October 2011


A hearty Muslim “thanks” to the USA for setting up an Islamic state in the heart of Europe. What took so long? Other Bosnian Muslims were much more timely with their thanks.

Breaking News (but still not a breaking story that we fought for Jihad in 1990s Bosnia):

Terrorist Attack Outside US Embassy in Bosnia (Friday, Oct. - AP)

A man armed with hand grenades and an automatic weapon opened fire outside the U.S. Embassy in Bosnia Friday in what authorities called a terrorist attack. A policeman and the gunman were wounded, but the embassy said none of its employees was hurt.

Sarajevo Mayor Alija Behmen said the gunman “got off a tram with a Kalashnikov and started shooting at the American Embassy.” Witnesses told Bosnian television that the man urged pedestrians to move away, saying he was targeting only the embassy.

He wore a beard and was dressed in an outfit with short pants that reveal his ankles — typical for followers of the conservative Wahhabi branch of Islam.

One police officer guarding the building was wounded before police surrounded the gunman. After a 30-minute standoff, the sound of a single shot echoed and AP video showed the shooter slump to the ground.

Police arrested the wounded man — who one of Bosnia’s three presidents said is a foreigner — and took him away in an ambulance as pedestrians cowered behind buildings and vehicles. Hospital spokeswoman Biljana Jandric told The Associated Press the gunman had a minor wound to his leg, and would spend the night at the hospital before being released into police custody.

State Prosecutor Dubravko Campara identified the shooter as Mevlid Jasarevic, from Novi Pazar, the administrative capital of the southern Serbian region of Sandzak, who was tried in Austria for robbery in 2005.

Campara said Jasarevic had crossed the Serbian border into Bosnia Friday morning. He said Jasarevic had two hand grenades with him when he was arrested and is also currently under investigation by Serbian police, but did not detail why.

(It can only be because Serbs are racist, right? Why, any Serbian investigation is surely political rather than legitimate policing and a cautionary tale for the rest of us.)

Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic confirmed his identity and said he is 23 years old. Bosnian TV said Jasarevic is a Wahhabi follower. [He’d been briefly arrested last November after being deemed a threat to visiting dignitaries.]

Western intelligence reports have alleged that the tense, impoverished area of Sandzak, along with Muslim-dominated regions in Bosnia, are rich ground for recruiting so-called “white al-Qaida” — Muslims with Western features who could easily blend into European or U.S. cities and carry out attacks.

The Islamic extremists joined Bosnia’s 1992-95 war for independence. They were largely tolerated by the U.S. and the West because of their opposition to late Serbia’s strongman Slobodan Milosevic’s quest to create “Greater Serbia” out of the former Yugoslav republics. [Which was a purposeful Western concoction, so the question remains: Why did the West support jihad in Bosnia?]

Bakir Izetbegovic, one of Bosnia’s three presidents, issued a statement condemning “the terrorist attack on the embassy of the United States.”

“The United States is a proven friend of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Its government and its people supported us in the most difficult moments in our history and nobody has the right to jeopardize our relations,” he said.

i.e. The spin is already beginning. Quoting Izetbegovic Jr. (son of the fundamentalist Bosnian president we supported) about how he just LOVES America. The next step should be identifying the shooter as a “Serbian citizen,” then the standard blaming of “Serbian aggression and genocide” for his deeds.

OH WAIT A SECOND, WAIT A SECOND…THIS JUST IN:

NY Daily News: “US Embassy in Bosnia Under Fire: Serbian Terrorist in Custody

(That’s a screen shot link since the headline has since been changed; it must have been too blatantly mendacious even for an MSM rag like the Daily News. Thanks to Gray Falcon comment poster “Bruce Canada” for picking it up.)

And how about this:

“Bosnia’s state prosecutor identified the bearded man, armed with a Kalashnikov automatic rifle, as 23-year-old Mevludin Jasarevic, a Serbian citizen from the mainly Muslim town of Novi Pazar.”

Courtesy of Reuters: Gunman attacks U.S. embassy in Bosnia (Oct. 28)

A suspected radical Islamist fired on the U.S. embassy in the center of the Bosnian capital with an assault rifle on Friday in an attack that lasted 30 minutes.

Bosnia’s state prosecutor identified the bearded man, armed with a Kalashnikov automatic rifle, as 23-year-old Mevludin Jasarevic, a Serbian citizen from the mainly Muslim town of Novi Pazar…[Jasarevic] was convicted of robbery in Austria in 2005 and deported to Serbia…Campara said the prosecution had worked closely with Serbian security officials on the case. [IMAGINE! Working closely with a “war criminal” outfit!]

Almir Dzuvo, the director of Bosnia’s OSA information and security agency, said that Jasarevic had visited a community of hardline Wahhabi Islamists in northern Bosnia earlier this year.

“He crossed the border this morning, came into Bosnia and committed a terrorist act,” Dzuvo said. He declined to say whether Jasarevic had had accomplices in Bosnia. [Of course he declined to say. The official Bosnian line is that “there are no terrorists operating in Bosnia.” Just ask chief mufti Mustafa Ceric.]

Bosnia, which was torn apart by war between Bosnian Muslims, Croats and Serbs in 1992-95 as Yugoslavia collapsed, is a close ally of the United States in the turbulent Balkans.

Take note, Americans: Between Christian Serbs, Catholic Croats, and Muslims, America’s “close ally” in the Balkans is the third. Get this: The former two share intelligence to help fend off attacks on us from the latter, so we can pretend they’re our friends.

Bakir Izetbegovic, the Muslim member of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency, condemned the attack, saying the United States was a “proven friend” of Bosnia. [There that is again.]

“This is a shot at the friendship between America and Bosnia-Herzegovina, this is a shot at Bosnia,” Izetbegovic told reporters. “This is a great temptation for Bosnia.”

Police spokesman Irfan Nefic said one police officer had been seriously wounded and had been operated on.

The U.S. embassy in Sarajevo, a mainly Muslim city, closed briefly in March 2002 citing an unspecified threat, but the building has not come under attack before.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland thanked the Bosnian police for stopping the attack….

Yes, thanks to official Bosnia for keeping up a good show.

Below is some analysis from Nebojsa Malic (links added): Is It Jihad Yet?

…Because Jasarevic is from Novi Pazar, a town in Serbia, odds are the mainstream Western media will describe this as a “Serbian attack”, or at least identify him as “Serbian citizen.” This would be horribly misleading, of course, but that hasn’t stopped them before.

Here are some things to keep in mind here, before the spin distorts them:

* Salafi missionaries came to Bosnia during the war, with tacit approval and even assistance of the U.S., to get the “wayward” Bosnian Muslims in line and wage jihad against the Serb and Croat “infidels.”

* There are 150,000 or so Muslims in the Raska region of southwestern Serbia (which they call “Sanjak”, a term going back to Ottoman days). Their religious leader, mufti Muamer Zukorlic, was appointed by the top Islamic cleric of Bosnia and has been stirring up trouble and preaching violence and hate for several years. In this, he enjoys the support of many foreign governments ( “Friends of Sanjak”), including the U.S.

* Jasarevic may technically be a citizen of Serbia, but he is wanted there on charges of terrorism. He left Serbia last year, and settled in the Salafi commune of Gornja Maoca in northern Bosnia. Until it was ethnically cleansed during the Bosnian War, it used to be a Serb village called Karavlasi. [Bosnian and Serbian police have raided the village in the aftermath of the attack; the same village was raided soon after 9/11, and then again last year.]

In addition to terrorizing any Christians (Serbs or Croats) they may come across, the Salafi frequently harass ordinary Bosnian Muslims, who by and large follow the Hanafi school of Islam. The Hanafi approach accepts local customs and is what made coexistence with Christians in the past possible in the first place. Salafists dismiss this as heresy and preach absolute intolerance of any who do not follow their ways.

Anyway, just watch: Jasarevic will be described as a lone lunatic, his motives will be “unknown”, and there will be no mention of jihad or Islamic terrorism. The notion that the Salafists in Bosnia may be nurturing terrorists who threaten American lives runs counter to the mainstream narrative of innocent Muslims being victims of evil Serbs, and is therefore thoughtcrime.

WHY SOME AMERICANS (or at least one of us) FOLLOW THE BALKANS

Novi Pazar first hit my radar in 2006, when local Wahhabis violently broke up a concert there (since real Islam doesn’t allow music). It was the kind of obscure Balkans news item that only we Balkans observers deigned to hear about. But now, five years later, it seems the inevitable has happened yet again: Americans are being forced to learn some Balkans vocabulary, this time the words Novi Pazar and Sandzak. (Just like they have to re-learn the word “Kosovo” every time another Albanian from there tries to kill, or does kill, Americans.)

Or…I’m sorry…was the trouble in Sandzak not supposed to reach anything American — after America balkanized the Balkans? (See from 2008 “Bosnian Wahhabis Could Hit U.S., NATO“)

Anyway, since they’ll be hearing from Sandzak/Sanjak again and again, for the rest of their lives, Americans really should start to get a Balkans vocabulary. And 50 years later, we’ll still have the Clintons to thank for it. Along with almost 100% of the American reading public, who still stubbornly insist that our anti-Serb policies are correct and we did the right thing in Bosnia…only a little late. (We were “late” supporting the jihadists there.) An aside: Refreshingly, it seems one American — no less from the conservative punditry, which otherwise myopically swallows everything the liberal presses have fed it from the Balkans — seems to have finally figured Bosnia out. John Rosenthal’s June column is a must read.

One factoid that Americans might want to ask their government about is why the American ambassador has Ramadan dinner in Sandzak every year. Indeed, as Malic pointed out, that troubled little region in southwestern Serbia where Jasarevic is from is where U.S. and Co. are egging on Zukorlic, the protege ofmoderateBosnian Mufti Mustafa Ceric, to declare independence. (Kosovo being of course the “last” part of Yugoslavia’s dissolution, according to the media cheerleaders of that secession in 2008.)

