I should have included with this blog about Poland-Croatia love, this recent brief piece by Rodney Atkinson, head of FreeNations.com, summarizing the meaning and horror of Croatia’s entry into the EU:
CROATIA - FASCIST ENOUGH FOR THE EUROPEAN UNION
While Germany and Austria have just blocked Serbia’s entry into the European Union Croatia was admitted in a ceremony at which David Cameron shook the hand of Croat leaders, whose country by any democratic or moral standards is a disgrace.
Serbia and the former Yugoslavia, in an exact reprise of the fascist 1940s, have been systematically attacked and dismembered by Germany and Austria since the 1980s. Germany, without the support of other countries, the EU or the UN, joined the Vatican in illegally recognising Croatia in 1991 which led to that State effectively declaring war on Yugoslavia (of which it was a constitutional part) and on Serbs in Croatia. Reuters reported the Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal as saying “The first refugees in the Yugoslav conflict were the 40,000 Serbs who fled Croatia after a constitutional amendment defined them as an alien minority.” In this they had the full support of Germany and the Vatican - whose funds, liberally deployed among American PR firms helped to spread pro Croatia propaganda - so avidly absorbed by inter alia the BBC.
This was followed by the 1995 murder of [thousands] and ethnic cleansing of 300,000 Serbs from the so called “Krajina” by the Croats while NATO looked on. Today Serbia has been forced to hand over most of its historic Christian orthodox territory of Kosovo to Albanian Muslims and 1 million Serb refugees have sought refuge inside Serbia. When Alice Mahon the Labour MP visited former Serb villages in the Krajina in 1999 she said: “I can only conclude that the Croatian government is aiming for an ethnically pure state. The international community is tolerating these openly racist policies.” She should have added “religious policies”.
This suffering is not enough for Germany which has managed to achieve precisely what Nazis and Fascists achieved in the 1940s - the break up of Yugoslavia and the promotion of Croatia - then and now the most blatantly fascist state in Europe. German Nazis helped to arm and train Croat fascist gangs in the 1990s…
Two Croat Generals recently convicted at the Hague Tribunal of the most hideous crimes during the mass ethnic cleansing in the Krajina have been declared innocent by the Croatian Roman Catholic Church and the Croat Government has mobilised its political and diplomatic forces in their defence…
Nor must we forget the grotesque and frequent fascist demonstrations by the Croat people. At a Croatia Italy football match in Livorno, Italy the Croat fans formed a Swastika on the terraces. The UEFA representative at the match later warned:
“We have had many problems with this in Eastern Europe before and Croatia have been among the worst offenders. Because of the problems we have encountered with Croatian teams in the past, they have been warned future sanctions will be much heavier than any which have been imposed for previous incidents.”
Croatia’s most popular pop star Marko Perkovic calls himself Thompson (after the machine gun used to murder Serbs in the 1990s) and his fans give mass Nazi salutes. A 2007 Zagreb concert featuring “Thompson” was attended by the Croatian Education Minister, Dragan Primorac. Nor should we ignore the disgraceful attempt by the Croatian political establishment today to minimise or even deny the fact that hundreds of thousands of Jews, gypsies and Serbs were exterminated at the Jasenovac camp during the Second World War.
It is no myth that in 1997 Croatians greeted German troops with their right arms raised in a Nazi salute as they chanted “Heil Hitler,” as reported in The Washington Times at the time. Around the same time Newsweek reported that when German tanks passed through Croatia as part of the NATO deployment to the Balkans, “Croatians greeted the Germans with the straight-armed fascist salute,” an expression of solidarity dating back to the 1940s alliance between Croatian fascists and the Nazis.
Croatia is once again flying the same fascist checkerboard flag that it flew in 1941, when Hitler recognized Croatia as an independent nation for being his loyal ally. The map of the Balkans drawn by the Nazis in 1942 is almost identical to today’s map of the Balkans created by NATO. As A.M. Rosenthal wrote in “Back From the Grave” in the New York Times on April 15, 1997: … “In World War II, Nazi Germany had no executioner more willing, no ally more passionate, than the Fascists of Croatia. They are returning, 50 years later, from what should have been their eternal grave, the defeat of Nazi Germany. The Western allies who dug that grave with the bodies of their servicemen have the power to stop them, but do not.”
In modern Croatia many streets bear the names of 1940s fascists and there are vicious attacks on Serbs and non Catholics. In April 2006 two reporters for a Serbian newspaper were beaten up in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Their Serbian accent was picked up while they were speaking to each other. They said they were lucky to be alive. In 2000 The Washington Post reported the following graffiti in Croatia: “We Croats do not drink wine, we drink the blood of Serbs from Knin”.
Even Croats have been persecuted if they had a history of anti- fascism. In the Guardian of 14th July 2003 Julia Pascal reported:
“I meet J, a 76-year-old Croatian who, at 15, ran to the partisans. This war heroine fought Ustashe, Italians and Germans and still has a body full of shrapnel fragments. President Franjo Tudjman withdrew the partisans’ pensions for six months during the 1991 war and her husband, once Tito’s bodyguard, starved to death.”
In 2008 a well known Croat journalist Ivo Pukanic was murdered by a car bomb. He joined the ranks of other journalists who had been murdered or beaten up for investigating the murky links between Croat criminals, politicians and businessmen.
“German Europe”, which (having destroyed the democratic nationhood of 26 other countries in the European Union is now economically strangling to death the nations in the Euro-zone) sees all this as natural and normal. Indeed it usually is on the Continent when they dominate it - there are only two fundamental gears, communist or fascist. Either way authoritarian anti democratic Statism and corporatism is the order of the day. Free trading democratic nation states are anathema to the German (and French) political class. Britain is now constitutionally and politically trapped in this hideous “European Union” (based largely on the Nazis 1942 plans for a “European Economic Community” utilising the same strategies and similar structures) because the British collaborators and appeasers of the 1980s and 1990s were not countered by leading Parliamentarians - although they were, vociferously, by many of us outside Parliament.
So now Croatia, the most overt representative of that 1940s fascism which it has extended by its recent behaviour into the 21st century is welcomed ceremoniously as a member of the European Union while Serbia, whose people have suffered grievously and with a history of anti fascism and as an ally of Britain and the USA, is rejected. If the British political class still does not understand what they have done then they are guilty not just of gross incompetence but of a crime of historical dimensions for which a terrible price is being paid
I realize they’re both Catholic, and Poland is happy to have a fellow Catholic nation enter the EU, but sometimes that’s just not enough for a common foundation. At least it shouldn’t be. Of course, that’s only if you know — or care — what the Croatian strain of Catholicism is like. And most people won’t know until I can convince Eli Roth to film the next installment of the sadistic, gory thriller “Hostel” in Croatia, which is a bit more apt than his previous choice of Slovakia. Anyway, upon Croatia’s welcome to the EU this month, Poland was apparently beside itself:
Accession Treaty with Croatia signed by Donald Tusk/photo by Grzegorz Roginski /Chancellery of the Prime Minister
Accession Treaty with Croatia Signed – Dobrodošli (Dec. 12)
“Welcome to the EU” - said Prime Minister Donald Tusk to the representatives of Croatia at the ceremony marking the signing of the Croatia’s EU accession treaty.
The treaty was signed on behalf of Croatia by President Ivo Josipović and Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor, on behalf of the EU by the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, Prime Minister Donald Tusk and representatives of other EU Member States.
“We have behind us an exhausting discussion at a crucial moment for the history of the Union. We are looking for a way out of the crisis, which has been so severely felt all over the world, particularly in the euro area, and yet the decision of Croatia and the hopes and dreams of other countries applying to join the EU shows that the EU has a profound significance” - Donald Tusk said.
The Head of the Polish government remarked that those who remember when they themselves entered the EU were well aware what a moving moment it was for the leaders of the country and its citizens. “Croats are entitled to be greatly satisfied, because their way into Europe was more difficult than many of today’s EU members” - he added.
“It’s a day of joy for Croatia and the European Union” - said European Council President Herman Van Rompuy in congratulating the leaders of Croatia for their courage in striving for membership. “The EU acts as a powerful magnet for peaceful change in our surroundings” - stressed the European Council President.
“The success of Croatia is a success for Europe and its peace policy, which is the strongest foundation for a united Europe” - said Croatian President Ivo Josipović at the ceremony.
Croatia applied for EU membership in 2003; formal negotiations began in October 2005 and ended on 30th June 2011. The country will enter the EU on 1st July 2013 after completion of the ratification process in all Member States and Croatia.
To mark Croatia’s signing of the EU Accession Treaty, the Polish Presidency launched an unusual project which involved filming a welcome speech in which everyone could participate. The single speech, compiled from a variety of different recordings, constitutes a symbolic gift from Poland to the representatives of Croatia. The name of the project, Dobrodošli, comes from the Croatian word for welcome.
OK, so here we have another one of these rare cases where a country is actually considering honoring Serbia’s request for extradition of a Serb-killer, going even further against the grain by dismissing the cartoonish notion that Serbia’s efforts are “motivated by the accused’s social group, race, belief or nationality”.
And sure enough, we have the Albanian protest that goes with it: Protests in Kosovo over Swiss extradition (swissinfo, Dec. 28)
Around 100 people have demonstrated outside the Swiss embassy in Kosovo against the planned extradition of a Kosovan freedom fighter from Geneva to Serbia.
The man, a former member of the Kosovo Liberation Army, is accused of committing war crimes in 1999 against Serbian civilians and Albanians. He says he was in Macedonia at the time the crimes were committed.
He was arrested in Vevey in Switzerland in April and Serbia filed a request for his extradition in March. The Kosovan justice minister sent a letter to the Swiss authorities in May asking them not to go through with the extradition.
The protest outside the embassy in Pristina was staged by an organisation for Kosovan war veterans. Nearly 5,200 people have signed a petition against the extradition. It was delivered to the Swiss justice ministry in mid-December.
The Federal Criminal Court rejected an appeal against the extradition in November, saying there was “no serious reason for thinking that the Serbian authority’s efforts were motivated by the accused’s social group, race, belief or nationality”.
The case can still be passed to the highest court of the land – the Federal Court.
Naturally, on the most rare occasion that anyone dares to impose justice on Albanian violence, there is an immediate uproar.
But let’s see if we have this straight. Here his supporters — acting on his claim that he was in Macedonia at the time of the crimes — are rallying to the defense of a KLA fighter who did *not* commit war crimes.
This is getting confusing. Usually, they defend KLA fighters *for* committing war crimes against Serbs, which by Albanian definition are no crimes at all. (In fact, every kill by the KLA — Serb, Roma or Albanian — in the course of that “clean and just” war was righteous and therefore defensible. ) But here they’re defending him for *not* committing war crimes against Serbs. (Which, by Albanian standards, would make him a borderline criminal.)
And, as they do with regard to the KLAniks whose crimes they don’t deny but simply deny them being crimes, the Albanians are saying this guy is being racially persecuted. So let’s analyze the notion of defining as racism Serbia’s wanting to prosecute Serb-killers. That alone self-defines the Albanian identity as killers of Serbs. (As any number of their youtube videos attests.) If Serbia, which seeks to extradite murderers, is accused of persecuting Albanians for what they are, then what they are is murderers. By their own definition.
