April 2012

Serbia: Italian group probes depleted uranium use in NATO bombings

Belgrade, 18 Feb. (AKI) - An Italian non-governmental organisation is investigating consequences of NATO’s 1999 bombings of Serbia and the effects of the use of depleted uranium on the civilian population.

The ‘Un ponte per…’ NGO investigators Alessandro di Meo and Samantha Mengarelli arrived in Belgrade on Wednesday for talks with Serbian officials, eyewitnesses and victims of the NATO airstrikes.

They will tour several Serbian cities that were hardest hit during the bombings before submitting a report to the Rome-based NGO.

NATO has admitted the use of depleted uranium in the bombing campaign and Italian media has reported that 45 Italian soldiers who served in the international forces in Kosovo (KFOR) died after the bombing and 515 became ill with cancer.

[This is Clinton’s “casualty-free” war.]

Di Meo told Adnkronos International (AKI) that the international community was turning a deaf ear to the problem, because the use of depleted uranium is prohibited by international conventions.

“But ten years after the bombing, the world has the right to know what really happened and what the consequences are,” he said.

[Make that 13 years.]

Menngarelli said the truth about military casualties was slowly sinking in in Italy after a surprising increase in deaths and cancers amongst soldiers who served in KFOR.

“But the civilian victims have been completely ignored and we want to shed light on this problem,“ she said.

A Serbian NGO, ironically called ‘Merciful angel’ the name of NATO’s 1999 airstrikes, recently reported that cancer ailments have jumped about 200 percent in some parts of Kosovo and areas of Serbia that were most heavily bombed.

Serbia had decontaminated five areas the most affected by depleted uranium, but there remained 113 such locations in Kosovo, former Serbian minister for ecology, Miodrag Nikcevic, told Di Meo and Mengarelli.

Kosovo majority ethnic Albanians declared independence last year and Serbian authorities have no access to the area.

Nikcevic said even the decontaminated areas weren’t absolutely safe, “because you can’t find every bomb and the bullet”.

“Ethnic Albanians did get independence, but they may suffer the consequences of the bombing health-wise for years to come,” Di Meo said.

Let’s see if we can guess how much help Serbia has gotten from America in the decontamination process after we took this giant dump in the middle of Europe. This Italian environmental investigator doesn’t buy the U.S. military’s claims about the contaminated sites that affect Italy more directly.

As always, little surprise that it’s the Italians who are asking the right questions.

NATO, your anium is showing.

Such was the morbid observation of my Italian-American friend Lou, who couldn’t get over the shrug that stabbed Jewish infants are met with by the world, relegating these atrocities to the realm of local Israel news. He was specifically thinking of the murders in Itamar, which columnist Don Feder reminded us of last month in his article “Fighting Islamophobia by Ignoring Muslim Anti-Semitism” (alternately: “Fighting Islamophobia — While Jews Die”):

It takes a special kind of hatred to repeatedly stab an infant through the heart. Last year, in the Jewish community of Itamar, North of Jerusalem, Palestinians invaded the home of Ruth and Udi Fogel. The parents were killed. Then the practitioners of peace went to work on the kids. Yoav (age 11), Elad (age 4) and three-month old Hadas were stabbed through the heart and had their throats slit. Word of the atrocities was greeted with jubilation on the Palestinian street; where candy was distributed to children to celebrate this great victory over the Jewish people.

Between that column and last month’s Toulouse massacre of Jews, I was reminded of a letter I received in February — which I’d meant to get to sooner — from Michael Palmer, the father of a murdered young man and his infant in Israel:

On Friday, September 23 last year, two Arabs motivated by hatred for Jews murdered my son Asher and his son Yonatan. Asher was driving from his home in Kiryat Arba to spend Shabbat with his wife, Puah, and her parents in Jerusalem. Puah was five months pregnant when her husband and son were murdered. Last week, Puah gave birth to Orit. Asher had chosen the name Orit before he died. The two Arabs who murdered Asher and Yonatan didn’t know them. They targeted cars driven by Jews on the eve of Shabbat. Their motivation was anti-Semitic hatred. They wanted to kill Jews, any Jews and had been trying along with a gang of accomplices to kill Jews for several
weeks. Asher and Yonatan were their first and only success. Several days after the murders, the Israeli security forces arrested them and the rest of their gang and they are now in jail awaiting trial.