Closing with a flashback to an August blog detailing previous installments of a little-watched drama that could be titled “From the Balkans, with Thanks”:

[Let’s just ignore] the Bosnian connection to [the London and Madrid attacks].

Don’t start asking what investigators were doing in Bosnia and Kosovo in the wake of the 7/7 Tube bombings, or what took U.S. investigators to Albania, out of which bin Laden was operating in 1998, and to Bosnia after 9/11. On which subject, never mind any Bosnian officialslinks to 9/11 or the Bosnia leg of the preparations for it. Ignore 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s connection to Bosnia (he was gifted citizenship), where he and Mohamed Atta lived prior to 9/11. (And where Hamas trained, incidentally.) Don’t try to deduce what it is about Bosnia which, according to the 9/11 Commission and others, globalized al Qaeda and which causes it to appear on almost every international report about terrorist threats.

Who cares why in October 2001 U.S. troops found, in a Kabul mansion hideout, Oklahoma City-style bomb instructions written by a Bosnian al Qaeda soldier. Or why at least one Bosnian passport was found in a Kabul house that had been used by fleeing Taliban. Shrug at why Bosnia is a thriving market for DVDs of American troops being killed in Iraq or why, according to Bosnian TV, “US Army members are threatened by local jihadists.”

Never mind the Bosnian connection to five of the 9/11 hijackers who had either trained or fought in Bosnia, or the Bosnia-hatched and Serb-disrupted plot to attack world leaders at the pope’s funeral in 2005. Never mind the Bosnian and two Albanians of the North Carolina Eight who were targeting a Marine base and countries including Israel….Never mind the very direct Bosnian connection to a Georgia man convicted in 2009 of aiding terror groups, or the Bosnian arrested last year for his role in the plan to bomb NYC commuters. Never mind the Bosnian “connection” to an international Bosnia-based terror plot thwarted in 2008. Don’t ask how a program to recruit and train Muslims to kill Serbs in Bosnia could morph into a plan to blow up New York’s Lincoln and Holland tunnels and the UN and FBI buildings, “embroiling U.S. military veterans in a jihadist circle with links to al-Qaeda and to a stunningly ambitious homegrown plot to kill thousands of innocent victims in New York City.”

And why take it from a former al Qaeda officer that Bosnian Muslims “play a significant role” in al Qaeda cells? Don’t listen when he talks about how official Bosnia was giving out passports like candy during the war it started (including to bin Laden, enabling him to travel to other countries and organize 9/11 and other attacks), and advising the mujahideen to marry Bosnian women so they could stay after the war…

Never mind the Bosnian Muslim who made an apparent dry run into the U.S. embassy in Vienna in 2007, or the Bosnian Muslims arrested for plans to blow up Catholic churches and internationals in Bosnia (a suicide bomb belt was found along with guns and 20 kg of explosives), or the ones caught targeting European embassies to protest the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Don’t trouble yourself about the…foiled plots against Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo, one disrupted by a polygraph administered to an Albanian terrorist and another with its nexus in [Sandzak].

And don’t worry about the 15 Bosnians and Albanians that Serbia charged in 2007 with a planned attack on the U.S. embassy in Belgrade — one of many collaborative efforts between Albanian and Bosnian Muslims to carve the Sandzak out of Montenegro and Serbia for Greater Islam. [And] pay no attention to the American veteran of the Bosnia war, who pled guilty to helping train fellow al Qaeda agents to carry out bombings at European tourist resorts frequented by Americans, as well as at US military bases, embassies and consular offices in Europe.

US airman: Gunman had ‘hate in his eyes’ when he shot 2 servicemen at Frankfurt airport (AP, Oct. 24)

FRANKFURT, Germany — A U.S. airman who survived an attack by a radical Islamist that left two fellow servicemen dead told a German court Monday that he looked the gunman in the face and saw “hate in his eyes.”

Staff Sgt. Trevor Brewer, 23, was on a U.S. Air Force bus at Frankfurt airport when Arid Uka, a 21-year-old Kosovo Albanian, began shooting. Brewer was unhurt as Uka’s 9mm pistol jammed due to a defective cartridge.

He told the court that he had ducked behind his seat after he heard the shots, then came face to face with Uka.

“When I looked up, the pistol was in my face. I heard the words ‘Allahu Akbar’ and the pistol went ‘click,’” Brewer said. “Allahu Akbar” means “God is great” in Arabic. [Actually, it means “Devil is great.”]

Uka is charged with murder for the March 2 slayings of Senior Airman Nicholas J. Alden, 25, from South Carolina, and Airman 1st Class Zachary R. Cuddeback, 21, from Virginia. He also faces three counts of attempted murder.

Brewer, who is from Gray, Tennessee, testified that he saw “hate in his eyes” as he stood face to face with Uka.

“I stood up to take him out … or to seize the weapon,” Brewer said. “He said ‘Allahu Akbar’ again and the gun clicked again.”

Uka fled and Brewer gave chase but slipped and fell behind. He ran into the airport and watched police arrest Uka.

“With my job, we expect danger,” he said. “We expect to fight a war and possibly lose our lives. But we don’t expect that in Europe or America.”

(Why not? U.S. policy openly calls for, and creates, a heightened Islamic presence in Europe, specifically via Albanians and Bosnian Muslims. But of course, the whole design is for our uniformed men and women to not expect attacks from either. Therefore, they’re caught by surprise. Every time.)

Uka briefly made eye contact across the courtroom with Cuddeback’s father but otherwise looked down at the table in front of him during the testimony and showed no emotion.

Uka, who grew up in Germany, faces attempted murder charges for wounding airmen Kristoffer Schneider and Edgar Veguilla, and for taking aim at Brewer. Schneider was shot in the head and lost the sight in one eye. Veguilla was shot in the jaw, abdomen and elbow.

The airmen were on their way to Afghanistan from a base in Lakenheath, Britain. Most were out of uniform, but recognizable as military personnel from their camouflage bags and short haircuts. Their weapons were unloaded and locked in cases.

Alden left behind a wife and two small children.

Airman Cuddeback’s father, Robert Cuddeback of Millerton, New York, sat as co-plaintiff at the prosecution’s table, as allowed under German law. An Army veteran, the elder Cuddeback wore the Gold Star lapel pin given to family members of fallen military personnel.

Airman Cuddeback was awarded the Purple Heart, the U.S. military’s decoration for soldiers wounded or killed in action.

(It’s the least the U.S. Government can do after specifically not warning military personnel about the real Kosovo, leaving them to be blindsided.)

Robert Cuddeback said he came to Germany to support Brewer and other servicemen testifying in the case. He said it was “very difficult” to be in the same room with Uka.

“It’s surreal for me, being here, and actually looking Uka in the eyes,” he said. “I can tell you I think that he is unemotional, he has not looked up during the witness testimonies, and I think he does not have any regrets about what he’s done.”

He said he hopes the court sentences Uka to life in prison.

Uka faces a life sentence upon conviction but any cooperation with authorities could lower the amount of time he would have to serve before parole can be considered to as little as 15 years. The judge in the case has said Uka’s confession is not complete because he has not said where he obtained the weapon.

Moving on to the Albanian organ trade. Notice the revealing wording of this Oct. 21st headline:

Report linking Kosovo leader, organ harvesting being probed (AFP, Oct. 21)

“European prosecutors are probing a report that has linked Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci…with organ trafficking.”

THE REPORT is being probed. Not the crimes it outlines. So let’s be clear. When Serbian criminality — no matter how minor — is alleged, there are full — often international — manhunts, investigations, arrests and prosecutions. When Albanian criminality is alleged — no matter how major — those making the allegations are investigated, or “probed.” For just one illustration, compare the arrests by Serbia of persons implicated in the burning of the U.S. embassy in Feb. 2008 upon the U.S.-backed land seizure — to the arrests by the UN and Kosovo authorities in the province-wide mobs of March 2004, in which more than 50,000 Albanian participants killed over 30 people including several international peacekeepers (others were seriously wounded); injured hundreds including clergy; razed 35 churches; burned 800 homes; and cleansed 4,000 more Serbs. In the embassy case, 44 indictments against 80 people had been issued by Serbia by the following week. In the deadly riot case, one person was arrested a month after the pogroms and three years later one more person was arrested. A few other minor players were grudgingly rounded up and charged for misdemeanors, with none of the (politically protected) organizers indicted or punished. We won’t even get into all the still-unarrested Albanian granny-, farmer-, and baby-killers, bus-bombers, and assorted disembowelers.

Anyway, the article about the report being “probed” follows. Notice that an American prosecutor was appointed, serving a government with the most interest in seeing the investigation not seen through. Believe me, his mission is clear: he is to reach a predetermined conclusion about the report: namely, that it’s inconclusive, and can’t be pursued. As Liz, who circulated the item below, put it: “How much ‘probing’ will there be, knowing it’s led by an agent of NATO’s lead bombers of Serbia, on behalf of Albanian Muslims?”

PRISTINA — The EU prosecutor probing a Council of Europe report that links prime minister Hashim Thaci to organ trafficking has started gathering data to initiate his own investigation, a statement said Friday.

“Williamson emphasized that this will be a complex investigation and will take time to complete,” said the statement, issued after his three-day visit to Kosovo. [Ah, another possible route — in case a real investigation becomes unavoidable: slow the process down long enough to secure the last, recalcitrant, free part of Kosovo under Albanian rule, without any potential hampering of the process via this organ business.]

EULEX in June set up a task force to start a preliminary investigation into the report by the Council of Europe.

The task force is composed of prosecutors and investigators and led by U.S. prosecutor Williamson, who is based in Brussels for the probe.

