…“One of the first steps and items in the talks, today and tomorrow, a condition and request we need to set is the return of a large number of Serbs to Kosovo and Metohija,” he said at a ceremony marking the ninth anniversary of pogrom against Serbs in Kosovo.
Irinej noted that 240,000 Serbs had been expelled from Kosovo and that it was the country’s obligation to help those who still lived in Kosovo and the displaced to return to their homes.
He added that one should not despair over Kosovo’s faith and that Kosovo “is, will be and will remain Serbian as long as it is in our thoughts”.
“If some audacious power makes us lose Kosovo and Metohija, we will always have an example of the Jewish people who waited for Jerusalem for 2,000 years and finally got it,” the patriarch noted.
He underscored that nobody was held accountable for the violence against Serbs that lasted from March 17 until March 19, 2004.
“I am sure that if we had [done] something like that, the whole world would have known it. Books and books would have been written and stories about the evil would have been told,” the patriarch said.
He added that Orthodox churches and monasteries had no value if there were no Serbian people in Kosovo.
“If we survived five centuries under Turks, we will survive this as well. We must not despair,” the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) said.
The manifestation dubbed “Crime without Punishment”, which was held at the National Theatre in Belgrade was organized by the Serbian government’s Office for Kosovo. The event was attended by Prime Minister Ivica Dačić.
Today marks nine years since the March pogrom. In just three days, Kosovo Albanians expelled more than 4,000 Serbs and destroyed numerous churches and monasteries.
Indeed, it has been pointed out that ancient churches which survived five centuries of Ottoman rule could not survive five years of NATO occupation. Secular Muslim Albanians under NATO’s gaze managed to achieve what the Ottomans could not: the de-Christianization of the Land of the Churches (Metojiha).
As the last leg of the U.S.- and E.U.-sponsored Kosovo theft proceeds at a critical pace, it’s apparently safe for the mention of destroyed churches — past and current — to enter news reports:
The European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton says Serbia and Kosovo are close to a deal to end the ethnic partition of the former Serbian province.
An accord would be welcome news for Serbian Orthodox Christians in Kosovo who hope to see an easing in ethnic tensions with the mainly Muslim ethnic Albanians. [ “Ethnic Tensions”: See Crown Heights, 1991. But the Serbs likely wouldn’t welcome an end to the ethnic partition, since then it wouldn’t be safe to be Serbian anywhere in Kosovo.]
Christians have struggled with a “sharp rise” in threats and vandalism against their churches and other religious sites [Note: just as Albanians are being given full stewardship of Kosovo — what they wanted], human rights investigators told BosNewsLife.
Since Orthodox Christmas assailants attacked a monastery, set on fire a chapel and wooden crosses, and destroyed over 100 Orthodox tombstones, reported Belgrade-based Balkan rights group Centar 9.
At the heart of EU-mediated talks is the status of Kosovo’s Serb-dominated north where the central government has very little presence.
In a significant U-turn, Serbia offered to recognize the authority of Kosovo’s government over the north, in exchange for autonomy for Serbs living there.
The two sides were at odds however over the powers any Serb institutions in the north would have.
But Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic now says they are in his words “never closer” to settling their differences.
Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci told reporters earlier they were at what he called “the beginning of the end” in reaching an accord to normalize relations between Kosovo and Serbia. […]
The beginning of the end, indeed.
As for the return of Serbs to Kosovo, if the item below is any indication, that’s not looking too good:
Roma and other minorities forcibly sent back to Kosovo from Switzerland after the Kosovan war ended are not being cared for as set out by a 2009 agreement between the countries, says a just-published report.
The findings, published by the Society for Threatened Peoples, state that although Kosovo’s promise to protect minorities like the Roma “is down on paper, it is not being practised”.
The report also declares Kosovo “anything but a safe country,” especially for minority groups, for whom there is no legal protection. And, due to its bad economic situation and poor infrastructure, Kosovo is not in a good position to ensure the successful re-integration of minorities, say the findings.
The Society for Threatened Peoples has therefore called on the Federal Migration Office to stop sending Roma and members of other ethnic minority groups back to Kosovo until the situation improves.
After having taken in some 40,000 asylum seekers from the region during the Kosovan war, Switzerland was one of the first states to recognize an independent Kosovo in 2008 and in 2009 declared it a “safe country of origin” for asylum seekers.