The hate-motivated murders of Asher and Yonatan and birth of Orit have been significant news in Israel. Here are a couple of links to recent coverage.

The deaths of Asher and Yonatan at the hands of Arab terrorists and the birth of Orit hold, in my opinion, a lesson of struggle and survival for Jews worldwide.

I’m contacting you about this so that more people can hear this story, consider the lessons, and find a point of connection and hope between Jews in Israel and outside Israel. Ideas that you may have on how Asher and Yonatan’s short lives can be honored by discussing them in public would be very appreciated. Thanks.


While I don’t have many ideas for Mr. Palmer, as I’m it’s all I can do to get to these blogs, I noticed that the far more wide-reaching blogger Pamela Geller was almost alone in calling attention to the Palmer murders, noting that a few months after the attack Asher’s uncles and cousins were also attacked: Jihad Against Jews: Five months after Baby Asher and His Father were murdered by Muslims, his uncles and cousins survive a similar attack

I’m sorry I can’t be of more help to Mr. Palmer, but I hope he keeps us updated on any ideas he may have come up with without me.

Stray dogs will be eliminated (March 21)

Mitrovica – Municipal officials in Mitrovica, as a result of citizen complaints, will organize a three-week action to eliminate stray dogs.

According to the Director for Protection and Rescue, Behxhet Bala, the action for the elimination of stray dogs will begin in 22.03.2012 and will last until 12.04.2012. The action will be implemented in cooperation with Kosovo Police and Association of Sport Hunters “Trepca”. This action will take place in the city from 02:00 am - 06:00 am, while in the suburbs and villages from 06:00 until 08:00 o’clock in the morning.

See from previous years: Agonizing Howls can be Heard throughout Pristina, and from just last December: “Strays Soothing Soldiers in Kosovo.” But Who Will Soothe the Strays after We Used our Soldiers to Make Them Such?

A Google translation of this March 23rd story from Republika Srpska’s “Fokus”:

Serial killer from Toulouse, French Algerian Mohamed Merah, who a few days [ago] killed seven people, recently spent time in Bosnia and in one of the many lectures on Islam, organized by the mysterious organization “Invitation to Paradise.”

This [for our paper] confirmed an unnamed official of a Western intelligence agency, who said that he attended a lecture…”Call to Heaven”, held last month [February] in Zavidovici.

“Merah [for] a long time maintained close contacts with a group of Algerians from Bosnia, of which the majority felt that they had long left the territory of this country,” says our source.

Remember those Algerians that Bosnia rounded up for us when we asked for them right after 9/11? And then regretted this betrayal of Muslims by Muslims? They’re just about all released from Guantanamo by now.

…[Terrorism expert] Dževad Galijašević [added] that intelligence indicates that in the last few months Merah contact[ed] with a former commander of the notorious “El Mujahedin” detachment from the composition of the Third Corps of the Bosnian Army of BiH, Abu al-Me’alijem.

“Last spring, Abu al-Me’ali was observed in Benghazi, where he joined the rebels, who fought against units of Libyan leader Muammar el Gaddafi. Upon completion of the Libyan revolution, ‘the young Osama,’ [as] U.S. intelligence officials called Abu al-Me’alija, again changed his address, but up to the last few months could not be traced. Apparently, he moved from Libya to the south of France where, among others, met Merah,” Galijašević said, adding that intelligence indicated that Abu al Me’ali [is] currently located in Montreal, Canada.

So among the al Qaeda-connected “rebels” in Libya was a former commander of the Bosnian Army’s El Mujahid unit. Much like this Mumbai attack suspect.

To Merah not accidentally stumbled upon Abu al-Me’alija, according [to] Dzevad Galijasevic, the data show that the Frenchman of Algerian origin for some time [was] present in the radical religious circles, and the intelligence report[s] that he had been trained in terrorist camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Merah was on the U.S. list of persons prohibited from traveling by air, on suspicion that he might cause a terrorist attack…Merah, according to the findings of U.S. intelligence [in] 2010 was in Afghanistan where he trained in Islamic camps, before being caught and returned to France.

Many who knew him say that the change in his behavior occur[red] overnight.

Merah became obsessed with violent video footage, showing torture and decapitation. He had a large amount of weapons, including several guns and was ready to kill, the act that he thought that they should do for the sake of their religion.

