January 2013


******THIRD UPDATE AT BOTTOM******

******SECOND UPDATE AT BOTTOM******

*****FIRST UPDATE AT BOTTOM: “German Ambassador Demands that Kosovo Gets UN Membership“; Heinz Wilhelm: “Serbia cannot block Kosovo’s UN membership” ******

Wasn’t I just saying….

I mean, really, what other place gets to already have discussions about UN membership before it’s even a country? Before actual UN members have even recognized its countryness?

That’s easy. It starts with a K.

UN seat for Kosovo to be discussed, ambassador says (Beta, Večernje novosti, Jan. 24)

German Ambassador to Serbia Heinz Wilhelm has stated that Kosovo’s UN membership is one of the issues that should be discussed in Brussels.

He said that Berlin wanted Belgrade and Priština to raise their relations to the level of ambassadors.

When asked if Serbia would be requested to accept to have ambassadors in Belgrade and Priština and to discuss a UN seat for Kosovo in order to get a date for the beginning of the EU accession negotiations, Wilhelm said that it was difficult to say at the moment and that it depended on agreements in among 27 EU member states.

“The issue (of UN membership) is very important to us but I cannot say at the moment if it is going to be crucial for the granting of the date. We will first wait for a decision of the European Commission (EC) and (EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy) Catherine Ashton on the progress in dialogue. Member states will study the report and make a final decision…”

When asked if new conditions for Serbia would appear in March, he said that it was important for Serbia to stop preventing Kosovo from becoming a member in European and international institutions….Wilhelm reiterated that Germany recognized Kosovo as an independent country and added that Berlin would therefore like to see Serbian and Kosovo ambassadors in Belgrade and Priština.

“But Serbia does not recognize Kosovo. An agreement on exchange of liaison officers that will work in EU missions in Belgrade and Priština is also acceptable for us…”

When asked if the Resolution and Platform on Kosovo would be another roadblock on the EU pathway, the ambassador said that the most important thing was that it was written in the documents that Serbia would do its best to make progress in the dialogue.

When asked if it was acceptable to Germany that the platform requested a wide autonomy for the Serb community, Wilhelm noted that the Ahtisaari plan offered a pretty wide autonomy to Serb municipalities and that a solution should be sought within the framework.

“The proposal from the platform exceeds the Ahtisaari plan. We cannot accept a solution that leads to creation of special entities, regions within Kosovo, and it is what is requested in the platform,” the German diplomat stressed.

He could not confirm that progress made in the solving of the Kosovo issue was enough for heads of EU state and government to give Serbia a date for the start of the EU accession talks in March.

Wilhelm said Germany wanted Serbia to become an EU member as soon as possible but that it did not accept any country that would bring its problems in the Union. [Even if “its” problems were brought to it by Europe, apparently.]

Wilhelm added that…he was optimistic because many things had been done, including the launching of a political dialogue, agreement on the integrated crossings management, exchange of liaison officers and customs duty collection.

Well, there’s at least one UN member — albeit a recognizer — that isn’t having any of this. Indeed, if it weren’t for the Czechs, we’d have no idea that all this trouble is being gone to on behalf of a terrorist state. In fact, all this sweating and deference is because Kosovo is a terrorist state.

Favorite to win Czech elections calls Kosovo “terrorist” (B92, DANAS, Jan. 24)

PRAGUE — The favorite to win the Czech presidential elections runoff, Miloš Zeman, has voiced strong criticism of Kosovo.

Speaking for the ČTK news agency he said that if elected, he would “not allow a Czech ambassador to be sent to Priština”.

“I would withdraw even the charge d’affaires that is there now, let alone send an ambassador. I consider Kosovo a terrorist regime financed by narco-mafias,” Belgrade-based daily Danas is quoting Zeman as saying.

According to opinion polls, Zeman is more likely to win in the second round of the elections, scheduled for late January. His opponent is Karel Schwarzenberg.

It was the opposition of the outgoing president, Vaclav Klaus, that prevented the appointment of an ambassador in Priština, although the Czech Republic is among the 22 of EU’s 27 nations that have recognized Kosovo. […]

Something it did not do easily:

Prague: We owe it to Serbia (B92, Beta, Feb. 22, 2008)

The Czech government says it is “in no hurry to recognize Kosovo”, reports say.

Now the Czech authorities admit they feel they are “historically indebted to the Serbs”, who stood by the Czechs when Hitler, with the blessing of the Western powers, tore their country apart in 1938.

Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg told today’s Hospodarske Noviny daily… “Whenever we went through hard times, such as in 1968, Yugoslavs, and more specifically Serbs, treated us in the proper manner. This is why voices are so strong here against the recognition of Kosovo,” he said… “The secession of Kosovo is in the Czech Republic compared to the Munich Agreement,” Schwarzenberg said.

He spent the day yesterday explaining to the Committee that the government had decided to recognize Kosovo so as “not to lose influence within the EU to help Serbs and Albanians”. But the Committee, as he said, “gave him a hard time” over this.

“I am in no hurry on this matter, but we cannot exclude ourselves from the European trends,” Schwarzenberg said, and added he expected a “negative reaction from Belgrade.”

“In their place, I would do the same,” the minister said.

Schwarzenberg added he will investigate a fake telegram allegedly sent by his ministry to the Priština authorities. The document claims that Prague will demand that Serbia “be punished over the Kosovo Serbs’ demonstrations” in the north of the province.

Historical parallels show EUs Kosovo policy is insane (Czech Business Weekly, Jan. 7, 2008, By Jiri Hanak)

The new year begins under the sign of the infamy that the U.S. and the European Union are committing against Serbia….When, in October 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain defended the Munich Agreement with Hitler as offering peace in our time, Winston Churchill said, “The nation had to choose between shame and war. We have chosen shame. We shall get the war as well.” To paraphrase [analogize], Washington and the EU have chosen between a restless Balkans and dishonesty. They have chosen dishonesty and will have troubles with more than the Balkans.

But let us leave Serbia aside, injured and demeaned as it is. In its current state of mind, it is imaginable that Serbia will turn its back on the EU and the West and will seek a safe harbor in Moscow. The idea that Serbia may permit Russia to establish a base on its territory is not as fantastic as it may seem. Desperate states do desperate things.

When discussing Kosovo’s independence, we cannot apply a nation’s right to self-determination. The Albanian nation already has its state. The Kosovo Albanians are thus merely a minority in Serbia, as the Czech Germans were in pre-war Czechoslovakia. But there are further points. If the Euro-Atlantic alliance grants independence to the Albanians in Kosovo, will it be able to consistently deny it to Albanians in the Republic of Macedonia, where they form a high percentage minority? And what about Republika Srpska in Bosnia-Herzegovina?…I am almost certain that an independent Kosovo and an independent Republika Srpska in Bosnia would fuse with their mother states in the foreseeable future, resulting in an entirely new map of the region.

…If the Albanian minority in Serbia can become independent, why not the Hungarian minority in Slovakia? And in Romania? And what about Chechnya? And the Turks in Cyprus? And what about the 40-million strong Kurdish nation, with its own language and culture?

…Only thanks to the magic wand of the U.S. State Department, then headed by Madeleine Albright, did the terrorists and narco-barons change into respectable freedom fighters. I cannot judge how much a role was played by the charm of KLA political leader Hashim Thai (also known as the Snake). What is certain is the fact that we will be witnesses to a unique event with the declaration of an independent Kosovo, the narco-mafia will gain its own state.

…In the case of Slovakia or Romania, the approval will be either hypocritical or suicidal. For the Czech Republic, it will be a living example of forgetting ones own history. I am sorry that, as a convinced backer of the EU, I have to say that in the case of Kosovo, the EU has apparently gone insane.

The Contrarian of Prague (WSJ, March 8, 2008, By Brian M. Carney)

…This week, while in New York to address a gathering of fellow “non-alarmists” at a [global warming] conference in Times Square, [Vaclav Klaus] took some time to sit down with members of the Journal’s editorial board to offer his dissenting views on Russia, Kosovo, America and of course, climate change.

… He has been one of the few politicians in the European Union to publicly express doubts about the wisdom of recognizing Kosovo’s recently declared independence from Serbia.

He fears…a domino effect….When it comes to hosting American missile-defense facilities, Mr. Klaus’s position is contrary to the dominant view in Europe. Opposition to the radar facilities is, in his view, nothing more than old-fashioned anti-Americanism.

…For his part, “I want to have close ties with [the U.S.],” which is why he supports the bases.

Perhaps the most surprising and counterintuitive position he took during our meeting concerned Russia. The former Soviet satellites in Central Europe are often thought of as reliable skeptics of Russian intentions. But Mr. Klaus expresses a more sanguine view, even arguing that Western fears about Russia and Vladimir Putin are misplaced.

…So, does he not think that, through its supply of arms to Syria and Iran, and its obstructionism over Iran at the U.N. Security Council, Russia is once again picking a fight with the U.S. — or at least in danger of doing so? [”Picking a fight”? With someone who’s been punching you repeatedly?]

His response is at turns heated and pleading: “No one is thinking about that in Russia. Why do you think that’s the way [they think]? Simply, Russia was totally lost and pushed to the floor and simply wants to be a normal country again. Don’t interpret all the attempts to be accepted as a normal country as an aggressive position vis-à-vis the United States. This is not that way. I’m afraid that this is the mantra in the American newspapers but please, please, think about it twice because this is a tragic mistake.”

What about the danger that Russia could use its role in supplying oil and gas to the rest of Europe as a weapon against EU economies? [Never mind that this is a made-in-America danger.] Again, the response is passionate: “I don’t see it. This is for me . . . cheap, cheap headlining to say that, really. I live in a country where we are totally dependent — we used to be totally dependent on Russian oil and gas. In my life, and I will be 67 this June, it has never happened for one minute that there has been cutting of deliveries of oil and gas. Please don’t — don’t — exaggerate that point. It’s such cheap writing. Don’t do it.”

It’s a strange moment. Here is a man who built his political career on his reputation for leading post-communist Czechoslovakia out of its socialist past, and who by his own account was banished into a kind of internal exile for championing liberalization ahead of the Warsaw Pact invasion of his country in 1968. Now he is urging his listeners to give Moscow the benefit of the doubt.

[How easy to blow the mind of a Wall St. Journal editorial board member! Imagine something not fitting into a neat box, requiring some actual thinking outside it — after first paying attention, which would necessitate first giving a damn to discover what your much ballyhooed war really was, and what it created.]

That seemed to end the matter, so we tried to return to global warming. But he interrupts to add a final thought on Russia: “Russia is more free now than in any time in its 2,000 years of history. So to speak about dictatorship is misusing the terminology, devaluing the terms that we use. This is something we should not say.”

This is not to say everything is sunshine in Russia. “They are much less free than the Americans and the Czechs would accept…Let’s be clear about this. Is that clear?

“For me it is unacceptable to have such a relatively closed political system. Personally unacceptable, and being in Russia I would fight against it. But that’s a different story than speaking of a dictatorship or not putting it in a proper historical perspective.”

He goes on. “To say ‘dictatorship’ or to speak about Putin as the ‘KGB man,’ I would be [embarrassed] to use such a term. That is maybe for some boulevard journalist, but this is definitely much more complicated. Putin is a much more complicated and structured personality than just the ‘KGB man.’ And I’m sure you know it.”

But here his account took an inexplicable turn. Mr. Klaus, by his own description “no expert” on Russia, points to “a growing decentralization in the country. The role of the individual regions and those governors, they create a different style of thinking and I see an evolution in Russia.”

These are the same governors that, formerly directly elected, are now appointed by Mr. Putin himself, which hardly seems a recipe either for decentralization or independence from Moscow. Even so, Mr. Klaus argues that “to be blind . . . to the real changes that have been going on there probably would be a mistake.”

Dienstbier: Kosovo never legal, independent (Tanjug, April 20, 2008)

If I were in Serbian politicians’ shoes, I would never recognize Kosovo’s independence, [the late] Jiri Dienstbier says.

Dienstibier, a former UN human rights rapporteur for former Yugoslavia and former Czech foreign minister…said that Serbia’s southern province has been in a “legal chaos” since some countries recognized the ethnic Albanians’ unilaterally declared independence.

“This chaos has been created through the arbitrary political and interest-based interpretation of the norms of international law, which is unprecedented in the history of legal systems,” Dienstbier said.

He added that many countries in the world have not taken this illegal path because they have a “sense of shame”, while some have their own problems similar to Serbia’s.

Such countries fortunately make up the majority, Dienstbier said, and added that the number of states that have recognized Kosovo’s independence is lower than 25 percent of the world’s countries.

“The pressure exerted on the ‘disobedient’ ones is huge, both by America, and the EU’s ‘elite members’. It’s hard to say how many will succumb to that pressure. [We’re up to 98 now.] It is clear and certain, after all that’s been said and done, that Kosovo will never, but really never, be a legal and legitimate independent country.” [He underestimated the power of might makes right.]

“Kosovo cannot become a UN member, and with this, it cannot join most international organizations. Besides, the economic impotence of such a state must be kept in mind, and the fact that the international community has not managed to turn the Kosovo extremists into European democrats in the past ten years,” the former Czech diplomat said. [If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.]

“It’s ridiculous that they are convincing us the Kosovo issue is unique, that it cannot serve as precedent. They should explain this to the Kurds, the Basques and many others, so if those people ‘understand and accept’ it, there will be no precedent.”

“Nationalists are very happy because of Kosovo. In the words of Czech President Vaclav Klaus, by recognizing Kosovo, we are opening Pandora’s Box,” Dienstbier concluded.

This President Vaclav is certainly a far cry from the previous President Vaclav — Havel, that is. He who supported the “humanitarian bombing” and promoted Kosovo independence and in 2010 was awarded the Golden Medal of Ibrahim Rugova by Kosovo’s then ‘president’ Sejdiu. As Phyllis Schlafly wrote in Nov. 1999 in The Truth Leaks Out About Kosovo:

The only people happy about the Yugoslavia debacle are the globalists who want America to be perpetually engaged in foreign conflicts. In a speech to the Canadian Parliament, Czech leader Vaclav Havel praised the Yugoslav war as “an important precedent for the future,” saying that “state sovereignty must inevitably dissolve” and nation-states will be transformed into “civil administrative units.”

Czech President: “How Ashamed I Am Of Czech Kosovo Recognition” (Beta, May 24, 2008)

…”I was very upset by the words of Ambassador Vereš, who said that Serbs did not take personally Kosovo recognitions by countries such as Finland, Holland or Germany, but that the Czech government’s move hurt them,” Klaus wrote in an article for Mlada Fronta Dnes daily, which he entitled, “How ashamed I was”.

The Czech president reminded that he personally cannot be at peace with the recognition, and that for this reason he decided to receive Vereš, which the diplomats describe as a highly unusual move, according to the state protocol.

He added that Vereš reminded him of several key moments in the common history of the two nations.

One is the fact that the first Czechoslovakian president, Tomaš Garrigue Masaryk, could only travel in Europe during the First World War because Serbia issued him with a passport, and that the German Gestapo persecuted Masaryk’s followers in occupied Yugoslavia during the Second World War.

“The ambassador’s father studied in Prague after the war, to be sent home by our authorities after 1948, because he would not renounce Tito in favor of Stalin,” Klaus continued.

He reminded the readers of the Czech Republic’s most influential newspaper that as the Warsaw Pact troops entered Czechoslovakia in 1968, Yugoslavia was the only country to declare its own mobilization.

Meanwhile, the Czech foreign minister expressed regret over the Serbian ambassador’s departure, but added his government had no choice but to recognize the secession.

“I respect the president’s opinion. I, too, am sorry that the Serbian ambassador is leaving, but our government could make no other decision but to recognize Kosovo,” Karel Schwarzenger told Mlada Fronta Dnes.

The Czech government’s decision to recognize the unilateral independence, which Serbia rejects as illegal, has caused a storm in the local political scene, which continues unabated for the third day. […]

Albanian Trademark: Biting the Hand that Feeds Them:

The very day that Czech Republic recognized Kosovo, Albanians had no qualms about attacking its citizens:

Report: Kosovo Albanians stone Czech bus (May 22, 2008)

A bus from the Czech Republic carrying humanitarian aid to the Kosovo Serbs has been stoned near Decani, Czech radio reports.

An informal Czech group called the Petition Board Against Recognizing Kosovo’s Independence organized a visit by a group of 20 students to visit Kosovo and bring aid to the Serbs living in Kosovo.

Czech radio confirmed that on their way to the High Decani monastery, Albanian youths threw stones at the bus bearing Czech license plates. It was also confirmed that no-one was injured during the incident.

“The fact that the Czech government recognized Kosovo’s independence, of which I am deeply ashamed, has meant nothing to those ‘peace loving’ and ‘democratic’ Albanians”, said Jaroslav Foldina, regional leader of the Czech Social Democrats, in a statement given to the online edition of daily Pravo.

Foldina was one of the passengers on the bus. “We’re talking a lot with people in Kosovo, and everyone kept asking about it (yesterday’s recognition of Kosovo by the Czech government). I kept repeating the same answer: Serbia was not betrayed by the Czech people, but by the Czech government…” […]

As Melana put it on Serb Blog at the time:

If Czechs were expecting any better a “thank you” from Kosovo Albanians for recognition other than getting pelted with rocks, then Czechs forgot who they were dealing with — a people who financially bled Yugoslavia dry for the last sixty years, violently drove the native Serbs out of their homes and then said “thanks” to Serbia by ripping off Kosovo!