The Council of Europe report said that Thaci headed a Kosovo guerrilla faction which controlled secret detention centres in Albania where the organ trafficking allegedly took place in the aftermath of the 1998-99 war between the Kosovo Liberation Army guerrilla and Serbian forces. […]

Preceding an earlier item (below) on the appointment of an American to make the organs story go away, source Dragan wrote:

Once again, the US administration decides who will be the head of the further investigations….It would not be disturbing, but knowing the attitude of US towards Albanians in Kosovo, the so-called investigation is bound to be a failure in advance. In fact naming an American at the head of the “EU” team is just to say, “you see we’ve done all we could, but we did not find any evidence about mentioned crimes”.

US prosecutor to probe Kosovo organ trafficking (AP, Aug. 29)

PRISTINA, Kosovo — A U.S. prosecutor will investigate claims that Prime Minister Hashim Thaci allegedly led a criminal network that sold organs of civilian captives during the 1998-99 Kosovo war, the EU’s rule of law mission to Kosovo said Monday.

John Clint Williamson was named “lead prosecutor” in a task force set up to investigate the allegations raised in a report last year by Council of Europe investigator Dick Marty….Williamson was the head of Kosovo’s Justice Department in 2001-2002…tasked with overseeing Kosovo’s prisons and the justice system. He then served as United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues.

Classified U.N documents, which were made public by The Associated Press earlier this year, suggest the United Nations mission in Kosovo was aware of the organ trafficking allegations as early as 2003 when alleged witness statements where made available to U.N. investigators.

U.N. authorities then briefly investigated the claims in 2004 but never launched a full-fledged probe.

So far, both the U.N. and EU’s rule of law mission…have maintained that their investigations into the alleged organ harvesting have failed to yield any evidence, but mounting pressure from Serbia and its ally Russia for a full investigation has brought the issue to international attention.

Because no one else gives a damn. And based on the AP’s eyeroll attitude in that last paragraph, that’s how it should be (i.e. the only reason we have to be bothered about disemboweled Serbs is the Serbs and Russians are making us). Yes, this was filed by Albanian reporter Nebi Qena. And naturally, she neglects to mention why no evidence was yielded — it was either destroyed, or access wasn’t allowed by non-cooperative officials in Kosovo and Albania. Then there’s that small, ever-present consideration for internationals working in Kosovo: constant threats which cause them to ask themselves, ‘Do I want to live to enjoy my fat retirement or not?”

One related item from July on the subject of Western enthusiasm for an organ-trade probe:

“Big powers against UN-mandate organ trafficking probe” (Tanjug, July 11)

BELGRADE: The U.S., Britain and France are hindering Serbia’s request for the investigation into human organ trafficking in Kosovo to be conducted under the UN mandate.

This is according to Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić.

“Our request for the investigators to work with a mandate on the case of organ trafficking in Kosovo and Albania, and submit their reports to the UN Security Council, has unfortunately been hindered by those who have the institutional capacity to do that,” Jeremić told Belgrade-based daily Blic in an interview.

He identified those countries as the United States, Britain and France.

When asked about whether this “ruins the last chance to carry out an independent investigation under the mandate of the UN Security Council”, Jeremic said that “talks continued”.

“I would like to believe that, in the weeks to come, we will manage to overcome the obstacle and achieve progress. If that does not happen, it will be extremely difficult to resist the impression that there is something in the case of human organ trafficking in Kosovo that, for some reason, should by no means see the light of day.”

*****UPDATE*****

The name of the American “investigator” sounded familiar to Nebojsa Malic, so he hit Wikipedia and found:

From 1994 to 2001, he worked as a Trial Attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, Netherlands. While at the ICTY, he supervised investigations and field operations in the Balkans, compiled indictments, and prosecuted cases at trial. Among the cases handled by Ambassador Williamson were those against Slobodan Milosevic and the notorious paramilitary leader Zeljko Raznatovic, aka “Arkan,” as well as cases arising from the Yugoslav Army attacks on Vukovar and Dubrovnik, Croatia.

From late-2001 through 2002, he served in the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations as the Director of the Department of Justice in the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, overseeing the justice and prison systems.

“Oh yes, a ‘fair and impartial investigator’ all right. Not only is he a former Hague Inquisitor, but he’s set to investigate atrocities that took place ON HIS WATCH…They could have just saved themselves the trouble and sent Bernard Kouchner. Or even better, Agim Ceku.” — Nebojsa

In my weekend blog about the Kosovo precedent being used to a) unilaterally establish a Palestinian state and b) allow NATO to potentially bomb Israel to make that happen, I mentioned that in 1999 Ariel Sharon was warned — and then himself warned — about such a scenario for Israel. He tried to get American-Jewish leaders to raise their voices in opposition to NATO’s bombing campaign. But too many of them had been part of taking out that New York Times ad calling for Clinton to take action in Kosovo.

Another plea went up — from a pair of Jewish socialists — to their fellow Jews a year later, to wake up. And so now that we’re predictably on the precipice of the logical conclusion of 1999, with Jewish blood finally to pay for 1999 (I say “finally” in homage to a little-spoken sentiment in 1999 that “Jews should not be so forward about supporting a war in which their own children would not die.”), I’m repeating their plea by excerpting their March 2000 piece from Jewish Currents magazine (links added):

NATO in the Balkans: Jews and the Kosovo Crisis
by Alvin Dorfman and Heather Cottin

In the beautiful spring of 1999, while Jews were commemorating Shoah and celebrating Passover, bombs rained down on the sovereign nation of Yugoslavia. In the United States, major Jewish organizations defended the thousands of devastating NATO bombing sorties. Many Jews called for ground troops. Both the mainstream and Jewish press vilified the Serbs and characterized Yugoslavia as an aggressor nation. The holocaust analogy was replayed as it had been during the Bosnian War, when James Harff, of the public relations firm Ruder Finn, had boasted to a French interviewer that Jewish support for NATO in Bosnia was a prize. “By a single move, we were able to present a simple story of good guys and bad guys which would thereafter play itself out.” “We won,” he said, “by targeting the Jewish audience.”

American Jewry did nothing in 1995 when the Croatians, headed by Kosovo Albanian Lieutenant General Agim Ceku, ethnically cleansed from the Krajina 300,000 Serbs whose roots went back 300 years. American Jews did not repudiate Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, despite his denial of the
Shoah, and his boast that his wife was neither a Serb nor a Jew. The effectiveness of the Ruder Finn campaign was such that most Americans accepted without question the right of Bosnian Moslems to break away from Yugoslavia. The US government and the media did not discuss Alia Izetbegovic as a Moslem Fundamentalist, nor did they remind us that the Bosnian President never renounced his Islamic Declaration, in which he said, “There can be no peace between the Islamic faith and non-Islamic societies.”

Few Americans know much about Balkan history, and when the war in Kosovo erupted on the front pages of US newspapers, Americans once again accepted the “simple story of good guys and bad guys” that cast the Serbs as the enemy and the Kosovo Albanians as the victims. Jewish acceptance of this story is troubling. As with the Bosnian Moslems in the NATO intervention in 1992-5 and the Croatian ethnic cleansing of the Krajina in 1995, American Jews took sides against the Serbs who had been their only friends in the Balkans during World War II. Between 1941 and 1945 the Croatian Ustache government, the Bosnian Moslems, and the Kosovar Albanians, under the Italian Fascist Albanian government, had murdered over 60,000 Jews and 1,000,000 Serbs.

Jewish support for NATO intervention was troubling for other reasons. American Jewish organizations tacitly supported the Kosovo Liberation Army. The KLA was funded in part by reactionary Islamic forces, the United States, and Germany. In the “civil war” between 1997 and 1999, Jews joined in the condemnation of the government of Slobodan Milosovic, and urged NATO bombing of Belgrade and the rest of Yugoslavia.

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of Jewish support for the 78 days of NATO bombing was the facile acceptance of claims such as “genocide” and “holocaust,” terms used again and again to describe the experiences of the Kosovo Albanians. A “simple story of good guys and bad guys” got twisted into an outrageous comparison. 2000 people, one third of them Serbs, died in Kosovo in the year before the bombing began. There had been fighting between the KLA and the Yugoslav Army, and civilians and armed forces both perished. But the media claimed “genocide,” and the comparison to Shoah was quickly made. This was a monstrous misrepresentation of the truth which simultaneously desecrated the experience of Jews in the Holocaust.

During the NATO bombing campaign Kosovo Albanians were placed on trains and sent to Macedonia and Montenegro. They were sent to NATO and UN-run refugee camps, not concentration camps. NATO bombardments decimated Yugoslavia. The Serbs were bombed daily; most of the “Kosovars” were saved.

Albanians in Kosovo had been the first to try to rid the province of Serbs and Roms in 1981 and 1982, and it was they who used the expression “ethnic cleansing” to describe their purification campaign. The KLA is a very secretive organization, but it is not a recent phenomenon. Kosovo Albanians from Germany and Albania, whose family roots went back to the notorious Skanderbeg division which slaughtered Jews, Serbs and Rom people in World War II, comprised the leading faction of the KLA. In December 1998, the State Department wrote an alarming report, which clearly stated, “the KLA harass or kidnap anyone who comes to the (Yugoslav) police.” The report continued, “KLA representatives had threatened to kill villagers or burn their homes if they did not join the KLA.” Yet the United States supported the Kosovo Liberation Army.

…We must ask ourselves as Jews: why are we supporting such a force? …Jews here and in Israel offered asylum and comfort to the Kosovo Albanians. Did the Jewish press express compassion for the Serb or Rom victims of NATO bombing? Where was the public anguish about the destruction of hospitals, schools, factories, bridges, railway stations, religious edifices and tens of thousands of homes in Yugoslavia? Which Jews spoke out against the Balkan ecocide produced by NATO bombing of chemical factories and the use of Depleted Uranium (DU) which causes cancer and birth defects?

