ground for Clinton’s Kosovo war against Serbia. On June 24 of that year he met with the KLA commander Gani Shehu in the village of Junik, near the Yugoslav-Albanian border, dutifully taking his shoes off like a good dhimmi. He promised American support for the the KLA campaign of violence against the Serbs. Earlier that year Clinton’s Balkans envoy Robert Gelbard correctly characterized the KLA as a terrorist organization, but Holbrooke’s visit signified a change of policy and directly led to Racak, Rambouillet, NATO bombing, and Kosovo’s transformation into the Jihadist mafia state that it is today.

Vice President Joe Biden called him “the most egotistical bastard I’ve ever met.” Norwegian diplomat Kai Eide, until last March the top UN official in Afghanistan, said five weeks ago of Holbrooke’s Afghan performance, “This is not the Balkans, where you can bully people into accepting a solution.” Eide added that the U.S. Special Envoy did not fully grasp “the complexity of the Afghan political scene.”

Holbrooke’s grasp of the complexities was illustrated by his calling the Serbs “murderous assholes” and by referring to Radovan Karadzic as the Osama Bin Laden of Europe. He was “synonymous with American foreign policy,” indeed: he was a coarse, arrogant bully who understood diplomacy as the art of imposing one’s will at the point of a gun. Richard Charles Albert Holbrooke was a bad man advocating and implementing bad policies.

His friend Hashim Thaçi wrote in a telegram to President Obama on December 14 that “the death of Richard Holbrooke is a loss of a friend,” and he proposed naming a square after Holbrooke in the provincial capital of Pristina. The proposal is apt and should be adopted. The fact that Thaçi “the Snake” and his fellow organ harvesters and heroin pushers from Drenica are in charge of the “Republic of Kosova” is Richard Holbrooke’s defining legacy.

Did I totally sleep through the recognitions this month by three Latin-American nations of Palestine? The best part being that the guy who is most upset over it is Eliot Engel. Before I excerpt the article from earlier this month, let’s have a refresher on Engel who, in tireless subservience to his substantial Albanian constituency in the Bronx, in 1999 stood on a square in Pristina and announced to the Kosovo Albanians on TV that he wanted to be the first U.S. lawmaker to stand on independent Kosovo soil, thereby emboldening anarchy against the government of Yugoslavia and Kosovo’s subsequent unilateral declaration of independence which the Palestinians are now pushing as a model. (And here’s the warning the very month we were bombing, by a Jewish professor.)

Engel’s role in the Kosovo precedent is enshrined via his image smiling down all too widely on the beneficiaries (and extorters) of his largesse at others’ expense. “As the leading supporter of independence for Kosova in Congress, Congressman Engel has written numerous pieces [of] legislation affecting the region,” read a 2006 press release about the funeral of former Kosovo-Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova. “Engel represents a district with a significant Albanian population, and is the only Member of Congress attending the funeral in an official capacity.”

And in his own words — in a speech that could have come from Arafat himself — he said the following while presenting a Resolution on Kosovo to the House of Representatives during the March 2004 Albanian pogrom against Serbs:

When there is no resolution of the final status, the people in a country become restless because they see no future…UNMIK, the United Nations, and NATO have to be seen as people who are resolving this issue, who are moving it to final status to give the people of Kosovo hope. Right now there is rampant unemployment. Right now there is very little hope for a future…Self-determination and, ultimately, independence for the people of Kosovo is the only solution(TM). When people do not see a chance for self-determination, tensions fester beneath the surface when you do not move to resolution… What we have seen…is this ridiculous plan called standards before status. To me, it only means status quo. We put forward benchmarks and we tell the people of Kosovo they have to achieve these benchmarks before we can even look at a resolution and at self-determination…The ethnic violence which happened yesterday is a tragic undertaking, a tragic tragedy, and I must call on both sides to stop the violence…It must be solved peacefully.”

Let me repeat: This is a Jewish lawmaker calling a pogrom — a POGROM — “a tragic tragedy.” And I guess Kristallnacht was nothing more than an unfortunate, isolated tragedy that had no wider implications, that didn’t mean a thing. I’m sure U.S. lawmakers at the time called on “both sides” to “stop the violence,” right? Separately, keep in mind that the “restless” people of Kosovo whose cause he advocates — who have been waiting a “long, long time,” as former Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns put it — had been waiting only five years at the time of Engel’s speech to Congress. Unlike the Palestinians whose similar moves Engel for some reason wags a finger at.

And yet — and yet — here we are this month:

Brazil Recognizes State of Palestine With Pre-1967 Borders
By Joshua Goodman - Dec 3, 2010

Brazil today recognized the state of Palestine based on borders before Israel seized control of the West Bank in 1967.

The foreign ministry said the recognition was in response to a request made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva earlier this year.

The decision is in line with Brazil’s historic support for United Nations resolutions demanding the end of Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, and doesn’t detract from the country’s support for peace negotiations between the two sides, the ministry said in a statement.

U.S. Congressman Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat who is chairman of the House subcommittee overseeing relations with Latin America, condemned Brazil’s move.

“Brazil’s decision to recognize Palestine is severely misguided and represents a last gasp by a Lula-led foreign policy which was already substantially off track,” Engel, who is also co-chair of the Brazil caucus in Congress, said in an e- mailed statement. “Brazil is sending a message to the Palestinians that they need not make peace to gain recognition as a sovereign state.”

Lula, who steps down after eight years in office on Jan. 1, made his first-ever visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories in March. He was snubbed during the tour by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman for laying a wreath at Palestinian leader Yasser Arafata’s grave without visiting the tomb of Zionist founder Theodor Herzl.

“One can only hope that the new leadership coming into Brazil will change course and understand that this is not the way to gain favor as an emerging power,” Engel said.

Gee, who could have seen this coming while encouraging and recognizing the unilateral declaration of a criminal state? Now that’s responsible governorship.

Looks like Dumb Jew just f***ed Israel!

Did I mention that Argentina and Uruguay followed suit? With Bolivia and Ecuador being next in line, apparently:

Argentina recognizes Palestine

Argentina announced Monday it recognizes the Palestinian territories as a free and independent state within the 1967 borders, a step it said reflects frustration at the slow progress of peace talks with Israel.

President Cristina Fernandez informed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of the decision, which follows a similar move by Brazil, Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said.

Argentina is “deeply frustrated” that the goals of the 1991 peace talks in Madrid and the Oslo Accords of 1993 still have not been reached, Timerman said.

“The time has come to recognize Palestine as a free and independent state,” he said.

He stressed that Argentina also “ratifies its irrevocable position in favour of the right of Israel to be recognized by everyone and to live in peace and security within its borders.”

Argentina has a deep interest in seeing Israelis and Palestinians agree to a deep and lasting peace in the Middle East, Timerman said.

“Argentina’s decision to recognize the Palestine state is based in the desire of its authorities to favour the process of negotiation aimed at ending the conflict.”

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki rejoiced at Argentina’s decision, which comes three days after Brazil’s recognition. He told The Associated Press on Monday he expects Uruguay and Paraguay to recognize Palestinian statehood in the next few days, followed by Bolivia and Ecuador.