Czech: request to cancel the recognition of Kosmet independence (June 14, 2008)

Vice President of the Czech Parliament House of Commons Wojtech Filip has stated that he has prepared a proposal for MPs to vote on the cancellation of Governmentʼs decision to recognize the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosmet. While stressing that the decision of the Government in Prague is contrary to the international law, Filip underlined that this act should be put out of power in a legal manner, and that the current authorities should be disabled from making moves without the consensus of the majority of citizens, MPs and politicians. This official said that President of the Czech Republic Waclaw Klaus had resolutely opposed the recognition of Kosmet independence, adding that Governmentʼs decision has [no weight] as long as the head of the state appoints an ambassador in Pristina. The legal cancellation of governmentʼs decision would represent a positive precedent not only in Czech, but in the whole Europe, as it would send a message that the recognition of Kosmet independence means a huge jeopardy for the international legal system in the whole world, emphasized Wojtech Filip.

Jim Jatras wrote a wonderful op-ed responding to Czech’s recognition of Kosovo:

Masters and servant
The Czech Republic could do the world a favor by acting independent

(The Prague Post, June 25, 2008)

For a country nearly 20 years removed from Soviet domination, the Czech Republic doesn’t always act like a sovereign and independent state — at least when it comes to its relationship with my country, Big Brother across the Atlantic. Indeed, at times it seems that Czechs have only exchanged one set of overseers for another.

Case in point: Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek’s March 30 statement, “If we did not have to recognize Kosovo, I would never do it.” A few weeks later, Foreign Affairs Minister Karel Schwarzenberg announced Prague’s recognition and upgrading of the Czech Republic’s liaison office in Pristina to an embassy. Echoing Topolánek, Schwarzenberg noted, “Our government had no other choice.”

Both before and after recognition, there was little doubt where Czech public opinion and much of the Czech political establishment stood on the Kosovo question. The action was resisted by both the Christian Democrats, whose ministers in the government voted against it, the opposition Social Democrats and, of course, the Communists. President Václav Klaus told the departing Serbian ambassador he was ashamed of what had been done.

Perhaps most outspoken was former foreign affairs minister and UN special rapporteur for human rights Jiří Dienstbier, who noted the bitter irony of the Cabinet voting on Kosovo in Teplice, in the territory ceded to Germany under the 1938 Munich Agreement…

Prague had received the edict from on high, and that was that.

Such craven capitulation to the United States, and to the more lickspittle of our European satellites, would be troubling enough if it were limited to Kosovo. But it isn’t. How many Czechs favor deployment in their country of the radar base that Washington claims will defend Europe against Iranian missiles?…But, as with Kosovo, what the Czech people think isn’t important.

On almost every question of national significance, the views of many Czech politicians diverge sharply from what the people want. Can it be that, after decades of Soviet, and before that German, overlordship, Czechs have so meekly surrendered their sovereignty to a new master? What accounts for the spectacle of Czech officials falling over themselves in their rush to obey commands from Washington even more abjectly than their predecessors heeded those from Moscow?

As an American, I can’t help but wonder how this works. After Parliament and the people have voiced their opinion, does someone in the Czech government just dial up the U.S. Embassy in Prague for instructions? Or do they call Washington directly? Are threats involved, or do we have our European allies so well-trained that threats are unnecessary?

Perhaps Czech leaders have developed such cozy personal ties with their friends in Washington that they identify more closely with them than with their own countrymen…

The standard explanation for such behavior is that the Czech Republic is a little country that can’t afford to defy its “partners” in NATO and the European Union. But the EU doesn’t have a unified position on Kosovo. Slovakia had the courage to refuse. Even tiny Cyprus managed to say no. And nothing in the North Atlantic Treaty can force any country to accept components of the missile system. But the Czech government would apparently rather place its own people under retargeted Russian nuclear weapons than allow citizens to decide the radar question by referendum.

Prague’s current subservience is as baffling to me as it is disturbing. I served most of my professional life in the apparat of the U.S. government, at both the State Department and in Congress. My early career was dedicated to restoring the freedom and independence of countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Later, I worked to extend the reach of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Voice of America. Perhaps it was misplaced idealism, but it never occurred to me at the time that the main result, and perhaps intent, of such efforts was not freedom in the ordinary meaning of the word, but creation of a unipolar global order.

These concerns may sound odd coming from an American, especially from a conservative Republican. After all, my country supposedly receives the benefits of this “allied solidarity.” The freedom and unity of the Czech Republic is not my concern, but that of the Czech people. Why should I care if the Czech lands are reduced to our very own Protektorat Böhmen und Mähren?

Here’s why: Our European and other friends have become enablers of our post-Cold War hegemonic binge. When someone has had too much to drink, real friends take his car keys away, not offer to join him on a joy ride. If my country had friends who would stand up to us and just say no when a narrow clique in Washington hatches schemes for destructive escapades, our global adventurism would be restrained. We would have less occasion to find ourselves stuck with limitless and costly commitments in distant parts of the world that do not concern us, embroiled in other peoples’ quarrels in which we have no business. We Americans would benefit most of all.

A Czech Republic that had rediscovered its dignity, independence and solidarity between people and government would be a true friend of America. Let Czech citizens vote on the radar deployment — and for what my opinion is worth, reject it. Withdraw your soldiers from harm’s way in Mesopotamia and the Hindu Kush. Revoke your recognition of Kosovo through a democratic vote in parliament.
Czechs, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains! And in doing so, you will be doing my country a big favor as well.

The Prague Post published the following on the same day:

Kosovo autonomy dispute rages
Serbians view Czech recognition as a ‘betrayal’ of history
(June 25, 2008)

One month after the Cabinet sauntered off to the north Bohemian town of Teplice to formally recognize the independence of Kosovo in an “extraordinary meeting,” the decision continues to fulminate among local pundits.

Emotional tirades interwove with constructive criticism in a June 18 panel discussion that pitted Foreign Affairs Minister Karel Schwarzenberg against some of the country’s top experts on Czech foreign policy in the Balkans.

“For the Serbians, the Czech recognition of Kosovo was perceived differently than the recognition of other countries. They recall that their country was willing to mobilize [against Germany] during the Munich Agreement, that they protested against the [Soviet] invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, that they supported the Charter 77 [anti-communist] movement,” he said. “From this less intellectual perspective, they view the Czech decision to recognize Kosovo as a betrayal.”

…Although the Czech government may not have realized this, the fact that the Cabinet’s decision was made on the territory of the former Sudetenland is an irony that did not go unnoticed by Serbian intellectuals, said Dienstbier.

“An area belonging to another country was annexed because a different language was spoken there. This is symbolic of what happened in Kosovo,” he added.

Indeed, could history repeat itself any more literally? Could god be any clearer or more obvious? On the eve of the new millennium, U.S.-led NATO — having hijacked Reunified Germany’s foreign policy — repeated Hitler’s bombing of Belgrade to comply with the New World Order, in which borders are mutable and the path of least resistance is taken with those who are violent. Thereby ensuring that the 21st century will be a re-run of the 20th, repeating well studied history. That’s without mentioning that John McCain’s Feb. 7, 2008 statement calling on the U.S. and EU to recognize Kosovo’s independence was prepared for a security conference in Munich itself.

And still the world persisted, the Czech government along for the ride against the will of its people. Indeed, Kosovo is the converging point of Axis and Ally:

Czech R. opens embassy in Kosovo
Czech Liaison Office in Prishtina converted into the Czech Embassy yesterday.
(New Kosova [sic] Report, July 17, 2008)

…[Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomaz] Pojar who was on a one-day visit to Kosovo, said that Czech Republic as the next leader of the European Union his country will support Kosovo in many fields…Tomas Pojar promised that he will encourage investments of different Czech companies in Kosovo, to help the economic development of the country…A decision to establish diplomatic relations with Kosovo was taken yesterday by the Government of Lithuania as well, announced Lithuanian government. “This allows for participation in projects of development of Kosovo and will influence stability in western Balkans,” chief of Lithuanian diplomacy, Petras Vaitiekunas, is quoted saying.

The Czechs, meanwhile, never quieted down:

Kosovo recognition clouds friendship, Czech Pres (Nov. 3, 2008)

Czech President Vaclav Klaus says that the traditional friendship between the Czech and Serbia people has been tainted because the Czech government has recognized Kosovo as an independent state. Despite recognition, Klaus said that his country will do utmost during its EU presidency to speed up Serbia’s membership into EU….

That same summer of 2008, Nebojsa Malic also pointed out An Inconvenient Comparison (June 6, 2008):

…What was to be a purely NATO occupation became a UN mission (UNMIK) and Serbia’s territorial integrity was explicitly guaranteed by the UN resolution 1244. The nine ensuing years showed precisely what NATO - and the Empire [Washington] behind it - thought of the UN, treaties, and the law in general, as it stood idly by while the terrorist KLA rampaged through the province, not content with merely killing or expelling Serbs (and other non-Albanians, it needs to be said), but also destroying every trace of their history, culture and faith.

Successive UN viceroys worked diligently not on enforcing 1244, but on subverting it, and “nation-building” an independent, Albanian state of Kosovo. It all led up to the declaration of “independence” by the Albanian provisional government this February, and lightning-quick recognition by foreign powers that supported them.

The Shame of Prague

…Though Klaus has refrained from using such a strong comparison [i.e. Dienstbier’s re appeasing Hitler], he nonetheless said that, “no similar decision on a country’s borders has been made since World War Two.”

The ghost of Neville Chamberlain is often invoked by Imperial warmongers to justify attacking one country or another. Empire’s enemy du jour is always likened to Hitler, and anyone who even suggests talks over bombs is branded an “appeaser.” But when the Czechs - who, after all, should know the fruits of appeasement all too well, given that they were its first and foremost victims - point out that the Empire is enabling the Kosovo Albanians to behave like Hitler, no one pays attention. In the postmodern world, it’s not the behavior itself that is objectionable, but rather who does the behaving, and the Empire - by its own definition - can do no wrong, anywhere, ever.

There are many victims of what happened in Kosovo: Serbs, Roma, Turks, Jews and other communities that were forcibly uprooted by the terrorist KLA, before or during NATO’s occupation; those Albanians who wanted to live in peace with their neighbors, but ended up under a brutal, criminal KLA regime; international law as well, specifically the UNSCR 1244 and the Helsinki Final Act.

A similar fate was intended for a documentary produced by the Czech Television, Uloupene Kosovo (”Kosovo, stolen”), scheduled to air this spring but delayed by the government-owned network. After the recognition, the film’s airing was cancelled altogether. In earlier times, this sort of censorship would have killed the film. In this day and age, however, it soon made its way onto Google Video and YouTube.

It is a breath of fresh air in the stale swamp of lies told and repeated about Kosovo 1999…none of it is staged for effect: the people are real, their suffering is real, and the archive footage used is all too real. And at the end, as the camera pans over the burned and pillaged houses along a road, the following epilogue appears on the screen:

“The separation of Kosovo and Metohia from Serbia, was first recognized, in addition to the USA, by Germany, Italy, France and Great Britain, countries that signed the 1938 Munich Agreement.”

When an American soldier in Iraq used the Muslim holy book of Koran for target practice, he was disciplined, and the Emperor offered a personal apology to Iraqis…But when Kosovo Albanians destroyed, dynamited and defaced over two hundred Serbian churches, the Empire rewarded them with a state of their own, carved out of Serbian territory against all law, custom and logic accepted by civilized people. And the Serbs were told to “deal with it.”

This goes beyond the talk of double standards. There are no standards here at all. This is about a philosophy that one country can do whatever, whenever, to whomever it pleases; that it is above any law, even its own, because it is bigger, richer, better - and ultimately, simply more powerful than anyone else.

That is precisely what the Nazis used to think, and whether Americans like that comparison or not is, quite frankly, irrelevant.

The documentary that Nebojsa speaks ofalready seen by most readers of this blog — is one I’ve never properly plugged, despite trying to get to it since 2008, when I started compiling this pro-Czech blog. (Run your cursor over the title and see that the assigned number for this post is #1661, whereas I’m currently on #2970.) It was indeed canceled by Czech state television, since airing a “pro-Serb” film, the producers said, would only be fair if also airing one that defends Albanians. Never mind that 100% of media, art, academia, politics, plus a war and military occupation do that already.

In the midst of 2008’s declaration and recognitions, the book came out by Carla Del Ponte — who waited precisely until Kosovo’s declaration — to reveal the KLA’s murder-for-organs operation. While everyone else in 2008 was laughing off her revelations as “Serbian myth,” the Czechs called for a serious investigation (which the Council of Europe subsequently undertook):

Czech urges investigation of top separatists (Serbianna.com, Oct. 1, 2008)

Leader of the opposition Czech Social Democratic Party and former PM Jirzi Paroubek asked Czech Foreign Minister Karel Swartzenberg to initiate an investigation of Kosovo separatist officials, and in particular the so-called prime minister of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, because of suspicion that all of them have been involved in trade in human organs of imprisoned Kosovo Serb civilians.

“I am deeply disturbed by this information,” said Paroubek and asked Swartzenberg to urge the UN to initiate an investigation regarding claims that Tachi had earned four million Deutsche marks from the sale of organs of Serb and Roma prisoners in Western countries. […]

The same day appeared a piece by British historian and journalist John Laughland, of the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation in Paris:

From Munich to Kosovo (Russian Information Agency Novosti, Oct. 1, 2008)

[On] the 70th anniversary year of Munich, the Western powers have indeed precisely repeated it.

In February 2008, in the face of the threat of the use of force by Albanian separatists in Serbia, the United States and the European Union recognised the independence of Kosovo. They thereby unilaterally destroyed the territorial integrity of Serbia, just as the integrity of Czechoslovakia was destroyed 70 years ago.

[T]he “independence” of Kosovo resembles the bogus “independence” of Slovakia under the puppet regime of Monsignor Tiso, which Hitler encouraged Tiso to proclaim in March 1939 and which he used as a pretext for the simultaneous German occupation of the Czech lands.

As the events of the 1930s and 1940s recede in time, indeed, the shadows they cast over the present seem to grow ever longer…The memory of Munich is therefore very important.

The failure of this [appeasement] policy became spectacularly obvious when Hitler occupied all of the Czech lands in March 1939 and then attacked Poland on 1st September 1939. As a result, Munich stands as a symbol for shameful capitulation towards aggression.

Faced with the threat of the use of force by Hitler, the Western powers agreed to destroy the very state they had themselves created at Versailles only twenty years previously. Czechoslovakia’s immediate neighbours behaved no better: Poland, which later succeeded in presenting itself as the supreme victim of World War II, annexed the territory around Teschen, while Hungary occupied parts of Southern and Eastern Slovakia.

Munich is therefore frequently invoked, especially by American neo-conservatives, in justification of contemporary wars which, they say, are also responses to aggression. Whether it is with respect to the Yugoslavia of Slobodan Milosevic in 1999, the Iraq of Saddam Hussein in 2003, or almost any country or situation in the world, the mantra is that the mistakes of 1938 must never be repeated.

How strange, therefore, that in the 70th anniversary year of Munich, the Western powers have indeed precisely repeated it.

In February 2008, in the face of the threat of the use of force by Albanian separatists in Serbia, the United States and the European Union recognised the independence of Kosovo.

They had in fact strongly encouraged the original proclamation of independence, and indeed the use of force itself to the extent that they attacked Yugoslavia in 1999 in support of the [violent] Albanian cause.

They thereby unilaterally destroyed the territorial integrity of Serbia, just as the integrity of Czechoslovakia was destroyed 70 years ago.

Both recognitions destroyed the governments of the countries affected. In 1938, Munich led to the immediate collapse of the patriotic government of President Edvard Benes; in 2008, the recognition of Kosovo immediately destroyed the government of Vojislav Kostunica, the very man the West hailed as a great democrat in 2000 when he toppled Slobodan Milosevic from power.

In Prague in 1938, a collaborationist government took power under Emil Hacha, who promised to try to protect Czechoslovakia’s position in the New European Order which was then emerging. (Many of his ministers were convicted as war criminals in 1946.)

In 2008, the new Belgrade government under the leadership of the Democratic Party President, Boris Tadic, has similarly confirmed that Serbia’s “principal strategic goal” is to become a member of the European Union - the same organisation which now illegally administers Kosovo. (The EU administration is illegal because United Nations Security Council 1244…reaffirmed that Kosovo is part of Serbia and that it is administered by the UN; its existence emphasises that the so-called “independence” of Kosovo is, in reality, a kind of annexation.)

The parallel even extends to the last-ditch attempts made respectively by Prague and Belgrade to hold on to their territories. President Benes negotiated with Konrad Henlein, the Sudeten German leader, and promised both substantial autonomy for the German-inhabited parts of the country and a cabinet post for Henlein himself.

The government of Vojislav Kostunica was prepared to give so much autonomy to Kosovo that the province would have been freer in Serbia than it now is as a US-EU protectorate. [Not to mention as a mafia-run joint.]

In both 1938 and 2008, more importantly, the domestic negotiations then under way were deliberately wrecked by outside intervention.

Hitler’s occupation of the Czech lands in March 1939, on the basis that the “artificial state” of Czechoslovakia had collapsed and that Germany needed to preserve peace and stability, then invoked exactly the same logic as the Western interventions in the former Yugoslavia today.