200,000 Serbs and Roms have been, since the war ended, murdered or driven out of Kosovo by the KLA forces. Agim Ceku has been head of the KLA since February, so he knows the US will turn a blind eye to ethnic cleansing of Serbs.

The spin doctors may have manipulated the sympathies of concerned citizens, but NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia had, according to Le Monde Diplomatique, “not the least international legitimacy.” The United States fought on the side of drug traffickers and Nazis. Germany, in violation of its own laws, sent its armed forces and Luftwaffe out on military missions against Yugoslavia. Have we, who pride ourselves on having brought moral law into the world, abandoned our belief in the Rule of Law?

…The expansion of NATO was a Pandora’s Box that was locked until the dismemberment of Yugoslavia began. NATO involvement in Yugoslavia was the key that opened Eastern Europe and Central Asia to NATO expansion, and NATO expansion opened the door to the expansion eastward of the new Global Economy. NATO’s new role in Europe is the police force for the New World Order. Kosovo sits atop a five billion-dollar lead, zinc, silver, cadmium, and gold mine, “the most valuable piece of real estate in the Balkans.” Kosovo has seventeen billion tons of coal. The Danube flows through Yugoslavia and is more important to trade in central and southern Europe than any other river. The oil and natural gas pipelines of Europe criss-cross Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia is proximate to the West’s next oil and natural gas bonanza: the Caspian region. The four trillion dollars worth of petroleum there is the answer to the NATO nations’ quest for more oil. Germany is particularly concerned about this.

These are issues for [Jews] convinced that our interests lie with US policy…US policy supports Israel [but] Israel could face the loss of US support. Let us not forget; Yugoslavia once enjoyed a special relationship with the United States just as Israel now does.

In April of 1999 the Yugoslav ambassador to the United Nations wrote a letter to several Jewish organizations, begging for support. NATO had bombed the Bridge at Novi Sad and the adjacent Memorial Park. “The Bridge and the Park had special significance to Jews and Serbs,” wrote the ambassador, because, “a few thousand Jews and Serbs were summarily executed by the Nazis and thrown into the Danube under that bridge” on April 1, 1942. But there was silence; no Jewish organization responded. That silence must be broken.

Let us ask ourselves why we are cooperating with politicians in league with…fascists and drug traffickers. Let us question how we participated in the demonizing of the Serbs, allowing them to become the world’s pariahs. And let us ask ourselves whether we betrayed the friendship of those who fought and died with us in the Holocaust. Can such betrayal of principle be “good for the Jews?”

The new barbarians are at the gates. This time instead of being dressed in furs and making “bar bar” noises they wrap their heads in rags and shout “Allah Akbar”. And once again, those supposedly looking out for our best interests have decided they can cut a deal and survive what is coming. The rest of us will submit and/or die. No big thing. That’s what we’re here for, history has shown that over and over again.

I can’t help but wonder what cruel god(s) set this loop up. Is this an example of its/their sense of humor? “Hey, the tailless monkeys are about to tear down their pitiful attempts to glorify themselves again. Gather ’round. This ought to be fun. They have nukes now! Ha ha ha!”

Jack Deatherage, Maryland genius

The lone Jewish state will pay the price of a second Albanian state in Kosovo.

A leftist Jew recently wrote a very cogent piece — especially in comparison to the mainstream Right and Left — which exposes the outlaw behavior of the U.S. in Kosovo. While he supports the Kosovo precedent being used today (as promised) to push through a Palestinian state — and I do not support it — his logic is correct. Indeed, it’s the logic that caused me to drop my life in 1999, seeing that the assault on Serbia would be repeated against Israel.

From al-Jazeera, here is an excerpt from Zoltan Grossman’s Sept. 23rd piece “Why Kosovo But Not Palestine?” (omitted are his error-pocked accounts of the 90s conflict and deeper Kosovo history):

In his September 21 speech to the United Nations, President Obama announced that he would veto U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state, because its independence was not a result of a negotiated settlement with Israel. He said that “peace depends upon compromise among people who must live together long after our…votes have been tallied….That’s the lesson of Sudan, where a negotiated settlement led to an independent state. And that is and will be the path to a Palestinian state — negotiations between the parties.”

But President Obama neglected to mention a recent prominent example of unilateral independence, the State of Kosovo, which was recognized by the United States three years ago — even though its statehood did not come about through a negotiated settlement with Serbia. If an independent state of Palestine should only be recognized with Israel’s approval, then why did the U.S. recognize the independence of Kosovo in 2008, over the objections of Serbia? Why recognize Kosovo but not Palestine?

Like Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat first declared Palestinian sovereignty in 1988, Kosovar Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova first declared Kosovo independent in 1990. No foreign powers recognized Kosovo at that time, but 127 UN member states have since recognized the State of Palestine.

Whereas the prevailing mythology in the United States is that Clinton bombed former Yugoslavia to stop ethnic cleansing, people in the Balkans understand that U.S. forces intervened against Serb ethnic cleansers [sic], but intervened on the side of Croat and Albanian ethnic cleansers. After the fighting was over, NATO rubberstamped the results on the ground of these forced removals, and deemed the silence of the graveyard a “lasting peace.”

Kosovo’s parliament redeclared independence in 2008, in a move that was boycotted by Kosovo Serb delegates. So far, 83 [now 85] UN member states (including the U.S.) have recognized Kosovo — 44 fewer than the total members states that have recognized Palestine.

Serbia has a stronger legal case than Israel to object to unilateral independence, and not only because of Kosovo’s expulsion of most Serbs. Kosovo was not only recognized as a part of Yugoslavia before the 1990s, not as a Yugoslav republic of its own, but as a province within the republic of Serbia. On the other hand, the West Bank and Gaza (not to mention Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem) have never been recognized as a part of Israel. In addition, after coming to power, KLA fighters blatantly endangered the security of neighboring states, by seeking to militarily “liberate” ethnic Albanians in western Macedonia and Serbia’s Presevo Valley. [Recall: “Kosovars” have “no designs on any more territory…Kosovo is not a lethal threat to the surrounding countries.” — genius Jonathan Tobin, Commentary magazine]

Serbia and Israel have remarkably similar messages toward the West. They contend that their military occupations [sic] have been justified to prevent a repeat of the genocide directed against them in World War II. (The Palestinians had nothing to do with this genocide, though Croatia and Albania were allied with the Axis Powers.)…

The difference is that the Israeli lobby in Washington is far stronger than the Serbian lobby…The KLA has long been implicated in heroin trafficking…Former KLA commanders, including Prime Minister Hashim Thaci (who led the Croatian Army’s 1995 ethnic cleansing of Serbs) [sic: that was different U.S.-installed Kosovo “prime minister,” Agim Ceku] have even been accused of trafficking in human organs. Kosovo is also a notorious center of sex trafficking in the Balkans, especially as Western troops have been stationed there. Whatever the veracity of any of these particular charges, none of them have prevented U.S. support for Kosovo’s independence.

Senior adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Yasser Abed Rabbo, cited Kosovo’s example for unilateral independence when he said, “Kosovo is not better than us. We are worthy of independence before them and we ask for backing from the United States and European Union.” Meanwhile, Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman categorically refused to recognize Kosovo, claiming that its independence is a “sensitive issue” that should be part of “a really comprehensive and peaceful solution” established through negotiations. So both the Palestinians and Israelis are consistent in their consideration of Kosovo’s example. The party that is not consistent is the United States, which with one hand recognizes a new state, and with the other hand blocks another new state.

The United Nations has not recognized Kosovo because it would set a negative precedent for unilateral secession around the world. Many states in the Arab League and European Union, on the other hand, view Kosovo as a positive precedent for Palestine. Some governments may oppose sovereignty for both Kosovo and Palestine. But the U.S. is virtually alone in its backing for the State of Kosovo, while at the same time hypocritically blocking a State of Palestine.

Americans should start asking President Obama: if Kosovo has a right to exist, why doesn’t Palestine also have a right to exist?

ANSWER: Because the Big, Bad West fears Albanian fury more than it does Palestinian fury. Ergo, Kosovo with 85 recognitions is a “country” (with an EU future!) while Palestine with 127 recognitions is not.

In pointing out Grossman’s “remarkably thorough presentation of the similarities and differences of the statehood claims of Palestinian Arabs and Kosovo Albanians,” Jim Jatras added the following:

What is not noted as explicitly as it might have been is that it was the single-minded, heedless, pigheaded, arrogant insistence of the United States (or rather, of the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations) on the absolute and nonnegotiable “right” of Kosovo Albanians to have an independent state that, to a significant degree, has set the stage for the current predicament and isolation the United States now finds itself in with respect to the Palestinian State issue at the UN today.

Indeed, one often tries to convey the enormity of the political capital expended by the U.S. on this seemingly insignificant tract of land called Kosovo, obscure and forgotten to most Americans, leaving us with a reduced standing and credibility on much bigger issues. Christian prophecies that describe the America of the future as insignificant, as barely a player, will be able to trace that sad fact back to Kosovo. Most immediately, as Jatras points out, it’s Israel that will pay the price of America’s reduced political capital. (Related: See my 2008 piece “How Kosovo will get Israel Nuked“)

But Jatras also offers an interesting legal footnote to Grossman’s piece:

UN General Assembly Resolution 181 of 1947 — which can be considered one of Israel’s founding documents — declared that “independent Arab and Jewish states…shall come into existence in Palestine,” mandating in principle for the creation of two states, though not specifying how (for example, through negotiations) either would come into being — “but in any case not later than 1 October 1948.” Thirty-three states including U.S. voted in favor of the resolution.

By contrast, no resolution of the UN, either of the Security Council or General Assembly, ever has mentioned an independent Kosovo state. Quite to the contrary, the ruling UNSCR 1244 of 1999 specifies Kosovo is an autonomous province of Yugoslavia, succeeded by Serbia.