“It is really symbolic, but it is important because the more countries that recognize the Palestinian state, the more pressure this will put on countries that are hesitant and on the peace process. If Israel keeps refusing to recognize the Palestinian state when other countries do, this will make a difference,” Malki said.

Timerman said “it’s important to note that this Argentine recognition adds to that of more than a hundred states, and reflects a growing consensus in the international community about the status of Palestine and the general interest in achieving decisive advances in the peace process.”

The Palestinian Authority opened a diplomatic mission in Buenos Aires in 1996, and in 2008 Argentina installed a representative in Ramallah, the West Bank. In November 2009, Abbas visited with Fernandez in Argentina.

Malki, who had met with Argentina’s president to encourage recognition, said the authority has been focusing on Latin America.

“Other countries still have doubts and we are seeing how to convince them to recognize the Palestinian state,” he said.

A similar report by Politico: Argentina recognizes Palestine

Argentina will recognize Palestine as an independent state, days after Brazil did so, Middle East media are reporting.

“Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner confirmed in a phone call to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday that her country would recognize an independent Palestine within the 1967 borders,” the Palestinian News Network reports, citing Yasser Abbed Rabbo, Secretary General of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. “Kirchner also said that her recognition was not just a political gesture but a moral stand.”

The Israeli government expressed disappointment at the decision, which it learned of this morning, calling it a violation of internationally-recognized agreements which state that a Palestinian state can only be established as the result of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

“The Government of Israel expresses its regret and disappointment of the decisions by the governments of Brazil and Argentina to recognize an independent Palestinian State,” an Israeli embassy spokesman said in a statement Monday. “This is a violation of the Interim Agreements signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in 1995 and in contradiction to the Road Map adopted by the Quartet and recognized by the international community … which stipulates that a Palestinian state can be established only through a process of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and not by means of a unilateral step.”

“Any attempt to bypass this process and decide in advance and unilaterally on important issues in dispute, will only undermine the trust between the two sides and their commitment to an agreed upon framework of peace negotiations,” it continued.

Outgoing Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva recognized Palestine in a Dec. 1 letter to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that was later posted to the Brazilian foreign affairs ministry website.

Brazil’s move took the United States by surprise, a U.S. Latin America hand told POLITICO.

Diplomatic sources said the Brazilian government had notified some ambassadors in advance of the move, but mostly those from Latin American countries (and not apparently the United States).

“It is premature,” a U.S. official said of the Brazilian and Argentinian move. “These issues should be settled within direct negotiations.” […]

Really? REALLY? Really. Really!

And from an AFP report:

“It sends the wrong message to the Palestinian Authority, because it tells them that they don’t need to reform,” make peace with Israel and recognize its right to exist as “a democratic Jewish state,” or tackle extremists, [said Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, incoming House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair]…Israel has opposed the steps by the South American governments, saying they went against an Israeli-Palestinian agreement that such a state only be recognized with Israeli approval…[She] worried the recognition of a Palestinian state amounted to an “effort to take away the legitimacy of Israel.”

Welcome to Serbia. They don’t call the Balkans The New Middle East for nothing. (Or we could say the Middle East the new Balkans)

I’ll close with the worthy analysis that brought my attention to the Latin-America-Israel-Palestine-Kosovo thing:

Kosovo Precedent for Palestine: First Steps?

Posted by Nikolas K. Gvosdev on 12/10/2010

Two months ago, I raised the question whether, in the absence of concrete moves towards a conclusive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian question, the Palestinian leadership might unilaterally declare the existence of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, even without an agreement with Israel.

Brazil recognized a Palestinian state last Friday, followed this week by Argentina and Uruguay. What now remains to be seen is whether other Latin American states will follow suit.

Incoming House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) says that this move is “a terrible precedent” but also acknowledges that the U.S. is not in a position to sanction countries that take this step. Instead, she (and others) are stressing that the act of recognition of a state does not “make it so” — and to that extent, she is right. The U.S. will not change its position and even if a whole number of states recognize, that does not mean that they will work to actively make Palestine a reality.

Palestine does not yet surpass Abkhazia — which four UN member states recognize as an independent country — but the question to watch is whether the actions of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay lead to other South and Central American states moving ahead with recognition. Is there a “magic number” of recognitions that will change the dynamics? If Palestine ends up with 20, 30 or 40 recognitions by the beginning of 2011, does this make the likelihood of a two-state solution more or less certain. I don’t have any answers right now.

At this point, the Europeans seem reluctant to put obstacles in the path of negotiations by going ahead with recognizing Palestine, and states like China and India which are always uneasy when it comes to the means by which new states are created, are also not likely to rush in with any recognitions. Finally, with clear U.S. opposition to any unilateral declaration, these acts of recognition seem more symbolic. But symbolism can matter.

Like I’ve always said: Watch what happens with the Serbs. The canary’s canary.

Keep smiling, Dumbass.

I’ll tell ya, Albanians give a whole new meaning to the term ORGANized crime.

It’s an interesting day for Balkans observers when one headline comes in reading “Kosovar Leader says People Lost a Friend in Holbrooke” and the one immediately following it reads “Kosovo PM is head of human organ and arms ring, Council of Europe reports” .

Of course, readers of this blog knew that all along.

Allow me to personally leak the U.S. diplomatic cables from yesterday and today, which I can hear from here: “F************************ck!”

(And not because our officials didn’t know about all this, but because it got out.)

In a follow-up to this story last month — which underscored the involvement of an individual who had been a senior-level official (it wouldn’t be an Albanian racket if it didn’t!) — the UK Guardian was the first to report yesterday:

Two-year inquiry accuses Albanian ‘mafia-like’ crime network of killing Serb prisoners for their kidneys

Kosovo’s prime minister is the head of a “mafia-like” Albanian group responsible for smuggling weapons, drugs and human organs through eastern Europe, according to a Council of Europe inquiry report on organised crime.

Hashim Thaçi is identified as “the boss” of a network that began operating criminal rackets in the run-up to the 1999 Kosovo war, and has held powerful sway over the country’s government since.

The report of the two-year inquiry, which cites FBI and other intelligence sources, has been obtained by the Guardian. It names Thaçi as having over the last decade exerted “violent control” over the heroin trade.

Figures from Thaçi’s inner circle are accused of secretly taking captives across the border into Albania after the war, where a few Serbs are said to have been murdered for their kidneys, which were sold on the black market. [Note: The “a few” clearly doesn’t include the couple hundred who were kidnapped and killed for organs during the war, though not all of the 300 captives at the time were Serbian.]

Legal proceedings began in a Pristina district court today into a case of alleged organ trafficking discovered by police in 2008. That case – in which organs are said to have been taken from impoverished victims at a clinic known as Medicus – is said by the report to be linked to Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) organ harvesting in 2000.

It comes at a crucial period for Kosovo, which on Sunday held its first elections since declaring independence from Serbia in 2008. Thaçi claimed victory in the election and has been seeking to form a coalition with opposition parties.