Moving a bit north and west, we have another non-Serb extradition case this week concerning crimes in a Balkans war:
Bosnia: U.S. Extradites Woman Accused of War Crimes in 1990s (Dec. 27)
The United States on Tuesday extradited a Muslim Bosnian woman suspected of killing six Croats in 1993 during a war that ripped the region apart, the prosecutor’s office in Sarajevo, Bosnia, said. The woman, Rasema Handanovic, 39, is suspected of taking part in the mass killings of Croatian civilians in Bosnia and Herzegovina in April 1993, when she was a member of a special unit of the Bosnian Army, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement. More than 100,000 people were killed during the Bosnian war of 1992 to 1995, and Muslims and Croats fought each other in 1993 and 1994 even though they had entered the conflict as allies against the Bosnian Serbs. Ms. Handanovic, who moved to the United States after the war, is accused of executing by firing squad three civilians and three soldiers of the Croatian Defense Council who had surrendered in the village of Trusina, the statement said. Ms. Handanovic is one of only a few women accused of war crimes committed during the Bosnian conflict.
(But let’s recall this other, unforgettable one. And let’s note Sarajevo’s willingness to prosecute their own when it’s a Croat-killer, which is not the case when it’s a Serb-killer.)
My point in mentioning this case: As I tried two years ago to warn the zombies at The Post-Dispatch in St. Louis — which boasts the greatest concentration of Bosnian Muslims outside Bosnia — many of the Bosniaks in our midst lied about their war records (and criminal records) to get into the country, and are potentially dangerous.
In my “tribute” to Richard Holbrooke earlier this week, celebrating the one-year anniversary of his death, I mentioned Croatia’s weapons-smuggling-for-al-Qaeda role in the German- and U.S.-mandated proliferation of jihad to Europe, via 1990s Bosnia. I’m sure we won’t be surprised to learn that it never stopped, despite Washington’s insistence that jihadists are a spigot which can be turned on and off. One would also think that maybe, just maybe, this might give the EU some pause about Croatia, which it’s bringing in full-speed this year.
But one would be wrong. A series of items from 2008 about al Qaeda’s Croatia stop/thruway: Bosnia Muslims ‘Move Weapons to Croatia’ (BalkanInsight, May 21, 2008)
Sarajevo — Muslim radical groups have been secretly moving large caches of weapons to Croatia, a Banja Luka daily reports citing anonymous intelligence sources.
Muslim extremists are counting on Croatia’s fast-track European Union membership and expected liberalisation of its visa regime, to move the weapons and explosives further into EU countries and use them for terrorist activities, said the report published by Nezavisne Novine on Wednesday.
The newspaper said the report was based on information received from Bosnian intelligence agencies. It listed a number of people who are reportedly involved in this transfer but stressed it was not able to [either] contact any of the listed people [or] independently confirm the report.
According to the article, Bosnia-based radical groups who follow the conservative Islamic teachings of Wahhabism, have used prolonged political crisis and lack of attention from local politicians to move on with their plans.
Ever since 1994, the international community has been pushing local Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) leaders to expel the few thousand Mujahedeen fighters who came to Bosnia during the 1992-1995 war to fight alongside local Bosniaks in the war against Serbs and Croats.
In 2002, Bosnian authorities, working under United States supervision, raided and closed several Islamic non-governmental organisations operating in Bosnia. They also delivered nine Wahhabis to Americans, and they eventually ended up in Guantanamo prison, yet no charges have even been pressed against them.
Al-Qaeda Smuggling Weapons Via Croatia (May 21, 2008)
Al-Qaeda is smuggling weapons from Bosnia through Croatia’s capital Zagreb, Gunja and Split.
Members and sympathisers of Al-Qaeda and radical Wahhabi Muslims from Bosnia-Herzegovina have been smuggling large amounts of weapons and explosives into Croatia in the past several months with the aim of using them for terrorist attacks in Europe, Bosnian Banja Luka’s Nezavisne novine daily reported on Wednesday.
Citing intelligence agencies in Bosnia, the paper writes that members and sympathisers of Al-Qaeda and Wahhabi were “taking advantage of the current political situation and engagement of Bosnian authorities with reforms so they could transfer a large amount of weaponry and explosive devices from Bosnia to the Croatian territory”.
The leaders of the said terrorist organisations are relying on Croatia being admitted into the EU in the near future, creating favourable conditions for weaponry and explosives to be distributed across Europe from Croatia for the purpose of terrorist attacks because the borders towards the EU will be open, the daily writes.
There is information that the weaponry is being transferred into Zagreb, Karlovac, Gunja and Split, says the paper, quoting an intelligence officer who requested to remain anonymous.
Split. That’s the Croatian vacation town where you can pick up a copy of Mein Kampf at a travel bookshop.
A similar report whose origins I no longer have handy: “Wahhabis are transporting weapons from Bosnia to Croatia”
MOSTAR – Members and followers of Al-Qaeda and radical Moslems-wahhabis are transporting large quantities of weapons from Bosnia to Croatia in past couple of months, so that they can use it from there for terrorist attacks in European Union, as per The Independent Newspapers from Banja Luka.
Quoting intelligence agencies in BiH, The Independent writes that members of Al-Qaeda and wahhabis are “using current political situation and the fact that Bosnian authorities are preoccupied with current reforms in order to transport large quantity of weapons, mines and explosives”.
“Masterminds of the aforementioned terrorist organizations deem that Croatia will soon become a member of EU, and better conditions will be created for distribution weapons and explosives from Croatia to Western Europe, because the borders towards EU will become porous, and it will be easier to organize a terrorist attack”, as per the information collected by intelligence agencies in Bosnia.
“Current findings point to illegal transportation of weapons and explosives being conducted from several directions to Zagreb, Karlovac, Gunja and Split”, the Independent quotes the intelligence officer who wanted to remain anonymous.
It was added that “one illegal channel for transporting of weapons goes via Posavina, and its being managed by one Vladimir Popilovski, known to be closely related to mujahedins and members of “El Mujahid” Unit since the war time, and he is taking orders from one Šemsudim Mehmedović.
Mehmedović is former Police Minister of Zenica Canton. As per The Independent, Mehmedović was the one signing wedding certificates to mujahedins in BiH, ensuring “Algerian group” to get Bosnian citizenship.
Mehmedović put his signature on wedding certificates of Boudela Haj and Hanouf Munir, and the two are still incarcerated in Guantanamo Prison in Cuba. [Update on the “Algerian Six” here and here.]
Mehmedović is the representative in Bosnian Parliament and member of parliamentary delegation of BiH with OSCE.
Information provided by the intelligence services advises on another route of weapon transportation to Croatia goes via western part of Bosnia and it is being managed by Kemal Alagić, Naser Panaslamović and Omer Murselović. There is no detailed information on the aforementioned three, but it is being added that one Mladen Milic and one Darko Bajic could be involved in weapon transportation.
One day before The Independent published the information on weapon transportation, BiH Presidency has held the urgent session where they adopted the protocols on cooperation with Croatia reference security issues. This protocol stipulates the establishment of joint working groups for prevention of aggravated crimes and introduction of joint patrols along the border belt.
Below is a note from the infowars.com website, which goes on to quote Ottawa University professor Michel Chossudovsky and an AKI report:
Bosnian Newspaper: Al-Qaeda smuggling weapons into Croatia
Editor’s note: The headline should read: “CIA smuggling weapons into Croatia,” as there is plenty of evidence the CIA and NATO recruited and financed al-Qaeda’s operations in the Balkans. See: Al-Qaeda Family: Working for the CIA (CBC News), U.S. supported al-Qaeda cells during Balkan Wars (National Post), CIA-recruited Al Qaeda Agent Omar al-Faruq Escapes from US Military Prison in Afghanistan (Awoken Research Group),…Al Qaeda and NATO Join Hands in supporting NLA Terrorists in Macedonia (Aktuel Weekly), to name but a few.
NATO troops in Kosovo. NATO and the United States supported al-Qaeda in Bosnia and then in Kosovo.
“Ironically, the US Administration’s undercover military-intelligence operations in Bosnia have been fully documented by the Republican Party,” writes Michel Chossudovsky. “A lengthy Congressional report by the Republican Party Committee (RPC) published in 1997, largely confirms [an] International Media Corporation report… The RPC Congressional report accuses the Clinton administration of having ‘helped turn Bosnia into a militant Islamic base’ leading to the recruitment through the so-called ‘Militant Islamic Network,’ of thousands of Mujahideen from the Muslim world.”
So successful was the “Bosnian pattern,” it was replicated in Kosovo with “the complicity of NATO and the US State Department. Mujahideen mercenaries from the Middle East and Central Asia were recruited to fight in the ranks of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in 1998-99, largely supporting NATO’s war effort.” These “Mujahideen mercenaries” would later be called al-Qaeda.
Undated newspaper photo of a Muslim brigade of the Muslim Army marching in a military parade in Zenica, central Bosnia. Is this possibly the “white al-Qaeda” that “will create favorable conditions to distribute weapons and explosives for terrorist acts throughout Europe due to the openness of borders”?
Bosnia: Al-Qaeda smuggling weapons into Croatia, paper claims
Banjaluka, 21 May (AKI) – Al-Qaeda and the Muslim fundamentalist Wahabi movement’s operatives have been smuggling weapons and explosives into neighboring Croatia, Bosnian daily Nezavisne novine reported on Wednesday.
Quoting Bosnian security sources, the paper said huge quantities of weapons and explosives have been smuggled into the areas of Croatia with sizable Muslim population in recent months.
The weapons were shipped to the Croatian capital Zagreb, nearby Karlovac and the Adriatic port of Split, according to a document from the Bosnian security agency, quoted by the paper.
The document said the operation has been masterminded by Bosnian Muslims Vladimir Popilovski, Kemal Alagic, Semsudin Mehmedovic, Naser Panaslamovic and Omer Murselovic.
No arrests have been made in connection with the allegation of weapons smuggling to Croatia, which is an official candidate for EU membership and hopes to join the bloc by 2010.
Mehemedovic, a former police chief in the eastern Bosnian town of Zenica, was acquitted of issuing false documents to the members of the so called ‘Algerian group’ of suspected terrorists, some of whom are being held in the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The alleged Islamist militants “believe that Croatia will soon become a member of the EU,” the paper quoted the Bosnian security document as saying.
This “will create favorable conditions to distribute weapons and explosives for terrorist acts throughout Europe due to the openness of borders,” the document added.
Al-Qaeda is believed to have maintained ‘dormant cells’ in Bosnia since the 1992-1995 civil war, when thousands of mujahadeen - fighters from Muslim countries - came to fight on the side of local Muslims.
Many mujahadeen remained in the country after the war and have reportedly been indoctrinating the local Muslim population and even operating terrorist training camps.
Darko Trifunovic, a Serbian expert on terrorism, says al-Qaeda has been changing tactics. For its operations in Europe, the terror network has increasingly using local white youths or ‘white al-Qaeda’, according to Trifunovic.