But since we are an “exceptional” nation, we evidently think we can mandate what we want, violate any laws or rules we don’t care for, and not concern ourselves about the consequences. The United States sowed “Kosovo.” Now we reap “Palestine.”

Below is a related news item from Sept. 21 — and notice that the threat was noticed enough for the Daily Mail to make a headline of it, while the far more constant threats issued by Albanians to get us to Kosovo independence never made the headlines:

“‘The only alternative is violence’: Palestinian fury after Obama urges them to drop U.N. independence bid” (UK Daily Mail, Sept. 21)

Barack Obama triggered fury among Palestinians tonight just hours after he pushed them to withdraw their United Nations independence bid.

Nabeel Shaath, a senior adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said after Mr Obama’s speech to the General Assembly in New York that going to the U.N. is the ‘only alternative to violence’.

During the President’s speech, a Palestinian representative was caught on television shaking his head when Mr Obama said the Palestinians and Israelis must learn to ’see the world through the other’s eyes’.

Hours after Mr Obama’s address, a top Palestinian official said Mr Abbas had no plans to agree to a delayed vote on his bid for membership in the U.N. - rejecting mounting pressure from the U.S. and France.

The Palestinians plan to submit their application on Friday when Mr Abbas is to speak to the General Assembly, but he faced a withering lack of support as the world body opened its annual meeting.

Mr Obama said there could be no ‘shortcuts’ in the quest for Middle East peace – but Mr Abbas’s senior aide Saeb Erekat stated: ‘We will not allow any political manoeuvring on this issue’

With Mr Obama at his side, the Israeli premier said the Palestinian bid to appeal directly to the U.N. was a short cut that ‘will not succeed’. […]

But it worked for the “Kosovars”!

Oh wait, their far shorter cut skipped the UN all together, and simply declared statehood. And that was just fine with us. Apparently, the Palestinians are going about this entirely too civilized-like.

Finally, from late August, we have what would be called a conspiracy theory today but reality tomorrow. Indeed, this self-proclaimed “conspiracy theory” is exactly the scenario that Italy’s former ambassador to Israel, Gian Paolo Cavarai, warned then foreign minister Ariel Sharon of in 1999, when NATO rained fire on Yugoslavia — convincing Sharon to try to convince American-Jewish leaders to oppose the bombing campaign. Sharon did so, but to no avail.

NATO vs Israel: Actions Supports Conspiracy Theory

Are the uprisings in the Middle East all part of a NATO conspiracy against Israel, the only democracy in the region? Confidential Reporter has a basketful of facts, figures and players — including George Soros — to back up the contention. Readers might do well to remember, “A conspiracy theory is just news that you haven’t seen on your TV yet.”

The Conspiracy to Use NATO Against Israel (Foreign Confidential ™, Aug. 28)

A chilling, admittedly rushed early warning from Foreign Confidential™ analysts … upon information and belief, as lawyers like to say.

A once unthinkable conspiracy is afoot — to deploy NATO forces against a strategic U.S. ally that is also the only democracy in the Middle East.

The country is Israel, of course, the tiny Jewish State that has never known a day of peace since its miraculous rebirth in its ancient homeland.

The Conspirators

The three (European-born) authors of the anti-Israel conspiracy are Jimmy Carter’s former National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Obama foreign policy advisor Samantha Power, and her patron, George Soros, the anti-Zionist, leftwing billionaire. Brzezinski, who was the architect of the Carter administration’s intervention in Afghanistan on the side of Islamist warlords — before and in order to bring about the Soviet invasion of that country — and the brain behind the administration’s catastrophic complicity in the Islamist overthrow of Iran’s pro-American, modernizing monarch, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, has advocated U.S. downing of Israeli warplanes if Israel attacks Iran’s nuclear installations without Washington’s approval. Power has proposed using U.S. and United Nations troops to impose a “Responsibility to Protect” (Palestinians) solution on Israel.

The Longterm Objective

The conspiracy’s longterm objective is to use the R2P doctrine and the Kosovo-inspired intervention in Libya’s civil war — on the side of Al Qaeda-connected Islamists — as a precedent for forcing Israel to withdraw to indefensible borders in order to create a “contiguous Palestinian state,” as Obama put it in a recent speech….It is further understood that Hamas will emerge as the ruler of the combined, new entity, and that this inherently irredentist mini-state will eventually merge with a Muslim Brotherhood-ruled country in what is now the Kingdom of Jordan following the inevitable overthrow of the Jordanian monarchy, thus creating an Islamist Palestine on both sides of the river Jordan that will ultimately “liberate” all of Palestine — meaning, the destruction of Israel, whose very existence the conspirators regard as a historic “mistake” and the root cause of regional instability.

The Crucial Player

NATO-member Turkey, Obama’s model Islamocracy, is a crucial player in the plot. Turkey’s Prime Minister recently called for U.N. airstrikes on Israel. More important, Turkey is a major military power and a potential existential threat to Israel, especially given a scenario in which Israel would be forced to defend itself on at least two land fronts–i.e. against Egypt and Jordan/Palestine.

Like their Shiite Islamist Iranian rivals, Turkey’s Sunni Islamist leaders have adopted an imperialist foreign policy….But Turkish imperialism, in contrast with Iranian imperialism, is supported by the Obama administration…hoping to use a Greater Turkey as both a bulwark against a nuclear-armed Iran and a sword against resurgent Russia and rising China and their strengthening ties…. Political and overlapping organized and state Islam is the tool; the vast energy resources of Central Asia, the prize; countering Russia and dismembering China, by stirring rebellion among restive Muslims, priceless! (Click here to read more about this new version of the Great Game.)

The Unknown Factor

Syria is the unknown factor — a potential spoiler whose actions could actually facilitate and accelerate the conspiracy, causing its implementation in the coming months, as shocking as this may seem… Turkey has hinted at intervening in the Muslim Brotherhood-backed, Sunni, majority, Syrian uprising against the…Assad regime; and Obama has explicitly called for Assad’s resignation. When push comes to shove, Syria could attack Israel to get back at the United States and muddy the waters. Damascus and Tehran have already indirectly attacked Israel, using Egyptian Islamist and Gaza-based, Palestinian Islamist terrorists as proxies, in order to distract attention from the Syrian regime’s atrocities and brutality. This year’s cross-border, Nakba-Day riots were similarly orchestrated by Syria and Iran.

An Israeli response to a direct Syrian assault would most likely bring Iranian proxies Hezbollah and Hamas into the conflict, and, quite possibly, Iran, itself, which has repeatedly vowed to “burn Tel Aviv” and bomb Israel’s Negev nuclear reactor. Should Israeli population centers come under heavy missile bombardment, crushing Israeli airstrikes against Gaza and Lebanese targets…would almost certainly result in international condemnation of Israel (the only [sic] nation that is not allowed to defend itself) and thunderous calls for UN action against the Jewish State, setting the stage for another phony R2P intervention.

NATO against Israel?

It’s a horrible thought. But history has time and again shown that the unthinkable can happen.

Recall a posting of mine from the summer, concerning a July 4th Associated Press item saying that at his first hearing in June, Mladic had drawn his finger across his throat toward the Bosnian-Muslims in the public gallery. Knowing that if this had really happened, there would have been wide coverage and footage (since it’s exactly the kind of behavior the media and public look for in the Serb Villain we’ve constructed), a reader named Nikole combed through reports from the June hearing. There was nothing. Except this: an AP item quoting a female Bosnian-Muslim “victim” boasting that she made the menacing gesture toward Mladic.

Nikole called my attention to it, and I eventually wrote letters to the AP and 10 or so publications which ran its concocted wire story, including the CBC, Washington Times, Forbes.com, and Toronto Star.

On September 29th, I heard back from exactly one of those publications, with the following letter from Liz, of The Toronto Star’s Public Editor’s office:

Julia,

Thank you for contacting us about this matter. I apologize for how long it has taken to get back to you on this, but we needed to contact the AP reporter and have only just heard back. We are running a correction on this that should appear tomorrow.

Thank you again.

Based on that short note, I understood that the AP reporter (or the hodgepodge of journalists involved in putting together each AP article) admitted the “error.” The next day Liz wrote me the following:

Julia,

I wanted to provide you with the link to the online correction on this article http://www.thestar.com/opinion/corrections/article/1062642–online-news-correction-for-september-30. Please note, the article did not run in our print version, and therefore we do not run a print correction in this circumstance.

Here is how the correction appeared on The Star’s website:

Online News Correction for September 30
Published On Fri Sep 30 2011

A July 4 article about the war crimes tribunal of Gen. Ratko Mladic incorrectly stated that Mladic drew his finger across his throat while looking at the public gallery. In fact, a person in the gallery made the threatening gesture to Mladic.

Of course, one would have to specifically click on the day’s corrections page to have seen it, but I’ll take it. The same day, I emailed author Peter Brock to let him know that I pulled a “mini Brock” on the AP, still not knowing whether AP ran the correction or not. He replied with the following:

…There it is. The strained dribble of the AP’s reluctant admission in the last few days that last July 4 it “reported erroneously” how Ratko Mladic “made a threatening gesture to the public gallery at an earlier hearing by drawing his finger across his throat.” Buried typically at the bottom of left-hand pages in the print editions under a small one-column headline “Correction” (and amidst garish online “edition” clutter) was that Mladic’s finger hadn’t drawn anything.

…[S]ure enough, the drones at the AP headquarters are caught conjuring the “news” — again. Now, a “correction” — huh?!

You have to take their word for it — if they have one — that they’d now blanketed the same 1,700 newspapers and 5,000-plus TV and radio outlets who’d received the July 4th defamatory report that the ex-general from hell had made a throat-slitting gesture. (Yes, “defamatory” is the correct word when the AP lies deliberately or negligently or, if it involves Serbs, just for kicks!) Well, nobody at the AP had bothered to check out whether the bombastic Mladic had actually done that back on June 3 at his first appearance before the International Criminal Tribunal at The Hague.