Following that declaration, the countries agreed to a “Memorandum of Understanding” in which Kosovo promised to ensure the migrants would be successfully re-integrated. In turn, Switzerland said it would support Kosovo’s socio-economic development and assist with asylum seekers’ repatriation. […]
Closing on the theme of what Orthodox churches were and weren’t able to withstand:
23 Mar 2008
My letter to the US Embassy in Athens
by Theodoros Karakostas
Founder, Bysantine Cultural Project
I write as a Greek Orthodox believer and American citizen that abhors the unrelenting bullying of Serbia….I would be most appreciative if someone at the Embassy could explain to me why Serb suffering in Kosovo for the past nine years has been entirely unopposed by our government, NATO, United Nations, and European Union while any time any Serbs are complicit in some sort of stupid behavior as in the attack on the Embassies there seems to be unanimous condemnation of all Serbs collectively?
I would like to know why there have been no arrests since the Orthodox Monks Father Chariton Lukic and Stefan Purim were decapitated by the Muslims in 1999, and why the KLA leadership has not been held responsible for the March 2004 pogroms in Kosovo that resulted in four days of terror against innocent Serb civilians? I would like to know why the destruction of beautiful Serbian Churches and Monasteries that survived the Ottoman centuries of occupation, the Nazis, and decades of Communism have not survived under the occupation of NATO, the United Nations, and the European Union?
I would like to express my grief at the horrendous suffering that Serbs are enduring in Kosovo. As an Orthodox Christian, my suffering brothers of Kosovo are in my thoughts and prayers during this lenten season that is being observed by Eastern Orthodox Churches. I am particularly distressed over the destruction of all the Churches, with the Sacred Chalices, Icons, Crucifixes, and Gospels.
As a Greek Orthodox, the events in Kosovo bring to mind the status of the Greek Churches of occupied Cyprus which have been systematically destroyed under the Turkish occupation. I would like to ask why it is that Orthodox Christians are exempt from the protection of international law, and why the vile desecration of Orthodox houses of worship from Kosovo to Cyprus are tolerated? The United States has gone out of its way to placate Muslim sensibilities, why are the religious sensibilities of Orthodox Christians treated with such indifference?
Kosovo is Serbia! This is a historic fact, as is the reality that Serbia was a staunch American ally in two World Wars! The Croats, Bosnian Muslims, and Muslims of Kosovo were collaborators of the Nazis that aided and abetted the Holocaust. It is oxymoronic for the administration to support military aid to the KLA regime while claiming to be waging a “War on terror”. The KLA has been hosting Al Qaeda, a fact that has been documented by terrorism expert Yossef Bodansky, and by numerous journalists and Balkan experts.
…[E]xamining what has occurred in Kosovo, which was taken over by Albanian Muslims with few Serbs left is significant and not something discussed in the press.
While Muslims wish to build a 14-15 story Mosque at or near Ground Zero in New York City…the left would like to discuss freedom of religion and tolerance. So let’s talk about freedom of religion and tolerance, in Kosovo.
Over 150 churches and monasteries in Kosovo, Serbia have been destroyed or seriously damaged over the last 6-7 years. Now authorities project to turn the hull of one sanctuary into a nightclub. The Church of Christ the Savior in Pristina has been turned into [a] public toilet.
Not one political leader has spoken in defense of the Christians. Not one has castigated the [Albanian Muslims]. Not one has accepted responsibility for this Muslim murdering madness.
Mosques, in the meantime, are being constructed all over Kosovo. Allah be praised. The Koran be honored. Mohammed be crowned.
Vice President Joe Biden paid a visit to Kosovo in 2009…leaving a deep split in the Serbian church. The diocese overseeing Kosovo, which the church considers the cradle of Serbian Orthodoxy, issued a strong statement condemning the visit. “The U.S. vice president is visiting Kosovo as an independent state, to confirm forceful secession of Serbia’s territory and its handover to Albanian terrorist[s] who were not punished for numerous crimes against Serbian people, Serbian property and Serbian cultural and religious heritage…”
The ancient churches and monasteries of the Serbians have been destroyed for the last decade. MakNews.com reports in 2009:
“…This has been an unprecedented act of genocide. The planned and systematic destruction of the Christian history of Kosovo-Metohija under US/NATO/EU sponsorship. Churches that had survived for over 500 years under Ottoman Turkish rule were reduced to rubble under the protection of 30,000 NATO troops.
“On December 2, 2002, 46 tombstones at the Orthodox cemetery in Kosovo Polje and Decani were destroyed following celebrations of Albanian Flag Day held on November 28 near the Visoki Decani Monastery. The KFOR troops did nothing to protect the cemetery. The Orthodox cemetery is one hundred meters from the Italian checkpoint and the KFOR base. The Serbian Orthodox Church representative stated that ‘the cemetery is now completely desolate with not a single grave intact.’ These acts of vandalism and wanton destruction ‘threaten to erase any trace of Serbian presence in the region.’”