Dick Marty, the human rights investigator behind the inquiry, will present his report to European diplomats from all 47 member states at a meeting in Paris on Thursday.

His report suggests Thaçi’s links with organised crime date back more than a decade, when those loyal to his Drenica Group became the dominant faction within the KLA.

It says the group’s supremacy over splinter groups in the guerrilla movement enabled them, from 1998, to seize control of “most of the illicit criminal enterprises” in which Kosovans were involved south of the border, in Albania.

During the Kosovo conflict, Slobodan Milošević’s troops responded to attacks by the KLA by orchestrating a horrific campaign of ethnic cleansing against ethnic Albanians in the territory. As many as 10,000 are estimated to have died at the hands of Serbian troops. [Yeah, yeah, we know the more realistic numbers. And so does the Guardian. Further, newspapers have been cutting out the “ethnic cleansing” charade since 2006, so this sentence clearly is there just to equivocate and equivalize.]

While deploring Serb atrocities, Marty said the international community chose to ignore suspected war crimes by the KLA, “placing a premium instead on achieving some degree of short-term stability”.

He concludes that during the Kosovo war and for almost a year after, Thaçi’s forces meted out revenge against Serbs, Roma and ethnic-Albanians accused of “collaborating” with the enemy.

Thaçi and four other members of the Drenica Group are named in the report as having carried out “assassinations, detentions, beatings and interrogations”. This same hardline KLA faction has held considerable power in Kosovo’s government over the last decade, with the support of western powers keen to ensure stability in the fledgling state.

The report paints a picture in which ex-KLA commanders have played a crucial role in the region’s criminal activity over the last decade. [No kidding!]

It says: “In confidential reports spanning more than a decade, agencies dedicated to combating drug smuggling in at least five countries have named Hashim Thaçi and other members of his Drenica Group as having exerted violent control over the trade in heroin and other narcotics.”

Marty adds: “Thaçi and these other Drenica Group members are consistently named as “key players” in intelligence reports on Kosovo’s mafia-like structures of organised crime. I have examined these diverse, voluminous reports with consternation and a sense of moral outrage.” [No moral outrage in the U.S., though.]

His inquiry was commissioned after the former chief prosecutor for war crimes at The Hague, Carla Del Ponte, said she had been prevented from investigating senior KLA officials.

Her most shocking claim, which she said required further investigation, was that the KLA smuggled captive Serbs across the border into Albania, where their organs were harvested.

The report, which states that it is not a criminal investigation and unable to pronounce judgments of guilt or innocence, gives some credence to Del Ponte’s claims. It finds the KLA did hold mostly Serb captives in a secret network of six detention facilities in northern Albania.

Thaçi’s Drenica Group “bear the greatest responsibility” for the ad-hoc prisons and the fate of those held in them.

They include a “handful” of prisoners said to have been transferred to a makeshift prison just north of Tirana, where they were killed for their kidneys.

The report states: “As and when the transplant surgeons were confirmed to be in position and ready to operate, the captives were brought out of the ’safe house’ individually, summarily executed by a KLA gunman, and their corpses transported swiftly to the operating clinic.'’

The same Kosovan and foreign individuals involved in the macabre killings are linked to the Medicus case, the report finds.

Marty is critical of the western powers which have provided a supervisory role in Kosovo’s emergence as a state for failing to hold senior figures, including Thaçi, to account. It criticises “faltering political will on the part of the international community to effectively prosecute the former leaders of the KLA.” [That’s putting it mildly. It’s more like providing them with layers and layers of protection.]

It concludes: “The signs of collusion between the criminal class and the highest political and institutional office holders are too numerous and too serious to be ignored.

“It is a fundamental right of Kosovo’s citizens to know the truth, the whole truth, and also an indispensable condition for reconciliation between the communities and the country’s prosperous future.”

If as expected the report is formally adopted by the committee this week, the findings will go before the parliamentary assembly next year. […]

An important companion article by Guardian: Kosovo physicians accused of illegal organs removal racket

Others that ran the story:
Reuters
AP
Washington Post
CBS News
BBC and

NY Times: Report Names Kosovo Leader as Crime Boss

PARIS — A two-year international inquiry has concluded that the prime minister of Kosovo led a clan of criminal entrepreneurs whose activities included trafficking in organs extracted from Serbian prisoners executed during the Kosovo conflict in 1999.

The inquiry, prepared for the Council of Europe, names the prime minister, Hashim Thaci, as the boss of the Drenica Group, an organized crime network that flourished in Kosovo and Albania after the war and exerted control over numerous rackets, including the heroin trade, and six secret detention centers in Albania, some used in a black market in human organs.

The report did not explicitly describe any role of Mr. Thaci in the organ trafficking network.

The Council of Europe said the investigating team that gathered evidence used foreign intelligence analysts, international organizations, former fighters, logistics operatives and victims. The report cites some names but withholds others, saying local witnesses feared for their lives.

The roots of the network date from 1999 as the Kosovo conflict was ending. Over time, the ring established ties to “a broader, more complex organized criminal conspiracy” that operated in three other countries and endured for more than a decade….The Council of Europe report noted that investigators for the United Nations tribunal in 2004 went to the Yellow House, a notorious location in Albania, but later destroyed some of the collected evidence, which included syringes and traces of blood. The tribunal contends that it did not find enough evidence to aid any of its cases.

The report included testimony of people who provided logistics for the ring, driving captives in unmarked vans between a series of way stations in Albania.

The trafficking, according to the report, evolved over time and relied on detention centers spread through Albania that were controlled by the Kosovo Liberation Army. Initially the captives were Serb prisoners, but the ring also kidnapped ethnic Albanians to settle old scores, the report said.

But it was all put together first by Seth Frantzman (if we’re not counting the ‘not-to-be-believed’ Serbian media), who wrote the following last month:

Does their ring have its origins in the dirty war fought in Kosovo in 1998-1999? The anti-Israel and anti-Semitic media like to shed light on supposed Israeli involvement in organ trafficking, but what this case shows is that the networks behind the story have much deeper and more disturbing roots.

Kosovo Organ Harvesting: The Plot Thickens
by Seth J. Frantzman

In his latest column (Bloody Coexistence, Nov.23), one of Israel’s leading investigative journalists explores the bizarre horror and little-known roots of the Kosovo organ-trafficking ring. Almost all those involved were respected professionals in their communities…

In mid-November, the world media reported that Interpol was hunting for seven members of an organ-trafficking ring. They were accused of operating a clinic called Medicus in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo. Most news media were excited to reveal that two Israelis were among those named in the 46-page Interpol report. Less interest was shown in the other international members of the ring – Turkish and Albanian Muslims. Only one Israeli, Moshe Harel, was wanted by Interpol in connection with the ring. The other Israeli, Zaki Shapira, was listed as an unindicted coconspirator. A Turkish doctor and five Albanians were also indicted for their role in diverse criminal activities such as “trafficking in persons and unlawful exercise of medical activity.”

The origins of the ring appear relatively recent. According to reports, Lutfi Dervishi, a urologist and professor at Pristina University, visited Istanbul in 2006 to attend a conference. At the conference he let it be known that he was looking for someone who could perform organ transplants. He was contacted by Yusuf Sonmez, a Turkish national and surgeon who has a history of involvement with illegal organ harvesting.