The damning statement appeared as the 19th paragraph in The Denver Post’s July 4th AP story, under Mike Corder’s byline: “At his first hearing in June, Mladic enraged war survivors in the public gallery by looking at them and drawing his finger across his throat.”

The Toronto Star carried the same July 4th report’s fabrication in its 21st graf; The Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier had it in the 24th graf; and all the rest of country’s dailies and AP members — from The Yakima (Washington) Herald-Republic to the Miami Herald — ran it in about the same position, topping most of their World News or International News sections if not on the front pages. And they all ran this week’s de facto retraction in small inside “news-holes.”

Now it gets fun.

When Corder’s July 4th story went out from the AP, there must have been more than a few news editors around the country - and even at the AP itself - wondering why they couldn’t remember seeing a photo or some video with the pugnacious Serb general’s vulgar behavior in the Dutch courtroom. With all the available video that covered his every twitch, scratch, and blink of the eyes - nobody had bothered to see if he’d really made the gesture of stabbing someone’s windpipe?

Nobody had telephoned Nerma Jelacic, the Tribunal’s spokesperson, to ask for courtroom video from June 3rd showing Mladic wielding his make-believe blade? (Bosnia-native Jelacic, the popular courthouse pin-up with her made-for-TV blouses…was hired in 2009 and instantly established herself as a news camera-favorite compared to all her predecessors combined!)

What, no tape? No stills of the mad general, aka “The Butcher of Srebrenica,” pretending to carve up the air in front of him? That’s prime tabloid, front-page stuff! Even after a month!

And not one television news producer raising a protest?!

So, the majority of daily newspapers (and/or their online editions) that carried Corder’s July 4th AP story suddenly ran this “correction”:

“THE HAGUE, Netherlands — In a story July 4 about an appearance at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal by Gen. Ratko Mladic, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Mladic made a threatening gesture to the public gallery at an earlier hearing by drawing his finger across his throat. At the (June 3) earlier hearing, a person in the gallery said she made the threatening gesture to Mladic.”

And, nobody thought it might be newsworthy to find out whether Corder’s claim in his July 4 report about Mladic on June 3 was true? Two and three months later?

Where is the Poynter Institute, or FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting), and all the rest of the “media watchdog” groups? At the news trough, of course, with all the rest of the Pulitzer pimps, CNN prompter-readers, newsroom “burn-outs” turned J-school instructors, government flacks, ad-agency spin-specialists, and the like.

Oh, and it should be added that paying “members” of the AP (i.e. local newspapers and TV networks and stations) never buck about running AP “corrections” for blown reports and coverage that appear in the hometown Bugle and Gazette. No editor assigns a reporter to get THAT story “behind the story.” Classic protection racket stuff.

Finally, nobody remembers any of the networks or local TV-radio reading the AP “correction” about the Mladic story. After all, what “goes out on the air-waves” is …gone.

Curiously, Mike Corder’s byline may have been a composite of several other AP reporters or stringers, and who knows how many foreign and local “editors” who may have had their hands in “his” story. (The phenomenon is not strange to a legion of news organization correspondents during the 1990s and the breakup and covering various wars in ex-Yugoslavia. Many said at the time their bylines appeared mysteriously on reports they could not recognize but were published in Western newspapers.)

Corder’s June 3 and July 4 reports included tags that others had “contributed” to the AP’s Mladic stories, including Dusan Stojanovic in Belgrade, Serbia; Amer Cohadzic and Sabina Niksic in Sarajevo, Toby Sterling in Amsterdam, Arthur Max in The Hague, Jovana Gec in Belgrade, Eldar Emric and Radul Radovanovic in Bosnia.

Corder has been the AP’s principle correspondent — or most visible byline — at The Hague for almost two decades. Naturally, he hasn’t explained anything because the AP wouldn’t let him even if he is asked. And the AP isn’t saying because nobody is asking.

The attitude of free-wheeling journalism as it applies to Serbs and Serbia is that they’re all libel-proof. Say and write what you want. No questions asked.

Indeed, after ignoring my letter directly to them, the AP printed the correction only after a customer, the Toronto Star, forced them to look into the situation. Here were the others who ran the correction (research thanks to Peter Brock):

The damning statement…was used on July 4th by most big AP clients: A Who’s Who list of the country’s big dailies who likewise ran the nearly identical version blared it prominently above the fold of their World News or International News sections if not the front pages. And they lined up again last week to run the de facto retraction in small inside “news-holes” — including (but not exclusively) The Washington Post, The Seattle Times, The Miami Herald, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, The Boston Globe, The Kansas City Star, The New Orleans Times-Picayune, and a sampling of medium-size dailies like The (Tucson) Arizona Star, The Corpus Christi Caller-Times, The Tacoma News-Tribune, The Fort Wayne (Indiana) Journal Gazette, and others. (See below links)

The Washington Post (Since removed)

The Seattle Times

The Miami Herald (Since removed)

The San Francisco Chronicle

The San Francisco Examiner (Since removed)

The Boston Globe

The Kansas City Star (Since removed)

The New Orleans Times-Picayune

The (Tucson) Arizona Star (Since removed)

The Corpus Christi Caller-Times (Since removed)

The Tacoma News-Tribune (Since removed)

The Fort Wayne (Indiana) Journal Gazette

And the correction is also already gone from the AP’s site. Other news outlets who ran the correction:

MSNBC

Yahoo! News

CBSNews.com (Since removed)

Forbes.com

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Comcast Cable

Newsday (Since removed)

Denver Post

Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Since removed)

Winona Daily News (Since removed)

Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (Since removed)

Las Vegas Sun (Since removed)

WSFA News 12 - Montgomery, Alabama

Hawaii News Now

Washington Examiner (Since removed)

Buffalo News

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

KSL (Salt Lake City)

Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus, AL) (Since removed)

Oakland Tribune

St. Louis Today (Since removed)

GoErie.com

Rapid City Journal (Since removed)

KTAR.com Radio (Phoenix)

KNDU-NBC (Yakima, WA)

Santa Cruz Sentinel

NECN.com (Boston)

Charlotte Observer (NC) (Since removed)

Mercury News (Silicon Valley)

Omaha World-Herald

The Fresno Bee (Since removed)

NOLA.com (New Orleans)

San Luis Obispo Tribune (Since removed)

Chippewa Herald (Since removed)

San Antonio Express-News

Macon Telegraph (GA) (Since removed)

Middleton Journal (OH)

Fort Mill Times (SC) (Since removed)

Beaumont Enterprise (TX)

WTOP.com (D.C.)

Columbus Telegram (NE) (Since removed)

Gadsden Times (AL) (Since removed)

WRIC-ABC (Richmond, VA)

This was my letter:

Dear Editor,
There is either a grave error, or a malicious projection, in an AP article you printed, titled “Shouting, chaos, then kicked out: Mladic war crimes trial continues,” giving birth on July 4th to a new lie about America’s favorite safe villain, the Serbs. As a responsible reader, I can’t allow this to quietly enter the lexicon of intractable fabrications and inversions about the Balkans.

Please note this part of the AP report you published:

THE HAGUE, Netherlands - …Mladic’s actions in court drew anger from survivors of the 1992-95 Bosnian war….At his first hearing in June, Mladic enraged war survivors in the public gallery by looking at them and drawing his finger across his throat.

I did a search for this taking place at the June hearing, knowing it’s the sort of kernel that the press and public live for and would jump to disseminate — if it happened. BUT THERE WAS NO MENTION OF THIS OCCURRING — anywhere. It mysteriously just appears in the above July report as having happened in June. But look what does come up when searching for news about the June hearing. And it’s also by the AP, which means AP writers either didn’t bother to check their own archives, or didn’t understand them: “Frail but defiant Mladic refuses to enter plea to ‘obnoxious’ genocide indictment” by Arthur Max (June 3):

…Orie scheduled a new hearing for July 4. If Mladic again refuses to plead to the charges, “not guilty” pleas will be entered on his behalf. As the hearing ended, rape victim Bakira Hasecic shouted from the gallery: “Monster man. Butcher.”

Kada Hotic, who has relatives who were killed at Srebrenica, said Mladic taunted her when she threatened him.

“I told him he will pay the price for murdering my son,” she said, adding that she drew her finger across her throat. Mladic could not hear her, but she said he gestured back, holding his thumb and forefinger close together to indicate she was insignificant. “And I said, ‘No, you are this small,’” she said.

So it wasn’t the Serb who threatened the Muslim, but the Muslim who threatened the Serb. If all of the uncorroborated and derivative pack-media reporting in the Balkans hadn’t been done in precisely this inverted and projected fashion, we might actually have a less cartoonish understanding of what happened there.

(See UPDATE at bottom)
*************
Doubtful. But the rest of Hollywood came out in force to celebrate the man who raped Miss America.

…Onetime presidential guru Dick Morris has noticed something reviewers had missed in Michael Isikoff’s new book, “Uncovering Clinton: A Reporter’s Story.” It’s this tidbit from page 256 about Clinton’s one-night stand with former Miss America Elizabeth Ward Gracen: “According to Gracen’s later account, Clinton flirted with her — then invited her to the apartment of one of his friends at the Quawpaw Towers.

They had sex that night. It was rough sex. Clinton got so carried away that he bit her lip, Gracen later told friends. But it was consensual.”

Appearing Tuesday night on Fox News Channel’s Hannity & Colmes, Morris noted, “There’s a very important revelation in [Isikoff’s] book that hasn’t received a lot of attention.”

Morris paraphrased the passage quoted above and then pointed out that Clinton bit Gracen’s lip, “… just as he’d bit Juanita Broaddrick’s lip, according to Juanita Broaddrick. And [Gracen’s] statement was made before Juanita Broaddrick spoke.”