This is the tip of the Muslim genocide against Serbians and Christian churches and it’s nearly impossible to find reporting from the mainstream media…Where is the world standing up for Serbians and there religious heritage? It doesn’t exist!
The video below shows the Serbian monastery called Manastir Devic, built up in 1434 (XV century). Albanian terrorists have started their first attacks burning and destroying this monastery since 1949. Finally, after pull-out of the Serbian army and arrival of NATO and UN to make peace in Kosovo and Metohija, this monastery has been completely destroyed, 17 March 2004.
Unfortunately, this monastery shares its destiny with over 274 Serbian churches and monasteries that have been destroyed by Albanians since 1988.
Why are Albanians still supported by America, Britain, Germany and most of EU counties to take Kosovo from Serbia (even though by every single international law Kosovo is and has been Serbian for centuries. Is this what American politicians so proudly call democracy?
And in a few days we can mark the 14-year anniversary of our own, aerial pogrom of the Serbs.
The Handsnake — I mean, Handshake:
What better place for a handshake over the Islamo-Catholic undoing of Orthodox Christianity than the Vatican:
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic and Kosovo “Prime Minister” Hashim “The Snake” Thaci
And here is a photo of the handshake between Snake and Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic after their sixth meeting to doom Kosovo Serbs, with the EU’s Baroness Ashton smiling between them over her poisoned legacy-in-the-making.
One is reminded of the infamous handshake between Rabin and Arafat.
I’m also reminded of a warning by my Italian-American friend Lou, who worried that a conservative government in Israel would have an easier time giving up Jerusalem, as the watchdogs wouldn’t be as vigilant as they would be under Labor leadership. Similarly, we have a supposedly “nationalist” government in Serbia sealing the deal in giving that Jerusalem away.
I don’t know much about the substance and legitimacy of the Pristina residents’ complaints about electricity bills, but I found the last line interesting.
From the Belgrade-based V.I.P. News Service of March 14:
Pristina Citizens Stage Rally over Electricity Bills
Around two thousand of Pristina residents staged a rally against theft and corruption in Kosovo institution whereas a direct motive for the rally was high January and February electricity bills, Belgrade-based news agencies reported.
Citizens accused Kosovo institutions of inadequate response to their unhappiness over “overblown” bills.
Two political parties and more than twenty NGOs organized and backed the rally. The rally participants accused Kosovo government of theft and corruption shouting “There is no state with thieves” and “Down with the government.”
Well this is refreshing. It took a little-known regional publication such as Niagara Falls Review to venture the word “Kosovo” rather than “former Yugoslavia” or “Balkans.” And in the headline, no less. Giving “independent” Kosovo its due, the paper mentions the new “country” prominently in a negative news story about one of its “citizens”:
NIAGARA FALLS - U.S. border agents arrested a Kosovo citizen as he attempted to enter the United States illegally using the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge, a report states.
At approximately 4 a.m., Monday, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent patrolling the railroad portion of the bridge spotted a male wearing dark clothing attempting to conceal himself as he crossed illegally into the U.S., the report states. Agents arrested the male before he could enter Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Agents searched the male and found him to be in possession of marijuana. The man was taken to Niagara Falls Border Patrol Station for processing.
U.S. Customs say record checks indicate the man has numerous criminal convictions and an active warrant in Canada.
He will face federal criminal charges for illegal entry into the U.S. The allegations and charges have not been proven in court.
The flip side, of course, is that “Kosovo citizen” gives media an out from having to say what a Kosovo citizen usually means, i.e. Albanian. And so readers will, by design, have no idea when a criminal or terrorist belongs to the supreme ethnicity that dominates Kosovo after kicking everyone else out. After all, a “Kosovo citizen” could also mean Roma, Serb, Gorani, or Ashkali. At least for a little while.
Last week, New York-based radio talk show host Steve Malzberg had Malcolm Hoenlein on his show. Hoenlein, as some readers may recall, is head of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. (Or as I call it for short, President of the Presidents of the Conferences of the Committees of the Coalitions of the United Councils of Congregations of the Biggest Most Important American Jewish Federations, Foundations, Organizations, Leagues, and Big Schvitzers.)
I’d met him in 2000 or 2001, when interviewing with him for a PR-writing job I didn’t want. Here was a part of the conversation as I’d previously described it:
After discovering I was from Russia — and even recognizing my family name from the Refusenik lists he and other Jewish activists in the 1970s kept for clandestine visits behind the Iron Curtain — he told me of a recent trip that he and some other giants of organized Jewry took to Moscow. They were on a mission to impress upon the Russian government U.S. concerns about the selling off of Russia’s military weaponry to the highest bidders.