Sonmez maintains a website which claims he completed his residency in surgery at Istanbul University medical faculty in 1984 and was an expert in kidney transplants. According to a November 3 article in Hurriyet he also worked at the Ministry of Health. He completed his first transplant from a live donor in 1993, and by 2006 claimed he had performed more than,1,300 kidney transplants. In 2005 he was running a private hospital in Istanbul. Turkish websites indicate that his hospital was shut down in 2007 after a police raid, during which his brother Bulent was also detained. He received a suspended sentence.

Sonmez again fell out with the law over organ thefts in 2008. His medical license was revoked and he was banned from the profession for six months – which news outlets criticized as too weak a punishment. At the time Turkish articles called him the “the Turkish butcher” and Hurriyet referred to him as “Frankenstein.” In 2010, when it emerged that he was involved with organ trafficking in Kosovo, he turned up in Azerbaijan, apparently free to go about his bloody business. His status at present is not clear.

In 2006, while at the height of his power, operating his own clinic prior to the police raids, he contacted Dervishi. Sonmez then contacted a Turkish-Israeli, Harel, who according to the government of Kosovo was born in 1950 in Turkey. Harel later allegedly “identified, recruited and transported the victims, as well as managed the cash payments before the surgeries.” Sonmez, it seems, was also the contact for Shapira, who has a history of brushes with the law regarding organ harvesting. Shapira was once head of kidney transplant services at Beilinson Medical Center in Petah Tikva. He was also a member of the Bellagio Task Force on global transport ethics. In the 1990s he ran afoul of ethics charges in Israel and moved to Turkey. In 2007 Shapira was arrested in Turkey; it seems he was already connected with Sonmez’s hospital. Now Sonmez brought Harel and Shapira to Pristina to help run Dervishi’s clinic. The clinic was operated by Dervishi’s son, Arban. Illir Rrecaj, a Kosovo Health Ministry official, granted the clinic a license to do urological checkups but was, according to Interpol, privy to the actual goings on there.

In October 2008 police suspicions were raised when a poor man was dumped at the Pristina airport and it was found his kidney had been removed. A raid on the Medicus clinic discovered that the organ harvesting ring had been bringing in poverty stricken patients from countries such as Turkey and Russia, promising them 15,000 euros, and then selling their organs for upward of 100,000 euros. Rrecaj was dismissed from his post. On November 4, Harel was arrested.

But according to other sources it appears the tentacles of the case go deeper. The Serbian newspaper Blic claims that Dervishi was also involved in the murder and harvesting of organs from Serbs who were captured by ethnic Albanian terrorists during the Kosovo war of 1999. After the war there were rumors that Kosovar Albanians were keeping Serb prisoners in camps near the Kosovo border with Albania.

A Spanish KFOR contingent attempted to penetrate the village of Vrelo but was called back. Carla Del Ponte, the former chief prosecutor of the UN for war crimes committed in Yugoslavia, claimed in her 2008 book that as many as 300 Serbs were murdered for their organs just across the border in the Albanian town of Burrel. The infamous “clinic” in Burrel became known as the “yellow house,” but not until 2004 was it visited by a UN team to investigate the accusations. By then, only a few traces of blood remained.

According to Blic, in 1998 during the Kosovo crises, “[a] witness told Serbian war crimes prosecutors that he saw Dr. Lutfi Dervishi at locations where it was suspected that organs had been extracted from civilian prisoners and sold later.” Another Serbian source alleges that Shapira was also involved in 1999 in instructing those who harvested the organs, and according to the Croatian magazine Politika, he showed up in Macedonia in the same year, connected to a similar operation. This claim is based on the fact that he had Turkish connections who were supporting the Kosovars during the war.

Whatever the case, it seems the recent organ-trafficking scandal is merely the latest emergence of the dark cloud that has hung over Kosovo for years; it has become a center for human and organ trafficking in Europe.

Does their ring have its origins in the dirty war fought in Kosovo in 1998-1999? The anti-Israel and anti-Semitic media like to shed light on supposed Israeli involvement in organ trafficking, but what this case shows is that the networks behind the story have much deeper and more disturbing roots.

And of course BBC reporter Mike Montgomery was on the case for a good part of last year, including interviewing ex-KLA fighters whose lives are now at risk for talking to him.

Another Serbian myth/propaganda/internet rumor bites the dust as such and enters reality.

Just to repeat:


In Memoriam, Richard Assholbrooke. May this Jewish-born shahid’s passing finally give us some peace.

In a post-script to Serbia’s tennis triumph earlier this month, I have to remark on an article in the New York Times about the Serbian tennis stars, specifically the following paragraph:

Although Djokovic once explored the possibility of representing Britain because of frustration with training conditions and government inertia in Serbia, he is ever more the Serbian patriot and has been vocal in opposition to Kosovo’s declaration of independence in 2008.

Patriot. The man wrote “Serbian patriot.” Not the mandatory “Serbianationalist.” But “patriot.” When has anyone seen the words “Serbian” and something as honorable-sounding as “patriot” together before in the media? Especially since a Serbian patriot can only mean a Serbian nationalist, right?

Not only that, but here the writer has Djokovic as being opposed to Kosovo’s independence and still a “patriot”. When anyone opposed to Kosovo’s independence can only be a “nationalist.” Never has this Kosovo position by a Serb been reported without that Serb being labeled by any “objective reporter” as a “nationalist.”

Indeed, the word “nationalist” or “nationalism” doesn’t appear anywhere in the entire article by Christopher Clarey. That can only happen on purpose, and so this writer is to be commended.

Another paragraph:

It was the dispute over Kosovo that led to NATO’s bombing of Belgrade and other areas of the former Yugoslavia from March to June 1999. Gencic’s sister died in the bombing. But she said that she, Novak and others continued to play tennis in Belgrade, choosing areas that had been bombed the previous night on the assumption that they would not be bombed again so soon…”We heard the alarm noise about planes coming to bomb us every single day a minimum of three times for two and a half months, huge noise in the city all the time, all the time. So in my case, when I hear a big noise even now, I get a little traumatized,” [said Djokovic.]

As my friend Riva remarked, “I’ve never read anything in The Times from the perspective of the Serb victims of that bombing.”

Even the writer’s sentence describing the Kosovo conflict as a “dispute” is remarkable. While land disputes aren’t normally followed by international bombing campaigns and so such an outcome shouldn’t be cited casually, rather than mentioning “ethnic cleansing” or “Milosevic,” Clarey hits a lot closer to the truth of what the situation was: a turf war. His phrasing makes no pretensions as to who was the victim and who was the aggressor.

Early on in the article we’re even given some positive attributes about Serbs:

You could delve into tomes that explain the stubborn, resilient character of the Serbs, whose territory and autonomy have been overrun repeatedly but whose identity and sense of mission endure. You could spend an afternoon in Belgrade’s tennis clubs, where members once played on when NATO bombs were falling in 1999.