It has been a full year since the earth was relieved of the weight of one Richard Holbrooke this month last year, on December 13, 2010. I wanted to mark the one-year anniversary of his death since it is still many years before the world will recover from his life. While I feel I’ve already written apt eulogies, some things came up afterwards, most notably a painful-to-read piece of praise in Jerusalem Post at the time by Israeli former UN ambassador Dore Gold, president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Gold may be “one of the good ones,” as my philo-Semitic Italian friend puts it, but he is woefully wrong about what sort of man Holbrooke was.
For those who can stomach it, Gold’s Dec. 17, 2010 rhapsody about Holbrooke was titled “If Holbrooke had been given the Israel-Palestinian file” - A former UN ambassador praises the accomplished US diplomat who died this week, and wonders what he might have achieved in this region.
Probably something is amiss when an Israeli ambassador praises a man who was also being praised by the anti-Israel Christiane Amanpour ( “Why I Mourn,” Dec. 20, 2010). And notice that this Iranian-British woman, married to yet another confused Jew, was a key instrument in getting the West to help spread Jihad in Europe, even reporting from a Christian Serb cemetery as if from a Muslim one, the dead there attributed to “Serb” brutality.
What is there to say to an Israeli diplomat, when the unfair treatment of Israel that he bemoans is the very same treatment Holbrooke gave Serbia? If one still naively wonders how Holbrooke might have handled Israel, one need just look at how he handled Serbia. After all, Serbia is the Israel of the Balkans, surrounded by bellicose Muslims and getting all the pressure from the West as the latter tries to win Islamic favor with Israeli/Serbian blood. Holbrooke would have treated the Israelis the way he treated the Serbs, the only question being whether, in a deal he was brokering, Jews would have been as expendable as Serbs. But he didn’t get the Israel file, and so it wasn’t Jewish corpses he built his legacy on, but Christian ones.
And yet, that itself gives us a gaping glimpse into just how good Holbrooke was for Israel. For Serbs are the canary’s canary, and as little as Jews can afford to be ignorant about the Jewish plight, they can ill afford to be ignorant about the Serb one. Indeed, why look at the parallel of Israel and Serbia when Holbrooke proved himself poisonous to Jews and the free world — directly — via what he supported in regions throughout the world? Let’s start by looking at what he did for Israel…in the Balkans.
How Holbrooke Invited Iran Into Europe (John Rosenthal, Apr. 17, 2009)
…Today, Holbrooke and the Obama administration are eager to obtain Iran’s help for “reconstruction” and “development” efforts in Afghanistan. Back then , however, the objective was not reconstruction, but rather arms smuggling – and in brazen violation of a UN arms embargo no less. With the “green light” of the Clinton administration, an estimated fourteen thousand tons of Iranian weaponry were shipped via Croatia to the Bosnian Muslim government of President Alija Izetbegovic. The figure comes from Navy War College Professor John R. Schindler’s 2007 book Unholy Terror: Bosnia, Al-Qa’ida and the Rise of Global Jihad. [See also: Iran Gave Croatia Millions for Help to Bosnia and “When Tehran established relations with Zagreb…Iran announced Croatia was their entry into Central Europe.”]
…“Izetbegovic’s inner circle made few efforts to seriously hide its pro-Tehran views,” Schindler writes (p. 141), …and SDA leaders [Izetbegovic’s Party of Democratic Action] made public pronouncements about the glories of the Islamic Republic. One of the most notorious incidents came in early June 1993 when SDA representatives gathered at the Zagreb mosque, which was closely linked to Izetbegovic, for a fête to honor the Ayatollah Khomeini. The mosque was adorned with numerous posters of the late Iranian leader…Salim Sabic, SDA vice president and Izetbegovic’s personal representative at the event, stated, “Bosnian Muslims are the best example of the imam’s prophetic words, that if they are not united, Muslims worldwide will be suffering under American and Zionist regimes.”
In his pompous and self-aggrandizing account of the Bosnia conflict To End a War, Holbrooke attempts to deflect criticism of the Clinton administration’s approval of the illegal Iranian arms shipments by pointing out that the shipments had already begun in 1992, when George H.W. Bush was still in office. This is true as far as it goes. But Schindler notes that the Bush I administration had in fact given a “red light” to Zagreb, in order to try to prevent Tehran from gaining influence in the region (p. 181). Moreover, despite generous kickbacks and a “transit tax” that permitted them to retain a significant chunk of the weaponry, the Croats would soon themselves cool on the arrangement. It was not only the Bosnian Serbs, after all, that were at war with the Bosnian government forces of Izetbegovic: the Bosnian Croats were too.
A cessation of the Croat-Muslim hostilities was thus a precondition for getting the Iranian arms flowing again. On 18 March 1994, representatives of the Bosnian Croats and the Izetbegovic government signed the so-called Washington Agreement bringing the Croat-Muslim war to an end. The agreement is commonly regarded as a masterstroke of the Clinton administration (although Germany in fact had much to do with its coming into being). Just one month later – “before the ink on the Washington Agreement was dry,” as Schindler puts it (p. 181) – the Clinton administration would give its “green light” to Croatia to permit the Iranian arms shipments to resume.
…[The arms shipments] were, in effect, the outcome of a policy that [Holbrooke] had himself recommended to key Clinton advisors already in early January 1993 – before Clinton had even been sworn in! In To End a War, Holbrooke proudly cites a 13 January 1993 memorandum on Bosnia that he sent to incoming National Security Advisor Anthony Lake and incoming Secretary of State Warren Christopher. Displaying a kind of breezy contempt for international law, the memorandum is a masterpiece of equivocation. On the one hand, Holbrooke recommends that the Clinton administration “use” the Bosnia crisis “as an opportunity to strengthen the U.N. system” (p. 51). On the other hand, his chief practical recommendation is precisely to “allow covert arms supplies to the Bosnian Muslims”: a policy that he gingerly allows “does… carry the serious drawback of showing the United States evading a Security Council resolution” (p. 52).
Oddly enough, Holbrooke suggests that the policy of “allowing” covert arms shipments would somehow diminish the Bosnian government’s reliance upon support from Muslim nations. There is in fact evidence that other countries also made covert arms shipments to the Bosnian government. Schindler points, in particular, to German shipments disguised as humanitarian assistance (p. 178). There were also “black flights” directly into Bosnia, the origins of which remain unclarified. But the principal known partner of the Clinton administration’s efforts to get arms to the Bosnian government in defiance of the UN was none other than Iran.
As is generally acknowledged today by security experts, but little discussed in the major media, Iranian and Saudi support for the Bosnian cause would turn Bosnia into a European beachhead of international Jihadism. Thousands of foreign mujahedeen flocked to Bosnia to join the Bosnian “jihad.” Many of the latter would obtain Bosnian passports and remain in the country after the war. Several of the foreign veterans of the Bosnia War would be directly connected to the 9/11 attacks: including hijackers Khalid al-Mihdar and Nawaf al-Hazmi and the reputed “mastermind” of the attacks, Khaled Sheikh Mohammed. In addition to his “work” on the 9/11 plot, Mohammed has also admitted to personally decapitating the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Pakistan in 2002. [Note: While Mohammed did boast this feat, it was ultimately determined that he had masterminded the Pearl kidnapping but not been the executioner.]
…It can well be doubted, however, whether America can afford another success in Afghanistan and Pakistan like the “success” once obtained by Richard Holbrooke in Bosnia.
In 2002, and again in 2008, Holbrooke famously said that if not for his Dayton Accords, the Sept. 11 attacks would have been planned from Bosnia instead of Afghanistan. As we now know, Bosnia already had plenty to do with 9/11, Dayton’s architects themselves having proliferated al Qaeda through Europe.
Sept. 10, 2002:
Cumberland, Md.: [Were] you aware of the KLA and Bosnian Muslims’ ties to Osama bin Laden at the time you were negotiating with them?
Richard C. Holbrooke: Yes…
Even college students have been waking up to the unpleasant facts of the Balkan wars which the grown-ups have carefully avoided telling them, and to the fact that Holbrooke’s Balkans machinations represented America’s turn toward the dark side. One student, whom I’ve quoted before, is Natalie Koshkina, then at American University:
Holbrooke, perhaps more than anyone, was responsible for destabilizing the Balkans and contributing to the demonization of Serbia. He forced the Dayton Accords on the warring parties….sure, that ended the civil war for the time being, but the Dayton Accords also created the artificial state of Bosnia, whose Muslim and Croat populations continued to energetically engage in ethnic cleansing against Serbs…Symbolically, Holbrooke delivered the ultimatum to then-Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic before the NATO bombing campaign in 1999 – an unnecessary bombing campaign [the] sole aim of which was to break Serbia. And all along, Holbrooke was a vocal advocate for an independent Kosovo, which is one of the most destabilizing factors of the Balkan region. If Milosevic was the “Butcher of the Balkans,” then Holbrooke was the “Balkan Bully,” a moniker he lived up to a lot more than Milosevic did his.
Not that Holbrooke’s jihad-spreading contributions are limited to the Balkans. Like most every other personality that tends toward meddling in foreign affairs, Holbrooke in every case listed below helped Muslims against non-Muslims. What makes Gold think that Holbrooke-Israel would have been any different? Just look at what he indirectly did for Israel in the examples below:
Clinton administration’s terrorist friends in Southeast Asia still wreaking havoc in our name (Seth Mandel, Nov. 27, 2010)
In the run-up to the election of the U.N. secretary-general in 2007, a group of high-level former Clinton administration officials conspired to attempt to replace the frontrunner and well-respected South Korean Ban Ki-moon with the trustee of a Saudi-funded Wahhabist Muslim organization linked to al-Qaeda.
That man was Anwar Ibrahim of Malaysia, the current opposition leader. We’ve written about his anti-Semitism, support for terrorism, and ties to the Muslim Brotherhood here before, and recent news reports out of Malaysia suggest Al Gore, Madeleine Albright, Richard Holbrooke, and others have created a monster from which democracy in an important corner of Southeast Asia is now reeling.
The story begins with Anwar’s falling out with his party leadership in the late 1990s, when he served as deputy prime minister in Malaysia’s government. Anwar carefully cultivated ties with the U.S. State Department and other officials looking for a token moderate Muslim they could champion. In that vein, he co-chaired the Pacific Dialogue with Clinton’s defense secretary, William Cohen, a partnership aimed at making Anwar the face of U.S.-Asia/Pacific cooperation.
Al Gore took a shine to Anwar as well, and…Albright joined the fray, as did Holbrooke, and the gaggle of Clinton officials tried to undermine the Bush administration’s chosen candidate for U.N. secretary-general and install Anwar.
Supporting Anwar is problematic because of his obnoxious anti-Semitism. But attempting to put him in charge of the U.N. would have put the world body in the hands of a man spreading Wahhabism on the payroll of the Saudi royal family.
Anwar became, well before his relationship with American officials took off, a trustee of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), one of two organizations the Saudis established in the 1960s to spread Wahhabism…WAMY has also been caught funneling money to al-Qaeda and Hamas. All this was known before the Clinton gang attempted to install Anwar at the U.N.