Mohamed Merah was also a serial killer, and was known to the police because of the small Toulouse criminal offense. The French government claims that in the past few months [he] was under surveillance, if not years - leading to questions [how] he managed to [evade] arrest. Interior Minister of France, Claude Gent, confirmed that he had close ties with the people who supported the jihad, and that he was a member of Al Qaeda eager to avenge the suffering of children in Palestine…

“He never wore a beard and advocated anti-Semitic attitudes. If he really is guilty, what he did was inexcusable and contrary to what the Koran teaches us,” said one of his close friends.

Lately, it seems, Bosnia has been scurrying to deport some of these characters on its own, without us pulling their teeth to do so. Two more Algerians and a Tunisian:

Bosnia deports ex-Islamist fighter to Algeria (March 21, AFP)

Bosnia Wednesday deported an Algeria-born former Islamist fighter to his homeland, the ministry for security said.

Frendi Omar represents “a threat to the national security” of Bosnia, the ministry said in a statement.

Omar had already been deported by Bosnian authorities in January 2010, but local police arrested him again in September 2011, following his illegal return to Bosnia, according to the statement.

Like hundreds of fighters from Islamic countries, known as mujahedeen, Omar fought with the Muslim-led Bosnian army during the 1992-1995 war.

He was a member of the notorious El Mujahed unit known for atrocities and criminal activities.

After the war he used several identities to avoid deportation, the ministry said.

Omar’s wartime comrade and fellow Noureddine Gaci, arrested along with him, was deported in January.

Another former member of the unit, Tunisian Karray Kamel Ben Ali, also known as Abou Hamza, was deported to Tunisia in October.

I was barely finished with my recent blog “A Tired Script: Tampa Terrorist from Pro-American Kosovo,” which asked journalists to notice their own words about Albanians loving us because we bombed their turf rivals, and mocked their rote exercise of inserting the requisite Albanian-pro-Americanism paragraph in articles about the latest Albanian terrorist. I was barely finished writing it when I happened upon the March issue of Newsmax magazine at the house of a relative who has since promised to cancel his subscription.

As always playing catch-up in embracing stale left-wing propaganda — whether it’s adulating Bill Clinton, or buddying up to Islam, or forcing down the mainstream media’s Kosovo Kool-Aid that it once debunked, Newsmax was at it again. This time it was the Travel section trying to catch up to (regress to) the zombie presses of AP, San Francisco Chronicle, AAA’s “Via” magazine, Wall St. Journal, and assorted travel bloggers who sometimes are too young to even remember our pro-terrorist war that made Albanians love us. This time Newsmax was trying to catch up by selling us on Albania as a travel destination. Highlighting of course — you guessed it — its pro-Americanism. Behold a section titled “You don’t have to look hard to find countries that give U.S. visitors a warm welcome,” by a John Alderley (another byline without any trace of previous articles, probably belonging to a travel agent paying Newsmax to run the feature):

…This is another surprise, but Albania is now considered the most pro-American country in Europe.

(As if they don’t know the dark evolution of that “surprising” factoid.)

Where else but the largely-Albanian Kosovo capital of Pristina has a Bill Clinton Boulevard and a George W. Bush Boulevard, as well as a 10-foot-high golden statue of Clinton?

There was even a trend among Albanian parents to name their kids Bill and Hillary. They love Americans not just because the United States led the defense [aggression] of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. They remember how their country was saved by President Woodrow Wilson after World War I — hence plenty of boys were named Wilson 90 years ago. Besides a warm welcome, you’ll see fabulously preserved castles, beautiful scenery, and empty beaches.

That these things have already become a punch line for people who follow the Balkans doesn’t deter the writer from repeating them with a straight face. Clearly he’s only just learned of these propaganda talking points for the first time.

(See also “Bill Clinton statue is already a relic: The former US president should have been too embarrassed to attend a ceremony in Kosovo with unpleasant historical echoes,” and see the last paragraph of my blog, asking why the statue wasn’t nude. I mean, if you’re going to erect a statue of Clinton…)

Newsmax’s mantra-repetition hoped to entice people to the pro-American paradise of Greater Albania, and to hell with the reality for people who actually live there. Even spineless, dishonest France is more honest than Americans about our Albanian demon child, as is the rest of Europe (though complicit nonetheless):

France: Kosovo and Albania are not safe countries

The Council of State as the highest administrative body in France annulled the decision of the Administrative Council of the Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) which qualifies Kosovo and Albania as countries of safe origin.