It’s as though I’ve landed on the moon for a minute.

Behind Serbia’s Rise, a Star and His Family
By CHRISTOPHER CLAREY (Dec. 1)

KOPAONIK, SERBIA — To begin to understand how a small, struggling nation like Serbia managed to reach its first Davis Cup final this weekend, you could interview Slobodan Zivojinovic, a big-serving Serbian trailblazer at Wimbledon and elsewhere before he became a portly tennis administrator and car salesman.

You could delve into tomes that explain the stubborn, resilient character of the Serbs, whose territory and autonomy have been overrun repeatedly but whose identity and sense of mission endure. You could spend an afternoon in Belgrade’s tennis clubs, where members once played on when NATO bombs were falling in 1999.

But if you have to pick just one essential starting point, perhaps it is best to drive south from the capital toward the still-disputed border with Kosovo and follow the serpentine mountain road to Kopaonik, Serbia’s leading ski resort. Like so much of this diminished nation, Kopaonik has seen better days and is preparing to see them again.

It was here that Novak Djokovic’s family, much more familiar with schussing down slopes than hitting balls over nets, once operated several small businesses — including a pizzeria, sports equipment shop and art gallery — on the ground floor of a large complex during the winter and summer months. And it was here that the state-owned Yugoslav company Genex, which developed much of Kopaonik, chose to build three tennis courts just across the parking lot from where the Djokovics opened their Red Bull restaurant and creperie in the late 1980s.

Now full of cracks, holes and undulations, the green hardcourts are hardly a playground for the game’s elite. It is hard to believe that the planet’s third-best player, the man who held off Roger Federer at the U.S. Open in September, emerged from this.

“It was the first day of my first year in Kopaonik, and I was doing a tennis camp,” said Jelena Gencic, a leading tennis coach and former professional player. “And he was just standing outside the tennis courts and watching all morning, and I said: ‘Hey little boy, do you like it? Do you know what this is?”’

That summer afternoon in 1993, Novak, just 6 years old, accepted Gencic’s invitation and returned to take part in the clinic himself. He arrived carrying a gym bag with his belongings well in order, just like the professionals he admired via satellite television.

He began playing in earnest, aided enormously and at just the critical moment by Gencic, the same cultivated and intuitive coach who had helped shape the games of the future Grand Slam champions Monica Seles and Goran Ivanisevic.

“The third day, I called to see the father and mother for the first time, and I said, ‘You have a golden child,”’ Gencic, 74, recalled in an interview at a clay court in Belgrade where she still gives lessons. “I said the same thing about Monica Seles when she was 8.”

The Djokovics were stunned but ultimately inspired. They would need all the inspiration they could muster in the years ahead as they sacrificed security and scrambled for money in a disintegrating economy.

“Let’s say that Jelena Gencic gave us strength; she’s a serious woman,” said Goran Djokovic, who at 46 is four years younger than Srdjan. “We were all together as a family, and we had our project. It was not good times, there were sanctions and the war was starting. It was not an easy time for Serbia, for Yugoslavia, but all the money we had we invest in Novak. He had to be the one in front of the family who had to have everything he need — the new racket, the good food and everything. Of course we can live very easy if he didn’t play tennis, but we have a vision.”

But Djokovic’s talent has not just served himself and his kin. His talent has served a bruised nation, one that has seen its territory shrink and shrink some more in the last 20 years as Yugoslavia cracked apart and Serbia was left with Montenegro and Kosovo and then left with nothing but itself and a reputation in as much need of repair as the war-damaged buildings in Belgrade.

But as the country has grown smaller, its tennis has grown bigger, with Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic both reaching No. 1 in the women’s game and with Djokovic shining brightest for the men but hardly shining alone, with his Davis Cup teammates Janko Tipsarevic, Viktor Troicki and Nenad Zimonjic all part of the surge. Tipsarevic and Troicki are in the top 50 in singles; Zimonjic, the group elder at age 34, is a former No. 1 player in doubles now ranked No. 3.

The paradox of shrinking Serbia and its tennis growth industry is not lost on Djokovic, for whom the Davis Cup final represents renewal.

“I think it is very symbolic, and I think it’s very much deserved — for the tennis team, for the country, for the sport — because we put a lot of effort into improving the image of our country in the recent years,” he said. “The history of our country is cruel. We have to face those issues or, should I say, we had to. Not anymore I hope, because we are going in the right direction, and we are ready to forgive, ready to move on.”

Although Djokovic once explored the possibility of representing Britain because of frustration with training conditions and government inertia in Serbia, he is ever more the Serbian patriot and has been vocal in opposition to Kosovo’s declaration of independence in 2008. He took the stance, in part, because Srdjan and his siblings — ethnic Serbs — were born in Kosovo.

It was the dispute over Kosovo that led to NATO’s bombing of Belgrade and other areas of the former Yugoslavia from March to June 1999. Gencic’s sister died in the bombing. But she said that she, Novak and others continued to play tennis in Belgrade, choosing areas that had been bombed the previous night on the assumption that they would not be bombed again so soon.

Djokovic expresses no bitterness, but plenty of emotion.

“We remember all these things and we will never forget, because it’s just very strong inside of you and very deep inside of you,” he said. “It’s traumatic experiences and so definitely you do have bad memories about it. We heard the alarm noise about planes coming to bomb us every single day a minimum of three times for two and a half months, huge noise in the city all the time, all the time. So in my case, when I hear a big noise even now, I get a little traumatized.”

But Djokovic, like his nation, has survived, and the big noises that will soon reverberate inside Belgrade Arena are not likely to have such negative effects.

This reminded me that in 2008 Ana Ivanovic recalled having to practice under bombs:

Serb and volley: the tennis school that conquered the world

Dervisevic remembers the difficulties in keeping the centre open. “When the bombing began we shut down for three days, but after that we decided that we should continue as normal,” he says. “We were open every day. One day a power station just 400 metres from here was hit by a bomb. All the windows here were blown out. It was a horrifying experience, but we carried on. We wanted to keep things as normal as possible for the children. I think the experience gave us all strength.”

Ivanovic was one of those who tried to keep her training routine going as bombs exploded around the city. “I would say those were the toughest times,” she recalled. “It was very hard. It went on for three months. It was very hard to practise, and we couldn’t at the start of the bombing. Later on we got used to it. We would practise at seven in the morning and try to live as normal lives as possible.”

I also liked this quote by a Serbian reporter, or “tennis specialist”: “Earlier, when I covered a tournament, I needed to explain for hours who I was and where I came from. Nowadays, it is enough to say that I am Serb and everybody raises their thumb in approval.”

It’s deja vu.

No sooner had EULEX balked about the high number of Kosovo politicians under criminal probe running in the past weekend’s elections than we again had Ramush Haradinaj being given leave by the Hague to participate in the elections. If this were happening anywhere else but Kosovo, it would read like satire:

Number of Kosovo Candidates Under Probes Causes Concern (Nov. 23)

“Kosovo’s Election Commission says candidates can only be disqualified from December’s poll if they have been found guilty.”