His supporters in the West amount to the classic “useful idiots,” and whatever their reason for supporting Anwar, installing an Islamist Saudi agent in Malaysia cannot be good for that country’s democratic aspirations, nor for our security. […]
Dore Gold’s epitaph closed with the nauseous line: “[Holbrooke] represented the highest qualities of American idealism.”
That’s not a very nice thing to say about America. Unless one is talking about today’s so-called America. And at the time of Holbrooke’s all too timely demise, author Srdja Trifkovic picked up on that far more apt confluence between man and country — in a way that Gold didn’t mean:
Richard Holbrooke: An American Diplomat (Dec. 15, 2010)
An hour before Holbrooke’s death last Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a group of diplomats gathered at the State Department for a Christmas party that he was “practically synonymous with American foreign policy.” She is right: Holbrooke’s career embodies some of the least attractive traits of American diplomacy.
As assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs under Jimmy Carter, Holbrooke was instrumental in securing continued U.S. support for Indonesia’s occupation of East Timor. In 1997 he authorized arms deliveries to Indonesia in violation of the supposed U.S. arms embargo against Suharto’s regime. It was during this period the suppression of the Christian Timorese by the Muslim Indonesians reached genocidal levels, killing 200,000 people or about a third of the island’s population. Holbrooke’s 1997 response to a reporter’s question about the tragedy to which he had directly contributed was illustrative of his character and style: “I want to stress I am not remotely interested in getting involved in an argument over the actual number of people killed. People were killed and that always is a tragedy but what is at issue is the actual situation in Timor today… [As for the numbers of victims] … we are never going to know anyway.”
True to form, Holbrooke lied to Congress in 1979 that the famine in East Timor – caused by the Indonesian army’s scorched-earth campaign – was a belated consequence of Portuguese colonial misrule. Over two decades later, in a lavish tribute to the diplomatic skill of his friend Paul Wolfowitz – who was the US ambassador to Indonesia at that time – Holbrooke boasted how “Paul and I have been in frequent touch to make sure that we keep East Timor out of the  presidential campaign, where it would do no good to American or Indonesian interests.”
Far from “bringing peace to Bosnia” at Dayton in 1995, Holbrooke presided over the imposition of a package broadly similar to the 1992 Lisbon Plan brokered by the European Union – the deal which could have avoided the war altogether but which was deliberately torpedoed from Washington…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.
When the official ambassador of another country arrives here, ignores state officials, but holds a meeting with the Albanian terrorists, then it’s quite clear they are getting support. — Gen. Nebojsa Pavkovic, Commander, Yugoslav Army in Kosovo
The most eloquent epitaphs are crafted while the person is still alive. Borrowing a page out of Richard Holbrooke’s diplomatic manual, 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.
The theme of the Americanness of Holbrooke’s diplomacy was originally raised in 2008, by Canadian journalist John Bosnitch, in an online posting:
Dick Holbrooke represents the very worst of American bullying. His brazen support for the KLA terrorists, disregard for international law, pathetic self-aggrandizement, and eternal pursuit of personal financial gain are all well known in Washington. Neither is logic his forte — I remember his stumbling inability to respond at a press conference in the Holiday Inn in Sarajevo when I asked him how the United States was able to affix its seal as a witness to the Dayton Accords when it did not even recognize the existence of one of the contracting parties (The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia).
However, there is much good to be found by the Serbs in this man’s very useful flaws. Just as his Dayton Accords served to finally legitimize Serb interests by giving formal legal status to the Republika Srpska, Holbrooke’s bluster looks likely to help us once again…
Specifically, by overplaying his cards and demanding that Serbia’s subservient U.S.-backed President Tadic do the impossible by recognizing Kosovo, Holbrooke might just deliver yet another dream of all patriotic Serbs who are fighting foreign colonization — Holbrooke might himself block his own collaborators in Belgrade from joining the EU for long enough that the Serbian people will be able to remove them from power and assert Serbian independence once and for all.
So by all means keep it up, Dick! If you succeed in blocking the EU from taking over Serbia by insisting on Kosovo recognition, your name will stand with that of Ratko Mladic as one of the two people who by one method or another saved Serbia’s independence from EU takeover against all odds…
In hindsight, of course, that was all too hopeful; one underestimated just how many times and to what degree a nation could commit suicide, so that it might finally just be allowed into the club.
What Bosnitch was responding to was the following demand by Holbrooke, in which he also demonstrated his cookie-cutter Washington Russia-baiting-while-dancing-with-terrorists:
“Condition Serbia with Kosovo recognition” (Sept. 8, 2008)
Former U.S. Balkan envoy Richard Holbrooke today called on Montenegro and Macedonia to recognize Kosovo.
At the same time, he said that the European Union must not accept Serbia’s membership as long as Belgrade has “pretensions on Kosovo and considers it her territory”.
“If Serbia is admitted to the EU, this mast take place if there is full agreement for Belgrade to recognize Kosovo as an independent state,” Holbrooke told reporters today.
“The EU would make a serious mistake if it accepts Serbia while she has pretensions on Kosovo as a part of her territory. That would be very dangerous,” he said after a meeting with Hashim Thaci.
Holbrooke also praised Kosovo’s handling of the challenge to be recognized by other countries, “bearing in mind the global campaign against its independence, led by Russia”.
He rejected any similarities between Kosovo and South Ossetia and Abkhazia. […]
As we speak, from the look of news on Kosovo — Serbia’s recognition of which is now the next new condition for Serbia’s EU candidacy — Holbrooke is still guiding policy there. (Though really, our political elites are interchangeable enough without benefit of that.)
“A lot of us have been hoping, now that Richard Holbrooke is dead, and hopefully in Hell, and so many of his manipulations and outright lies have been exposed, that things would start to turn around…” — senior analyst at Hicks & Associates business lobbyists, who previously worked with senior Bush officials
A Foreign Policy magazine article earlier this year, titled “Thug Life,” described the character of American behavior in Kosovo thus:
Kosovo’s thugocrats owe their rise and continued impunity to the toleration or outright support of the international community — particularly the United States…In 2004, every American staffer at the U.S. Embassy was invited to attend Haradinaj’s wedding — and, despite his links to organized crime and impending indictment on war crimes, they went. Most recently, the night after the raid on Limaj’s home and offices, U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo Christopher Dell was seen laughing and chatting with the minister at a well-attended party in Pristina.
It is difficult to see how democracy or respect [for] the rule of law could develop and flourish amid such overt displays of American support for a corrupt and criminal leadership…This backing for Kosovo government officials has undercut efforts to pursue indictments for war crimes and investigate high-level corruption. The war crimes taking place throughout the 1998-1999 conflict and in the immediate aftermath have never been fully investigated — in fact, in some cases they have been covered up.
It is extraordinarily callous of Dore Gold to eulogize a man who embodied this very criminal Western behavior. For good measure, Gold grafted Holbrooke’s standard Serb-blaming: “[Holbrooke] believed that the war that broke out in Bosnia was not the result of ‘ancient hatreds’ between the peoples of the Balkans, but rather resulted from a deliberate policy of incitement by the Serbs, on Belgrade television.” And Gold believed Holbrooke.
More appropriate than Gold’s Holbrooke epitaph was Alexander Cockburn’s for Creators Syndicate:
Richard Holbrooke died at age 69 on Dec. 13, thus spared the annoyance of seeing one of his best-known political creations accused of supervising the killing of captives in order to slice out their organs for transplant purposes and financial gain.
In the wake of Holbrooke’s sudden death, his memory was swiftly burnished with testimonials to his masterly diplomacy as the creator of a new Balkans freed from the Serbian yoke, and as Kosovo’s midwife. It was Holbrooke who stood shoulder to shoulder with Albanian secessionists in the summer of 1998 and prompted NATO’s bombing of Serbia until these applications of high explosives to civilian targets caused Milosevic to order the withdrawal of security forces from Kosovo.
The “freedom fighters” of the Kosovo Liberation Army — Albanian gangsters, most notably Hashim Thaci, hand-picked by Holbrooke and Madeleine Albright (her closest aide, James Rubin [Amanpour’s Jewish wife], acted as talent scout) at the Rambouillet talks — took over. Since unilaterally declaring independence in February 2008, the failed statelet run by heroin traffickers and white slavers, host to the vast U.S. Camp Bondsteel…. […]
In response to KLA terrorist and Kosovo “prime minister” Thaci’s telegram to Obama upon Holbrooke’s death — which called Holbrooke “a friend…a voice that protected the interest of the Republic of Kosovo” — Balkans analyst Nebojsa Malic commented, “He certainly was. To aptly use a mafia term, he was the chief scene ‘cleaner’.”
It even has been plausibly suggested that at an elite dinner in Washington hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations’ David Phillips, with their mutual KLA friend Thaci as guest of honor, Holbrooke and the other guests had a hand in planning the well orchestrated deadly Kosovo riots of March 2004.
Less sensationally, but just as dishonestly, as late as 2008 — upon the capture of Radovan Karadzic — Holbrooke was still publicly citing the obsolete, exaggerated propaganda figure of “300,000″ Bosnia war dead, instead of the updated ‘100,000′ released nearly four years earlier by Sarajevo’s Investigation and Documentation Center and widely reported. (He did so for the benefit, of course, of putting the “300,000″ at the feet of Karadzic — whose name Holbrooke could barely pronounce as he hissed it out. All the while denying to interviewers the long-known deal he offered Karadzic of immunity from the Hague tribunal.) But then, Holbrooke’s credentials as a liar par excellence have been long documented:
Rambouillet Revisited: How Holbrooke Lied His Way Into a War (Sam Husseini, Dec. 9, 2008)
…The Rambouillet text called for a de facto occupation of Yugoslavia. On major U.S. media, after the bombing of Yugoslavia began, Holbrooke claimed that what was called for in the Rambouillet text, despite Serbian protests, “isn’t an occupation”.
Several weeks later, when confronted by a journalist familiar with the Rambouillet text, Holbrooke claimed: “I never said that”.
This was a lie, it was also a tacit admission that the Rambouillet text did call for an occupation (why else would Holbrooke deny saying it when he had?) So the U.S. demanded that Yugoslavia submit to occupation or be bombed - and Holbrooke lied about this crucial fact when questioned about the cause of the war.
On April 6, 1999, about two weeks after the bombing began, Holbrooke appeared on the Charlie Rose show and was asked about what started the war…
[13:00] “The [Yugoslavian government] decision was to trigger the bombing of their own country instead of accepting this very reasonable political offer.” …
[14:00] Asked how to explain the actions of the Serbs, Holbrooke claims the Serbs said: “The choice you’ve given us is to have our sacred soil violated by an invading force. I said this isn’t an invasion, it isn’t an occupation, it’s an international peacekeeping force that will save the Serb minority in Kosovo…”
On April 23, 1999, journalist Jeremy Scahill of Democracy Now questioned Richard Holbrooke as he was leaving the Overseas Press Club’s 60th anniversary dinner:
Holbrooke: “One question.”
Jeremy Scahill: “You’ve said, since you gave the ultimatum to President Milosevic, that the Rambouillet accords do not call for the occupation of Yugoslavia. In -”
Holbrooke: “I never said that. That’s the end of that. You got the wrong person and the wrong quote. That’s your question.”