…Morris added, “Now if there was a rape trial of Bill Clinton right now and this woman, Gracen, was called as a witness and confirmed the M.O., that would be a) admissible and b) very decisive.”

What about Gracen’s claim, as Isikoff reports, that her Clinton sex was consensual?

The author sources his lip-biting account to Gracen’s friends, at least one of whom has weighed in on the rape question. Gracen confidante Judy Stokes was interviewed by Paula Jones investigator Rick Lambert in December 1997.

Snippets from Stokes’ Jones case deposition have appeared in the press, including an account of a tearful Gracen coming to Stokes after her Clinton encounter, saying the sex was “something she did not want to have happen.”

Last month, Lambert elaborated on Stokes’ version for NewsMax.com’s Carl Limbacher:

“I talked to Judy Stokes for an hour and a half,” said Lambert. “At first she was reluctant to burn her bridges with Liz. But I finally asked, ‘Do you believe Clinton raped her?’ She said, ‘Absolutely. He forced her to have sex. What do you call that?’” Lambert concluded, “Stokes was totally convinced it was rape.” (See Archives: “The Jane Doe Case Files - Part 1″)

In April 1998, after months of eluding subpoenas from Jones lawyers, Gracen finally came out of the closet to the New York Daily News. Yes, she said, she and Clinton did have sex — after denying it for the previous six years. But it was consensual, Gracen insisted.

Rather than deny the charge, White House spinmeisters were mum — almost as if they were relieved by this version of Gracen’s story.

Most reporters, including Isikoff, prefer to accept Gracen’s public rape denial over what friends say she told them back in 1982. That’s exactly what happened when news of Juanita Broaddrick’s rape charge first hit the press.

Gracen’s April 1, 1998, rape denial came just three days after NBC’s Lisa Myers first reported that Juanita Broaddrick had told four friends in Arkansas that Clinton had raped her. Broaddrick herself had denied the assault in an affidavit filed with Paula Jones’ lawyers nearly three months earlier.

With the exception of NBC’s Myers, no one in the major media thought this issue was worth pursuing. Most reporters still don’t.

Perhaps that’s why we haven’t heard more from Elizabeth Ward Gracen.

Newsmax, April 17, 1999

…Words fail. Things fall apart. The president’s apologists made the expected denials, but no one believed them, and even Geraldo Rivera had the grace to look embarrassed. Juanita Broaddrick had caused a problem. The New York Times, for one, tried to ignore it, although later it tried to make amends. It said in an editorial that Bill Clinton in his past confessions had presented himself as a “recreational philanderer,” but now it seemed he might be “a serial masher or worse.” The wording was close to whimsical — masher had a quaint ring to it — but you could excuse the Times for that. Some things are almost too painful to talk about, and the Times, and all the rest of the press, was having a problem. How do you deal with the idea of having a rapist in the White House? Or must you deal with it at all?

…None of this is promising. It should be obvious by now that Bill Clinton…will, as always, do anything to save himself when he gets in trouble. On the day the Broaddrick story broke in the Journal, the most interesting, and appalling, item on the evening news broadcast was a report by David Martin, the CBS Pentagon correspondent. The White House, he said, wanted to bomb Serbia, even though our NATO allies opposed it. It is to think the unthinkable that the proposed bombing had anything to do with diverting attention from Juanita Broaddrick, of course. The thought is too overwhelming. But it is also unthinkable that we have a rapist in the White House. Who could possibly believe that, either?

John Corry, American Spectator, April 1999

Imagine what it must be like to be one of Bill Clinton’s victims, condemned for the rest of your life to see him celebrated by celebrities and others. You never get away from him. And I thought these artists were supposed to be sensitive. Seems a bit callous to me. It should also cause us some pause the next time a Clinton-loving celebrity promotes a human rights cause. They certainly couldn’t care less about the human rights of the man’s victims, sexual or otherwise. Then again, how much can one expect from a world in which Ron Brown’s son plays golf with the man who may have ordered his father’s death? And in which Newsmax is now best friends with Clinton?

And if one thinks that all the good done by the Clinton Foundation and Global Initiative make up for his crimes and transgressions, one would think wrong. The clinical term in psychology for Clinton’s post-presidential identity as charity superstar is ‘overcompensation.’ In spiritual terms, he is quite deliberately attempting to build afterlife capital. He is so used to fooling everyone on earth, he believes he can also fool God.

Elizabeth Ward Gracen has always insisted that the rough one-night-stand — in which Clinton repeated the lip-biting tactic used to preclude the prey from pulling away — was consensual. But of course she wants to live (and of course she knew what kind of picture would inevitably be painted of her, given that she put herself in the position of being alone in an apartment with him). So about the mutual consent, one wonders whether the lady doth protest too much. Especially since the admission of the affair had started out as a six-year denial. Below is a 1999 NY Post article on the matter. Note that, once again, Clinton called in a favor to Croatia:

Elizabeth Gracen: I was a victim of Clinton’s reign of terror (NY Post, Sept. 27, 1998)

by Steve Dunleavy

…In the fall of 1983, when Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas, he invited Elizabeth to a place called Quapaw Tower in Little Rock.

“I believe the apartment was owned by one of his friends,” she told me in her trailer in Toronto.

She had earlier used the word “rendezvous,” but quickly corrected herself.

“To use the word rendezvous would give the impression it was romantic, but it was far from romantic,” she said.

Rumor mills suggested Bubba forced himself on her.

“No, not true. It was consensual. I was married at the time, and so was he. No, I am not proud of it.”

How did it all start?

“One of my friends, a girlfriend, was a baby sitter for the Clintons, and she introduced me to him back in 1979. And that was about it. I was Miss Arkansas at the time.

“Then in Hot Springs, I did a public-service announcement as Miss America. He was there.

“He offered me a lift back in his limo, and he flirted with me.”

At that stage in the interview, tears well in her eyes, and she says to her boyfriend, an investment banker: “I really should not be saying these things.”

We talk again. Composed, polite but not feeling too good, she continues.

“We did have that night in that apartment. Maybe we were there for two hours. It is not something I am proud of.”

What happened next, come 1992, was vintage Clinton.

“Everybody in Arkansas, just about everybody - and I was brought up in Russellville, Ark. - knew about Gennifer Flowers and other women. I mean it really was common knowledge.”

But whispers got out. Elizabeth had been with him for one night. The machine got going. Telephone calls, some friendly, some not, some downright threatening.

“In 1992, I came out and denied that night together with Clinton,” she said.

“I believe if I came out and admitted it, he would never have been president. And nobody wants that sort of responsibility. [Speak for yourself, girlfriend.]

“I learned later that movie director Harry Thomason [a Clinton friend] and White House big-wig Mickey Kantor sat down with my agent, Miles Levy, and worked out some kind of a deal that would have me deny anything to do with Bill Clinton.”

Whatever was said that day in a deli in Los Angeles between Thomason, Kantor and agent Levy, things started looking up for a pretty girl who was struggling with commercials here and there.

“I suddenly got a very good acting job, a mini-series in Croatia, of all places,” the 37-year-old said with a slight smile.

“Then I got another good, long-lasting role in Brazil. I thought, well at last they have recognized me. I think I was a little naive.

“I knew nothing about my agent talking to Clinton’s friends, but this year, late last year, I started getting calls that made things fall into place.

“Some friendly calls telling me to get out of town to dodge a subpoena from [independent counsel] Kenneth Starr. Some nasty calls saying my character was about to be assassinated…I hired lawyer Bruce Cutler and investigators.

“Yes, I was physically scared. We are talking about the presidency of the country here, and between the friendly calls on one hand telling me to get out of town for my own good and then talking about smear tactics on the other, I got scared. Yes, physically scared.

“There were always veiled threats. Always. I did nothing wrong except one stupid night a long time ago. But now this last year has become very frightening.”

Today, “Raven” debuts in New York, where Elizabeth plays Amanda, a sword-wielding immortal avenger.

“I wanted Cutler to play a cameo role where he defends me, but I would like Clinton to play a cameo role.

“Then in the series, I could cut his head off with my sword,” she added with a laugh.

“Monica was taken in by the president. Same charm, same cuddly little boy. Not true. How can any world leader believe him? Really.

“Every week on the show I battle evil. But all those evil people have a charming side. Have I made my point?”

Tragically, Elizabeth, you have.

Another Post article from the era: “Actress Who Claimed Sex with Bill Says IRS is Hounding Her” (Jan. 13, 1999)

…Elizabeth Ward Gracen, star of the “Highlander” TV series, has been deluged with dozens of letters from the tax man - claiming she didn’t file returns and threatening to seize her wages and property.

The threat of an IRS probe came from the same anonymous caller who once warned Gracen she was about to get a subpoena and should get out of town, Vento said.

The first call came around Christmas 1997, when Gracen was at her parents’ home in Little Rock, Ark., he said.

At the time, Jones’ lawyers were trying to get Gracen to testify about her relationship with Clinton for the sex-harassment suit.

Gracen wouldn’t have given the call a second thought - except that the next day, after she’d left on a trip to Las Vegas, the subpoena was served in Little Rock.

Over the next few months, Gracen - who had publicly denied an affair with Clinton in 1992 - was on the road, dodging the process-servers.

In the spring, she recanted her six-year-old denial and admitted she and Clinton had once had sex. By summer, she was in Canada, filming her new show, “Highlander: The Raven.”

In an interview with the Toronto Star about her show, she also talked about how her friends and family were intimidated and how she feared for her safety after the Clinton connection surfaced.

Within weeks, Gracen got another phone call at an unlisted number in Canada, and she recognized the voice from the call warning her about the subpoena eight months before, Vento said.