Senior international actors and Kosovo-based organisations have criticised the number of politicians running for office in December’s general election who are under suspicion of offences ranging from war crimes to corruption.

One member of the Central Election Commission, Fadil Maloku, voted against last Thursday’s decision of the Commission to certify the candidates’ list, saying they should have awaited the legal outcome facing some of the candidates under investigation. “The law has been violated. Candidates have been certified without any decision or opinion from the legal office,” Maloku said.

The head of the Commission, Valdete Daka, disputed this, saying the law only banned candidates who had been found guilty of criminal offences, not people under probes. “No candidates can be certified if they’ve been found guilty of a criminal offence… in the past three years,” Daka explained.

Two of the ten top candidates of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, the party of the Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci, are under criminal investigation. One is the Minister of Transport, Fatmir Limaj. He has been under an investigation by the EU rule-of-law mission, EULEX, since April 2010, suspected of corruption.

The other is Azem Syla, a former Kosovo Liberation Army commander. He has also been under a EULEX investigation since a self-declared assassin, Nazim Blaca, mentioned his name in November 2009 when he went public over his crimes.

Blaca admitted having once worked for Kosovo’s unofficial secret service, SHIK, and mentioned several names in connection with SHIK’s activities, including Syla’s. Limaj and Syla [are] four[th] and fifth respectively on the PDK’s list of candidates.

Thaci’s party is not the only one with candidates facing possible trial. The leader of the opposition Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, leads his party’s list in December although he is awaiting re-trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, ICTY, in The Hague.

Another party leader seeking a seat in parliament in December is the former speaker of the Kosovo assembly, Nexhat Daci, head of the Democratic League of Dardania. On November 10, a Pristina court found him guilty of abusing his official post and gave him an 18 months’ suspended jail sentence.

Andy Sparkes, deputy head of EULEX, said that while everyone accepted the principle that people were innocent until proven guilty, the selection of some candidates sent an unfortunate signal.

“Where it’s known that someone is under an investigation or judicial procedure, it would be better and more honourable, and better for the reputation of Kosovo, if they didn’t present themselves for public office until they had cleared their names,” Sparkes said.

Avni Zogiani, head of the anti-corruption organisation Cohu, said that the judicial system in Kosovo was too corrupt to keep people with criminal records out of pubic life. “Where is the ethics in our society today?” he asked.

ICTY grants Haradinaj temporary provisional release

THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Dec 8 (Tanjug) - The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) granted Wednesday temporary provisional release to former leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) Ramus Haradinaj over the winter court recess from December 17, 2010 until Friday January 14, 2011.

Similar request, however, was denied to his associate Ljahi Brahimaj, the ICTY said.

Haradinaj had requested the temporary provisional release as his wife is expected to give birth to their child around the middle of January 2011.

The Prosecution opposed the motion, saying that granting it would pose a risk to the integrity of the proceedings.

The Prosecution argued that witness intimidation remains a prevalent feature in Kosovo, and that Haradinaj still remained a highly prominent figure in the region.

The Trial Chamber, however, said that Haradinaj would not pose a danger to any victim, witness or other person, while it assessed Brahimaj, if released, could pose such a threat.

The Prosecution asserted that the prominence of the accused would be heightened during the forthcoming election period, recommending that Haradinaj and Brahimaj should not be granted provisional release in the period before the December 12 elections, in which Haradinaj’s party, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, also runs.

Haradinaj, Idriz Baljaj and Brahimaj will be partly re-tried over charges for intimidation of witnesses.

Gee, this conversation doesn’t sound familiar from 2007 at all.

The results of the elections: Kosovar PM declares election victory

The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, has claimed victory in the disputed Balkan region’s first general election since it declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

The exit poll, conducted by the Kosovo-based Gani Bobi Centre, showed Mr Thaci’s party won 31 per cent of the vote, while its former coalition partner the Democratic League of Kosovo had 25 per cent. […]

Meanwhile, as I blogged last month, former U.S. diplomat and CIA operative William Walker backed the most radical party — Self-determination — which wants unification with Albania and is the fastest-growing party in Kosovo, especially among the young, who seem to prefer ‘radical’ to the corrupt cadre of aging ‘former’ radicals. While none of the three sources reporting last month on Walker’s support for Self-determination was mainstream, it has now caught the attention of the UK Guardian:

Former US diplomat backs Albanian nationalist in Kosovo elections

“William Walker, who exposed a Serbian ‘massacre’ in the 1990s, is supporting Albin Kurti’s party which wants unity with Albania”

A veteran US diplomat whose declaration of a “massacre” by Serb forces paved the way for the Nato bombing campaign in 1999 has surprised observers by campaigning in the Kosovo elections for a radical nationalist party led by a former student rebel.

William Walker, 75, who is revered as a hero in Kosovo for leading the international monitoring mission that reported the slaughter of 45 Kosovo Albanians in the village of Racak, has appeared on the campaign trail in support of the Self-Determination party.

The movement, which has been known for covering UN and EU buildings with graffiti and clashing with police during demonstrations, has growing support among Kosovo’s young population.

In a move Walker conceded would be perceived by former colleagues in the state department as “going rogue”, he has endorsed Albin Kurti, a radical 35-year-old hostile to the “colonial” presence of the international community in Kosovo.

Kurti, whose party is expected to come third [it did] in the elections, has called for a moratorium on privatisation of national enterprises and the unification of Kosovo with Albania to the south. His rallies have proved popular, with supporters draping themselves in the red Albanian flag. Kurti’s party has also had the most effective, Facebook-driven, internet presence, with a Facebook-driven campaign that has dwarfed those of its rivals. Kosovo has relatively high levels of internet availability for the Balkans, and one YouTube video of Kurti defying Serb captors when he was jailed after the war has been viewed more than 40,000 times since it was posted in May.

His appeal is reflected in the youthful appearance of his supporters; standing outside his office door yesterday were two teenage activists, both of them too young to vote.

Kurti reflects a growing disenchantment among all Kosovans with the economic and political stalemate in their country. But some observers see him as a threat to stability, pointing to the unruly protests he has organised, which have often resulted in his arrest.

Speaking at his party headquarters, funded by a multimillionaire Kosovan-American businessman, Kurti cautiously welcomed Walker’s intervention. “In Kosovo, I believe he [Walker] is the most famous American, along with Bill Clinton and [ex-Nato commander] Wesley Clark,” he said.

Walker’s report into the brutal murder of unarmed civilians [sic] by Slobodan Milosovic’s Serb forces galvanised international opinion against the dictator, eventually leading the way to military intervention to protect the ethnic-Albanian population.

In a speech at a mass rally for the Self-determination party in Pristina on the eve of polls, Walker accused Kosovo’s government of the same abuse of power experienced under Serbian repression in the 1990s, adding that the international community was “complicit” in today’s corruption. “In a word,” he said, “many of the negative aspects of the Milosovic years are being repeated: leaders addicted to the same benefits of power, a willingness to do whatever is necessary to remain in office, continued access to illicit enrichment, a leadership without moral compass.”