If Holbrooke had been given the Israel-Palestinian file, Gold would have found out very quickly who and what Holbrooke really was. Not dignified, not idealistic, just ambitious and egomaniacal — to the point that even ambitious egomaniacs such as Madeleine Albright and Joe Biden found “the conceited bastard” insufferable, his main occupation keeping a tally of what he could take credit for in any given situation.
After all, where does Gold think the joke about the most dangerous place in the Balkans being between Holbrooke and a TV camera came from? And surely Gold has heard about the famous 1997 Sarajevo cable to Foggy Bottom — upon Holbrooke and Ambassador Robert Gelbard deplaning in Bosnia — that “the egos have landed.”
Gold’s Holbrooke epitaph was accompanied by this photo attempting to capture Holbrooke with a quietly dignified visage:
But the man precisely lacked quiet, grace and dignity, so even the attempt at the contemplative, sideways-angle, departed-statesman-type image doesn’t work.
Arrogantly strutting around the opulent OSCE restaurant, on an upper floor of its Pristina headquarters, Richard Holbrooke cut an imposing figure…In front of the five heads of UNMIK he bellowed: “Forget multi-ethnic Kosovo. Forget Resolution 1244. We only signed that to get rid of the Serbs.”
It was a warm August 1999, and the official representatives of the “international community” remained coolly silent. Only one official, Dennis MacNamara, head of UNHCR spoke up, questioning why the UN took on the mission if the expulsion of the Serbs was a foregone conclusion. Holbrooke brushed off his inquiry; the other “dignitaries” remained quiet.
To read his masturbatory book To End a War — so titled despite our having ensured the war in the first place — is to be told what to think by the author even as he describes scenes that directly contradict his editorializing.
Perhaps the eulogy that was inadvertently most telling about Holbrooke’s frilly, unserious, and self orientation came from NY Times reporter David Rohde, titled “How the American foreign-policy legend helped save my life — twice“:
…Hours after an Afghan colleague and I escaped from Taliban captivity last year, an American diplomat told me that Richard Holbrooke was demanding to speak with me. I expected him to be fuming, because it was the second time my being captured had exacerbated the already complex challenges he faced. For the previous 14 years, the boisterous and at times overbearing legend of American diplomacy had been ribbing me for complicating the Dayton peace talks to end the war in Bosnia. I was a hostage then too…
Back in 1995, Holbrooke browbeat President Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia into releasing me after Serbian forces arrested me at a mass grave I discovered near the town of Srebrenica, site of the massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslims. My editors and family later regaled me with stories of how Holbrooke and his wife, the journalist Kati Marton, rattled Serbian officials during the peace talks. In one meeting, Holbrooke picked up the Bosnian Serb vice president’s wool plaid fedora and intimidated him. “Maybe I can hold your hat hostage,” Holbrooke said. He told Milosevic that the peace talks would be halted until my release. Days later, I was freed.
I promised Holbrooke and my family that it wouldn’t happen again. A Taliban commander proved me wrong in November 2008, when he abducted two Afghan colleagues and me, ferried us to the tribal areas of Pakistan and held us captive. Though I didn’t know it, Holbrooke tirelessly tried to help me this time as well. In meetings with senior officials in Islamabad, he made my case a top priority.
Handed the cellphone, I braced myself for an earful. I said: “I apologize.” His response surprised me. “God,” Holbrooke declared, his voice booming with genuine warmth and affection. “It is so good to hear your voice.” …Instead of chastising me, he tried to use my time with the Taliban as a means to better understand them. “Who are they? Why are they fighting? What do they want?” Holbrooke asked, rapid-fire. […]
Never mind that it’s 2008 and this genius is still asking why the Taliban fights and what it wants. The point is that the reporter is surprised to have been prioritized — twice — by such an “important” man as Holbrooke. Rohde underestimates the importance of a NY Times reporter to a bureaucrat. In addition to The Times and Holbrooke being a mutual admiration society, Holbrooke wasn’t exactly a disinterested party in securing Rohde’s release: a friendly reporter with whom Holbrooke had an established, valued relationship.
In fact, it appears the men had originally bonded over their common Serb-hatred, the relationship cemented when Rohde happened upon the mound of disturbed dirt with a single bone sticking out of it, which Madeleine Albright would announce she had satellite photos of, thereby proving it human and therefore a mass grave. (Little surprise that such therefores and therebys added up to the photos being declared “classified” for 50 years.)
Of course Holbrooke loved Rohde. With his little hike, Rohde did the State Department the favor of backing up its “genocide” concoction. (Which the ICTY’s own extensive database of deficient evidence debunks, but the tribunal correctly counts on people to notice only its judgments and not its evidence, or lack of it.) Rohde did himself a favor as well: that mound of dirt — which he would fling at the Serbs — was his stepping stone from Christian Science Monitor to The New York Times.
As the late British author Nora Beloff (Tito’s Flawed Legacy; Yugoslavia: An Avoidable War) wrote in an Oct. 27th, 1995 letter to Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie, Jr.:
…You have published endless unsupported allegations about the atrocities in Srebrenica. A well authenticated report of who were the real victims comes from a forensic doctor, Zoran Stankovic, a Yugoslav who has just visited London and who was in Srebrenica on 7th, 8th and 9th October 1995…
You will remember that the US authorities published the picture of a site in Srebrenica which looked as if the earth had been dug up and then claimed that it was the site of a mass grave of recently slaughtered Muslims…From its natural contours Dr. Stankovic was able to locate the site of the US photograph. It was in the village of Kasaba. The terrain had indeed been dug up. In 1991, when there had been plans to extend an existing factory. Those plans never materialized and, as this was 4 years ago, grass had grown again over the disturbed earth. A French TV team photographed the area, confirming that it could not have been a recently dug grave. The farmers in the region breed sheep and when a bone was found to be sticking out of the ground, officials said it might be of human or animal origin. The sight of a real bone was sufficient to send a correspondent of the Christian Science Monitor [David Rohde] into hysterics over alleged Serb atrocities.
If The Washington Post wants to get the basic facts, why not get your correspondent to meet and cross-question Dr. Stankovic? I had first heard of him after I had warned Judge Goldstone, Chief Prosecutor, that he might find his war crimes tribunal turned into a kangaroo court designed only to vilify the Serbs. Goldstone met Dr. Stankovic when the judge visited Belgrade but, though he heard all the details of the Stankovic dossiers, he took nothing in and continued, as before, to build up prosecution cases only against the Serbs. […]
How appropriate that Richard Charles Albert Holbrooke was born the very month of the bloodiest Serb-purge in history — April 1941 — when the Ustashas took over Croatia/Bosnia and the countryside ran with Orthodox blood. Indeed, Holbrooke was completing the last two weeks of his gestation just as Hitler was bombing Yugoslavia into submission starting April 6th, the same date that Holbrooke would explain on Charlie Rose why he repeated that history.
And now Dore Gold can deal with the consequences of Holbrooke’s Balkans as the UN considers the Palestinians’ following the Kosovo precedent.
“It is not generally known that Holbrooke was Jewish,” Gold closed. That he was is to our eternal shame, Mr. Gold.
Strays soothing soldiers in Kosovo (Nov. 22)
As a vet (in both meanings of the word) Lt. Col. David Rice has seen the effect dogs can have on soldiers.
He has watched soldiers stop to pet a stray and walk away as if, at least for the moment, they’d found some peace amid war.
Rice, a Scottsdale, Arizona veterinarian and member of the Army Reserve who’s now stationed in Kosovo, is working to let more soldiers (and more dogs) experience the therapeutic effects one species can provide each other.
He has taken in four strays so far…and makes them available for soldiers to check out at Camp Bondsteel…A soldier may check out a dog, just as he might check out a book in a library, and for a few hours take a break from a grinding overseas assignment…
Rice’s official duty is to tend to bomb-sniffing dogs. But he’s the unofficial mayor of “Dog Town,” which now has a population of four stray mutts, all of whom wandered onto the base from the nearby town of Ferizaj.
“We’ve had dogs sit in with us on staff meetings,” said Major John Brunett of Santa Fe, who frequently checks out dogs. “Everyone likes an opportunity to pet or have them on their laps. People respond well to the dogs, and of course, when they’re out, they get lots of attention.”
Dog Town was started by previous veterinarians stationed at Camp Bondsteel who were disheartened seeing the conditions that dogs in the village lived in. […]
I wonder, how does Lt. Col. Rice think this one became a stray:
Many of the strays belonged to Serbs who fled for their lives during the NATO-supervised ethnic cleansing by the folks whose bidding we’re there to do — the Albanian “Kosovars.”
These would be the same people who in 1999 demanded that the KFOR mascot be killed, because the dog “was Serbian.” And they would be the same people who make sport out of running down dogs with their cars. American values we’re defending indeed! (See speeches by Bill Clinton and Joe Lieberman.) Not that there are too many strays left to soothe the soldiers (as if they need more soothing than the Serbs they’re cleansing). After all, our clients are the folks who last year, at a loss for what to do with all the strays they created by kicking out the civilized 10% of the province, went on a state-sanctioned “culling” spree (that’s a whole vowel away from “killing”), during which “agonizing howls [could] be heard across the city.”
Indeed, there are fewer dogs left in Kosovo even than Serbs. Apparently, the stray population became a threat to the terrorist population that caused the dogs to become a threat. (Though truthfully, they’re regarded more as “pests” than threats by the local population.)
The original story, which appeared in The Arizona Republic, was titled ‘Dog shelter in Kosovo helps troops cope.” So again, the troops may need canine moral support to fulfill their orders to subjugate the Christian Serbs under Albanian-Muslim rule, but who will help the Serbs cope with that dark fate imposed on them by the free world? Absolutely no one.
Here was an interesting paragraph from the original:
Amid an Army base filled with gun-toting servicemen and women trained to stand tall in the face of danger, the smaller dogs are the most popular, Rice said. It may be that even the toughest people on the planet need a snuggle, and 12-pound terriers are just about perfect for that.
Soldiers? Small dogs? Really?
I don’t know whether to bark, or barf.
But then, Kosovo is where we fight for the enemy, so it all sort of make sense. For everything is backwards in Kosovo.
In closing, let’s ponder these Kosovo strays:
A lone dog keeps watch in front of his master’s burned house, waiting for him to come home.
These refugees from Pristina are being sheltered in an elementary school gym in the Serbian enclave of Gracanica.
The once ethnically-mixed village of Obilic is littered with the ruins of Serbian homes.
The images come from Chris Deliso when he was in Kosovo on the heels of the March 2004 riots; his resulting article is excerpted below for our in-need-of-comforting soldiers’ edification:
…Eyewitness reports indicate that the Albanian mobs were armed with machine guns, AK-47’s, pistols, rifles, and hand grenades, not to mention rocks and improvised cluster bombs (Molotov cocktails filled with nails). An informed source claims that four of the Serbs killed had been shot by illegal “dum-dum” bullets that fragment within the body, causing an excruciatingly painful death. Others were knifed or burned alive by the rampaging mobs made up of Albanian men from their early teens into their 80s.