[There is also the modern incarnation of the aspect Laughland brought up earlier here: “The failure of this [appeasement] policy became spectacularly obvious when Hitler occupied all of the Czech lands in March 1939 and then attacked Poland on 1st September 1939.” That parallel would be that, just as Hitler didn’t stop with the Sudetenland, Albanians haven’t stopped with Kosovo, but have moved on to Macedonia, southern Serbia, Montenegro, and Greece.]

It is obvious that the EU and the US, unlike Nazi Germany, do not secretly harbour any plans for wholesale genocide. The evil they have perpetrated is therefore not in the same league as Hitler’s. But it is evil nonetheless, in particular because it represents a unilateral abrogation, backed by military force, of international laws (general principles of law as well as UN Security Council resolutions) to which these powers have themselves signed up.

It is here that the similarity with Munich is strongest. As for the consequences of the Kosovo recognition, it appears, also like Munich, to have started a dangerous ball rolling in the Caucasus. [Remember that the summer of 2008 saw the Georgia/Ossetia/Russia war.] It must be our fervent hope that the parallels stop now.

In the end, it took three years for Prague to conform and finalize recognition, giving its recognition in 2011. Something that Czechs did not take quietly:

Czechs protest against Kosovo independence (Vesti, Feb. 17, 2011)

And a snippet demonstrating Czech exceptionalism even from the likes of reluctant collaborators like Schwarzenberg:

Czech Foreign Minister defends Israeli strikes (DebkaFile, Dec. 30, 2008)

The Czech foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg, who takes over the European Union’s presidency on Jan. 1, defended Israel’s right to strike Hamas.

“Let us realize one thing,” he said. “Hamas increased steeply the number of rockets fired at Israel since the cease-fire ended on December 19. That is not acceptable any more. Israel has the right to defend itself,” he said after France condemned Israel’s operation against Hamas and called on both to stop fighting immediately.

The Czech foreign minister indirectly blamed the Palestinian group for the growing civilian death toll, saying it put its bases and gun warehouses in densely populated areas.

It’s of course no coincidence that a defender of Jews is also a defender of Serbs. On which point we arrive at the supreme irony of one Czech Jew, the late Czech diplomat Joseph Korbel, who nonetheless managed to produce Serb-killers Madeleine Albright (daughter) and Condoleezza Rice (pupil), betraying all that is Czech, Serbian, and Jewish (Korbel converted his family to Catholicism). One has no doubt that he will give each of them an earful just as soon as they depart from a world that would have been better off without them.

Closing now with a quote and two Czech-Albanian vignettes:

In the Bosnians’ and world Muslim view, however, God’s hand is working on their behalf. Their diplomatic backing and their multi-million-dollar public relations campaign in America and Europe have left the Serbs as isolated as the Czechs at the time of Munich.

Sir Alfred Sherman, 1994

KOSOVO ALBANIANS INJURE CZECH SOLDIER IN SHOOT-OUT
BBC Monitoring International Reports - November 8, 2005

Text of report in English by Czech news agency CTK

A Czech soldier and an Albanian man suffered minor injuries in an exchange of fire with a group of Albanians in Kosovo today, the Czech Defence Ministry told CTK.

The Czech soldier was airlifted to the local military hospital.

A group of Czech soldiers, who are part of the Czech contingent within the Kfor mission, clashed with the armed men at a patrolling mission in northern Kosovo. The six Albanians were illegally cutting wood and after an appeal that they should stop with it, they put up resistance.

The men were injured in the subsequent shoot-out, started by the Albanians after a warning shot was fired by the Czech soldiers.

The wood smugglers were later detained and passed to the Kosovo police corps, the Czech Defence Ministry said. The case is being settled by the military police in cooperation with the local administration of the United Nations and the police.

OSLO TERRORIST SUSPECT TIED WITH ALBANIAN HOSTILE TO CZECHS - PRESS
Czech News Agency - September 26, 2006

…[O]ne of the four men who were arrested in Norway on suspicion of terrorism last week was in contact with Princ Dobrosi, a controversial Kosovo Albanian formerly based in Prague who has unsettled accounts with the Czech Republic. In the 1990s, Princ Dobrosi operated as a drug mafia boss on European level, focusing on Scandinavia.

He managed his “empire” from Prague, where he was arrested in 1999 and extradited to Norway. The Norwegian police wanted him since 1996 when he escaped from a local prison after bribing a ward who smuggled him out in a van with dirty linen. Fugitive Dobrosi underwent a plastic surgery in Croatia. The Norwegian court sentenced Dobrosi to 14 years in prison in 1993 for heroin trafficking and the previous escape from prison. “Dobrosi had contacts with one of the people who have been detained in Norway in connection with allegedly planned attacks on Jewish targets,” Gunnar Hultgreen, reporter of the Norwegian daily Dagbladet, has told [the Czech daily Mlada fronta Dnes], citing his sources from the police and intelligence. The Oslo detainee concerned is Arfan Qadeer Bhatti, a Pakistani with a Norwegian passport who headed the four-member group suspected of planning attacks on the Israeli and U.S. embassies in Oslo. Bhatti visited Dobrosi, who had been released from Norwegian prison for his good behaviour in 2005, in Pristina, Kosovo, this summer…Jiri Komorous, head of the Czech anti-drug squad, confirmed on Monday that Dobrosi spent several weeks in Prague, where his wife and two children still live, last year already…
________________________________________
Copyright 2006 CTK Czech News Agency Source: Financial Times Information Limited

******UPDATE******
Just saw these two relevant items. The headline of the first is not Tanjug’s original but a correct interpretation of the Tanjug item by an Albanian blogger who approves and applauds the Reigh’s diktat with the following paragraph:

“German Ambassador Demands that Kosovo Gets UN Membership”

Finally, Serbia is told in simple and plain words what is expected of them if they want a start date for the accession talks. This will cause an uproar in Serbia, and I can already hear the Serb nationals screem and yell. Bravo, let’s hope that other European countries will follow suit, and officially start to demand the same things. Serbia has no place in Europe of it continues it’s current policy and attempts to dominate the entire balkans, and especially hamper any positive development in Kosovo. It should be a simple equation. Serbia gives up it’s opposition to Kosovo’s international representation, in the UN as well as in European organizations, gets his parallel structures in the north abolished, and in return they get a date for EU talks. Simple as that. The rest can be taken care of during the talks which will take years anyway.

Wilhelm: Kosovo’s UN membership topic of dialogue (Tanjug, Jan. 24)

German Ambassador to Serbia Heinz Wilhelm has said that Germany and the whole of the EU expects normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina before Serbia makes its next step towards Brussels and that Kosovo’s membership in the UN is an issue that needs to be put on the table in Brussels.

Right now, it is very important to find a solution for the parallel structures in northern Kosovo….It is simply no longer possible for the structures to continue to function in their present form, stressed Wilhelm.

In addition to the withdrawal of parallel institutions, it is important for Serbia to stop preventing Kosovo from becoming a member in a number of European and international institutions, he said.

Asked if Serbia would be sought to give its consent for Kosovo’s membership in the UN to obtain a date for the start of negotiations on Serbia’s EU membership, the German ambassador said that it was difficult to say anything about that at the moment.

Wilhelm could not support the frequently voiced opinions that the progress in resolving the Kosovo issue made to date was sufficient for the EU heads of state and government to give Serbia a date for the start of accession negotiations in March.

“We want Serbia to become a member of the EU as soon as possible, but we cannot allow any country entering the EU to import its own problems with it,” said Wilhelm.

“I think that no special criteria would be crucial, but rather the impression created by the whole picture,” added the German ambassador.

“We find the agreement on the exchange of liaison officers who will work at the EU missions in Belgrade and Pristina satisfactory,” Wilhelm said. […]

“Serbia cannot block Kosovo’s UN membership” (Politika, Tanjug, Jan. 31)

German Ambassador to Serbia Heinz Wilhelm has said that Serbia’s compliance with Kosovo’s UN membership is not a condition for Belgrade.

He added that it was not something the country’s date for the start of EU accession talks depended on.

“Of course, this refers to here and now. However, Priština’s request, which we support, will impose itself eventually - Serbia should not block Kosovo’s membership in the UN,” Wilhelm told daily Politika.

He added that, ultimately, “Serbia cannot block Kosovo’s UN membership”.

“If one day Kosovo submits such a request, the General Assembly will decide on it at the proposal of the UN Security Council,” the ambassador noted.

Asked about the conditions Berlin has imposed on Belgrade, he said there were no special ones.

“What we and the EU want is normalization of relations with Kosovo. The process of normalization is left to the two negotiating parties - Priština and Belgrade,” Wilhelm said.

According to him, Germany’s position is clear - Berlin has recognized Kosovo and wants Serbia to establish good relations with it.

“Berlin’s position should be viewed from this perspective when it comes to Serbia’s final EU accession. We will not support the membership of a country which has unresolved issued with its neighbors,” the German ambassador concluded.

So a non-country that terrorizes not only its “citizens”-slash-prisoners, but all of its neighbors is entitled to be a UN member, but a long-standing country has to defer to that non-country before it can be considered for EU membership. Got it.

******ADDITIONAL UPDATE******

From UNMIK Headlines, Morning Edition, Jan. 26:

Dacic: UN seat for Kosovo was never mentioned in talks (dailies)

Serbia’s Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said the issue of Kosovo’s seat in the United Nations was never mentioned in talks between Belgrade and Pristina. “The government in Pristina mentioned the UN seat for Kosovo knowing that the process of independence is not complete without this,” Dacic said during a visit to Vrsac. “This issue cannot be resolved, if there are no discussions on the whole package for the settlement of the Kosovo issue.”

Dacic said Serbia was not willing to discuss the issue superficially. “We are not going to change our position on Kosovo. This is the only thing that Kosovo cannot win,” he added.

Well, that was Saturday, Jan. 26th. By Thursday, the Reich spokesman in Serbia, Heinz Wilhelm, “resolved” it alright. As the preceding two items demonstrate. The Albanians can win, and keep winning. They can win it all. Even stuff they haven’t thought of yet.

A similar, slightly clearer report, from Jan. 25th:

PM: Kosovo in UN would mean recognition

VRŠAC — The issue of Kosovo’s UN membership “could be a topic within the dialogue on a comprehensive solution for the Kosovo issue”.
Serbia’s PM Ivica Dačić and German Ambassador Heinz Wilhelm “agreed” on this point, reports from Vršac said on Friday.

Dačić underscored that Serbia “is not ready to discuss the topic in passing, that it has not even been mentioned so far, and is not on the agenda for the time being”.

“That issue has been exaggerated. If we discussed a comprehensive solution, then the topic would be on the agenda (of the Belgrade-Priština dialogue),” the prime minister said.

Kosovo’s UN membership “would mean the recognition of its independence, which Serbia deems unacceptable”, he added.

He recalled that he had mentioned the issue of Kosovo in response to the stand of the Priština authorities that they expected that Kosovo would join the UN, as they know that their statehood process could not be completed without that.

“At the moment, the UN seat is the only thing that Kosovo cannot secure without Serbia. Unfortunately, everything else it can,” he added. [Why not that too?]

The German ambassador “agreed that the statement about Kosovo’s UN membership had been exaggerated and misinterpreted”, said Tanjug.

He “clarified that he did not say that a UN seat for Kosovo is a condition for Serbia’s EU membership.” [Not today, anyway.]

Wilhelm repeated that “Priština has the European Union as its trump card” - while for Serbia, this “trump card” is the UN, according to the diplomat.

He said that the issue of Kosovo’s UN seat “would be put on the agenda of the dialogue in Brussels sooner or later, as that is important for Kosovo”, recalling that the Serbian prime minister “also said that”.

“I agree with the prime minister that would be a topic within a comprehensive solution for the Kosovo issue,” the German ambassador underlined.

Ivica Dačić expressed the belief on Friday that in the continuation of European integration, Romania will not condition Serbia by issues connected to the position of the Romanian minority [in Serbia], and added that the Romanian prime minister extended such assurances.

There is a saying in Romania that they have only the sea and Serbia as their friend, Dačić said and added that Serbia does not have a sea and that it only has friends. […]

******FINAL UPDATE******

Wilhelm’s Statements Tarnish Germany’s Reputation (Tanjug, Jan. 31)

BELGRADE - Vojislav Kostunica, president of the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS), stated Thursday that the repeated statements by German Ambassador to Serbia Heinz Wilhelm that Serbia should not block Kosovo’s UN membership tarnish Germany’s reputation, and indicate that Germany acts as a superior power in relation to Serbia.

In a written statement for the media, Kostunica called on the German ambassador to curb his actions to a scope appropriate for a foreign ambassador, who takes care about Germany’s interests and do not interfere in Serbia’s internal issues.

We would like to underline that the role of the German ambassador is to stand for Germany’s interests, and in this sense he is a guest in Serbia, rather than a representative of the authorities.

“It is understood that the German ambassador knows well that in keeping with the international and internal law it is not his job to conduct Serbia’s policy. The German ambassador has by far overstepped the limits of common decency, and undervalued the hospitality that Serbia has offered him as foreign ambassador. The fact that the German ambassador claims that the prime minister was the first to mention Kosovo’s UN membership, is no excuse for the behavior of the German ambassador,” Kostunica said.

Kostunica noted that the DSS called for Dacic’s resignation for his actions.

Well, you can’t very well have a Serbian tennis star eating up all the limelight — highlighting Djokovic’s terror as a child practicing the sport under falling NATO bombs — without an Albanian hijacking the narrative.

Helping make that happen was New Jersey’s Bergen Record last month. In addition to media in the Albanian-heavy New York tri-state area knowing what’s good for them, what can one expect? After all, we’re talking about JERseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey! Not much deep thinking there. This one comes complete with all the hack drama that reporters love:

Tennis: FDU standout fled war-torn Kosovo (Dec. 27, by Jeff Roberts)


STEVE HOCKSTEIN/SPECIAL TO THE RECORD
Egzona Morina was 4 when her family fled the Kosovo War. She took up tennis in Belgium before moving to the U.S.

The darkness was their only cover as they fled into the Balkan night.

They huddled together — a mother, father and young daughter — in a strange car with no seats except for the driver. Their hastily packed suitcases served as cushions. And fake documents served as hope — the hope that they could be smuggled out of Kosovo.

Little Egzona Morina tried to make sense of it all as she hid beneath the hood of her sweat shirt — the only shield her parents could provide. Her family suddenly had been forced from its home. Everyone was crying. And panic hung heavily around them.

Then only 4, she did not know that the Serbians already had taken her parents’ jobs and personal documents, trying to erase their identity, their heritage and their education. [Some thick projection there.]

The only thing left to take was their lives.

“They basically wanted to just either kill everybody or you work for them,” Egzona said. “Everything was being taken over by Serbians.” [A bit of inversion there.]

Those hazy images still remain with her — memories captured through the eyes of a frightened girl and now recalled by the 21-year-old FDU tennis player she grew up to become.

The memories of a woman who dreams that one day she will help heal her country. [Good luck with that!]

And tennis has made that dream possible, bringing Egzona to FDU and America to study psychology. [Nothing ironic there. She should start with a case study called the Albanian mentality.]

The Morinas were part of the forced exodus of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo in the Serbian campaign [sic] of ethnic cleansing [sic] in the 1990s that killed at least 11,000 [sic] and forced 700,000 from their homes.

Egzona escaped the war, but has witnessed the scars her country and its people still carry.

She envisions opening a free mental health clinic in the capital city of Pristina — her home — to help those still suffering from invisible wounds. [She’s got her work cut out for her.]

And a plot of land sits waiting for her to build that clinic. For her 20th birthday, her parents, Xheladin Morina and Xhufe Bacaj-Morina, bought her property for its future site.

And first, Egzona will serve as the Knights’ captain, their No. 2 or 3 singles player, and part of their No. 2 doubles team when her season resumes in February.

The 2011-12 All-NEC No. 5 singles player was named NEC Player of the Month for September after winning Flight B at the Army Invitational.

The Morinas arrived first in Switzerland, then Belgium, settling in the small town of Schoten, just outside Antwerp.

“We were in this apartment with a mattress and this broken TV,” Egzona said of their first Belgian home. “That’s all we had.”

They watched the war engulf Kosovo on TV, aching for the dozens of family members left behind.

“I would hear my mom cry because her family was still there,” Egzona said. [Whereas the Serbs in Kosovo are unable to produce tears.]

Life in a new country also was difficult after the Serbs incinerated the Morinas’ degrees, identification and other documents — even their marriage certificate and Xhufe’s birth certificate. [And the reporter knows these were necessarily incinerated, rather than got lost or otherwise destroyed, because he believes every word coming out of the family’s mouth. Just like Ryan Seacrest simply nodded his head and didn’t question the Albanian contestant two seasons ago, when she said how the Serbs were “trying to kill everyone.”]

Xheladin — once a construction engineer and director of his company — had been reduced to manual labor in Belgium. Xhufe — an electrical engineer — was forced to clean toilets. [The immigrant experience that every Albanian stuck in “liberated” Kosovo yearns for.]

Her father introduced her to tennis to try to integrate her. The plan didn’t work, but they discovered Egzona had talent. She would rise to the Belgian national team. […]

Just when the Morinas had you thinking that all the Albanians have been ethnically cleansed from Kosovo by those dastardly Serbs, somehow there’s still enough of them to form a soccer team. Imagine: Not even a country, but already slated for not just EU, NATO, IMF, World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (Dec.), and UN membership, but already on its way to FIFA membership:

2018 World Cup stadiums approved; Kosovo in (Saudi Press Agency, Dec. 27)

FIFA approved the stadiums for the start and end of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and confirmed Kosovo as a new team at its final executive committee meeting of the year on Friday, AP reported.

Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow was approved for the opening match, one semifinal and the final while World Cup Stadium in St. Petersburg was okayed for the other semi.

The executive also agreed to implement the decision to allow FIFA member associations to play international friendlies with teams from Kosovo, which is not a member of FIFA. The decision includes youth, amateur, women’s and club football.

Kosovo has been out of world football since declaring independence from Serbia in 2008, because its sovereignty has not been recognized by the United Nations.

Helping Kosovo along all these steps to maturity — as well as to independence itself — is the tried and true Albanian skill of bribing:

Kosovo bribed FIFA president to become member (Macedonian International News Agency, Dec. 24)

Kosovo knows how to do business. It has bribed virtually every single nation that recognized the recently formed country and has numerous US and EU politicians on its payroll.

Belgrade daily “San” informed that several Albanian millionaires have paid (bribed) FIFA president Sepp Blatter 17 million euros in order for Kosovo to become a FIFA member.

The newspaper uncovers details of the ‘plan’ for Kosovo to become a member of the coveted world football body. At first the small Balkan province would be allowed to play friendlies and then it would be allowed to enter the 2018 WC qualifications in Russia.

“Kosovo’s PM Hashim Thaci has given instructions to numerous Albanian millionaires to ’support’ FIFA, this included the gala party in Zurich where the best football player was selected and was entirely financed by Albanians.

It is perhaps no surprise that Fadilj Vokri, the president of Kosovo’s Football Federation in an interview for Croatian media appeared fully confident, stating that his country would enter FIFA very soon.

Again, what other country gets talk of all these international memberships before it’s even a country? Just to help make it such.

The question now is: So who will Albania’s Albanians root for? Who will Kosovo Albanians root for? Yet another identity crisis for Albanians! Until that impending unification happens, of course. What a charade they’ll have to play ’til then. Of course, there could be so many bitter fights over soccer matches in the interim that it could put a fork in the whole Albanian unity thing, derailing the formation of their unified Greater Albanian state. If anything has that kind of divisive power, it’s sports.

As early as 2011, “Kosovars” were making progress with international sports federations, it seems. They were making moves toward the 2012 Olympics:

Kosovo in race against time to make it to start-line for London 2012 (June 9, 2011)

…[Nineteen-year-old Majlinda] Kelmendi…won gold at the World Junior Championships, gold at the European Judo Championships and is currently ranked fifth in the world in the Olympic rankings.

However…[politics] stand in the way of the young star fulfilling her dream of going to an Olympic Games.

The story is long and complex but it began when Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in February 2008.

The act was rejected by the Government in Belgrade and not sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council because of opposition from Russia and China.

Its autonomy has since been recognised by 75 countries to date, including the United States, Germany, France, Italy and Britain.

But the key for Kosovo is to have at least five international federations that recognise the Kosovo Sports Federation in order to be eligible to gain membership from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

“We already have four international federations that recognise the Kosovo Sports Federation,” Besim Hasani, President of the Kosovo Olympic Committee (KOC), [told] insidethegames as we spoke at a hotel in London.

“The International Table Tennis Federation has recognised us since 2003, the European Handball Federation since 2004, the International Weightlifting Federation since 2008 and also the International Federation of Wrestling since 2008.

“We are also provisional member of the International Archery Federation and we hope they [will] recognise us fully soon but as it stands, we are still looking for one more international federation to recognise us to fulfill this technical criteria.

“Once we have this, our National Olympic Committee can apply for recognition from the IOC.

“Then it [is] up to the IOC Executive Committee to decide. We put our trust in them and we must hope that they do the right thing. The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play. There are many young people who have come from the war in our country and have such horrible experiences.

“I remember when the international judo federation came to Kosovo and saw the talent of our athletes they allowed the athletes to compete at European and World Championship level under the international judo flag. What happened? Majlinda Kelmendi went to the European Championships and became European champion. Majlinda Kelmendi went to the World Junior Championships and became world junior champion.

“But if our National Olympic Committee is not recognised, our athletes will not go to the London 2012 Olympics, even though they could win a gold medal there…If we are allowed to compete at London 2012, I am 100 per cent sure that we will have a minimum of one medal with Majlinda Kelmendi…The clock to 2012 is ticking though so we need help fast.

“So I beg the IOC Executive Committee, I beg IOC President Jacques Rogge to help us. To use the power of the Olympic Games and of sport to help those from a war torn country, those in need, to overcome their troubles.”

And a similar story, concerning the World Cup:

Team Kosovo, Made in New York (By Christopher Belac, June 7, 2011)

Every four years soccer fans all over the world re-establish their sense of patriotism and national pride through the World Cup. But not only do many nations not qualify for the global party, some don’t even have a team that can attempt to qualify. Such is the fate of Kosovo.

[And as we know, if there’s one thing that Albanians are lacking in, it’s a sense of patriotism.]

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, but is not yet recognized by the United Nations and its soccer federation is not recognized by FIFA. So Kosovar soccer as an international entity remains in limbo.

[Kosovar soccer. They really just said that.]

But that doesn’t mean a Kosovo team can’t play in New York. Zef Kabashi, a first generation Kosovar-American [Kosovar-American. They really just said that.] and a familiar face on the New York soccer scene, has organized a Kosovo team to compete in this year’s Cosmos Copa NYC. It’s a sort of World Cup of New York that has grown to become a major tournament in the city.

“Kosovo hasn’t been accepted by FIFA, it hasn’t been accepted by UEFA. For this tournament to accept Kosovo, it would be a big deal and a start in the right direction,” Kabashi said. “I think everything starts here in New York City. This is the world’s capital and anything that starts here can spill over across the ocean.”

[Like the song says: If you can fake it there, you can fake it anywhere.]

Kosovo is one of 22 “national teams” vying for eight spots in the main draw of the Copa NYC…

To Kabashi, the short-term symbolism of this team is part of his greater vision for the Kosovar community in New York.

[The Kosovar community. They really said that.]

“I hope to bring everybody together. That’s the goal,” he said. “Whether it be from Staten Island, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, or Long Island, we want to bring the community together and from this point on start a development program for younger players.”

[Because if there’s one thing that”Kosovars”are lacking in, it’s togetherness.]

There are parallels, however, between Kosovar soccer in New York and internationally. Players who elected to play for Kosovo in this year’s Cosmos Copa NYC had a difficult decision to make, the same decision many ethnic Albanian players from Kosovo who play professionally will have to make. If Kosovo were to be recognized by FIFA, it could change the landscape of several national teams across Europe; including Albania, Switzerland and Finland, all of whom currently feature Albanians of Kosovar descent on their rosters.

“When I thought about entering the tournament in 2010, I hesitated because I did not want the feeling of separation from Albania,” said Kabashi. “I submitted the application for entrance into the tournament this time around for Albanians from Kosovo because I thought the people of this war-torn, now considered the youngest country in Europe, should be recognized.” [Uh-oh, the fault lines emerge.]

“Playing for Albania was a proud moment, it was a great moment. Playing now for Kosovo is an intense moment because of everything that’s happened over the years,” said Kabashi. “My parents were born there and they lived off of that land. I think I speak on behalf of all the players that are playing for Kosovo this year; it’s going to be a proud moment, but an emotional moment. This is for home.”

While it may be years before this young nation has a chance to compete internationally, the spirit is getting a kick start from its diaspora. […]

It’s not the only thing that’s gotten a kick-start from the diaspora. Non-Albanians in Kosovo are still feeling the last kick, indeed a kick felt ’round the world.

On joint visits to Belgrade and Pristina [Oct. 31], US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton insisted Kosovo’s independence was non-negotiable, but that Serbia did not have to recognise the sovereignty of its former province to seek better relations. “The borderlines of Europe will not change. But there is still a great deal that can be accomplished by Serbia and Kosovo working together,” Ms. Clinton added.

“The borderlines of Europe will not change.” Except:

Catalonia (Spain)
Basque (Spain)
Flanders and Wallonia (Belgium)
Scotland (UK)
Sandzak (Serbia)
Presevo Valley (Serbia)
Vojvodina (Serbia)
Western Macedonia (Macedonia)

And I’m sure I’m missing plenty of other examples. But if these two yentas could only imagine that if Washington/Brussels were to budge on the one border they’re talking about — the catalyst for all these others — we could save ourselves a lot of trouble with all these other European borders.

Then again, given that the EU is totalitarianism lite, not to mention a sinking ship, perhaps the more splinter countries we can create in Europe — which won’t necessarily want to be part of the Euro-Atlantic fold and may dissent and decline EU membership — the better.

In other words, a backfire against D.C., Bonn, and Brussels, in which the fully evil Kosovo precedent may end up inadvertently saving us from the EU and the overall one-world consolidationism that those power centers are pushing.

Having been accomplished, as always, at Serb expense, this means that once again Serbian blood will have saved the world.

This has been just a weird afterthought to my blog earlier this month about Hillary’s Halloween tour through the Balkans.

A Serbian writer named Sasa Milivojev apparently has written a journalistic novel about events at the now infamous Yellow House, where organs were removed from Serbian and other captives by KLA doctors in Albania.

The only part of the details below that’s fictionalized is that a 12-year-old boy witnessed them, and escaped. What the young protagonist describes, however, is not made up, but compiled from witness testimony:

Horrific organ harvesting lair described by an eyewitness (Voice of Russia, Oct. 29)

“Live people were wrapped in barbed wire and thrown downhill.” This is perhaps one of the “nicest” memories of the main character of The Boy from the Yellow House, a journalistic novel written by the Serbian writer Sasa Milivojev. The author collected in one work just a tiny fragment of the atrocious crimes carried out by the Albanian terrorists in Kosovo before and after the NATO’s aggression against Yugoslavia.

As far as we know, the Voice of Russia is the first Russian media, which is publishing an extract from The Boy from the Yellow House in Russian.

“…The doors opened and we were blinded by a [bright] light of the surgery ward. I could see the doctors, and a person lying on the table. From his body they pumped something out with large thick syringes…I felt sick. I could only see that the victim was lying in a cat position: the knees together with the spine curved.

“We sat in the corner and waited for the surgery to end. The doctors were not wearing surgical gowns. They only had rubber gloves and aprons that were a light green color. I remember the floor on which I sat praying for mercy, surrounded by syringes, empty plastic bottles and gauze soaked in blood. The surgical table was huge… They killed the victim from which they drew the bone marrow, put him on a gurney and took out of the room. Then they brought the half dead person I had seen in the prison cell while I walked down the corridor. He was all yellow, wounded and was delirious. They gave him anesthesia. They were in a great hurry. They put on the surgical masks and prepared the containers. The victim was attached to some equipment, perhaps for sucking out blood. I began to [lose] consciousness…

“I am haunted by horrible images. I watched them cut a corpse with a saw. The victim was wrapped in sheets, then in thick plastic. Then a few men came in and took out the cut up corpse. I was scared that they would put me on the table next, but I kept my mouth shut because I was afraid of the bald man who had his gun pointed at me. Since I was weak from acute hepatitis they decided to first cure me and then extract my organs. That’s when I fled that horrible house taking the horror of death with me…”

In his interview to the Voice of Russia the author of the novel Sasa Milivojev told the story of how he created the book….

“When I studied the list of people who disappeared and were kidnapped in Kosovo, I found a lot of details about the horrible destiny of the victims. There are 1,128 people on the list – women, children, and priests. There was no trace left of them… I collected the material for the novel by talking to the witnesses who lost relatives in Kosovo… The author of a fiction novel has the right to make up things, but in this case I did not need to invent anything: there were sufficient life stories, stories of the horrible reality. I saw everything as if on a movie screen. I did not make up the war in Kosovo. I was also bombed in 1999 because of the made up Račak case, the place where the Serbs allegedly massacred the Albanians. It was NATO that bombed the Serbs and gave the Albanians the green light to drive away and kill our people and to form a criminal state on the territory of our country with the help of the money received from stolen minerals and the extracted human organs of kidnapped civilians. And if anybody wants to silence the problem of illegal organ transplantation in the Balkans, it means that that person is either protecting himself or somebody else from justice or worldwide shame.

“The novel The Boy from the Yellow House appeared to demonstrate to the world that we are not the most ‘genocide prone people in the world’, as they try to portray us. Serbia’s prosecutors need to make public the information about secret burials in the same way they made public the testimony of the protected witness, a former member of the Kosovo Liberation Army, about the heart extraction from a live Serb. This way they can prove the fact of the genocide of the Serbs.”

One barely has time to keep up with the official insults and international dehumanizing of Serbs. Here I was finally going to get to the epilogue I’d been meaning to write to Madeleine Albright’s unhinged display in late October, when we learned of the UN’s apology last week for letting a Serbian choir sing for Orthodox New Year. While Gray Falcon has deftly handled all that — though I’ll do a post myself shortly — I did want to finally record my parting thought on the Albright tirade from three months ago. Particularly since there was a Nov. 14th update that, rather than let the “Disgusting Serbs” episode at the Prague bookstore drop into oblivion like every other instance of anti-Serb discrimination, the group of Czech activists who confronted her at the signing decided to sue Albright:

Pro-Serbia Activists File Criminal Complaint Against Albright (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Nov. 14)

After a video emerged in October showing former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright calling a group of pro-Serbian activists “disgusting Serbs,” the group has now filed a criminal complaint against her for spreading ethnic hatred.

A Czech film director and member of the civic group Friends of Serbs in Kosovo, Vaclav Dvorak, filed the complaint on behalf of the group… “Any ethnic hatred coming from the mouth of a former high-ranking politician, who was involved in the NATO intervention in the Balkan conflict, we perceive as an expression of cynicism and disrespect to all the victims.”

[Ethnic hatred from a high-ranking official involved in the bombing also helps explain the bombing: “Western intervention in the Balkans was not driven only by considerations of power and geopolitics, but also a straightforward feeling of hatred and malice against the Serbs, evident from the number of high-ranking officials who at the time, or since, have revealed themselves to harbor such feelings…[T]he xenophobic attitudes toward the Serbs determined what the intervention could get away with…Thomas Friedman of the New York Times could openly, and without repercussions for his reputation, demand the bombing be conducted in a less surgical manner so as to kill a greater number of non-combatants, and his counterpart at the Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer could hail Serbian civilian deaths…This brings us to [an] interesting contrast. While the claim the Serbian leader, Slobodan Milošević was a racist demagogue has been repeated so many times it is just taken as a given, no one has ever produced a quote of his where he would discredit himself as a chauvinist in the manner of Holbrooke, Biden or Albright.]

Led by Dvorak, the activists primarily protested her role in the U.S.-led bombing of Yugoslavia and her interest in Kosovo’s state-owned telecom and postal company. In September, “Bloomberg Businessweek” estimated the telecom deal could be worth as much as $753 million.

However Albright is not the only former U.S diplomat to have business interests in the postwar Balkans. In June, the Austrian financial daily “WirtschaftsBlatt” reported that Wesley Clark, who served as NATO commander in Kosovo from 1997 to 2000, has expressed interest in a business deal involving the conversion of lignite to liquid fuel. According to the report by “WirtschaftsBlatt,” Clark’s Canadian energy company, Envidity, is prepared to invest $5.6 billion in the project over the next six years if it receives a license. The company has filed a request with Kosovo’s authorities but has yet to receive permission to explore the country’s coal reserves.

Lignite is one of Kosovo’s most profitable natural resources. Europe’s smallest state is the world’s fifth-largest producer of lignite. Lignite also makes up 97 percent of the total electricity generation in Kosovo.

A mini compilation on the Western profiteers of the Serbs’ doom, to come in the months ahead. But in the meantime I need to also credit Albright herself for giving the October anti-Serb incident more “legs” as a story — that is, a few weeks of staying power when even Kosovo stories like Ft. Dix and the March 2011 shooting of U.S. servicemen in Frankfurt, and even the would-be Tampa bomber — couldn’t stay in headlines for more than 48 hours. The bookstore incident could have been yet another Kosovo-oriented event that passed without notice, but Albright just couldn’t help herself — and had to throw in that phrase “disgusting Serbs,” to add to her repertoire which includes calling Serbs animals. (At a speech she gave in the 90s in front of the UN in New York, a friend of Professor Michael Pravica yelled in Serbian, “Why do you treat us like animals?” To which she replied in perfect Serbian, “Because you ARE animals.”)

What makes the Serbs-as-animals defilement more interesting, however, is the persistent rumor that Kosovo’s prime minister, Hashim Thaci, was sleeping with Albright when he was head of the KLA in 1998-99. While this remains a rumor, it should be noted that when the rumor resurfaced in 2008, a former NSA analyst said he asked Albright’s special assistant if there was any truth to it. Instead of answering, “Ewwww, of course not you freak!” she replied, “Uh, I don’t think we should talk about that.”

Now, if you consider that Thaci, the chief Serb-butcher, is part Serb himself (he had a Serbian-Orthodox grandfather), this means that Madeleine Albright may have had sex with an animal.

Continuing with the animal theme, below is an excerpt from the Crappytown blog from September. It caught a Scottish broadsheet, The Herald, with this sentence about the manager of the Serbian national football team:

“SUCH is the reputation of Sinisa Mihajlovic that one could forgive the SFA [Scottish Football Association] if bars are being hastily erected around the technical area at Hampden in deference to the imminent arrival of the Serbia coach.”