He later said that his move was “a little unusual” and conceded that he did not agree with all of Kurti’s policies. But he said that, in a bid to maintain stability, the international community in Kosovo was “looking the other way” while prime minister Hashim Thaci’s party profited from corruption.

I don’t know what to make of these boys. Whether these brothers did or didn’t rape the girl is not for me to determine, but I did find interesting two things that they and their family said:


Brothers who fled Kosovo sentenced to 10 to 40 years for Kentwood rape
(Dec. 8, The Grand Rapids Press)

GRAND RAPIDS — After brothers Nesret and Imer Gashi were sentenced to 10 to 40 years behind bars Wednesday after pleading no-contest to raping a young woman, the men’s family said they see the prison terms as a grave injustice visited upon their family by the American judicial system.

“The Serbs have not done anything to us compared to what the Americans have done,” said Vahide Gashi on Wednesday, not long after Kent County Circuit Judge George Buth handed down the sentence for her sons, 22-year-old Nesret and 20-year-old Imer.

The brothers were Albanian refugees when they came to America as children in 1999, along with their family.

The 19-year-old victim reported that on Feb. 24, she had stopped with a friend at the Kentwood apartment of Nesret Gashi. The young woman said he carried her to a bedroom and then he and his brother sexually assaulted her multiple times before letting her leave the room.

The young woman said she did not report the assault because she was frightened of them. She also said that after the alleged rapes, she grabbed her friend who was in another bedroom with a different young man, and the two left right away.

In 2008, an accusation of rape against the brothers ended with the prosecution deciding there was not enough evidence to convict. Those charges were dropped.

But this second accusation had the brothers facing life in prison if convicted. They were charged with six counts of rape for each separate act against the woman and for aiding the other brother in their rape of the woman.

Instead, lawyers for the brothers worked out an agreement with the Kent County Prosecutor’s office that had the pair pleading no-contest to one count each of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, with a sentencing agreement that the minimum sentence would fall between five and 11 years.

“There is a pattern of assaultive behavior here,” Buth said. “The court believes these charges are valid.”

Before sentencing, the brothers told the judge there was no rape and the sex was consensual.

Nesret Gashi wept as he spoke about his newborn son, whom he has not seen because he was born while his father was in jail. Now, he’s headed to prison for at least a decade.

“I am not a rapist,” Nesret Gashi said. “I would never do that. I believe if someone does rape, they should not go to prison, they should be hung.”

Imer Gashi asked the judge to pay attention to the actions of the victim, who was in the courtroom and at times laughed as the two spoke. Neither she nor her family made a statement.

“They think this is a joke,” he said.

The sister of the two men was outraged with the sentence and said it showed that racism against her people continues, even in America.

“If my brothers were American, this case never would have made it to trial,” said Mira Kajolli. “That they take away brothers, sons, grandsons and a father with no other evidence except her words is a despicable thing for America to do.”

How big an inferiority complex does a people have to have to attribute this rather typical he-said-she-said rape case…to racism? How well does the sister even think Americans know what Albanians are? I’ve never had a Kosovo conversation without having to explain to someone what Kosovo is (the site of our most recent pre-9/11 war), or what Albanians are. And when did the supposed “anti-Albanian racism by Serbs” become a general “racism against her people,” which “continues”? Was it known to be a wide phenomenon? Who knew it was America’s racism against this little-known tribe that caused us to bomb their ethnic rivals for them.

Obviously, Mira, your brothers’ being Albanian did not register in any way, since this girl was coming over their place to hang out. In fact, if the girl had even one racist friend or relative to warn her about doing that, then your brothers would have been spared this “racist” sentence.

Actually, someone might have warned her to steer clear of these brothers for another reason. The article above mentions that there was a 2008 case. Readers of this blog will remember being introduced to the Gashi brothers that year. The rape case against them by another girl was dropped because the alleged victim was deemed not credible. But get a load of the similar victim-mongering the Gashi family was doing at the time:

The boys’ mother, Vahide Gashi, talked of her children’s fearful nights remembering the horrors of war and ethnic cleansing they witnessed or heard about in their homeland.

“The children come to our bed, I tell them go back to bed,” said Vahide Gashi back when her sons were 9 and 11. “They tell me they are too scared.”

The same news item gave us further insight into “American anti-Albanianism”:

In 1999, The Press ran a series of articles tracing the lives of the Gashi family as they made their way in West Michigan — among 150 families who did so that year.

Michigan must be real proud of their model refugee family now.

In addition to the Albanian inferiority complex which I’ve pointed out — and which, like other groups’ inferiority complexes, has led Albanians to a supremacy agenda — I will also point out that what we have here is yet two more 1999 “refugees” who have gotten themselves and others into a pickle. (Ft. Dix plot weapons procurer Agron Abdullahu, and the guy who flooded a prison cell in Greenwich, CT last month are just two other examples off the top of my head — and that’s not to mention the Kosovo “refugees” who run London crime.)

And again, “refugees” from what threat? Now that the brothers themselves have informed us that whatever it was the Serbs were supposedly doing to them was NOTHING compared to doing five to 10 years in prison. So either prison time is worse than genocide, torture, rape, repression, oppression and ethnic cleansing — or that’s not what was going on. Noted.

Meanwhile, the phenomenon of the Albanian inmate becoming a father while in jail is becoming familiar as well. As the judge in the Ft. Dix case said, “Congratulations.”

“Albania and Kosovo have no borders”

The Albanian National Unity Youth, in Kosovo borders with Albania (Nov. 29)

On the occasion of the anniversary of the proclamation of independence of Albania, yesterday, November 28, the youth movement’s unity, celebrated the ‘Flag Day’, organized an action, under of the slogan “There are no borders between Albania and Kosovo.

The event was held at the border with Kosovo and participated in it over a hundred young people placed banner with the slogan “Pa kufi-Kosova është Shqipëri”, “Kosovo and Albania without borders”.

Unfolded, indeed, a huge red flag when the center was the emblem of the Albanian flag.

The aim of this action, as indicated by the Albanian media is to show that there is no point [in there] being the border between the two sides…

The energy of youth is welcomed by the Albanian citizens on both sides of the border.

Albanians also marked Flag Day by going around and taking down the official Kosovo flag and replacing it with the Albanian flag. As one pointed out, the former represents that annoying stuff about multi-ethnicity:

Albanian Flag Day marked in Kosovo (Nov. 30, Source: Beta; Koha Ditore)

On Nov. 28, Kosovo Albanians celebrated National Flag Day. The Kosovo Albanian flag, which is identical to the Albanian national flag, was hoisted in Pristina and other towns on Nov. 27.

In addition to being celebrated as National Flag Day in Kosovo and Independence Day in Albania, Nov. 28 is linked to two other events — the birthday of Adem Jashari, commander of the self-styled Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and the day when KLA members first revealed themselves in public in Drenica.

Outgoing premier Hashim Thaci, local officials, opposition representatives and citizens visited the Adem Jashari memorial in Prekaz, in Drenica.

Koha Ditore reports that members and sympathizers of Vetëvendosje [”Self-determination” movement] in Gjakova, Ferizaj and Lipjan, on Sunday without any difficulty and without being hindered by any official municipal institution undertook an action to remove the flags of the Republic of Kosovo, placed in poles and pillars in the streets of the cities.