[T]he Kosovo riots were not the spontaneous outcome of the Albanians’ righteous rage and grief. Rather, they were well-planned, well-supplied terrorist attacks masquerading as popular marches, carried out with the complicity of the Albanian KPS (Kosovo Police Service) and with the blessings of top figures in the Kosovo Albanian leadership, organized by the successor organizations of the Kosovo Liberation Army and its various youth factions.
Both Macedonian and Serbian intelligence officials have detailed evidence to support this assertion. Eyewitness testimony also confirms that Albanian KPS officers actively participated in leading the riots. The range of weaponry employed, and the fact that buses, vans, and taxis were all mobilized to transport tens of thousands of Albanian rioters reveal the organized nature of the campaign.
International officials agree. “Let’s be realistic,” Tracy Becker, the UNMIK regional media officer in Mitrovica told me last week. “It’s impossible to have Kosovo-wide riots without organization.” Another UN spokesman said the same back on March 18, according to [T]he Scotsman: “…this is planned, coordinated, one-way violence from the Albanians against the Serbs… nothing happens spontaneously in Kosovo.”
Oliver Ivanovic, a member of the Kosovo Parliament Presidency, told me on Wednesday that the riots were “…very well organized. Simultaneous attacks on 15 different places can only be done if you have strong logistics and coordination. It was all in accordance with a plan.”
The plan, according to Ivanovic, was strategic:
“…first they threatened to attack North Mitrovica, which they never intended to take – too many Serbs are there. But this maneuver did succeed in pulling the international soldiers north, and leaving central Kosovo empty and undefended. The Albanians were thus able to attack those Serbian settlements much more easily.”
…Even though they are heavily armed and vastly outnumber the Serbs, the 60,000 Albanians of the south know that they cannot take [North Mitrovica], and therefore don’t try. [But we’ve accomplished that for them now, haven’t we.]
Thus, rather than concentrate their attack on the northern Serbian stronghold, the Albanian mobs chose to devastate isolated Serb settlements populated mostly by poor, elderly farmers left entirely defenseless by five years of UNMIK weapons collections. Yet the colonial administration does not dare to disarm the Albanians, for fear of provoking retaliatory violence.
Several examples from this latest wave of ethnic cleansing support the theory. South of Mitrovica, the Serbian population of the farming village of Svinjare was expelled, with 140 houses ruined. The scene was “absolutely heartbreaking,” said one international official, who added that local Albanian perpetrators had started spray-painting their names on the charred ruins to mark their new “property.”
I saw an example of this in Obilic, a village further south, near Pristina, where an Albanian man had spray-painted his name on a burned Serbian home. All around were charred ruins of houses, smashed furniture, and dead pigs, everything of value stolen. Out of the wreckage a playful dog ran up to me, yapping in front of what was once his master’s home. He was guarding it from intruders, perhaps. But there was no longer any need.
Obilic was once an ethnically mixed village; directly adjacent to these destroyed houses were the untouched homes of Albanians. I saw one Albanian boy, no older than six, looting firewood from the gutted home of his former neighbor. In the street, we were met by the long, suspicious stares of grouped men defiantly proud of their crimes and unwilling to tolerate any mention of them.
Purging central Kosovo of Serbs was important because the second-largest grouping of enclaves is located there…The area has strategic position, comprises a large area of high-quality farmland, and remains a chronic thorn in the side of Albanians striving for an ethnically pure Kosovo.
…In the capital, Pristina, the entire remaining Serbian population was completely expelled. Although before the NATO bombardment of 1999 some 40,000-50,000 Serbs lived in Pristina, by 2004 only about 150 remained. These survivors were relegated entirely to one apartment block. The mobs took care of them on March 17.
According to Ivanovic, this pattern of ethnic cleansing indicates that the Albanians’ goal was “…to push the remaining Serb settlements away from the major roads and railways, and so isolate them from the outside world. This is very easily seen when you look at exactly which villages were targeted.”
When asked whether he planned to stay and fight when the inevitable Albanian attack comes, the teen wistfully replied, “…we would like it if you could take us to America with you.” So much for that much-feared “Serbian nationalism.”
One of the main promises of the UNMIK administration is that all refugees will be returned to Kosovo as part of its “Standards Before Status” conditions for eventual independence. “Yet what’s strange,” adds Oliver Ivanovic, “is that there were 35 churches destroyed in 2 days. In the 5 years before that, 118 churches were destroyed…”
…Since a mark of any civilization is the presence of cultural monuments, the massive destruction of Serbian churches in this area shows the true intent of the Albanian militants…The wholesale destruction of Serbian churches and monasteries since 1999 and which accelerated last month betrays the desire to eliminate a whole people’s history, culture, and right to exist.
Prizren, which had featured age-old mosques next to churches and a beautiful historic town, was hardest hit. It was described to me as a “little Jerusalem” by one resident Arab, and as “the most beautiful town in the former Yugoslavia” by a Serb. In 2002, it was listed as one of the world’s 100 most endangered sites by the World Monument Fund…On March 26, Bishop of Kosovo Artemijie lamented:
“…how can people destroy a city in which they themselves are living? How can they calmly sit on benches and nonchalantly stroll in front of burning churches whose ruins stink of urine and feces left behind by the attackers? Where did such barbarity at the dawn of the 21st century come from, barbarity promoted not by some small group of extremists but by thousands of people who destroyed centuries of culture and civilization in their campaign of destruction?”
Some of the 150 Serbians expelled from Pristina on March 17 are currently being housed in an elementary school gym in Gracanica. The scene there is gloomy; cots lined up against the walls, black plastic bags of donated clothes and provisions, tinny music emanating from a little clock radio. Old people lay crouched in their beds while the few small children try to shoot baskets to entertain themselves. My local guide and I sat down to talk with one group of refugees, and instantly hospitality materialized in the form of Turkish coffee made on a plug-in burner. In Kosovo, even people who have nothing left want to give.
By 8:30, the mob had multiplied to several hundred. It was made up of armed men and boys of all ages. They were chanting the standard rallying cry of the former Kosovo Liberation Army (”UCK! UCK!”), and soon had broken the windows of all the first-floor apartments with rocks and shotgun shells. Witnesses saw taxis and vans continually bringing more and more Albanians in, some of whom they recognized from the neighborhood. According to the refugees, the rioters were enabled by four or five Albanian KPS officers, who invited them to come closer and also threw Molotov cocktails at the trapped Serbs. When someone desperately rang up the UN Police to report the emergency, the officer who answered “…just laughed and said, ‘we have a patrol in the area.’”
The situation became much more serious after the power was mysteriously cut at 9 PM. This seemed like a cue for the rioters to begin charging the building. They blocked off all the entrances, and began firebombing Serb-owned cars outside the building and then the structure itself. When the power came on again at 10 PM, the people trapped in the building turned off all lights and lay on the floor, intermittently peeking out the windows to see what was happening.
“Was it just a coincidence that the electricity was cut at the same moment they started their attack?” asks another refugee, Tanya Vudatovic. Until the riots, Vudatovic had been working in a Pristina NGO. It was difficult, and sometimes dangerous, but she felt safe enough. Not anymore.
“For five years,” she recounts, “we were locked inside a building and subjected to constant surveillance and hostile stares from our Albanian neighbors. Even if you went downstairs to a shop, they were constantly watching you. We didn’t even go out after dark. Yet even through all that, we still thought maybe we can live together. Not now.”
Despite nearly having been killed by the Albanian mob, Vudatovic and the others are this evening enjoying a laugh with an Albanian colleague working to develop multi-ethnic radio. He had happened to be visiting them on the night of the riots, when Vudatovic and 32 others huddled inside an apartment barricaded by metal bars and marked by an OSCE sign. “Hiding behind such signs has been one of our tricks for survival,” said Vudatovic. The presence of the metal bars, she is convinced, is the only reason they survived the attacks.
At around 11 PM, KFOR arrived with 2 vehicles. They passed across the front side of the apartment building and, while they remained, the crowd fell back. This detachment was soon replaced by a UN armored vehicle. The Serbs thought that they had been saved, and some made the mistake of opening their doors. But the peacekeepers inexplicably left after 15 minutes, and the mob regained strength, breaking into the building and baying for blood.
All in all, the rioters ransacked around 30 apartments and burned 4 others, according to the residents. Incredibly, no Serbs were killed, probably because they had taken shelter together in a few well-fortified apartments, placing tables, chairs, and anything heavy in front of the doors. However, had the peacekeepers not returned around 1 AM, many people would surely have died of fire and asphyxiation.
The arriving UN police soon found themselves under attack. The mob was furious at being stymied in their attack. But the police managed to break through the rioting crowd and started sweeping from the top floors down. A young mother named Vesna reveals the vital role American policemen played in the rescue:
“…one of them took my son, and the other, a female officer, tried to run with me towards the bus. She shielded me with her body, because the Albanians were shooting at us from all directions. When we got to the bus she pushed me down against the vehicle, blocked me from the bullets and saved my life.”
Meanwhile, Vudatovic and the others in the barricaded apartment below waited it out. “Even now when I lie down,” she says, “I can still hear this roaring sound in my ears… it’s very hard to explain what it was like, sitting in a corner in the dark, begging God to help you.” When I ask for her to attempt a description anyway, she recounts:
“…we could hear the mob gathering outside the door. They were calling for me and my sister, shouting, ‘Where are the two Serbian bitches?’ We were covering the mouths of the children so they wouldn’t scream. Out of the people in the apartment, only 4 were men, and all were unarmed. The Albanians would have killed all 33 people inside that room.
…then we heard someone screaming for help. After a few minutes of hearing his cries, one woman said, ‘I can’t stand it, we have to help him.’ So we removed the furniture blocking the door, went out in the hall and found a 34 year-old Serbian man covered in blood. He had been stabbed in the head. At that moment three Irish KFOR soldiers came running up the stairs. It was just a matter of seconds. They said to us, ‘We don’t have time! Go, go!’ But the entranceway was engulfed in flames, and we had to run through the fire in order to get out.”
Thirty-three people escaped certain death by hiding from the mob inside this barricaded apartment in Pristina on the night of March 17.
A few miles west of Pristina, in the little town of Kosovo Polje, Albanian rioters burned the post office, a restaurant, a hospital, and scores of houses….One refugee, a middle-aged man whose house was located behind the Post Office recounted what he saw:
“…first, they took my nephew’s car from the garage and burned it. We saw how they were throwing rocks at the Serbian houses. We all stayed indoors. But one old man who was caught outside while cleaning his house with his wife was kicked down by the mob. The Albanians let his wife go, but they lit the man on fire and burned him alive right there.”
This witness, whom I encountered in a “safe” part of the (still) ethnically-mixed town, was remarkably composed considering what he had witnessed, and considering that the perpetrators were less than a mile away. He added:
“…my elderly uncle was stabbed by Albanians as he was trying to run from a neighbor’s house into his own. Luckily we were near enough to see him, and we saved him. But the KPS Albanian police saw them attack him and did nothing.”