Yepp, you read that right. A serious, “quality” [UK] paper has no problem suggesting it would be fine to cage their guests from Serbia when they come over to take part in a sporting event. You may think suggesting some people may be treated with as with apes would be just a tiny-bit politically incorrect in 2012, but if some people happen to be Serbian, you would evidently be wide off the mark.

(The quote is [an abstract for] a poor background article on the manager of the Serbian national football team published in the build up to the football match between the national selections of Scotland and Serbia that was held yesterday in Glasgow. The Scottish Football Association showed more class than that and despite the indulgence granted by The Herald treated their guests with hospitality and dignity, not enclosing their opposition’s manager with a cage.)


Forgivable

The slogan of the blog, explaining its name, is: “Let’s go to the crappy town, where I am a hero.” Unfortunately, the crappy town where Albright is a hero is the world.

I also wanted to let people know that Washington Examiner was good enough to publish a shortened version of my letter on the Albright outburst and their coverage of it:

Dear Editor,

Thank you for noticing former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s Serb Derangement Syndrome, which was on display at the book signing in Prague (“Albright Raps ‘Disgusting Serbs,’” Nov. 1). Her wrath was directed at a group of Czech “Friends of Kosovo Serbs,” who dared to interrupt her hero fantasy. The incident is one of many illustrations of the anything-goes policy that applies exclusively to anti-Serb bigotry. Bigotry that is never called by its name because, gee, Serbs deserve whatever they get. That’s why a former stateswoman feels comfortable publicly shouting, “Disgusting Serbs!” — no less at Czechs.

I was disheartened, however, that even in The Examiner’s coverage, the last word predictably went to Albright’s aide, who naturally repeated the debunked propaganda that the activists were faulting Albright for stopping ethnic cleansing. (As early as December 1999, journalist Daniel Pearl — to name just one — found this wasn’t the case.) As well, the harmless word “feisty” was used to describe Albright’s reaction. It all seems to underscore the non-partisan approach to things Balkans-related, where everyone is on the same wrong page. This has a lot to do with American lack of knowledge about the region.

Examiner was supposed to be different, and not buying into or peddling MSM propaganda. But the exception to the rule, as always, seems to be the Former Yugoslavia. What Albright is, is a lot darker than “feisty,” something half the country once knew. The half of the country — and of Congress — that correctly opposed violently mad Albright’s War.

Another part of the epilogue to the Albright outburst is that soon after, I heard from a member of the Czech group, named Karel, who related to me that they received a telephone threat:

A few days after the incident, one of my colleagues, P. K. (whose phone number is available on our website), received a threatening phone call from an unknown very good German-speaking caller. He was very upset by our website, he accused us of spreading pro-Serbian propaganda and said: I kriege Dich! (I will get you!)

Whoever he was, the cell phone number belongs to a German company Car-Comfort…. The manager of this company is - what a surprise! - an Albanian Fatmir Haskaj from Peć/Pejë (Kosovo).

He just likes to talk on the phone (see his photo):

The Friends of Kosovo Serbs group mentioned the threatening phone call on their website (Google translation here) and did call the police.

I appreciated hearing from Karel, but did not hear back after expressing my disappointment with Dvorak’s accessory choice (the Arab solidarity scarf made famous by the father of modern terrorism, Yasser Arafat). That was what my previous coverage of the Albright signing focused on, as the main point was well handled elsewhere. The only reason I’m beating that dead horse now is that in my last blog on the subject, I quoted a comment poster on the Gray Falcon blog, named “Friend from Prague,” who wrote, “…Kosovo Serbs sometimes compare their own situation with that of Palestinians in the occupied territories. Of course, this does not mean that the Serbs in Kosovo are somehow pro-Islamic, antisemitic, etc. I think the same applies to Dvořák. Gorin’s reaction have severely disappointed me.”

I responded to the comment taking at face value the accuracy of the commenter’s assessment that Kosovo Serbs see their situation as similar to the Palestinians, and said I was devastated to hear that, then explained what’s wrong with it. However, I soon heard from reader Alex T. from Stockholm, who took issue with that characterization of the Kosovo Serb view, and so I wanted to post his email here for the record:

Have been a loyal reader of yours for over a decade now. This is the first time i have ever written to you. I felt the need to do so out of shame. I am ashamed of my fellow Serbs for not noticing the scarf thing on their own and that they need it explained to them. I will say, though, that the phenomenon of Kosovo Serbs supporting Palestinians simply isn’t true. I have met many refugees from there and i can tell you that they pay little if any attention to the middle east. What happened was probably that some desperate Serbs were fishing for any kind of sympathy and tried to get it by equating themselves with the outside world’s favourite “victims”. I am happy to tell you that the vast majority of Kosovo Serbs have too much pride to fish for anything, but a few slip ups can’t be helped considering their desperate situation. Also, in the Serb Republic where i lived for 2 years, i can proudly tell you that Israel, and especially Liberman, are considered to be all but honorary Serbs at this point…

Ending now with just a childish observation about Madeleine Albright’s last name. One might put this in the category of “Obama-Biden” sounding like “Osama bin Laden” (as several on the Right pointed out in 2008), or the fact that if you turn “Hitler” into an adjective, you get Hitlery, which sounds a lot like Hillary. Not exactly empty observations, really. And neither is this about Albright’s name: The first three letters just happen to be: A… L … B …

There was a bit more to that European Court of Auditors report from November, which I quoted Spiegel magazine on that month (Police Insider: Kosovo Firmly in Grip of Organized Crime; Officials Just Waiting for High-minded Reformers to Leave)

Corruption reigns in Kosovo despite EU millions (EU Observer, Nikolaj Nielsen, Nov. 1)

BRUSSELS - The almost €700 million in EU funds spent in Kosovo between 2007 and 2011 to improve the rule of law and rein in corruption have produced dismal results, an EU auditing body said this week.

“Kosovo’s authorities accord insufficient priority to the rule of law and EU support should be more effective,” said Gijs de Vries, the court member responsible for the report [of an investigation conducted by the Luxembourg-based European Court of Auditors], in a statement.

The court says lack of consensus among EU member states on Kosovo’s independence dispels the incentive for the struggling nation to effectively stamp out corruption.

(Aha! There’s the usual culprit: Kosovo authorities aren’t interested in fighting corruption or having rule of law because Kosovo’s status is still in limbo — the same excuse we got for the Kosovo-wide pogroms in March 2004, and every other ill there: when a state’s future is uncertain, people feel insecure and go wild. Though I could swear the “Kosovars” are always asserting their full, irreversible independence, so they seem pretty secure, no?)

…The court also found member states are staffing Eulex, the EU’s policy body in Kosovo, with unqualified personnel. It said some staff is sent on missions which are too short. [Which is by design.]

Eulex is mandated until June 2014 to support Kosovo towards establishing the rule of law, is staffed with 2,250 people and has an annual operational budget of around €111 million.

It is the EU’s largest foreign mission.

(Still nothing glaring to anyone that some “forgotten”, “obscure” and “finished” war we brought to Europe necessitates the EU’s largest foreign mission. Still no one asks, Just why is Kosovo so important? And so expensive?)

The court’s criticism comes after stinging remarks by Germany’s defence minister Thomas de Maiziere earlier this month.

“We need a new start, a new name, a new structure, new people and a new mandate. In any case, it’s on the wrong track. We need to sort that out at the EU level,” he told Reuters.

He added that Nato is being forced to do Eulex’ job in north Kosovo, where it has more popular support.

…[A] German diplomatic source told this website on Wednesday (31 October)[,] “It’s a very hard task in Kosovo, so you can’t expect Eulex to find a silver bullet.” … EU navel-gazing aside, the Union’s police body has long been viewed with contempt by leftist young Kosovars.

“Eulex out!” are among some of the tags found spray-painted on walls in and around Pristina.

Similar grievances are directed towards the around 6,000 Nato troops stationed in the country to maintain security amid the still simmering tensions with neighbouring Serbia.

So now we’ve narrowed the anti-foreign-meddler segment of Kosovo society to “young leftists.” I’m not sure what to make of that, especially against the backdrop of nationalists who feel the same way. Though one is reminded that it was a consortium of Marxists, fascists, clansmen, nationalists, jihadists and college students who started the separatist movement and helped transform the KLA into more than just a criminal outfit. But for now I’ll just make a mental note of this narrowing-down to “young leftists.”

My apologies for only getting to it now, but this one was at least as good as “I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”

In fact, it’s better, since it comes from a representative of the “Land of the Free,” which in the past two decades has been trying to out-Sovietize the old Soviet Union.

In case I thought there was only one meaning to my statement that you just can’t talk about Kosovo, on Halloween Hillary made it official in more ways than one:


Hillary Clinton and Hashim Thaci (Tanjug/AP)

Kosovo is my personal matter, Clinton says (Oct. 31, 2012)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Priština Wednesday that Kosovo’s independence was indisputable.

After the meeting with Thaci, Clinton said that the U.S. would not allow anyone to question Kosovo’s independence.

“We are opposed to every talk on the change of borders or reopening of the issue of Kosovo’s independence. This cannot be discussed,” the U.S. official noted.

As the business executive and past president of Serbian Unity Congress, Michael Djordjevic, commented at the time:

These Hillary Clinton statements are typical of the New World Order worldview and yet another example of the amoral and already doomed geopolitical philosophy of America. It is both tragic and pathetic for USA and the world. For example, she asserts that “the USA would never allow any new negotiations on the border between the two countries.” ‘Never?’ What if the Kosovo (Moslem) Albanians of their own free will decide to agree with the Serbs to negotiate separation, resolve their differences and start to live normal lives WITHOUT [the] ever-present meddling and pushing and browbeating by the USA and EU?

Of course, they won’t, thanks in great part to the browbeating being done on their behalf.

Hillary went on:

“For me, my family and my fellow Americans this is more than a foreign policy issue, it is personal,” Clinton stressed.

Here we’ve arrived at her next admission. That it’s a “personal issue” for her family. Could that be a veiled, or at least Freudian, reference to the fact that her husband got the order to bomb the Serbs from Hillary in what was their first conversation in eight months since the Articles of Impeachment were passed and she stopped talking to him? Personal, because the impeachment stemmed from his lying to federal agents, and asking others to lie, during an investigation into a sexual harassment case against him, during which they found out about at least one extramarital affair of his? Personal because, even though the Kosovo groundwork was already being laid, there was no green light from the president for a full-blown intervention until the name Juanita Broaddrick appeared in The Wall St. Journal, prompting Hillary to finally talk to her husband again, via the directive to bomb the Serbs? Indeed, Kosovo got the two back together again. It’s a very personal issue for the jilted wife. And now she’s seeing it through as Secretary of State. Kafka couldn’t come up with anything darker, nor Nabokov with anything more perverse.

To refresh people’s memories, here was the DRUDGE headline from Nov. 24, 1999:

XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 1999 16:20:55 ET XXXXX

SHEEHY: HILLARY ORDERED KOSOVO BOMBING, ‘PROBABLY’ SMOKED POT

Hillary Clinton biographer Gail Sheehy tells NBC’S DATELINE in a segment set for air on November 29 that after the Monica Lewinsky affair was revealed, Hillary Clinton refused to speak to the President for eight months.

According to Sheehy, the standoff did not end until one day in March, 1999 when Hillary called the president telling him to begin bombing Kosovo!

Sheehy tells DATELINE’S Stone Phillips: “The day after she said that, he [Bill Clinton] announced that he was informing his NATO allies that he was recommending a bombing campaign.” […]

It was during her late October trip that Hillary reinforced the personal origins and dynamic of the Clinton-Kosovo affair, by waving from under the shadow of her husband’s enormous gold statue in Pristina, a shot so strange that a blog in India was compelled to cover Chelsea Clinton’s embarrassingly proud tweet of it, remarking on the strangeness of the image and the tweet, but quite able to pinpoint exactly what made it so strange.

Continuing with the original article about the trip:

…Clinton also stated that agreements reached so far in the Belgrade-Priština talks needed to be implemented.

Clinton added that Thaci had taken the political risk by meeting Serbia’s PM Ivica Dačić in Brussels.

[EU High Rep. Catherine] Ashton said that the EU pathway was not easy but that Kosovo would in the end be a country where law and order are respected and economic prosperity is ensured.

“Ensuring” economic prosperity. Nothing Soviet/communist about that either.

… “The state of Kosovo is being consolidated, independence, sovereignty, internal organization cannot be questioned…” [Kosovo PM Hashim] Thaci concluded.

“…Kosovo’s integrity will not be a topic of the talks, that Kosovo’s independence is a done deal as far as the U.S. is concerned and that it cannot be negotiated but they will have to negotiate other things that should lead to better relations between Kosovo and Serbia. The north is among those things,” he [Koha Ditore editor Agron Bajrami told B92 Radio]….

On the other hand, certain Kosovo Albanian analysts believe that the visit is aimed at exerting pressure on Priština to give up on the north and grant this part a special status. [No chance!] They have warned that the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Priština would be meaningless if Kosovo was not accepted in the UN and if it was not recognized by all EU member states in the end.

Priština-based Albanian language daily Zeri has quoted analyst Behgjet Shala as saying that “…This visit has only one goal, to ask Kosovo to give up on the north and for the northern part to get a special status,” Shala said.

Keeping with the Halloween ghoul-fest theme, Hillary then flew to visit with the next Balkan monstrosity, Croatia:

Clinton: US Optimistic About Croatia’s Future (Voice of America, Oct. 31, 2012)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Croatia’s leaders Wednesday that their country has great potential and that the United States is optimistic about its future in the European Union.

Croatia is set to join the 27-nation bloc in July of next year [2013]. It is already a member of NATO…She said U.S. companies are interested in investing in Croatia.

Secretary Clinton arrived in Zagreb from Pristina, [like going trick-or-treating from one haunted house to the other — tricking the Serbs and treating their enemies] where she reiterated Washington’s support for an independent Kosovo, saying “the United States remains firm on Kosovo’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

“We oppose any discussion of territorial changes or reopening Kosovo’s independent status. These matters are not up for discussion. The boundaries of an independent, sovereign Kosovo are clear and set.”

On Tuesday in Belgrade, Clinton had urged Serbian leaders to move forward on talks with Kosovo, stressing that such dialogue does not require recognition of the former province’s independence. [Never mind that following through on all the coerced agreements means exactly that, or that even Serbia’s puny, desperate request that at least the term “Republic of Kosovo” not be used at meetings is spat on.]

From Zagreb, Clinton flies to the Albanian capital, Tirana, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Albanian independence.

Gee, that didn’t look like Halloween at all:

Reacting to Hillary’s official shenanigans in the Balkans was Kristian Kahrs, the Norwegian ex-NATO (KFOR) soldier who has become a writer and activist for fair play in the region. He presented a mini chronology which illustrates that U.S. Kosovo policy is driven by blackmail:

When Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton came to Belgrade on Oct. 30, 2012, she made it clear to Serbian president Tomislav Nikolić that the United States would not accept any changes to Kosovo’s borders.

The US and the EU are very keen on the territorial integrity of Kosovo….In the Rambouillet negotiations, Serbia’s territorial integrity was not important at all. In this agreement, we would have a referendum within three years where only those who lived in Kosovo, not the entire population of Serbia, could vote about the future status. Well, we tried to bomb them into submission, but in [the resulting] United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 Kosovo is not given independence or prospects of a referendum to decide the future of the province.

In 2003 we introduced “Standards before status,” then the pogroms happened on March 17 and 18, 2004, and Kosovo unilaterally declared their independence on Feb. 17, 2008.

In accordance with their support for separatists in the Balkans, the US was among the first to recognize this new state, of course after the beacon of democracy, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Later, on March 28, 2008, my country Norway recognized Kosovo even if Norway has absolutely nothing to gain from this, and we have no national interests in Kosovo. The only reason for a Norwegian recognition of Kosovo would be to appear as good allies to the US. After all, Norway was a loyal NATO member when we went to war against Yugoslavia in 1999, and as a loyal NATO member, a Norwegian recognition of Kosovo was inevitable.

Now, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton [have] come to Belgrade and Priština in an attempt to blackmail Serbia into submission. When they urge Serbia to “normalize relations” to Kosovo, this is just a code word for an intense political pressure on Serbia to recognize the new state state we created.

With such statements, Clinton and the international community block any sensible solution where Serbs and Kosovo Albanians could sit down in an open dialog. Blackmail does not lead to stability.

In his Nov. 10 roundup of Hillary’s Balkan tour, Nebojsa Malic wrote the following:

…Secretary Clinton was photographed hugging a terrorist accused of running a mafia state trafficking in drugs, weapons and human organs. The “independence” of Kosovo – Serbian province occupied by NATO after an illegal war in 1999 – “cannot be discussed,” she declared, following the embrace. “It is personal,” Clinton said, underscoring the point by visiting a colossal gilded statue of her husband and a store named after herself.

…The message she bore was nothing new: Albanians got unconditional support, the Serbs got demands for unconditional surrender….

…there was next to no resistance to Imperial diktat in Belgrade, where the government finally quit waffling and promised immediate action to reach a “final solution” – in the most unfortunate phrase of Prime Minister Dacic – to the Kosovo situation. In fact, Dacic has already met with Thaci – a man he would normally, as head of Serbia’s police, have the legal obligation to arrest on charges of terrorism and organized crime.