“Today is 28 of November – Flag Day, which symbolizes the national holiday. This flag, which we are removing from poles and pillars placed in the streets, is a multi-ethnicity flag”, said Demokrat Zhubi from Vetëvendosje.

…[T]he Vetëvendosje movement announced on Sunday that police have arrested three of its activists in Lipjan, while they were replacing Kosovo flags with national flags.

Now we go to Flag Day in southern Serbia, as translated from the Serbian newspaper Vecernje Novosti (”Evening News”):

On the building of Bujanovac on Sunday along with the Serbian flag the Albanian was set, despite the fact that our Constitution prohibits in Serbia setting the flag of another country. By this symbolic act, Shaip Kamberi, the mayor of Bujanovac and Jonuz Musliu, president of the Municipal Assembly, marked Flag Day, national holiday of neighboring Albania. This is the third year to do it officially - Kamberi said, adding that this act demonstrated once again that Albanians do not agree with the Serbian decision that the national minorities have no right to display officially symbols that mark their identity.

And from Blic:

Presevo, Bujanovac - Albanian flag was hoisted today at the buildings of municipalities of Bujanovac and Presevo, as part of celebrating the Day of the flag, national holiday of Albania

Albanian flag was hoisted on the building and post office in Bujanovac Veliko Tarnovo and the village center Dobrosin and Konculj.

In the municipality of Presevo, the flag of Albania is featured in several surrounding villages.

“This is the third time that the institutional Albanian flag is placed next to Serbian. In this way we express protest against unfavorable legal position of national minorities in terms of national symbols because the law restricts the right to use symbols that signify our identity,” said Kamberi.

According to him, the law on national minorities specifies that the flag used by the minority must in some detail distinguish it from the flags of countries of origin.

In Kosovo on 28 November, though the Flag Day or the day of independence of Albania in 1942, linked to other events. It is the birthday of the Kosovo Liberation Army commander Adem Jashari, and on this day commemorates the first public appearance of the KLA in Drenica.

[So they’re allowed to celebrate their Serb-killing holidays, but that’s not good enough.]

When asked if he knew what is the position of Serbs living in Albania and to see if they can point out their flag and use their language, Kamberi said that he had no vital information
about it, but that he thinks that the Serbs in Albania can use their own symbols.

I’ve often wondered about that: Are there Serbs in Albania?? And if there are, then if they displayed their national symbols they’d be dead faster than this poor Greek.

Anyway, all this — and still Albanians complain to the EU and U.S. that Serbia doesn’t respect essential human rights of minorities (unlike Muslim-run or Albanian-run societies, right?) And such complaints are always taken “very seriously” by the EU institutions and even more so by the State Dept. Any excuse to put even more pressure on Serbia.

One last report from Greater Albania, Serbia — or Serbia, Greater Albania — from Politika:

Flag Day was marked by the Albanians in Presevo. As the Mayor Mustafa Ragmi said to Beta, Albanians in Presevo have the right to celebrating Flag Day of Albania, like all minorities celebrate holidays.

“We therefore, in addition to the Albanian flag on the municipality, pointed out the slogan that we want it legalized. And that’s the message to officials in Belgrade, and international representatives to help us in this request. I do not see why we could not freely display the flag as we did during the one-party system for 50 years,” said Mustafa.

[It’s because, like most Albanians, Mustafa has no idea what an Albanian is. Once you let them fly their flag officially alongside the state flag, the next thing they do is replace one with the other, as happened in Kosovo and is happening in Macedonia. Apparently, Mustafa is unfamiliar with the Albanian M.O. of taking an arm after being given a hand.]

Rexhepi: We will celebrate as a part of Albania

Deputy Mayor of Presevo, Orhan Rexhepi, told Beta that the Albanians in Presevo will in a couple of years celebrate the 28th November as part of Albania. He added that he “does not care” about what may think the politicians in Belgrade.

“I can say responsibly, with congratulations to all the Albanian people for the holiday, that they would soon celebrate all together,” he said. Asked what he meant by “shortly”, he said, “in a couple of years.”

So there’s the fruition of one “Serbian myth” being celebrated last week, the one about Greater Albania. And here’s another “Serbian myth” actualizing — the one about Albanians posing an Islamic problem to the region — as one Albanian blogger screams, “Stop saying that Albanian Muslims aren’t ‘like that’! We are!”:

Islamic Identity of Albanians - Myth or Reality?!
Ermal BEGA, Tirana-Albania (Nov. 29)

Islamic identity and/or European identity of Albanians, has recently become a pretty big problem among the prominent personalities, academics and researchers of various Albanian territories.

Discussions on this issue are not new to us Albanians who have suffered throughout history, but have come to the surface more often in later times, when for a long time various newspapers, print and broadcast media in Albania and Kosova have opened the debate about whether the Albanians have a Muslim identity (belonging to Islam) or have a European identity (which means you need to be Christian-Catholic-Latin or Greek-Slavic-Orthodox)?

I don’t understand, first of all, why we need to do this kind of debate in vain, considering that Europe and the world at large know very well and very clearly that the majority of the Albanian people are of the Islamic religion, with actions or without them (practicing or not), knowingly or through ignorance (as most of the people who have Albanian Muslim names, but do not have any knowledge about their religion).

Secondly, I fail to understand why this dirty politics is becoming so sneakily anti-Islamic in Albania. Islam is a faith which has never created problems to those who practice it, and nobody has seen anything bad from this faith and from its believers.

[Now, try and figure out if this kind of denial is Islamic in nature, or Albanian. I honestly can’t tell the difference sometimes.]

If denying the Islamic identity of the Albanians, and the fear that as Muslims we can not enter in Europe is the only reason these personalities present, we respond that “fear is a permanent companion of injustice” (W. Shakespeare) , and “courage without reason is just one of the types of fear” (Seneca).

[Well that’s reassuring.]

…In connection with numerous talks and debates that have arisen in the media and the propaganda that allegedly Albanians are secular and have a secular state…I wanted to add a saying of Napoleon Bonaparte, when he saw that boundless liberalism had gone to excess and religion was being trampled upon, he said: “Faith (belief) should exist, because even if there would be no religion (faith), we would need to create one, because only religion can provide the morale and discipline of a nation”, and having said this he made a provision to create a well-equipped clergy.

[I don’t imagine that when Napoleon used the general term “religion” he was referring to the heathen religions that were supposed to be a thing of the past but which Islam is an unfortunate throwback to.]

Germans say: “A professor however learned he is, if he is non-religious (secular) should not even enter in elementary schools let alone in universities.”

The last term is appropriate for those who seek to throw all Albanians in the Christian religion, who until yesterday were attacking Islam and Albanian Muslims in secret, and now we face them as brave hearts through electronic media and who keep asserting again with a tenacity like that of a hog, that Albanians do not belong to an Oriental Muslim identity, but belong to that of European Christians.

The worst is that these personalities, by name, belong to the Islamic faith themselves….

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