On March 18, 2011, OFPRA listed Albania and Kosovo as [countries] in which the principles of freedom, democracy, rule of law, human rights and essential freedoms are respected, the French asylum posted on its website. The Council of State annulled the decision on Monday at the request by the organisation and the Refugee Forum, the release states.

Each year, France offers protection to a considerable number of refugees from Kosovo and Albania…The associations recalled that the assessment of the situation in a country should not depend on diplomatic decisions….

Meanwhile, isn’t it interesting how our “pro-American allies” the Albanians have tried to kill, and have killed, Americans while the “anti-AmericanSerbs we love to bomb have not?

In mid-makeover, the wannabe-mainstream Newsmax is in a class of its own: remedial mainstream media. (Remedia?)

And just when you thought a single magazine issue couldn’t top the Albania number, a short pro-Muslim hack job turned out to be the real showstopper, pretending to not understand the real controversy about Muslims and replete with simplistic, unthinking assumptions plus inversions of the “extremist” label: “Anti-Muslim Bias Isn’t Helping Us: Former Reagan Attorney General Edwin Meese says upstanding political figures are suffering prejudice based on their ethnicity,” by the magazine’s “chief Washington correspondent” Ronald Kessler:

Disparaging Muslims because of their religion is wrong and hurts the effort to defeat terrorists, Edwin Meese II, President Ronald Reagan’s attorney general, tells Newsmax.

Meese supported David Ramadan, a candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates, when he was being attacked by extremists simply because he is a Muslim.

The conspiracy-minded extremists then turned their sights on Meese, who was Reagan’s chief of staff when Reagan was governor, saying Meese had been “hoodwinked” by Ramadan and calling for complaints to the Heritage Foundation, where Meese is a Ronald Reagan distinguished fellow in public policy.

Despite the attacks, Ramadan won the election last November by 50 votes.

Meese explains why he took that courageous stand and why prejudice against Muslims defies American traditions and values.

Because he’s senile but knows enough that he won’t have to live with the consequences of his nice-guy antics? It’s all fine and well to be “courageous” (i.e. sheepish) when you’re going to die soon anyway.

Meese calls Ramadan a “fine man” who was appointed by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell to George Mason University’s board of visitors, similar to a board of trustees.

Meese previously had served on the board and, through that connection, met Ramadan, who is CEO of the fitness franchise Curves for Women in the Middle East and India.

[Note to self: cancel Curves membership.]

“He thought very much in terms of political lines the same way I do, and so I was very happy to support him, attend one of his fundraisers, and give him my endorsement,” Meese says.

Meese says a “fringe group” accused Ramadan of “somehow not being totally an American or being an Islamist or somehow not being worthy of running for office. I felt that this was an unfair attack and persisted in my support of him because of that.”

Rather than look into the accusations, of course, which are documented.

Meese calls Ramadan a “person who is qualified, is an American who believes in America, and is a citizen.”

To have people “disparage a person, without any evidence or without any indication that there is anything wrong with them, simply on the basis of the fact that he had come from a Middle-Eastern background [seemed to be] the wrong thing to do.”

Ramadan was born in Lebanon and came to America in 1989 when he was 19. A graduate of George Mason, he worked for the Bush-Quayle campaign in 1992, the George Allen campaign for governor in 1993, and the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2000 and 2004.

Similar baseless attacks have been leveled at Suhail Khan, a Muslim who is a respected board member of the American Conservative Union and a former White House aide to President George W. Bush.

“All of us have come to America either directly or through ancestors from some other country — other than Native Americans, perhaps — and so I think it is important that we be very careful not to accuse people of things that are not true,” Meese says.

Who’s talking about things that are untrue?

It’s one thing if a Muslim “believes in Shariah law, for example, and thinks that we should have it in this country, or believes that we should not have fought against terrorists who happen to come from Muslim backgrounds,” Meese adds.

Otherwise, in the cases of Ramadan, Khan, and others, “I think it’s always serious when any American is disparaged because of their religion, solely because of their religion or their background, when there is no basis for it,” Meese says. “I think it’s a wrong thing, and it does hinder our efforts to counter those people that are really involved and hurting America.”