Given that, per Clinton, the “independence” of the occupied province cannot be discussed, and that Thaci will agree to nothing less, it is unclear what exactly there is to actually negotiate. The coalition of Socialists, Progressives and “Regionalists” in Belgrade is pretty much agreeing to recognize the land grab. And for what? A promise of future talks about maybe joining the EU some day!

By way of comparison, Prince Regent Paul was rightly vilified for signing a treaty with Hitler in March 1941, but he at least succeeded in getting some terms out of Berlin. (Hitler would have broken them, certainly, but that’s beside the point.) These guys aren’t even trying.

…Albanians will continue to think they aren’t getting everything they want fast enough, and the Serbs will face yet another treason by their politicians…

In a short Global Research article on Nov. 1 (”Clinton: US Will Never Allow Kosovo Border Change; Demands Serbia Accept Border Exactly as Drawn”), Jason Ditz explained:

The question of borders is not simply sour grapes from the Serbian government but a very serious concern over the fact that the lines drawn after the war leave a number of ethnic Serbian villages on the Kosovo side of the border, and the ethnic-Albanian dominated Kosovo government has sought to prevent them from trading with Serbia, using NATO troops to try to seal the border.

Which leaves open the question: if the US supports self-determination for Kosovar Albanians, why not also for Kosovar Serbs who never wanted to secede from Serbia in the first place and now don’t want to be stuck as part of the new Kosovo[?] The US has not addressed the “why” of this double standard, but has repeatedly reiterated that they will not allow northern Kosovo to secede from the rest of Kosovo….

That piece too was addressing Hillary’s demanding that Serbia “normalize” relations with Kosovo, and insisting that the US “would never allow any new negotiations on the border between the two countries.”

We know that the Clintons have no sense of irony, and so a month after the “Discussion Not Allowed” notice from Hillary, she made the irony even thicker when she said the U.S. is trying to prevent a re-Sovietization by Russia. The Russian Institute for Strategic Studies’ Boris Volkhonsky wrote on Rick Rozoff’s blog Dec. 7th:

As reported by the Financial Times, on Thursday, hours before meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a news conference that the US is to prevent Russia from integrating more closely with its neighbors in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

“There is a move to re-Sovietise the region,” said the US Secretary of State. “It’s not going to be called that. It’s going to be called a customs union, it will be called Eurasian Union and all of that. But let’s make no mistake about it. We know what the goal is and we are trying to figure out effective ways to slow down or prevent it.”

What irritated Ms. Hillary…is the process of growing integration between former Soviet states, and in particular Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, which formed a customs union in 2010. In 2012, the union was transformed into a common economic space with prospects of turning into a Eurasian Union that would enable other neighboring countries to join it along lines similar to of those of the European Union.

In October 2011, in an article published by the Russian Izvestia newspaper, the then-premier of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin wrote, “There is no talk of reforming the USSR in some form. It would be naive to restore or copy what has been abandoned in the past, but close integration – on the basis of new values, politics and the economy - is the order of the day.”

So, there is a clear impression that when Ms. Hillary speaks of “re-Sovietization”, she barely notices the real goals formulated by Russian politicians, but rather suspects that Russia…is following a pattern with which she, as the head of American diplomacy, is well acquainted.

Hence her claims that Russia is following an expansionist policy….

Projection, in other words.

I recently blogged about the documentary film “The Second Meeting” by a Serbian filmmaker, about the American pilot shot down by a Yugoslav colonel, noting the good and bad in such a concept. Letter writer Kathleen wrote me the following about it:

I attended the premier of the film “Second Meeting” and talked to the film maker. I’m stunned and saddened that the Serbs try so hard to please the west. While the subject of the film is a nice idea, I couldn’t help but feel the film was more western propaganda. No one wants to come out and say that what happened is a great injustice. We can forgive each other but we must always remember the injustice for the sake of all the innocents who were affected by this horrific happening.

The new year is off to a repetitive, and possibly amped-up, start. By now, most readers of this blog have read the Jan 4 report about the destruction of the Serbian Orthodox Monastery of Assumption of the Virgin:

Albanians last night completely destroyed the monastery “Assumption of the Virgin” in southern Serbia…Mother Paraskeva (62 years old)…[said] “…Albanians from Kosovo were organized with the intention of coming to destroy the Serbian monasteries in this area…Last year on Good Friday they attacked me…’ The Monastery of the Assumption of the Virgin is under the auspices of Bishop Pachomius, who was accused for rape of boys…. “Some have been given 35 000 DM (Deutsche Marks) to create a bad image of the Bishop. [ The Monastery…originates from the 4th century and it is the oldest shrine in Vranje district.

First, as to why Albanians would accuse a Serbian bishop of raping little boys, here’s an email I got a few years ago:

I’ve read in various chronicles from and about Kosovo under Islam [that] Albanians were abducting Serb boys and young girls. It is Bat Y’eor who brought up the subject in one of her books that got me curious to look up in more detail. My wife’s parents tell me that it is a public secret in and around Skopje (Macedonia) to hide your boy from a Muslim Albanian, especially if he is good looking, because one will lose him. Look up “Islamic Homosexualities” and there is a chapter on Albanians raping little boys. The book can be read via amazon and it it has stunned me.

Meanwhile, something that’s gotten less attention than the report about the monastery is that on the heels of the destruction — and on Orthodox Christmas Eve — Kosovo Albanians characteristically tried to prevent cleansed Serbs from visiting their old church in Djakovica, with a similar name to the monastery above. It all suggests we may be in the midst of a string of intimidation tactics against Serbs — something that, as the above item shows, extends beyond Kosovo’s “borders.”

B92 (Jan. 6) - A group of Kosovo Albanians have prevented a group of Orthodox believers from visiting the Church of Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary in Đakovica. RTS (Radio Television Serbia) has reported that the Albanians were protesting against the visit of displaced Serbs who used to live in the town.

Ethnic Albanian Self-Determination Movement activists and Voice of Mothers organization members gathered in front of the entrance to the church on Christmas Eve and did not allow Serbs to go in. Orthodox nuns did not even go out in the yard on Sunday.

RTS has reported that around 40 Serbs managed to bring the Yule log into the church despite the protest and then safely leave the town in a bus. Kosovo police arrested two protesters and pushed several hundreds of Albanians 20 meters away from the church so Serbs could briefly enter the church.

Well thank goodness for the need to keep up appearances. (At least until the international overseers leave, or until the rest of the UN gives in and recognizes Kosovo statehood.)

On Christmas Day, Jan. 7th, came news that Kosovo police detained several Serbs after Christmas services, first concocting some sort of “Serbian Civil Defense” affiliation as an excuse, then saying they simply “looked suspicious,” and then saying the young men had been tailing the Kosovo Police charged with securing the visit by Aleksandar Vulin, head of the Serbian Government Office for Kosovo. Vulin said, “‘The arrests were a straightforward provocation, crude violence, that was truly caused by nothing… This is about straightforward lawlessness and injustice’… He added that he had unofficially learned that…the Kosovo Albanian authorities ‘do not know what [to] charge the Serbs with’…According to him, the international community should consider whether its unconditional support for Priština can continue - ‘because that support may be interpreted by Priština [and has been all along] as readiness to perpetrate all forms of violence. We have said it countless times that the end of supervised independence was a tragic mistake. The international community and Priština must understand that there will be no lasting and just solution in Kosovo and Metohija without the consent of Serbia and the Serbs who live there,’ Vulin told RTS.

“Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) Bishop Teodosije of Ras-Prizren said Monday that the Kosovo police raided the Gračanica monastery on Christmas Day…. ‘With actions of this kind, the Kosovo police is deterring people from visiting their holy sites and demonstrating brutal force in a highly primitive fashion,’ believes Teodosije.

“‘Considering the incidents the Kosovo police caused on St. Vitus Day, June 28 last year, it is practically a rule that every Orthodox holiday is accompanied by fear of police terror and arrests,’ the Diocese of Ras-Prizren said in a release.

“Bishop Teodosije also expressed great dissatisfaction with the Kosovo institutions’ improper treatment of Serbian officials, who are banned from visiting SPC sites or forced, as Aleksandar Vulin was on Monday, to urgently leave Gračanica before the end of the ceremony.

“A similar incident occurred a few months ago, when Bishop Teodosije received a visit from advisor to the Serbian president Marko Đurić, who was later brutally expelled from the territory of Kosovo. According to Teodosije, foreign representatives were also confused and shocked by the actions of the police on Monday.”

They were shocked this time? Not the other 4700 times?

In a follow-up to the incident last Wednesday (the 10 young men were released pending trial, though one is in the hospital with injuries to his legs and urethra after being beaten at the Priština courthouse where he was interrogated), Vulin said “that he hoped the international community would not understand why President Tomislav Nikolić was not allowed to visit the Gračanica monastery and why he and other Office for Kosovo officials had so many problems with freedom of movement in Kosovo.”

He was referring to the news that was dominating local headlines a day before Orthodox Christmas: the Kosovo government denying Serbian president Tomislav Nikolic’s request to visit with his fellow Serbs in Kosovo to mark Christmas.

IMAGINE a president having to REQUEST a visit to his own territory, from the terrorists who are still only in the midst of seizing it (with superpower help). Imagine the U.S. president having to ask a China-backed or Russia-backed La Raza for permission to visit California. Anyway, it’s supposedly quid pro quo for Belgrade not allowing the terrorists into the part of the country they haven’t yet seized, though that doesn’t explain all the other cases of denied access to Serbian officials over the past decade.

… “[I]f our officials are not allowed to go to Serbia certainly we will apply the same measures,” Kosovo Interior Minister Bajram Rexhepi said at a news conference on Saturday [Jan. 5]…While several Serb ministers have been denied entry to Kosovo, some top officials…have been allowed to attend religious festivals in the past…[T]he most recent rejection came after four Kosovo government ministers were denied entry to Serbia during 2012. Last Christmas, Kosovo Albanian protesters hurled stones at a motorcade carrying former president Tadic when he visited a monastery in western Kosovo. Nikolic…has accused European Union authorities in Kosovo of bias by letting Kosovo authorities to decide whether the Serb leader could visit Kosovo.

From a rundown of Albanian press on Jan. 6th, we see once again that the Kosovo government and the “more extreme” Kosovo Albanian political groups that Western politicians are always trying to distance from it were on the same page:

Vetevendosje demands Serbia’s officials not be allowed entry to Kosovo (dailies)

Leaders of the Vetevendosje Movement called on the Government of Kosovo not to allow Serbia’€™s officials to enter Kosovo ahead of Orthodox Christmas celebrations. …On the possibility of a peace treaty being signed by presidents of Kosovo and Serbia, Vetevendosje officials commented by saying that there can be no peace for as long as Serbia doesn’€™t apologise for crimes it committed in Kosovo.

In another Jan. 5 report, we get to the wider game, and the next prize the Albanians have their eye on: Serbia’s Presevo Valley. That’s what is meant in the last line below by “southern Serbia”:

“…I will not have Priština deciding whether I can go to our Kosovo….Nikolić pointed out that EULEX had once again shown that it was not status neutral and that it did what Priština said. “They did not let me to go to Kosovo while I was an opposition representative and they do not let me go now that I am a Serbian president,” he stressed. Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister Hajredin Kuci said on Friday…that the Serbian president would be able to visit Kosovo…when Kosovo Albanian leaders were allowed to visit ethnic Albanians in southern Serbia. […]

As if these ‘innocent’ visits aren’t rallies in furtherance of the next phase of Greater Albania’s consolidation. Indeed, if we were to check in on just the most recent moves toward that end, we’d find an even lesser-noticed recent report, from late December. See if you can get your head around this: In the Albanian-dominated Presevo Valley (just north of Kosovo), the Albanians put up a monument — on what is, still, undisputed Serbian land — to the KLA terrorists who tried to seize Presevo just months after their Kosovo seizure. (That particular KLA affiliate is known as UCPMB.) This is like Muslims putting up a monument to al Qaeda in our faces. Because that’s what the KLA are to Serbs. Except Muslims in general aren’t yet as brazen as Albanians — which is saying a lot. For those who poo-poo the KLA-ALQ comparison, what a luxury they have to not be Serb, and to be able to scoff at these people’s pain.

It’s not enough that the few Serbs who remain in Kosovo have to deal with monuments to the killers and torturers of their loved ones as a reminder that they’re not welcome in their own ancient land, but now Serbs in Serbia proper are getting it. Unsurprisingly, the people arrested in this whole thing were the group of Serbs who set out to demolish the stone harbinger of their demise. The monument itself wasn’t touched, nor were the terrorist-worshipers who put it up.

Albanians accuse IM [Interior Minister], defend memorial to terror group (Nov. 22)

PREŠEVO — The leaders of ethnic Albanian parties in southern Serbia…qualified as “a threat” a statement made by PM and Interior Minister Ivica Dačić on Wednesday. Dačić said yesterday that the memorial plaque for the members of the so-called Liberation Army of Preševo, Bujanovac and Medveđa (UCPMB; OVPMB) in downtown Preševo represented an unnecessary provocation to which the state must react, and advised those who put it up to remove it themselves.

The terrorist group was an offshoot of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA; UCK), and was disbanded in 2001. After the end of the war in Kosovo, they staged hundreds of attacks against Serbian police, Yugoslav military, local officials in the area, and UN personnel.

One of the group’s former commanders, and until recently president of the Bujanovac municipal assembly, Jonuz Musliu, also criticized Dačić on Thursday. Musliu, who is now leader of the Movement for Democratic Progress party, said that ethnic Albanians were “in favor of solving all conflicts peacefully” and that the prime minister “will have to look elsewhere for a partner for war and warmongering”.

The leader of the Democratic Union of the Valley Skender Destani told Tanjug… “If all the members of the Liberation Army received amnesty, what right does he have to openly threaten Albanians.”…Last Friday, Preševo saw the unveiling of the memorial which contains the names of 27 members of the UCPMB who had been killed during the insurgency. The memorial to cost RSD 3 million to build. Ethnic Albanians said that the ceremony was staged on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Albanian state.

Serbia Threatens To Demolish Albanian Monument (Balkan Insight, Dec. 27)

…[Serbian Prime Minister Ivica] Dacic ordered the authorities in the mainly Albanian towns of Bujanovac and Presevo in South Serbia to remove a monument dedicated to ethnic Albanian fighters.

The ethnic Albanian guerrilla force launched a brief armed struggle with Serbian security forces in 2000. The conflict ended with the help of international mediation. [After it started with the help of international “mediation” (i.e. the Kosovo war) which opened the door to Presevo.]

They agreed to disarm in 2001 following an internationally brokered peace deal, after which the Serbian military re-entered the demilitarized area near the border with Kosovo with the approval of NATO.

When the monument was erected, Ragimi Mustafa, president of the municipality of Presevo, said the history of every nation deserved [respect], including the history of the ethnic Albanians in that area.

In response, the Serbian government filed criminal charges against representatives of the Presevo municipality, saying the monument was not erected in accordance with due procedures.

According to Dacic, the international community had been informed about the memorial and about how its construction was “an open provocation, designed to show that Serbia does not control part of its territory”.

[Did you catch that? Serbia can’t have an appropriate response to provocations in its borders without first asking permission, after briefing, the ‘international community’. That would be the same international community that’s helping Albanians do what they do.]

On December 26, on the website Preseva jone, some former ethnic Albanian fighters threatened armed rebellion if the monument in Presevo is removed. [And yet the headline of this Balkan Insight report has the verb “threatens” after the subject “Serbia.”]

They would “put on their boots and uniforms once again and take up arms,” they said.

Yes, they love reminding everyone that they’re always ready to fight again if the internationals don’t do their bidding. As if the Albanians won’t do it anyway. So it looks like NATO may have to hand them Presevo too. (Indeed, the issue is being internationalized for the past several years already. See the 90th paragraph here, which starts with the word “Obviously.”) Looks like we may have to bomb or otherwise punish Serbia yet again, if it decides to be “intransigent” again.

Good thing we have the president of Albania to straighten us out that it’s actually Serbia that’s doing the “provoking.” Though one might ask what stake the president of Albania has in what happens in Serbia, or Kosovo for that matter — unless it’s the barely concealed fact that he sees these parts of Serbia as futurely part of Albania:

Berisha: Belgrade provokes Albanians, and does not respect minority (Politika, Jan. 6)

TIRANA - Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha accused the Serbian authorities of provoking the Albanians and urged Belgrade to reject the “old practice of “Albanophoby” and show respect to the Albanian minority in southern Serbia.

“The recent attitude of the authorities in Belgrade, which has shown no respect for Albanian martyrs, is a provocation to all Albanians and their serious efforts towards peace and stability in the region by establishing new relations with its neighbors,” Berisha said in a statement, quoted by ATA .

[Attacking a country’s legal authorities — which is what these ‘martyrs’ did — is a “serious effort towards peace and stability in the region”? And who can forget the Albanian government’s “considerable efforts to ease tensions,” by not cooperating with the international, much less Serbian, investigations into the murder-for-organs operation Albania hosted?]

Noting that the Albanian government has made considerable efforts to ease tensions in southern Serbia and encouraging “constructive and inclusive role of the Albanian minority in Serbia”, Berisha invited Albanians to “not respond to the provocations of Belgrade.”

The monument will be removed “by hook or by crook,” Dacic said, noting that this is not the only monument in southern Serbia, and in Presevo and Bujanovac [are] waving Albanian flags.