Eventually, the Serbs were evacuated by three of their ethnic kin who happened to work in the KPS. But these policemen could not save their homes from the Albanian mobs that moved methodically from house to house in groups of 30, looting, pillaging, and burning.
I asked the Kosovo Polje man, standing with some friends outside a little shop in the protected end of the town, what he envisions for the future. After all, he told me that he also owns an apartment in Belgrade – but has nevertheless chosen to remain in Kosovo:
“…after these five years, we thought it might be possible to live together. We had started to shop in Albanian stores, to walk more freely in the streets. Now there is no chance for that. Still, we had imagined the mob would stop at burning vehicles and big buildings – not houses or people. KFOR has taken all our weapons from us – only if they allow the Serbian police to return can we be saved.”
In the village of Obilic, as in Pristina, the entire Serbian population was expelled. I met several refugees from the village now being housed in Priluzje, a Serbian village a few miles to the north. One middle-aged woman made homeless by the riots gave her testimony:
“…at 10:30 AM on Thursday the 18th we left our house, my daughter and I. A neighbor took us in the van with them. We didn’t have time to take anything, only the clothes on our back. There were over 1,000 Albanians coming towards us, burning and shooting.”
I asked the woman whether she hoped to return to her village someday. She replied, “No, I have no wish to go back to Obilic. I will stay here if Priluzje survives, and if our Serbian army and police arrive to protect us, since KFOR does not seem able to do so.”
A very old man, bearded and with a gravelly voice, recounted how he has been expelled from Obilic 4 times since 1999, when his home was first burned by Albanians. After that, he moved into a neighbor’s house. When that was burned down, too, he was moved into a new building, and then into a camp in Pristina. He claims that since the camp was also used by KFOR for storing gasoline, “…the smoke choked us, we felt sick, and I got an infection in my veins.”
Like many other refugees, the old man declares that “What I’m wearing now is all that I have.” Nevertheless, there is some of the old Serbian obstinacy left in him:
“…I will go back to Obilic if there is safety, and if they rebuild our houses. But if they’re not capable, let us bring in our own security and police forces.”
Another elderly man, Slobodan, is temporarily housing these Obilic refugees in the home of his children and grandchildren. “I am 83 years old,” he says, “I have lived through 3 wars, and it has never been harder for the Serbian people than it is now. In the past, our enemies weren’t killing children, women, and old men, and destroying churches. How can we live if we aren’t allowed to defend ourselves, and no one else will?”
The next day, back in Gracanica, my guide and I give a lift to a Serbian man carrying a heavy box of humanitarian supplies. Turns out that he’s a refugee from Obilic too, being sheltered now within the enclave. When we describe the ruins we’d photographed in Obilic, the man recognizes one as being his former house. “Did you happen to see my dog?” he asks, hopefully, and describes the same mutt that’d been yapping around my feet the day before. “Ah! He lives still!” beamed the refugee.
Their safety can only really be guaranteed by re-introducing Serbian troops to Kosovo. However, such a decision would cause instantaneous all-out war from the Albanians. And so, since no one is willing to risk the unthinkable of war for the sake of a few straggler Serbs, their gradual elimination will forestall the need for any such decision. And so will that other unthinkable – ethnic cleansing in the heart of Europe – be quietly tolerated by the West’s would-be guarantors of civil society and human rights.
A note from Srebrenica Historical Project president Stefan Karganovic, on the ‘legit’-ness of “Ferizaj”:
But even that would-be example of an Albanian toponym with some historical roots is phony. Ferizaj definitely came after Urosevac and the reason is that Urosevac is a Serbian community with a long historical background that was named after the medieval Serbian King Uros [circa 1350s]. The orthodox cathedral in Urosevac is dedicated to St. Uros, the ruler having subsequently been canonised. Mr. Feriz was an Albanian businessman who set up an establishment in the vicinity of Urosevac in the latter part of the 19th century which by then had declined to little more than a village, and then gradually came to expand again and encompass the land owned by Mr. Feriz. The Albanians had to come up with something with historical-sounding roots suggesting their presence going “way back” so they formed a toponym based on that individual’s name.
By the way, with regard to Pec, the seat of the Serbian Patriarchy in Kosovo, there is a town by the name of Pecs [Hungarian spelling] in southern Hungary, which is Pec’s “sister city.” It was founded by Serbs who migrated to then Austrian Christian territory from Kosovo because of Turkish abuses in the 17th century. It is very doubtful that at the time of their departure from the area any of them were aware that “Peja” was the real name of the place [it is doubtful that there were any Albanians around at that time to tell them] or, I am sure, they would have nostalgically named the community they formed in southern Hungary - Peja. But that obviously did not happen.
Indeed, the Albanians are pitiful historical upstarts.
Serb town protests over wave of asylum seekers (by Jaksa Scekic, Nov. 6)
(Reuters) - Protesters in a small Serbian border town called for government action on Sunday over the town’s rapidly rising population of asylum seekers from Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa trying to reach the European Union.
Banja Koviljaca, a town of around 6,000 people on the river Drina between Serbia and Bosnia, is currently home to an estimated 2,500 migrants sent to an asylum centre there after being stopped by police trying to reach Western Europe.
Anger has been rising since the arrest of several Afghan men accused of raping a British woman in the town last month.
Serbia has seen a sharp increase in recent years in the number of asylum seekers, and the figures are expected to rise further as the Balkan country…moves towards membership of the EU.
Speakers at a protest of around 500 people said the town’s children would not go to school until the government solves the issue.
“At first dark, people lock their houses, people are scared,” local resident Natalia Maksimovic told the crowd.
“Yesterday it was rape, tomorrow it will be murder, while we stay silent and wait for someone who doesn’t even know where Banja Koviljaca is to solve the problem.”
In the first six months of this year, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) registered a five-fold increase in the number of asylum seekers in Serbia, including from Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan and the Middle East.
Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic has raised the possibility of opening other asylum centres.
“They are in the country in line with international conventions and we can’t just expel them,” he said last week, Serbian media reported. […]
Ah, the joyous Utopian benefits of EU membership. So whereas things came to a head in 1990s Kosovo precisely because the multi-culti communist Yugoslav government was reluctant to protect the citizenry from violent Albanian Muslims, half of whom came from families that crossed illegally into Serbia’s Kosovo and beyond, now Serbia is doubly scared to lift a finger to impose legality, watched as it is by its eventual new owners.
Meanwhile, here was an item from the Bare Naked Islam blog about the rape of that British tourist by the Afghani gang she was brilliantly British enough to befriend:
The brutal gang rape of a British woman by 5 Afghan Muslims has sparked a massive protest against illegal immigrants in a Serbian spa town. The 38-year-old woman – who bravely managed to film the attack on her mobile phone – was repeatedly raped after befriending a group of Afghan men in a park in Banja Koviljaca.
Despite handing the video footage to police, only one alleged attacker – identified by police only as Abdurashid D., 25 – has been arrested. Her harrowing phone video footage of the attack is said by local media to show the faces of three of her attackers clearly.
Now local mothers have told police they are boycotting local schools from next week (nov 7) unless they clear out a local refugee centre containing more than 2,500 illegal immigrants which was built to hold just 120.
“These people are always hanging around the parks and streets during the day causing trouble,” said one mum. “They have no respect for us, no respect for women and we want them gone because they have no right to be here. “My daughter isn’t going to school again while four refugee rapists are still on the streets,” she added.
Police said that Abdurashid D. has admitted sex with the woman, but claims it was consensual, although he was unable to explain medical evidence showing injuries suffered by the woman. The rape occurred last week (27 Oct), but police only revealed the details after the woman had returned to the UK on Monday.
On a point related to the seeming inconsistency of Muslim flight to Serbia:
Albanians Thrive in Belgrade (Nov. 25)
Tucked into Belgrade’s urban lifestyle live many Albanians who settled there mostly from Kosovo, especially after WWII. Belgrade welcomed them with open arms and today they work as doctors, lawyers or journalists.
Their number is unclear — city authorities say there are 1,492 Albanians.
One of the most famous, actor Bekim Fehmiu, chose to live in Belgrade until his death last year.
Leke Gjokaj is a student of medicine at Belgrade University and wants to continue the family tradition. He told SETimes to be Albanian in Belgrade is not a challenge.
“My parents worked as doctors in Belgrade. Even though my origin is from Peja in Kosovo, I have been there few times and feel more at home in Belgrade. Here are my family and friends,” Gjokaj said.
“I know stereotypes exist, but really it was not a problem to be an Albanian who goes to school or has friends. Of course, some try to make your life difficult, but if you have a destiny it does no matter,” Gjokaj said. “We have our own history and life here.”
Belgrade University has an Albanian language department, one of the oldest in the world, established in 1925. It has been developing and expanding since. Fifty students currently study Albanian, and about 15 new students enroll every year.
Department Assistant Merima Krijezi, an Albanian born in Belgrade, told SETimes there is growing interest in the programme. Most students are Serbs, with a few Albanians and students from mixed marriages who see an opportunity to learn their mother tongue.
“An increasing number of young people see a future in knowing this language and a possibility to earn well from it. The students who graduated from our department have a good chance of employment in state institutions like the army, police, parliament, courts, the faculty itself … to various NGOs,” she said.
“Belgrade is indisputably a metropolis and a city where you can find yourself,” Krijezi concluded.
Shqipe Sylejmani’s family, originally from Tetovo in Macedonia, moved to Belgrade in the 1980s because her parents worked for the former Yugoslavia’s federal government.
“For me, the political problems were not important; they never played a role in my life, but of course the effects could be felt during the 1990ˈs when Milosevic was in power. It was hard because people saw my family as the enemy who should not live here,” Sylejmani told SETimes.
She says her name Shqipe — meaning Albanian — and nationality earned her poor grades during the NATO bombing in the 1999 Kosovo conflict. “But such relations did not exist with my friends in class who respected me very well,” she said.
Sylejmani said that she would not leave Belgrade for any reason. “My parents are here; my friends and relatives live here and more than that, I was born here and I love the city. During the time of Milosevic, some people tried to make us to leave, but they did not succeed, and I see no reason to leave now after remaining here even in the most difficult period.” […]
So one of the oldest Albanian language university departments has been in Belgrade all along.
And I guess the Serbian students of the Albanian language see the writing on the wall and understand where the future lies; to the victors go the spoils. Meanwhile, had Shqipe’s federally employed parents been living in Kosovo in the 90s, they would not have survived the KLA’s punishment; but living in Belgrade during that supposedly most-dangerous-for-Albanians time, not a hair on their heads was touched.
“Albanians thrive in Belgrade.” No shit. But what non-Albanians thrive in Albanian-ruled lands? Indeed, even few Albanians thrive in the latter. Save for the criminal class.
Reader Bojan points out that the AP’s resident Albanian writer, Nebi Qena, who was put on this story, “naturally portrayed organ-trafficker-in-chief Thaci as the good guy who ‘condemns’ the act; but the fact that the story was even reported is surprising to say the least.”
Jewish cemetery in Kosovo capital desecrated: ‘Jews out’ spray-painted on memorial for Jewish families who perished during World War II. (AP, via Israel News, Dec. 1)
Police in Kosovo are investigating who sprayed swastikas on dozens of tombstones in a Jewish cemetery recently restored by American and Kosovan students, a spokesman said Thursday.