Mr. Hoenlein said he and his colleagues were blindsided by the chilly and condescending reception they got from Moscow. “They laughed at us,” he told me. “They said, ‘Why should we do what you Americans tell us?’ The way we were treated — it was as if it was 20 years ago.”
I thought for a moment, then asked whether he thought it could have something to do with our recent actions in Yugoslavia…Mr. Hoenlein looked at me as if I had two heads: “What does that have to do with anything?” he snapped indignantly. At that moment the phone rang, and afterward the subject was dropped.
At the end of the interview, when asked what salary I’d require, I gave a purposely too-high figure, ensuring that would be our last meeting and this would not become my boss.
In the recent radio segment between Malzberg and Hoeinlein, the former said he imagined Hoenlein couldn’t be too happy about the confirmation of Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary, citing a paper in which Hagel wrote that you certainly “can impose a (two-state) solution, and it would take tens of thousands of U.S. troops to be so-called peacekeepers to impose that solution.” (That’s a quote of Malzberg’s summary.)
In other words, Hagel — whom Hoenlein presumably doesn’t like and shudders at the prospect of such an imposed solution — was proposing for Israel and Palestine precisely the “solution” we imposed on Serbia vis-a-vis Kosovo. Which Hoenlein — like so many other prominent American Jews — didn’t mind.
And that’s why they’re staring down the barrel of the same “solution” for a place they do give a fig about.
I couldn’t believe my eyes a few years ago when I found a copy of an April 1999 article in the Jewish newspaper Forward, quoting this very same Malcolm Hoenlein. In it, Hoenlein expressed pretty much the same concern, and made the same connection, that I did about Clinton’s war and relations with Russia. Here is an abridged version of it:
April 2, 1999
As Allies Escalate Air War Against Serbs, Aim for Belgrade, Sharon Warns of Islamic Terror, Bigs Fear Rogue A-Bombs
A shortage of Cruise Missiles at $1.2 Million Apiece — Republican Rep. Curt Weldon Says Clinton Is ‘Trigger Happy’ — Israelis Remember How the Serbs Helped Jews During the Holocaust — Daylight Between Jerusalem and Washington — Ties Seen Between Kosovo Liberation Army and Hezbollah.
NEW YORK — As Allied warplanes escalate their attacks on Serb targets in Kosovo and at Belgrade, a small but distinct policy rift over the war in the Balkans is opening between America and Israel.
Prime Minister Netanyahu was reported on Wednesday to be a supporter of the actions of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which was preparing to escalate bombings in Kosovo and Serbia to the Serbian capital at Belgrade. Statements by aides to the premier, however, were overshadowed by those of the foreign minister, Ariel Sharon, who, according to reports in Ha’aretz and other papers, indicated earlier in the week that he would neither condemn Serbia explicitly nor declare support for the bombing.
The flashing yellow light in Israel comes as a rapidly escalating refugee problem and a more spirited than expected defense by the Serbs is creating consternation in the Allied camp. Jewish groups at America are generally lining up in support of the air war with such major organizations as the American Jewish Committee, B’nai B’rith, the Anti-Defamation League and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations weighing in with support for the administration…
“On a human level, we see things very gravely,” Mr. Sharon was quoted by Ha’aretz as saying on Israel Radio. “But one must understand that in this region, there are extreme Islamic groups. One can find there Hezbollah people among the Albanian forces…..There are also mujahidin forces and Bin-Laden people,” references to Iranian-backed militias and to the Saudi terrorist financier Osama Bin-Laden. “It is unparalleled in its complexity.”
Despite the comments, Israel was preparing to send an Air Force Hercules to ferry $100,000 worth of medical supplies and warm clothing to Macedonia and Albania to help them handle the tens of thousands of Kosovar refugees flooding to their countries…
Meanwhile, criticism of the Clinton administration’s planning and operations was being voiced on Capitol Hill, and atomic experts and Jewish leaders are reportedly worried that the strain the fighting is putting on Russo-American relations will increase the possibility that a Russian nuclear warhead could end up in the hands of Saddam Hussein or another rogue state.
Vice President Gore was supposed to raise several nuclear-related issues when he met with the Russian prime minister, Evgenii Primakov, last week. That meeting was canceled by Mr. Primakov because of the NATO air strikes. Now, a number of Washington voices are saying that the Clinton administration risked a major American strategic interest, Russia, in exchange for a minor one, Kosovo.
“I think this could have a dramatic effect in a number of areas involving Russia,” Rep. Curt Weldon, a Republican from Pennsylvania, told the Forward. “You see a case where not only are they in a weak position but also one of the peoples they strongly identified with is being humiliated,” Mr. Weldon said. “The [Russian] nationalists can say we told you this was going to happen. It feeds right into the message of the ultra-nationalists.”