The U.S. Embassy in Belgrade has condemned threats of violence, which according to media reports, former OVPMB [alternate acronym for UCPMB] members expressed, and called for resolving political differences through dialogue…

And so, since it’s Serbia that’s doing the provoking, it’s Serbia that “risks spreading the conflict” (notice how the Albanians ensconce their threats of violence by starting the sentence with “Serbia”):

Vlasi: Serbia risks spreading the conflict (Jan. 9)

Sarajevo - Azem Vlasi, Kosovo Government Advisor on Foreign Affairs, has warned that the deterioration in relations with the Albanians in southern Serbia is risking wider conflict.

Vlasi agrees with estimates that the Presevo Valley and southern Serbia could be a new potential conflagration.[Certainly not their plan all along or anything.]

“But when it comes to the Presevo Valley, they can not [do] to Albanians whatever they want, without risk of spreading conflict. [If] they attack the Albanians, they attack us all Albanians! Let them know It,” warned Vlasi.

He recalled that Serbia wants to [exacerbate] relations with the Albanians in the Presevo Valley, just because [JUST BECAUSE!] they use their own national flag and want to have a memorial of Albanian victims [VICTIMS!] who died by the Serbian authorities. “For the common sense of all of us it’s a surprise, but it illustrates how Serbia is left in the past and how they can not dig out of it,” said Vlasi for AA…

And from UNMIK Media Monitoring: “Serbia provoking broad conflict”

Political analysts in Kosovo and Presevo consider that the ultimatum issued by the Government of Serbia to remove the monument of [UC‡PMB] fallen heroes represents a provocation for a new conflict in the region. “€œI am convinced that the Prime Minister of Kosovo will emphasise support for the political and democratic rights of national identity [at the Jan. 17 meeting between Pristina and Belgrade]. Normalising relations between Kosovo and Serbia cannot happen [at the expense of] the rights of Albanians there,” said Deputy Prime Minister Hajredin Kuci, who added that the monument in Presevo represents a symbol of Albanian freedom fighters.

Serbia Albanians Scorn Threat to War Memorial

…”The removal of the monument is not in the spirit of European values so [Serbian Prime Minister Ivica] Dacic will not risk the country’s EU path by removing it,” [Skender] Destani, leader of the Democratic Union of the Valley, DUD, told Balkan Insight.

Jonuz Musliu, former political leader of the Liberation Army of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja, also believes that Dacic is “smart enough not to demolish the monument.

“It would not look European, as Europe does not destroy monuments,” Musliu said.[…]

Right. That’s more of a Muslim thing. And an Albanian thing. (Pay not attention to the fact that Albanians are Muslim, we’re told; indeed, it’s a redundancy.) But the Albanians know that if you build a monument — any monument — Europe will indeed have a hard time destroying it. A memorial, or anything that looks like artwork — even if it honors killers of Europeans — will cause conscience-wrestling among the Euros.

Another update came over the weekend:

Serbian and ethnic Albanian representatives have failed to cut a deal to remove a memorial to ethnic Albanian fighters in south Serbia. (Balkan Insight, Jan. 11)

Internationally-mediated talks on Thursday ended without a deal on the future of the monument in the town of Presevo which Belgrade wants to be demolished, seeing it as a tribute to armed separatism.

The emergence of the ethnic Albanian guerrilla force, which was seeking to unite this part of Serbia with Kosovo in the late 1990s, resulted in armed conflict between Serbs and ethnic Albanians in south Serbia in 2000.

After the conflict ended, the authorities signed an amnesty law which removed the threat of prosecution from everyone who participated in the conflict.

[Dacic] said that Serbian officials would talk to Albanian representatives “to seek an alternative place where the monument can be placed”.

Local ethnic Albanian leaders have said that they will meet on Saturday to make a decision about the monument’s destiny.

An update from just yesterday, from UNMIK Online: ANA: We will enter war with Serbia (Zëri, Jan. 14)

The Albanian National Army reappeared, this time in Vushtrri, where it announced that it would mobilize its members to defend “against Serb threats to secede a part of the Kosovo territory [the north, which wants to remain within the internationally recognized, Kosovo-inclusive, borders of Serbia] and threats to forcibly remove the UÇPMB monument in Presevo”.

In a meeting in Vushtrri, ANA said: “We will most definitely enter a war with Serbia. It still refuses to see that Presevo, Medvegja and Bujanovc are Albanian lands and no one should dare touch them. Albanians are not orphans,” said colonel Kaçak, an ANA commander.

(I think that last sentence is saying, “America, among others, has our back.”)

And another update from Monday: March in support of Presevo Valley (koha.net)

Serbia is even insulting the dead in Presevo Valley, said a group of students of the University of Pristina on Monday, who announced a march on Wednesday in support of the Albanian population in Presevo Valley. “We, students of the University of Pristina, will not remain indifferent towards the behavior of the Serbian leadership against Albanians of the Presevo Valley,” said Arben Mehmeti, one of the organizers of the march.

[The University of Pristina was the staging ground and recruitment center of the Marxist-fascist-nationalist-Islamist-separatist combo that birthed the KLA as more than just a criminal outfit. And I won’t even go into the pot-callling-the-kettle-black irony of Albanians accusing someone else of insulting the dead: overturning graves and spreading around body parts of civilian Slav corpses as old as a hundred years apparently is *not* insulting the dead, but not honoring dead Albanian terrorists is.]

“Let us also show to the institutions in Serbia and Dacic’s Government that if it violates and insults our national values, then it is not violating only the values of the Albanians in eastern Kosovo, but it is affecting all Albanians wherever they are. We request from Kosovo, Albania, and international institutions to pressure for the rights of the Albanians being violated at the Valley and everywhere where there are Albanians,” Astrit Gjoci, another organizer, told RTK.

Arben Mehmeti stressed that the march is organized by students of the University of Pristina and it will begin on Wednesday at 12:00 hours. “We will march from the front of the National Library, towards “Mother Teresa” square, and we will stop in front of the National Theatre,” he said…

Even as the end game is laid bare — that it was never just about Kosovo, but about Greater Albania — we have a case that can be described as Doctor Frankenstein condemning weird science:

US urges end to nationalistic rhetoric in Albania

TIRANA, Albania (AP) - The U.S. ambassador in Tirana has warned of an “unfortunate” rise in nationalist rhetoric by Albanian politicians ahead of elections next year.

Alexander A. Arvizu says attempts to inflame ethnic tensions could potentially destabilize the Balkans. His comments Friday follow calls from a small nationalist party for a referendum on uniting Albania with neighboring Kosovo, whose population is mostly ethnic Albanian.

Prime Minister Sali Berisha recently angered neighboring Greece with talk of Albanian lands including parts of Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro. Tirana later said his comments, made ahead of Albania’s 100th anniversary celebrations, had a purely historical context.

Berisha also promised citizenship for ethnic Albanians worldwide — an offer he later retracted.

Arvizu said voters should not fall for talk of an “illusory Greater Albania.”

“Illusory,” only until the establishment is ready to let us know about it.

For some reason, that little Balkans item even made it as far as Denver and Salt Lake City. It was an excerpt from Arvizu’s remarks at the 15th International Conference on Security in the Western Balkans on Dec. 14th. If we look at the rest of his speech, it sounds like the U.S. as Dr. Frankenstein is getting more and more worried about its demon child:

…Recently the United States has observed an unfortunate rise in nationalist rhetoric here in Albania, especially in the weeks leading up to and following the 100th anniversary celebrations.

This rhetoric contrasts sharply with the overall constructive role that Albania has traditionally played in the region, notably with ethnic-Albanian populations. The Government of the Republic of Albania and political parties – this includes the opposition – have typically issued clear, responsible messages encouraging ethnic-Albanian populations residing outside the country to work with their governments to resolve their issues. [He must have missed all this in 2006-07 and this from Berisha in 2009. And how about this Reuters dispatch from 2000 (the third-to-last item), or Berisha and his foreign minister telling the visiting Slovakian president in 2007 that Kosovo would be part of Albania. And that’s without mentioning Kosovo PM Thaci saying just last March that it would “be ‘best and easiest’ for Albanians to live in a single state if borders in the Balkans changed,” whereupon Dacic pointed out that if a Serbian official had made such a statement, it would have caused a UN Security Council meeting. A few days later, Menduh Thaci, leader of Macedonia’s Democratic Party of Albanians, called Macedonia “an artificial country” in an interview with an Albanian TV channel. “He said further he wanted for Macedonia to fall apart and all Albanians to unite in one country.” Note that these comments came at a time when there were ethnic clashes in Macedonia, culminating in the execution-style murders of five Macedonians on the eve of Orthodox Easter, and demonstrations in Skopje chanting “Death to Christians!” A head-scratcher for sure, given that we’re told the problem is Serbia, not Christianity.]

Recently, various political actors in Albania have sought to use negative messages centered on ethnicity for their narrow political ends. This is a dangerous game. Ethnic tensions, once aroused, are difficult, if not impossible to predict or control. It is imperative that responsible individuals refrain from inflaming ethnic sentiment, whether inside or outside Albania. [The Albanian-American ambassador didn’t know that Albanians are ethno-centered? With the very premise of combining all the Albanian-heavy lands being that Albanians should live together in one big country? Indeed, the U.S-supported Kosovo policy is single-handedly changing the definition of what nation-states are founded on: it’s gone from common vision and values to ethnicity and religious identity, as Harry de Quetteville warned in The Telegraph upon Kosovo’s unilateral declaration in 2008.]

In addition to potentially destabilizing the region, nationalistic rhetoric and actions damage Albania’s reputation. Because of various controversial statements and assertions made in the lead-up to the 100th anniversary celebrations, two neighboring countries canceled their participation in this historic event. [He means Macedonia, and see Greek foreign minister cancels trip over Albanian PM’s reference to a town across the Greek border as “Albanian lands.”] This may seem like a minor consequence, a footnote to some, but it sets back relations, hinders communication and cooperation, and makes resolving other outstanding issues that much more difficult. And we, the United States, take note of it.

[You hear that? Fourteen years past our pro-nationalist intervention, we’re finally taking note of the Albanian nationalism that’s meant death to thousands of non-Albanians and less nationalist Albanians over the past several decades. That would be the intervention that happened 18 years after the 1981 race riots that Albanians staged in Kosovo screaming their supremacy from the rooftops. Which of course was 100 years after the Prizren League announced the Albanian nationalist agenda that has guided Albanianism ever since. So if you add that up, it took 132 years for Washington to notice. At least according to this guy. Some might argue that Washington was aware of Albanian hyper-nationalism every step of the way, and allied with it regardless, as it has been doing with other fascist forces since WWII.]

The recent intimidation of ethnic Macedonian minorities in Liqenas by some misguided individuals is completely unacceptable and should be rejected categorically by all Albanians.

The recent call by the Red and Black Alliance for an Albanian-Kosovo unification referendum serves neither country’s Euro-Atlantic integration aspirations, and undermines the progress achieved in regional stability and peace, and movement towards European integration.

Let me be crystal clear, absolutely clear: The United States of America does not support the redrawing of national borders in the Balkan region [except, er, uh…Serbia’s]. Any efforts to do so are counterproductive and destabilizing. [Except when we do it and unleash the Albanian mafia onto the world.]

Political parties and leaders should focus on what they claim is important: Euro-Atlantic integration. Talk of an illusory “Greater Albania” is a distraction from the very real problems that Albania faces today, and the voters shouldn’t fall for it.

We believe a new political movement like the Red and Black Alliance can and should play an important and constructive role in Albanian politics. [He’s saying a party founded on nationalism and ethnic unification can play a constructive role.]

Given the positive role that the Government of Albania has traditionally played in maintaining good relations with its neighbors [such as being the launching pad for a war against its neighbor and a graveyard for Slavs missing their organs], we urge its leadership to be unequivocal in this vein. Elections should not be an excuse for sending mixed messages.

Furthermore, we ask that Albania’s politicians and political leaders across the spectrum renew their commitment to convey responsible messages to all Albanians. [Except the whole point of the U.S.-backed KLA, heroes to 99% of Albanians, was to kill off “responsible” politicians.]

What a difference a century makes. Albania has earned respect and admiration across the globe. Albanians live within secured borders; they no longer need to feel threatened by any external foe. Kosovo is now a sovereign nation, independent and free. And in the course of the past 100 years no country in the world has shown itself to be a more consistent and reliable friend of the Albanian people than the United States of America.

That’s right. Leave it to the good old U.S. of A. to make a messy world messier. The controversial comments that the ambassador referenced, meanwhile, were made in a statement to a museum by Berisha, in which “he referred to ‘the Albania of all the Albanian lands from Preveza to Presevo, Skopje to Podgorica’,” Reuters reported. “Preveza is part of the northern Greek province of Epirus, where some ethnic Albanians lived before World War Two…Skopje is the capital of Macedonia and Podgorica the capital of Montenegro, both bordering Albania. Presevo is in southern Serbia…Greece had to apologize to Albania [in October] for placing its red flag…upside down during a visit by its foreign minister to Athens. [Who dares talk back?! Who risks such tit-for-tat insolence?!] Albanians are by far the largest group of foreign workers in Greece - estimated at up to 800,000 in a country of 11 million people….”

Adds a Nov. 28th AP item, titled by Edmonton Journal “Albania celebrates 100 years of independence, yet angers half its neighbours:

The [Preveza to Podgorica] comments were also inscribed on a parchment that will be displayed at a museum in the city of Vlore, where the country’s independence from the Ottoman Empire was declared in 1912. Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos promptly cancelled his visit to Tirana on Wednesday…Separately, Macedonian President Gjorgje Ivanov called off his visit after Macedonian Prime Minister Nicola Gruevski’s car was hit with an egg last week during a trip to Tirana, the Albanian capital. …[But some good ol’ reliables were on hand.] Montenegro’s president and the prime ministers of Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia turned up, as well as officials from Italy and Kosovo. Tens of thousands of ethnic Albanians — some on foot or on horseback — arrived from Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro for the festivities, which started in Vlore…Berisha’s earlier plans to slaughter 2,000 sheep and publicly roast them for the occasion were scrapped after an outcry by animal rights groups.

Berisha’s exposed ambitions are nothing more than what Albanian American Civic League founder — and the New York Republican candidate for Senate in 2010 — Joseph DioGuardi has been after all along. From the website of the AACL, which pretends to be “Defending the national cause and human rights of the Albanian people”:

…In collaboration with foreign policy leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate and a network of committed volunteers around the world, the Civic League works to bring genuine independence to Kosova, equal rights to Albanians in Macedonia, Montenegro, the Presheva Valley, and Chameria….As we approach the 100th Anniversary of the Independence of Albania on Nov. 28, we think that this is a good time to reflect on…freeing Kosova from Serbian domination after it was tragically left out of the internationally recognized State of Albania in 1919.

It’s an open revelation of the true aim of the Albanians’ Kosovo war (i.e. it wasn’t about “human rights violations” as we were told), and a boast of direct engagement of the U.S. government in Albanian territorial pretensions in Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and northern Greece (”Chameria“/”Cameria“).

Illustrating the rabidly-celebrated 100-year Albanian milestone in late November, and the troubles Macedonia faces from its 25% Albanian minority was the following from my blog at the time, which included photos from the “March of Eagles”:


Ethnic Albanians [wave] Albanian flags during a rally marking the Albanian Flag Day on November 28, 2012 in Presevo, southern Serbia. At least 2,000 ethnic Albanians, who form a majority in this region bordering Kosovo, gathered today to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Albania’s independence… (SASA DJORDJEVIC - AFP/Getty Images)


An Ethnic Albanian boy waves an Albanian flag during a rally marking the Albanian Flag Day on November 28, 2012 in Presevo, southern Serbia…

Oh, it’s “marking” a lot more than that. It’s marking future territory. In addition to Serbia’s Presevo region, Albanians have also marked Greece. (Remember Flag Day 2011 on that point. And check out 2010’s and here’s 2006’s.)

And here they marked Macedonia this week, where the central ceremony — the main event — was held:

The ceremony in Skopje, Macedonia was attended by both Albania’s president Sali Berisha and Kosovo’s “prime minister” Thaci. Why?

Gray Falcon blog’s Nebojsa Malic remarked: “Imagine Mexico had its central national day ceremony in San Antonio. I imagine it would go rather well with the Texans?

“There is no Macedonia. No country can be this humiliated and still considered existing.

“Balkan Insight, meanwhile, blamed Macedonians for ‘offending Albanians’ by not coming to the Tirana ceremony.”

So, as with Serbia, Macedonians are expected to celebrate their own demise, or else be accused of discriminating or some such thing. (Speaking of which: In August a Serb politician in Croatia was castigated by the prime minister for not joining Croatia’s national celebrations for Operation Storm, the largest ethnic cleansing since WWII, in which about 2,000 Serb civilians were savagely killed.)

Malic’s Nov. 28th blog shed some light the real significance of the spectacle — for the Balkans, and the U.S.:

…On November 28, 1912, what became the Albanian national flag - black eagle on red field - made its first appearance. Each year, the Albanians celebrate this as “Flag Day”, and even though [Kosovo] has its own, politically correct flag [i.e. presenting Kosovo as its own country, separate from Albania], its blue and gold are nowhere in evidence these days, amidst the sea of red and black.