Brahim Sadrija said police had sealed off the cemetery in the capital, Kosovo, and are looking for clues. The vandalism is believed to have happened Tuesday.
In June, a group of students from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and their peers from the American University in Kosovo restored the neglected cemetery by clearing debris from around the graves and cutting overgrown grass.
Rabbi Edward S. Boraz of the college’s Roth Center for Jewish Life held a dedication ceremony at the memorial site, with students taking turns to read out the names of Jewish families from the region who perished during World War II.
I remember those poor suckers, and have been meaning to write about that visit. Note that when it comes to Americans and the Balkans, even the Ivy League gets only a remedial-level education, as my follow-up blog will illustrate. In advance of the PR trip, a boob named Jason Steinbaum was dispatched from NY Rep. Eliot Engel’s office to tell the wiz kids all they’d need to know about Kosovo, a briefing that was more or less three general-issue paragraphs.
Jason Steinbaum, “expert”; senior foreign affairs committee staffer for Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y.
According to the article about the cemetery desecration, it seems the Albanians haven’t forgotten their German. Well, almost:
On Thursday the hate graffiti “Jud Raus” - a misspelling of the German “Juden Raus,” which means “Jews out” - could still be seen at the foot of a memorial.
President Atifete Jahjaga and Prime Minister Hashim Thaci condemned the act.
“The damaging of cemeteries presents an act in complete contradiction with the traditions and values of the people of Kosovo, based on tolerance and full respect for all the dead and all the monuments,” Jahjaga said in a statement.
For all the dead? Really? In that case, where have such statements from Kosovo officials been for the countless Orthodox cemeteries lying in ruins all across Kosovo? Those cemeteries that are regularly destroyed, including after restoration, forcing Serbs to dig up their dead and rebury them in Serbia? So…what is the contradiction today with Kosovo’s traditions and values?
(Flashback: “[Radmila] wished to be buried alongside her late husband in the Orthodox Christian graveyard, which has been the target of persistent attacks and vandalism since June 1999…Apparently to be buried there is seen as a provocation to ethnic Albanians, but it seems that no one sees the continual vandalism of Christian graves or churches by Albanians as provocation. Incidentally, the old Jewish graveyard adjacent to the Orthodox graveyard has also been vandalised.“)
Back again to the current article about the Jewish cemetery:
…The condemnations follow that of US Ambassador to Kosovo, Christopher Dell, who urged authorities to find out who committed the vandalism.
“The hateful act was an offense not only against the families of persons buried there and of the Jewish community in Kosovo and beyond, but also an offense against Kosovo’s multiethnic state and society,” Dell said in a statement. [Read: “offense against” = “consistency with”]
“The act is one of contempt for the most basic norms of tolerance, coexistence, and respect, and cannot be tolerated.”
Here Dell wants us to think he hasn’t noticed that the most basic norms of tolerance, coexistence and respect don’t exist in Kosovo, which is why Washington has renamed the horror a “multi-ethnic, democratic success.” Take it from Eliot Engel himself from Monday’s email to congressional colleagues, careful to use the dhimmi pronunciation of “Kosovo”:
“USA for Kosova” Exhibition
As co-chairs of the Congressional Albanian Issues Caucus, we would like to cordially invite you to an exhibition on November 30, 2011 from 3:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. in the Rayburn Foyer featuring a special collection of materials that underscores the strong relationship between the United States and the Republic of Kosova.
The “USA for Kosova” exhibition will feature materials from the permanent collection of the Kosova Museum, which highlight the recent history of Kosova, the Albanian-American community in the United States, and the strong diplomatic relations between Kosova and the United States.
Today, Kosova is a growing, multi-ethnic democracy which serves as a shining example of success of American foreign policy in the Balkans. We are very encouraged by the progress Kosova has made in recent years, and we hope that this exhibition serves as a reminder of the unshakeable bond between the United States and Kosova.
If you have any questions regarding the exhibition, please contact John Moore (x52464) or Jason Steinbaum (x50385) in Rep. Eliot Engel’s office or Dee Weghorst (x53164) in Rep. Jean Schmidt’s office.
That’s right, Folks. You heard it here first. Some are wondering whether the “Kosova Museum” comes complete with an Organ Sale Giftshop.
But back to the desecrated Jewish cemetery:
Some 300 Kosovo Jews died at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany during World War II. After the war, Kosovo’s small Jewish community dwindled. The few that remained left for Israel and Serbia during and after the 1998-99 Kosovo war.
They fled to Israel…and Serbia. Not unlike the Albanians who thrive in that ever so sinister Belgrade. But the question remains: Why would Jews move away from Albanians? What about that great Albanian love for Jews that Commentary magazine’s Jonathan Tobin rhapsodized about just last year, and which has been making the rounds in exhibit form to Jewish centers since 2005, courtesy of another boob, named Norman Gershman?
Concluding the cemetery item:
In a statement sent to The Associated Press an American Jewish group branded the desecration of the cemetery as “a heinous act.”
“Holocaust survivors are shocked to learn that a sacred resting place of our martyrs has been profaned by vandals using graphic symbols of Nazi hate,” Elan Steinberg, vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants said…
If they’d been paying attention to Kosovo, no one would be shocked. But let’s hear from the ostensibly shocked U.S. embassy in ethnically pristine Pristina:
U.S. Embassy Condemns Desecration of Jewish Cemetery (Nov. 30)
The U.S. Embassy in Pristina strongly condemns the desecration of graves in the Jewish Cemetery in the Velania area of Pristina.
The hateful act was an offense not only against the families of persons buried there and of the Jewish community in Kosovo and beyond, but also an offense against Kosovo’s multi-ethnic state and society. The act is one of contempt for the most basic norms of tolerance, coexistence, and respect, and cannot be tolerated. U.S. university students recently participated in a
restoration project at the cemetery, and we also view the desecration of the graves as an attack on their acts of friendship and volunteerism.
Decoder: “We just went to the trouble of putting together this publicity tour for you with an Ivy League Hillel-sponsored event, and now you’re making us look bad. Again. Why are you trying to give the next generation a clue?”
The embassy went on to “call upon Kosovo authorities to thoroughly investigate the incident and to bring those responsible to justice.” This is an investigation that could actually break with the Kosovo norm, and possibly yield some results. After all, the offended parties aren’t Serb.
Here is a snapshot from that blissful summer trip:
“Students of the Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, USA, joined by students of the American University in Kosovo (AUK) participate a dedication ceremony in the Jewish Cemetery in the capital Pristina on Thursday, June 23, 2011. Students gathered to clear clear debris from neglected Jewish graves and restore what is a lone remaining sign of a dwindling community in this majority Muslim country. The students, from Dartmouth College spent a week to uncover graves left unattended since the end of the 1998-99 Kosovo war and restore the tombstone inscriptions, many dating from the late 19th century”
An excerpt from the June AP article describing the state of the Jewish graves that students found while on the perpetual mission to de-singularize the Holocaust:
US students help restore Kosovo’s Jewish cemetery (Nebi Qena, AP, June 24)
A row of tombstones etched in Hebrew script neatly lines a meadow overlooking Kosovo’s capital Pristina where barely a week ago children played soccer.
“You could hardly even see where any of the graves were,” said Susan Matthews, 21, from Chatham, New York. “We had to essentially find and uncover the graves, take down all the brush that had grown up the hill, wash all the stones so that we could read the etchings on them again,” she said.
Matthews is among students visiting Europe as part of their inquiry into genocide. They arrived in Kosovo on June 17 from Poland where they visited the notorious Auschwitz concentration camp.
Rabbi Edward S. Boraz of The Roth Center for Jewish Life at Dartmouth College said the aim of the tour was to look at genocide “as a human problem not specific to any one group of people.”
“We will never forget the crimes against humanity that were committed here during the 1990s and the suffering that occurred when innocent life was taken,” Boraz said after the group lit candles and placed them on top of a newly built memorial. “We begin to understand that genocide isn’t something unique to a people but is a problem for all humanity to address.”
Here are some primers on Kosovo Albanians’ Nazi past and present.
As for the cemetery desecration’s “contradiction with the traditions and values of the people of Kosovo” as the “president” calls it, one wonders if this doesn’t have something to do with a taboo revelation that appeared in another item this very week: “the rise of Islam in Kosovo” (which we’re not allowed to talk about since the whole point of fighting these Muslims’ war for them was that they were supposed to be immune from Islamization):
The Female Factor (Matthew Brunwasser, NY Times, Nov. 29)
In 1999, exposing wrongdoing seemed like an ideal common to most if not all Kosovo Albanians, united as they were by their fight against the authoritarian rule of Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia.
Now, Ms. [Jeta] Xharra finds there is scant protection for her kind of journalism, as she rakes over the mix of corruption, organized crime and weak governance that is her nascent country today.
In the spring of 2009, Ms. Xharra received death threats, openly published in the pro-government daily Infopress. No prosecutors would take up her case, Ms. Xharra said, because they, too, feared reprisals.
(What a victory. So it was relatively safe to speak out against the “Butcher of the Balkans,” but not so much against her ostensibly oppressed people — whom the law fears.)
Only this past August, more than two years later, did [EU] prosecutors…file criminal charges over the threats. Ms. Xharra said they could not make any other charges stick against the person who had threatened her.
“We spent years uniting against Milosevic, we even collected taxes voluntarily…” In 2004, she started planning her own program, to investigate corruption and organized crime but also take on many taboos of Kosovo society: violence against women, the rise of Islam in Kosovo, homosexuality, holding elected officials to their campaign promises.
…[F]or a woman to challenge the Kosovar politicians who had previously seen state television as an open platform for their views only added to the sting.
Kosovo’s women gained broad access to higher education and careers during the 1970s in Communist Yugoslavia. But, Ms. Xharra and other women note, women still frequently do not share in decision-making at home, much less in public life.
Let me see if I have this straight. The discriminated-against-to-the-point-of-justifying-terrorism-and-”reverse attacks” Albanians had “broad access to higher education and careers” while ruled from the terrifying Belgrade?
So now Ms. Xharra has to contend with the primitive culture whose victory she helped assure over the less primitive, equality-oriented one. This is the oddest triumph and most backward liberation I’ve ever heard of.
The Pristina Jewish graveyard desecration is part of the veritable hemorrhage of bad news coming out of Kosovo in just the past year, which also includes yet another Albanian Hague witness being found dead, a Kosovar killing American servicemen in Frankfurt last March, and of course the organ-harvesting scandal implicating the highest levels of Kosovo officialdom (meet the American who’s been put in charge of burying that investigation, just as he buried mass graves of Serbs in 1999 Kosovo — more on that soon).
The imperviousness of our ruling class, however, is not to be underestimated, and so all the while, far from American eyes and ears, our men and women in uniform — representing National Guard units from places like North Dakota, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Missouri, Wyoming and Minnesota — proudly follow their orders to subjugate the Albanians’ victims, and are authorized to shoot at the last of Kosovo’s resisting Serbs.