Mr. Weldon added that the Russian position would also make it more difficult to marshal congressional support for programs…[that] fund Russia’s ability to track its warheads.
A former assistant defense secretary under President Reagan and a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Richard Perle, said America should take a tough approach against the Russians. “We should say to Primakov, if you do anything at all, we’re cutting you off,” Mr. Perle said.
The executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Malcolm Hoenlein, said the new environment hinders America’s ability to deal with the problem of errant nuclear warheads. “It makes Russia less susceptible to pressure,” Mr. Hoenlein said…
Is that not the essence of the very thought that, a year and a half later, made Hoenlein so angry? Here he’d expressed the same concern — and he was right, as he found out first-hand. But apparently a year later he’d either forgotten he was concerned, or disagreed with himself. A head-scratcher for sure.
p.s. A note on Forward’s own case of amnesia. The subhead includes the sentence “Israelis Remember How the Serbs Helped Jews During the Holocaust” (though the article didn’t elaborate on this part, or it was cut). And yet the Forward was among the unquestioning Jewish publications that fell easy prey in 2007 for the Albanians-saved-WWII-Jews PR that was going around.
Well it’s back to business as usual for Washington/Brussels vis-a-vis Albania. After a brief lapse into candor about Albania’s bad behavior, we’re back to talking about its ‘constructive role’ and its serving regional stability:
Albania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Edmond Panariti attended Transatlantic Dinner hosted in Rome by the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Giulio Terzi. This activity was attended by foreign ministers of NATO and EU member countries…
During the dinner, Minister Panariti met with the U.S. State Secretary, Mr. John Kerry. Both interlocutors assessed the excellent relations between the two countries. They highlighted that both governments share common positions on issues related to the Western Balkans region and beyond.
How about that?! It just so happens that Albania and the U.S. “share” a lot of “common positions” on the Balkans. If my friend wants his neighbor’s house and so I kill his neighbor for him, then I guess my friend and I share a common position on that neighbor and his house, and then we’ll share a common position on the subsequent actions we undertake together in covering our tracks for however long we can both keep a secret. Until something happens to expose us and our “common position.”
Minister Panariti emphasized that one of the main priorities of the Albanian government is strengthening of relations with all the countries of the region through an open and constructive policy. In this context, it has aimed to the promoting of cohesion of the Albanian factor in the region in the service of the stability and the spirit of understanding among these countries…
Huh? Is he saying that promoting Albanian solidarity across borders (e.g. Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece) supposed to help “stability”? So separatism is the new stability? Apparently so:
State Secretary Kerry acknowledged the constructive role of Albania serving peace and stability in the region. He assessed positively the partnership offered by Albania as a NATO member state for the protection of peace, security and democratic values in various regions of the world.
Also, Minister Panariti held a meeting with the EU High Representative for the Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Baroness Catherine Ashton. During the meeting, Minister Panariti stressed that Albanian government is fully committed for the speeding up of the European integration process of the country…
On her part, Baroness Ashton confirmed the support for the advancement of Albania’s European integration process….She informed about her plan to visit soon Albania focusing on the issues of European integration and upcoming parliamentary elections in the meetings with state authorities.
Three people have been killed and seven injured during a shooting at a factory near the Swiss city of Lucerne, police have said.
The killer, a 42-year-old man who had worked at the factory for 10 years, is among the dead.
Shooting broke out in the canteen at the Kronospan wood processing plant in the town of Menznau at around 09:00 (08:00 GMT).
Five of the injured are reported to be in a serious condition, the Associated Press reports.
“The workers were eating a snack in the cafeteria during the morning, and there was a massacre,” said a man quoted by the Swiss news website 20minutes, who had phoned the factory to check on the welfare of his father.
The chief executive of Kronospan, Mauro Capozzo, denied rumours that job cuts were due to be announced.
He described the man who opened fire as quiet and unassuming. “One almost didn’t see or notice him,” he said, according to Reuters.
Switzerland has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world, with an estimated 2.3 million firearms owned by the country’s eight million people, but such gun attacks are relatively rare.
All healthy Swiss men aged between 18 and 34 are obliged to do military service and all are issued with assault rifles or pistols which they are supposed to keep at home.
Until recently, many kept their weapons even after completing their military service - though rules on this have recently been tightened.
According to the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey, Switzerland ranks third in terms of gun ownership, behind the United States and Yemen.
Street gun violence is very rare in Switzerland, says Emma Jane Kirby, who recently investigated the subject for BBC News.