The central, pan-Albanian celebration has already taken place - in Skopje, capital of the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia. Why not Tirana, the capital of Albania proper? Or Pristina, the capital of “independent Kosovo”? Simple. Skopje was the ancient capital of Serbia, and though modern Serbia doesn’t claim the territory of Macedonia, the Albanians do.

Pogroms based on blood libel. Desecrated churches and cemeteries. Pride in terrorism and butchery. All cheered on by the “international community” and the self-appointed defenders of “human rights.” A month ago [October], Secretary of State Clinton declared that the cause of “independent [Kosovo]” was a personal matter - “for me, my family and my fellow Americans.”

Clinton has a shopping center named after her. There are streets and boulevards named after her husband, and an Enver-style statue in downtown Pristina. I guess what’s left to their “fellow Americans” is Kosovo itself - a monument to evil if ever there was one.

Proud yet?

And an AP report from the four-day celebrations:

More than 1,000 ethnic Albanians marched in the capital of Macedonia on Sunday to mark the 100th anniversary of Albania’s independence from the Ottoman Empire. Some politicians have opposed such celebrations, saying they could stoke ethnic tensions in Macedonia.

The anniversary celebrations in Macedonia’s capital are scheduled to last for four days, and similar festivities will take place later this week in the capitals of Kosovo and Albania.

In Skopje, Macedonia’s capital, thousands of Albanian national flags — a black double-headed eagle on a red background — were on display Sunday there and in minority areas of northern and western Macedonia. Divers even placed the flag at the bottom of Lake Ohrid, which straddles Macedonia and Albania.

‘‘This is really an exaggeration’’ auto-mechanic Jovan Krstevski, 49, of Skopje told The Associated Press, as ethnic Albanians marched there. ‘‘I have nothing against any flag or celebrations, but placing such huge flags in such a manner and with such noise is nothing but dramatizing the event and has nothing to do with a tribute. Just the opposite, only to demonstrate the (minority’s) power and to provoke their fellow Macedonians.’’

The opposition Social Democrats earlier described a decision by the Macedonian government to join Albania’s independence celebrations as a ‘‘political provocation.’’

Conservative Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski has the country’s largest ethnic Albanian party, the DUI, in his coalition government. The DUI is led by Ali Ahmeti.

‘‘We ask whether Gruevski and Ahmeti are aware that their irresponsible behavior and harmful policies will cause fresh ethnic tension and undermine the rule of law?’’ deputy Social Democrat leader Gordan Georgiev said recently.

Even Gruevski allies have publicly argued that the Albanian celebrations are part of a minority drive toward creating a largely autonomous state — a notion dismissed by Ahmeti.

Stojance Angelov — leader of Dignity, an association of Macedonian veterans of the 2001 ethnic conflict — said such a move would be unfair and damaging to Macedonia.

In an interview with Channel Five TV, Ahmeti said… ‘‘We do not have any pretensions to dividing Macedonia because Macedonia is our country, Macedonia is our homeland. Our ancestors were here, our future is here and we need to build our future together.’’

Relations between the two main coalition partners have, however, soured in recent weeks after the country’s ethnic Albanian defense minister paid tribute to the insurgents of 2001. Gruevski responded by presenting draft legislation to grant pensions to former government soldiers who fought in the ethnic conflict — but not to rebel veterans.

Two recent incidents in neighboring Albania also have raised tensions in Macedonia.

Macedonian national flags were set on fire in Tirana, the capital of Albania, and eggs were thrown at a car carrying Gruevski as the Macedonian prime minister visited Tirana. […]

Closing by revisiting some quotes and excerpts:

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that “Albanian clans are funnelling the [sex trade] profits into the coffers of former Kosovo Liberation Army strongmen who are fighting Serbs in the Presevo Valley and attacking their Slavic neighbours in Macedonia.” …The Financial Times reported that “diplomats said the [Albanian] diaspora, which has a significant presence in drugs and prostitution rackets, particularly in Switzerland, Belgium and Germany, is providing financing and weapons to the rebels.”…Business AM reported that “there was ample evidence available two summers ago about the ties of the so-called Albanian national liberation struggle to organised crime, and how intertwined the Albanian mafia was — and still is — with the political militants.”

Balkan Blog, Feb. 2010

Although the Clinton administration insisted that the KLA met its requirements to demilitarize in 1999, the rebel organization never­theless has been able to foment an insurgency across the provincial border of Kosovo in Serbia’s predominantly ethnic Albanian Presevo Valley — which Albanian nationalists call “Eastern Kosovo.” In a disturbing replay of the strategy the KLA used from early 1998 until NATO commenced its bombing, ethnic Albanian guerrillas are attacking Serbian policemen and civilians — and ethnic Albanians loyal to Belgrade — in the hope of provoking Yugoslav authorities into a response that will incite the United States and NATO to resume their war with Yugoslavia. As a UN official in Kosovo explained, the guerrillas hope “that the Serbs will retaliate with excessive force against civilian populations and create a wave of outrage and pres­sure on KFOR to respond.”

In March 2000, the guerrillas promised U.S. diplomats that they would end their insurgency. “We’re happy they did it,” said one U.S. official. “We gave them a tough message, and they believed it.” …The rebel group, however, took no steps to live up to its pledge and announced the next day that it “has not ceased its activities” and that it will not stop until “Eastern Kosovo is liberated.” The guerrillas, moreover, continued to wear KLA-like uniforms, to conduct training exercises, and to cross back and forth across the neutral zone between U.S. forces in Kosovo and Yugoslav forces in Serbia proper. Though the leaders of the supposedly disbanded KLA insist they are not tied to the rebels, those killed in the Presevo Valley are buried in cemeteries reserved for KLA martyrs. Moreover, the “Homeland Calling Fund,” which was set up to raise money from the Albanian diaspora to fund the KLA, has been resurrected to fund the Presevo insurgents.

Notwithstanding those facts, Clinton administration officials downplayed KLA involvement in the violence. In fact, Secretary Albright praised the KLA for “having met its commitment to demo­bilize” and she stressed that a “spirit of tolerance and inter-ethnic cooperation” will take root in Kosovo as the province’s “democratic forces” come to power. America’s chief diplomat should have had a better grasp of Kosovo’s realities. The KLA and its supporters are committed to taking power in Kosovo and expanding its dominion, not to practicing multiethnic democracy.

Not all foreign officials were as gullible….Jiri Dienstbier, former Czech foreign minister turned UN special envoy for human rights, submitted a 53-page report to the UN Human Rights Commission in March 2000 [accusing] the leaders of the [KLA] of destabilizing the Presevo Valley with a view to creating a Greater Albania. Voicing similar concerns. Gen. Reinhardt, the former commander of KFOR, warned that tensions between Serbs and ethnic Albanians in the Presevo Valley could result in a new war… “Frankly, when we see them training with mortars … I do not believe them.” Reinhardt’s concerns were underscored by same-day reports of a grenade attack on a Serbian police checkpoint on the other side of the Kosovo boundary….By the fall of 2000, the security situation in the Presevo Valley deteriorated even further as the number of ethnic Albanian guerrillas operating in the area reportedly tripled and the number of attacks on Serb policemen increased. In December, the rebels fired upon a joint American-Russian patrol, and in January 2001, a British patrol was attacked.

As troubling, ethnic Albanians from Kosovo and Albania, includ­ing KLA elements, are also involved in attempts to infiltrate and destabilize Macedonia. News reports, which began appearing as early as June 2000, highlighted the connection among organized smuggling rings, the KLA, and the political leadership in the ethnic Albanian area of western Macedonia.

– Gary Dampsey and Roger W. Fontaine of the Cato Institute, Fool’s Errands

The abductions [of five Macedonian road workers] were part of an increasing pattern of illegal detentions and kidnappings by ethnic Albanian fighters who call themselves the National Liberation Army (NLA)… “The NLA has failed to account for at least fourteen Macedonians abducted from Tetovo during the fighting in late July.” …The abuse started with a severe beating. Then one of the rebels used a knife to carve letters on the Macedonians’ backs and to cut them on other parts of their bodies. One of the rebels forced the men to perform oral sex on each other, and tried to anally rape one of the men with a wooden stick.

– Human Rights Watch, “Torture, Kidnappings by Albanians in Macedonia,” Aug. 2001

…with the aim of creating a “Greater Albania” or at least a “Greater Kosovo”. After months of ever more serious clashes in the Presevo Valley in Serbia, Kfor was alarmed this week when armed Albanians crossed into Macedonia, the Balkan state that provides Nato with its main supply route.

The Macedonian government has reinforced its troops on the Kosovo border after ethnic Albanian rebels killed a Macedonian commando on Wednesday. The trouble is also beginning to generate refugees. The United Nations said 95 ethnic Albanian women and children had fled to Kosovo from northern Macedonia. [Recall the “Serbian ethnic cleansing” concoction.]

In Kosovo, 10 Serbs were killed and 43 injured last week when a Kfor-escorted convoy transporting Serbs returning from a visit to relatives in southern Serbia was bombed. At the same time, fighting has increased in southern Serbia. Four people have been killed in recent clashes between Albanian militants and Serb police in the Presevo Valley.

Royal Marines have in recent weeks been deployed to patrol the snow-clad mountains to stop militants from slipping through dense forests into Serbia. They have also seized shipments of arms bound for the Presevo Valley.

But with no obvious “exit strategy”, the greatest fear of the peacekeepers is being sucked into a direct conflict with Albanian gunmen

UK Telegraph, Feb. 24, 2001

Exit strategy:

The remaining 150,000 Serbs “will all be gone after ten years.”

– High official in the International Organization for Migration in Kosovo, The Coming Balkan Caliphate

In the mid to long term there will be some kind of biological end to the problem here because, you know, one of the population(s) will simply disappear.

– KFOR commander Lt. Gen. Xavier de Marnhac in 2007, on the fact that the average age of a Kosovo Albanian was 28 and that of a Kosovo Serb was 54

I remember one day meeting the UN regional administrator for Mitrovica [David Mitchels] outside the UNMIK offices in Pristina and he told me that Kosovo would be better off if all the Serbs were gone.

– Iseult Henry, author of Hiding Genocide in Kosovo

Return to Kosovo [is] “just a smokescreen to trick the Serbs.”

– Interview with Iseult Henry, “I am a witness to the truth about Kosovo,” Pecat magazine, Aug. 15, 2010

The independence of Kosovo would be a clear “step” toward the restoration of the “Greater Albania” which was sponsored by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany and which terrorised and exterminated Serbs, gypsies and Jews under the same banner now being flourished in Kosovo and, disgracefully, applauded by Washington and London.

– Letter to the Editor, Financial Times, by William D. Myers in Madrid, Dec. 2007

The Democratic Party of Albanians, DPA, the key Albanian partner in the ruling centre-right coalition [led] by VMRO-DPMNE, is leaving government…after Prime Minister and VMRO-DPMNE head Nikola Gruevski previously rejected a list of demands the DPA chief had given him on Monday [when] the party gave two days to Gruevski to change his mind and accept their demands.

The DPA wanted guarantees from Gruevski for the quick completion of six key issues, including the immediate closure of cases against former ethnic Albanian guerrillas that fought Macedonian security forces during a short conflict in 2001. The party also insisted on state pensions for former ethnic Albanian guerrillas, on making Albanian an official language across the country and on the wider integration of ethnic Albanians into public office.

In addition, DPA demanded further concessions on the use of the Albanian flag in municipalities where they form a large proportion of the population and urged swift recognition of neighbouring Kosovo’s independence. […]

– Balkan Insight, March 12, 2008

Albanian extremists talk about the start of a “hunting season” against Serbs every spring. In [the] Spring 2004 pogroms of Kosovo Serbs, the mob sprayed [grafitti] UCK! Allah Akbar! Morto Serbi! and UNMIK go home! on the ruins of Serb churches and houses. Busloads of Albanian hordes destroyed and burned everything Serbian, including more than 30 churches and monasteries (bringing the total to over 150 since the occupation began)….KFOR retreated “helplessy” before the hordes…Women and children with sticks and stones shielded the mob from UN-NATO men. According to Visoki Dečani Monastery cyber-monks, ethnically cleansed Serbs were put in KFOR shelters. Asked by an elderly Serb if he could do anything to get Serbs back to their homes, a police commander replied, “I can’t do anything even if you die here like animals”.

Before the pogroms, Kosovo Albanian leader Hashim Thaçi welcomed the return of Serbs to Kosovo. Four months later, his hordes set torches to houses prepared for the returnees, funded from tax and private contributions of Westerners. On the eve of the pogroms (16.3.2004), the European Parliament held hearings on abysmal human rights violations by the Kosovo extremists. According to UNMIK press report at the time, Thaçi visited the US deputy assistant secretary for Europe and Euro-Asia, Kathleen Stephens, who appreciated Thaçi’s “effort for creating necessary conditions for the well being of the citizens in areas such as the rule of law, the fight against crime and corruption, the dialogue, the returns, freedom of movement, economic development and privatization”…

Kosovo Serb Orthodox Church authorities recognized (17.3.2004) that [the] international community’s story of the Albanian leaders’ multiethnicity and democracy “has been and remains pure deception” to buy time for “complete rearmament and creation of paramilitary forces”. The “international community” had long lists of KLA war criminals, commanders and soldiers alike, but did little to prosecute them. After the attempts at pogroms in Čeglavica, based on their own intelligence, the church authorities unmasked “a general campaign by Kosovo Albanians…whose purpose is to destabilize the Province and expel the remaining Serbian population”.[123]

Some Western spokesmen, intelligence sources and strategic analysts, [including] from NATO and UN, concurred. [Most] US troops sat in Camp Bondsteel during the pogroms. A Kosovo Albanian journalist Veton Surroi of Koha Ditore daily said that Albanians had organized the “orchestrated phase” of violence in Kosovo in order to expell the Serbs…In preparation for the pogroms, the National Albanian American Council (NAAC) called for “recognition of independence” of Albanian Kosovo and “resolving Kosova’s final status in accordance with the will of the people”, and blamed Belgrade in advance. After the pogroms, NAAC blamed Serbian intelligence. The violence reflected [the] growing impatience of Albanians, whose leaders and parliamentarians used the self-created “opportunity” to call for independence. US neocon Morton Abramowitz, anti-Serbian since the beginning [of the] Yugoslavia break-up, blamed Serbia, NATO and EU for delaying independence and thus causing the violence. “Moderate” president Ibrahim Rugova believed only independence would cure extremism.

[The] Serbia-Montenegro army’s Gen. Mladen Cirković, in charge of intelligence, accused UN and NATO of ignoring his advance warnings of pogroms. General secretaries of NATO and UN condemned the pogroms as if KFOR and UNMIK didn’t know. Based on Serbian intelligence, Koštunica could point to the perpetrators, including KLA veterans and their comrades in Southern Serbia, all of them tied to KFOR, UNMIK, KPS, KPC paramilitary, and political parties. Those responsible for Kosovo security knew about Albanian pathological hatred of Serbs, but didn’t intervene. KFOR security was even relaxed at the checkpopints at Serb villages and at the Serb Orthodox Patriarchate in Peć, as if inviting the extremists…

– Piotr Bein, “Mass Deception,” Dec. 30, 2009

I only just stumbled onto this hilarious August 2011 admonishment by NATO to its Kosovo Frankenstein monster, about overstepping the mandate of that “civilian emergency force” we let them set up:

NATO: Kosovo force not intended for policing

A NATO spokesman in Kosovo says the military alliance is urging local authorities not to give policing duties to the country’s civil emergency force made up of former rebels.

Cpt. Hans Wichter, the spokesman for the force known as KFOR said the organisation is monitoring Kosovo authorities’ move to give the Kosovo Security Force, or KSF, rights to detain suspects and deploy troops to control riots and demonstrations.

Wichter said the role of the 3,000-strong, lightly armed NATO-trained force is to help in humanitarian and natural emergencies and “not riot control and policing.”

The top KSF official, Agim Ceku, said Wednesday a joint memorandum with the Interior Ministry would be presented to NATO before any decision is made.

Good luck with that, NATO.

As with every other Western promise to Serbia about its enemies’ side of the bargain: The latter won’t be allowed to do this or that, until they do it anyway and so it’s allowed.

And while January 2012 would have been a better time for Quote of the Year for 2011, I only just saw it now:

“There [are] no mono-ethnic states in the region…”

albeu.com, June 7, 2011, quoting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Countryman at the Journalists National Club in Washington, where he also restated that Kosovo’s borders are a closed issue and Kosovo is absolutely, irreversibly independent.

And he does mean this Kosovo:

When NATO occupied Kosovo in 1999, hundreds of thousands of Serbs – as well as Roma, Turks and Gorani (a Muslim minority that speaks Serbian) – were forced out of the province. This was cavalierly dismissed as “revenge attacks” by the same Western media that cranked out NATO propaganda during the war without a shred of shame. The 2004 pogrom targeted the few that dared return, and expelled thousands more. Even today, Serbs living in enclaves surrounded by barbed wire and NATO guards are pressured to leave when their villages lose power or water supply for days and even weeks. No Serbs remain in several major cities, like Prizren. Gorani are denied access to schools unless they agree to speak Albanian.

…[T]his is “multiethnic democracy,” and “tolerance” and “progress,” and “freedom.”

Nebojsa Malic, March 2009

“Now that Serbs are a marginal minority in Kosovo, international community says that we must build a multiethnic Kosovo.”

– President of Bosnia’s Serb Republic, Milorad Dodik, Jan. 2013

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