“They say, ‘You should really keep your mouth shut about Bill Clinton and go on with your life. You could be discredited. You could have an IRS investigation,’” the lawyer recounted.

A few weeks later, the letters from the IRS started coming in, sent to her parents’ house, which is not listed on her tax filings, Vento said.

UPDATE:
For good measure, Bono’s last song was “Miss Sarajevo,” accompanied by a vomit-inducing speech about the “sophisticated” and “complex” and “multicultural” city of Sarajevo which was under “siege” and was “about to become rubble” if not for Bill Clinton. Credulous cause-celebre sluts like Bono were tailor-made for the Clintons. Is there one par-for-the-course cause shoved down our throats that he hasn’t swallowed in full? The whole point about Sarajevo is that Westward sophistication and complexity were not the direction the Muslims wanted to take it in. Witness it today. Or, go back to the 1984 Olympics in this “jewel” of a city, where events took place in the new, state-of-the-art sports complex called Zetra, named for Zelena Transversala — Green Corridor (of Islam). For someone to still be serenading Muslims at this point, that’s just…special. The video is below, but to hear Bono’s embarrassingly standard Sarajevo speech, see the second-to-last video posted here.

From D Perich:

Julia,
Please keep up the good work and do not tire…My last name is of Serbian origin because my father’s parents emigrated from there about 1920. He was born here. I never considered myself anything but an American. When I read the news of “genocide” going on there, I was horrified and glad I had no connections with my father’s heritage.

I began reading your comments a few years ago and was at first skeptical and confused. When 9/11 happened, I recognized that the Islamicist enemy had adopted a Jujitsu warfare strategy. Jujitsu, in case anyone is unfamiliar with the term, is one of the martial arts that specializes in using an opponent’s own strengths and inertia against him.

Islam is using this philosophy at every opportunity and not only with our planes, but with our media and politics to get us to fall on our faces. We seem to oblige them over and over again.

Anyway, I began to see these methods in your descriptions of the Albanian agression against the Serbs and in what I read about Hezbolah and Israel. It all began to make sense.

Don’t become discouraged. It may seem as though your words are in vain at times. Millions might die before this is resolved, but make no mistake…You will have a great impact on the future of the world.

And from Dejan D:

Dear Julia Gorin

I would like to say that I have been reading your articles since the death of Milosevic with a bitter content, I will try to explain.

Firstly; I believe that the reason why most western countries supported non-Serbian countries during the collapse of Yugoslavia was not because the westerners were more sympathetic towards Catholics or Muslims but rather because they understood why they fought. It was quite simple; Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia (later Albanians in “Kosova”) wanted independence, everyone understood that but they didn’t understand why Serbia, Republika Srpska and Srpska Krajina fought. Very few in the west tried to understand the history behind the Serbs’ will and reason to fight. They saw it as 3 groups of people wanting independence and one group of people not allowing that. That is my theory as too why western media was so one-sided during the Balkan wars.

[Note: Dejan is only partly right; there was a very blatant and admitted pro-Muslim bent, along with myriad other factors.]

I would like to thank you and other non-Serbian authors who have written on behalf of Serbs, to understand why Yugoslavia fell apart but unfortunately it is way too late, 16 years of anti-Serb propaganda will not change the minds of anyone who already believes in it. I have grown up within a society that accepts it as a norm; almost everyone in the west, including several Serbs in Serbia have a subconscious Serbophobic outlook on anything that deals with the Serbian people. As much as I respect you trying to right the wrongs of your country and others, it is pointless and you might as well stop, no one will listen.

Regards, Dejan D.

From Jovan P:

Dear Julia Gorin,

I’m very happy and encouraged to see that you stand for the truth better than most ethnic Serbs, as I am, do. It particularly gives me delight to see, hear and read that you…have no prejudices regarding Serbs, their past, their characters and their problems. I would like to thank you for that!

The thing that I don’t understand is why hold the Serb side? Why inform the world about the genocides in Croatia? …I mean, from the Serbs you won’t (I’m pretty sure) get money, nor financial support, nor will you be elected as a congressman, nor will you get great media attention, and especially in some tomorrow’s Democratic government, they SURELY won’t pick you for an “expert on Balkans”. And besides, as you wrote, the Serbs are the losing side.

The only thing you can get, is gratitude and a clear conscience. Tell me, is it worth it?

From Predrag:

Dear Julia:

I started to visit your site on daily basis and can’t believe (for you being american) how good is your understanding of balkans and how you succeed to present it on such a funny way.

For first few months I was sure that you have some serbian background for understanding balkan situation that well:) Of course it takes only a common logic and basic history knowledge of balkans to understand it, but if you live in western country it’s unusual to think about such a matter that much…

I am 33yo serb from Belgrade and watching what happens on balkans since 1988 when it all start and I still having a problem to understand how things gone this bad for Serbia.

West going to give our land to muslims which look and live like some medieval muslim tribe. That is not something that started just yesterday.

In 1997 I was in US embassy in Belgrade to get visa for your (must say great) country. And it was something that takes me to sit in waiting room two days for 8 hrs; I was even asked to bring some photos taken during my work as a proof that I am a waiter (I was going to Miami, FL to embark cruise ship). On the other side there was counter No7 (last one)…and it was only for woman that wear that “dimije” or “shalvare” (traditional pants of muslim woman) on their legs and scarfs on their heads (in August), basically they looked like they come straight from tehran.

Those womens are just coming in and going out like waiting room don’t mean nothing for them.

After few days I got my visa and in those two days I saw dozens of them — asian-look people getting their visas with no waiting at all!!!

Now, I wonder why it happens that way, it’s hard for me to believe that they are more desirable to come to USA than me or some other serb that looks just like any other white american.

Also, I can’t believe that someone in USA government have goal to make Serbia, which supposed to be natural ally of USA (it didn’t needed CIA to make our two countries ally in both world wars), enemy of USA…I am kind of “americanophile” (from a chetnik family)

…Anyway, I enjoy your site very much and want to thank you for doing it. Scuz my english…

Sincerely,
Peca

Just a short follow-up on my post last week titled “Imagine a Kosovo-Albanian Prime Minister from ‘Srbica,’” whose point was that Kosovo’s Albanian “prime minister” says he’s from “Skenderaj,” which is the Albanized name for Srbica (after the rightful owners of Kosovo). There were also some points about Albanian revisionism in general. Further to that issue, I heard from Nebojsa Malic:

It is generally fascinating how the Albanians are trying to obliterate Serb toponyms in Kosovo with Albanian words that have no meaning.

So while “Kosovo” comes from Kosovo Polje (Blackbird Field), “Kosova” means absolutely nothing.

But there are other examples as well:

Pristina (Srb) = Boils (”prist”); Albanian “Prishtine” = nothing
Vucitrn (Srb.) = Wolfbramble; Vushtrri (Alb) = nothing
Pec (Srb) = Oven, stove. Albanian “Peje” [or Peja] = nothing
Djakovica (Srb) = Student town. Albanian “Gjakova” = nothing
Mitrovica (Srb) = Dimitri’s town (Mitar is Serbian derivation of Greek Demetrios, like the Russian Dimitri). Albanian “Mitrovice” = you’ve guessed it, nothing.
Orahovac (Srb) = Walnut town. Albanian “Rahovec” = nothing
etc. etc.

The ONLY exceptions are Srbica (”Skenderaj”) and Urosevac (”Ferizaj”).

Srbica was renamed after Skenderbeg - however, there is documentary evidence that his mother was a Serb and that his father and brother are buried in an Orthodox cemetery (on Mt. Athos, no less), so his “reversion” to Catholicism is more properly a “conversion” instead. Either way, he has nothing whatsoever in common with the modern Albanian nationalism or ideology (founded as they are on Albanians’ role as Ottoman enforcers in centuries past, whereas Skenderbeg fought AGAINST the Ottomans and alongside the Serbs!). That’d be like Mahmoud Abbas invoking Crusader King Baldwin I of Jerusalem as a “Palestinian hero”…

According to the heavily Albanian-edited Wikipedia page, Urosevac was the name given to a village previously called “Ferizovici” or “Ferizovo”, after an inn (”hotel”) owned by an Albanian named Feriz. It was renamed Urosevac after the liberation of Kosovo in 1912. So Ferizaj, the Albanian version of the name (Ferizoviç in Turkish), might be considered legit.

And from S.J., about the same post from last week:

Well put. But Skenderbeg is a perfect embodiment of what Albanians seem to be (forgive me for generalising, but when everyone in sight and known history, behaves a certain way, I can do little more than assume it a national characteristic). He [was] an opportunist, with little regard for what most people hold very dear (i.e. religion). He switched to Islam the moment it became advantageous, and then back to Catholicism (assuming he was Catholic previously, but there isn’t enough hard evidence to conclude anything, really)…That seems to have been the Albanian attitude as well…Catholics when it suits them, Orthodox when that is advantageous, and also Muslim, when that’s in fashion. Never mind that they ALL drink [un-Muslim], and do just about everything no TRUE Muslim would. They’re stuck in the realm of fairy-tales and revisionist history, but who can blame them? What they know of their history is what is written by others, and given that they lived in the hills, while all other locals [preferred] to farm land, means that there was little contact, and little to write. They claim to be descendants of Illyrian tribes, but this is based on absolutely NOTHING apart from them living in the same region.

In some ways it’s rather sad, and under normal circumstances I WOULDN’T DREAM of mentioning something like this, which is bound to be hurtful to them, but these are NOT normal circumstances! […]

Given that we do hear much about the supposed Illyrian origins of Albanians, I think they would more properly be called Illbanians.

A post script from Nebojsa about those Illyrian “roots”: “That was just a fanciful Austrian theory manufactured at the end of the 19th century to facilitate the creation of the Albanian nation and state. Try as they might, they can’t prove the Illyrian thesis. (See here: Illyrian and Other Myths)”

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