However, there are more domestic homicides and suicides with a firearm in Switzerland than virtually anywhere else in Europe except Finland, she says.
Interesting. The article mentions that the killer was 42 years old, but nothing else about him. So the reporters were able to get his exact age at the time of writing, but not his name or ethnicity? Does one show up to a crime scene and ask, “How old was the guy? …Oh, 42, OK — thanks, that’s all I needed!”
Is the thought process: “Well we can no longer get away with calling these guys ‘Yugoslavs’ or being from ‘former Yugoslavia’ — people just aren’t buying it. So let’s omit the killer’s name and ethnicity altogether and then talk about gun control issues in Switzerland to throw people off.”
We’re getting a little warmer with the next item, from Swissinfo.ch, which mentions an “immigrant background” but otherwise follows the formula:
…The gunman, a 42-year-old Swiss who had been with the Kronospan company for more than 15 years, is among the dead. He used a pistol and reportedly shot himself.
The suspect fired a Sphinx AT 380, which is not an army-issue gun, Lucerne police said on Thursday. It is still unclear how he came into the possession of the pistol and whether he legally owned the weapon.
The suspect had a criminal record and was sentenced for robbery in 1998, according to the justice authorities. He was from an immigrant background and the father of three children.
The shooting occurred shortly after 9am on Wednesday, according to the police. The gunman had apparently picked out the victims, all of whom were Swiss.
Kronospan chief executive Mauro Capozzo said the suspected assailant, who was still with the company at the time of the shooting, was “a quiet man, no other incidents involving him are known”. He added that the company hadn’t laid anyone off recently.
Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga said the incident showed how much suffering can be caused with weapons, but also that the legislation has to be continuously improved. There are still hundreds of thousands of unregistered weapons in Switzerland, she added.
Gun ownership is widespread in Switzerland, the result of liberal regulation – a 2011 initiative to tighten controls failed – and a long-standing tradition for men to keep their military rifles at home after completing compulsory military service.
An estimated 2.3 million firearms are owned by the country’s eight million people.
There have been several high-profile incidents over the years, including the killing of 14 people at a parliamentary session in canton Zug, in 2001. […]
So the focus remains on lenient gun laws. Which arguably becomes more of an issue if you’re simultaneously importing crazy foreigners. It’s the combination that doesn’t bode well, and that’s the question this should raise. But since Western elites are bent on packing our countries with as many questionable and often criminal individuals, naturally they would prefer to decrease guns. Increase the crazies and decrease the guns, to limit our ability to defend ourselves from the crazies they’re importing, such as this one in England who managed to kill his restaurant manager without benefit of a gun. (And of course I note that we’ve just learned from the item above that the gun this perp had wasn’t even the kind that Swiss laws allow.)
So how did one find out that the guy’s “immigrant background” is Kosovar? That took until the next day’s reporting, which mentioned it:
BERLIN (AP) — A person wounded in a shooting at a wood-processing company in central Switzerland died Thursday, police said, raising the death toll to four including the suspected attacker — a 42-year-old Swiss man originally from Kosovo.
Among the victims was Swiss athlete Benno Studer, 26, Wigger said. Studer was a successful wrestler in the traditional sport of Schwingen, also known as Swiss wrestling — considered one of the country’s national sports.
Wigger said he could not confirm media reports that the shooter killed himself.
Swiss police did not release the name of the shooter, but in Kosovo authorities said the attacker was born there and that Swiss officials had been in touch with them about the case.
A Kosovo government official close to the contacts with Swiss authorities identified him as Viktor Berisha, an ethnic Albanian…
In Berisha’s home village of Nec, relatives began pouring into the family house late Wednesday to express condolences. Viktor’s father, Mark declined to meet with reporters because he was shocked by the news, said a distant cousin, Pal Binishi.
The Nec area borders Albania and is home to most of Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians who are Roman Catholic.
Many ethnic Albanians from Nec went to look for a better life in Switzerland during the violent breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s when Kosovo was brought into the strict control of Serbia’s security apparatus led by then-president Slobodan Milosevic.
One might almost start to wonder whether Serbia wasn’t dealing with an Albanian situation that required strict control. (For a moment, this Albanian Catholic priest in Detroit quite agreed.) But let’s instead bring the guns under strict control as we import more and more of what Serbia was dealing with. Recall the way this gunrunner, when busted in 2005 for continuing his war during the Kosovo “peace” — by smuggling elephant guns for Serb-killing — diverted the “60 Minutes” interviewer’s attention to America’s lenient gun laws as the culprit.