This is Newsmax’s “chief Washington correspondent” writing at this level. In a longer online version of the article, Kessler has the following paragraphs:

Suhail Khan…has also come under attack by similar groups because he is a Muslim. Ironically, Khan devotes a great deal of his time to bringing together Muslims, Jews, and Christians. [The ubiquitous “interfaith dialoguecharade is supposed to be testimony to something.]

As noted in my story Herman Cain Apologizes for Muslim Remarks, Khan saw what bigotry can lead to when he and Marshall Breger put together a visit last August by leading rabbis and imams to the Dachau concentration camp in Germany and to Auschwitz in Poland.

And that’s supposed to mean something? Kessler is falling for the hackneyed visit-the-concentration-camp-together tango? Or did Newsmax really staff itself with conservatives willing to play dumb?

Since it’s Muslims who are doing today’s Jew-killing, this tired charade of imam outings to the concentration camp is an insult. “Khan saw what bigotry can lead to when he and Marshall Breger put together a visit to the Dachau concentration camp”? It can lead to that for Jews, not for the Muslims who kill them.

Anyone can visit a concentration camp. Besides which, how much do these Holocaust memorials mean anyway, given that the anti-Semitic Serbocidal Croatian nationalist Franjo Tudjman — the wartime Croatian president we supported — was seated at the dais during the inauguration of the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, and the former Hitler recruiter Alija Izetbegovic — the Western-backed fundamentalist Bosnian wartime president whose son has now been elected — was invited. (He didn’t attend, lest Muslim opinion of him soured.)

…Breger is an orthodox Jew who is a professor at Catholic University of America and was President Reagan’s liaison to the Jewish community.

Let’s count how many times Kessler mentioned Reagan in this article. Five. Kessler made sure to play on the Reagan thing as if Newsmax’s conservative readership is as stupid as Newsmax is complicit. And as if the obsolete Reagan tag has any meaning in the context of what we know about Islam today. Besides which, it’s not like we don’t know that Republican ranks have always been dotted with Arabists and anti-Israelites. Given that today the Islamic danger is a more compelling issue and known quantity than it was during Reagan’s time, this is less forgivable today.

Newsmax is still dancing rather than admit that the jig is up: the differences between left and right are minimal, and where it counts most — jihad — there is almost no difference. After all, the anti-jihad wing of conservatives is the “fringe” of “extremists.” Citing this one or that one as supporting Ramadan (Meese, Cantor) testifies to nothing at all. Wasn’t it the 2008 alternative to Obama — John McCain — who along with Lindsey Graham has been facilitating the installation of the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya and Syria?

This may shock Newsmax, but even if Ronald Reagan told me to jump off the Empire State Building, I wouldn’t do it.

Then again, what can one expect from Newsmax? Here was the previous issue’s cover:

The editors act as if Norquist — whose clique probably accounts for half the Republican establishment — hasn’t already been totally busted as a stealth Islamist. (By World Net Daily, Front Page Magazine, Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, Frank Gaffney, and others. That “fringe” of “extremists” Meese was referring to.) And David Ramadan is of course a Norquist protege.

Angelina Jolie Bosnia Film: Wesley Clark Says “Absolutely Truthful”

From Roger Friedman’s “Showbiz 411″ on January 2:

Our LA reporter LEAH SYDNEY taking note in December: With the kudos of a Golden Globe Nomination, Angelina Jolie’s moving new film, “In the Land of Blood and Honey,” the movie also got a thumbs up from General Wesley Clark, a retired General who also ran for President in 2004. At the premiere in Hollywood The General told us, “I was there during that war, and this film was hard to watch but totally truthful. Extremely realistic and terribly moving.” The General then had a chat with Angelina.

We then asked Angelina if the heaviness of the scenes ever go to her.

Angelina: “It was a kind and gentle set. Both sides came together, especially during the heavy scenes. My cast and crew were just amazing.”

Who knew? Angelina Jolie gets Bosnia right — on her first attempt!

And here I’ve been working so hard to figure it out for over a decade. A case of an airhead actress knowing and understanding the world better? “Amazing”!

And when you have the endorsement of America’s most air-headed “perfumed” general in history, well that just says it all.

(By the way, I’d always hoped that Wesley would finally come out with his own fragrance. Or at least that he’d come out.)

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