…Some of the grooms were dangerous career criminals from Albania suspected of murder, drugs trafficking and money laundering. But they won a right to live in the UK because of their EU ‘wives’…The scam, thought to be Britain’s biggest marriage racket, ran on an ‘industrial scale’ for eight years…The racket was uncovered after British police cracked an Albanian drugs and money laundering ring in London.
Solicitor Tevfick Souleiman has been jailed for ten years for his involvment in Britain’s biggest sham marriage racket which let up to 2,000 illegal immigrants stay in the country
A lawyer and three accomplices were jailed yesterday for arranging 2,000 sham marriages that earnt them £20million.
Tevfick Souleiman and his gang flew women into Britain from EU countries in the former Soviet bloc to marry citizens from outside the EU.
Most couples met on the day of the wedding and needed an interpreter to get through their marriage vows.
Some of the grooms were dangerous career criminals from Albania suspected of murder, drugs trafficking and money laundering. But they won a right to live in the UK because of their EU ‘wives’.
The scam, thought to be Britain’s biggest marriage racket, ran on an ‘industrial scale’ for eight years.
Jailing the gang for a combined 35 years, Judge John Bevan QC said their enterprise had been ‘an attack on the institution of marriage’ that drove ‘a coach and horses through the immigration rules’.
Souleiman, 39, was jailed for ten years, while his immigration adviser colleagues Cenk Guclu [Albanian], 41, and Furrah Kosimov [Uzbek], 29, received nine-year prison terms. Zafer Altinbas, 38, was jailed for six years and nine months.
The Old Bailey judge added: ‘There must, as a result of this case, be scores of people in this country, many of whom will be imposing a wholly undeserved burden on the hard-pressed taxpayer.
Cenk Guclu, right, tried to blame workmate Furrah Kosimov for the crime but was found to be part of the racket that created ’sham marriages’ in order to obtain British passports along with Zafer Altinbas, left
…Criminals would pay Souleiman GA, a law firm based in North London, around £14,000 to arrange marriages with Eastern European women.
The firm created ‘touching love stories’ to make the marriages with men from Albania, Russia, Pakistan and India appear genuine.
Brides were flown in each day on budget airlines and then housed in a grim tower block before being taken to register offices across the country.
Following the marriages the women would be paid a fee for their time and ordered never to contact their ‘husbands’ again. Most would return to their home countries immediately.
Last night a source told the Mail that the scam had allowed ‘dangerous criminals to operate freely’ in Britain.
‘We believe this to be the largest marriage fraud ever committed in the UK,’ the source said.
‘Some of them are wanted for serious crimes in Albania. Others are suspects in murder investigations in this country.
‘These are the type of people who are being allowed to stay in the UK.
‘I fear this type of crime will only get more prevalent when Romanians and Bulgarians are allowed to freely live here from next year.’
The defendants, three Turkish Cypriots and one from Uzbekistan, used the money to fund luxurious lifestyles.
When London marriage officials grew suspicious about the number of weddings the firm was involved with, the gang simply switched to other parts of the country.
In one dossier, Alban Spaho from Albania described how he met his bride-to-be Petya Zlatanska while on a day out with friends in 2008.
The affidavit said: ‘We went to a cafe where our friends left us alone to get on with it.
‘Petya was a bit shy but I eventually persuaded her to let me take her out. After three months I realised I wanted to be with her all the time and asked her to marry me.’
The racket was uncovered after British police cracked an Albanian drugs and money laundering ring in London.
Brothers Behar and Elton Dika had planned to flood Britain with £900million of cocaine, but the ship carrying the drugs was raided off the coast of Spain in 2009.
They were jailed and investigations showed their marriages had been arranged by the law firm.
…[General Xavier Bout de Marnhac] is the outgoing chief of the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), where 2,000 European prosecutors and judges, police officers and customs officials lend technical assistance to the local authorities. A supposedly neutral presence that has no one fooled.
So this is known even to novices: EULEX=not neutral.
General Bout de Marnhac has executive powers. His employees have penal immunity. The cases they investigate – which are very sensitive – involve the country’s elite…
Indeed, politicians from Florida Republican Rep. Connie Mack to Democratic Vice President Joe Biden have compared Thaci to George Washington, as The Economistnoted and Thaci’s office boasted in 2010 on an office web page titled “Vice President Joseph Biden: Hashim Thaçi is Kosovo’s George Washington.”
(The URL for Thaci’s office is www.kryeministri…, presumably Albanian for “prime minister,” though, appropriately enough, it looks like it sounds like “crime minister.”) (Why didn’t I think of that?)
After the independence, the EU took from the UN and created the largest civil mission in its history – EULEX…more than 600 million euros in five years for EULEX – and the methods used beg the question: what is the price of stability and peace? On this subject, suspicions are growing: is the EU turning a blind eye to corruption and organized crime?
Post-war Kosovo — where that “forgotten,” insignificant little war happened not so long ago — has “the largest civil mission” in EU history. Anyway, it may have taken 14 years, but “suspicions are growing.” A bit too late for that.
…The mission cannot work properly in the northern towns, which are populated by Serbs. [OH NO! The handover to the terrorists is being impeded by Serbs!] EULEX vehicles are not always able to pass through the roadblocks….
Map of EU member states and their stance on recognising Kosovo’s independence
[Freudian slip? (Choice of color for EU countries that have recognized: green. As in, Islamic green.)]
…EULEX expats, who are well paid (8,000 euros) have a tendency to answer more to their governments than to their hierarchy. They don’t spend enough time in Kosovo – one or two years – to know the local issues and mindset, even if many have previously worked with UNMIK…It is not likely that the EULEX mission will end in June 2014, as expected. The Kosovar justice system doesn’t have the freedom, the means, or the competence to deal with the sensitive cases on its own.
One of the cases that made the most noise was the Limaj case. Fatmir Limaj, a former transportation minister, was targeted by several criminal investigations. One of the key witnesses in his war-crimes trial committed suicide in Germany. [Note: a professional reporter would have used the word “allegedly,” since Kosovo-related suicides aren’t often suicides.] But Limaj, after a first acquittal, was incarcerated in November 2012.
Now, as we know, November saw two high-profile Croatian Serb-killers acquitted at The Hague, followed quickly by the acquittal of witness-killing former Kosovo prime minister Ramush Haradinaj, plus a few convictions of Serbs. Something had to give, for futile appearances’ sake, and it was just Limaj’s bad luck that his (third?) trial happened to happen at around that time. It would have been finally noticeably outrageous (too many people were looking in Balkan justice’s direction then), and so he was a sort of fall guy. Whereas in previous prosecutions of him, he got off as easily as all his buddies.
The West has been giving Albanians 160% of what they demand, but suddenly it was looking more like 159%. While that may sound like still a pretty good deal to the average civilized, bipedal observer, check out this reaction:
“Can you think of another European country where the ruling party has been targeted by so many investigations?” asks Vice-Prime Minister Hajredin Kuci. “Your judges and policemen despise us. They are not accountable for their actions. They shouldn’t be allowed to take over cases from our magistrates without even telling them.”
“Can you think of another European country where the ruling party has been targeted by so many investigations?” And that’s with turning a blind eye as often as possible! Gee, maybe Kosovo isn’t “European,” or a “country”? (Meanwhile, I at first thought that opening quote was going to be a commentary on the sad character of Kosovo, but then I saw whom it was coming from.) Everything else aside, did we read that correctly? The Vice Crime Sinister is complaining about…unaccountability? Which is basically what he’s demanding by complaining about investigations. Incidentally, one big reason EULEX is finally doing any of these investigations at all is that Kosovo opposition parties are demanding it. Back to the article:
…“Only the small fish end up in jail, not the big sharks. Limaj is in jail so that Prime Minister Thaci doesn’t have to go to prison,” says Albin Kurti, the leader of the Vetevendosje nationalist movement. He wants Europe to send teachers and doctors instead of judges and police officers.
Indeed. If the big guys don’t go to jail, no one should. Never mind that as a KLA commander Limaj had a hands-on part in the tortures and deaths of seven Serbs and an Albanian, and was indicted for “inhumane acts during war.”
Avni Zogiani, an anti-corruption activist, has similar doubts concerning EULEX’s motivations. “We gave them files and evidence,” he says, “they carried out investigations but in the end, they didn’t charge anyone. EULEX gives impunity to those – in the elite – who are the most docile.”
Albanians complaining about the Albanian impunity that was a condition of the internationals being allowed to operate in Kosovo in the first place. This anti-corruption activist seems to have a problem with Albanian impunity only when it applies to the powerful, but not to the rest of “Kosovars,” for whom impunity has been the guiding rule as Albanians — names known to all — attacked Serbs and churches and graves.
A court-appointed psychologist has concluded terrorism suspect Sami Osmakac is competent to stand trial, a judge said Thursday.
Sami Osmakac [or Osmankaj], a naturalized citizen from Kosovo, was arrested last year on charges of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and possession of an unregistered machine gun after an undercover sting by the FBI. Authorities said he planned to attack a busy Tampa night spot, then take hostages and demand the release of Muslim prisoners.
Muslim prisoners? Really? But he’s Albanian. What do Albanians have to do with Muslims? Aside from being Muslim, of course.
…[P]sychologist Debbie Goldsmith determined Osmakac is competent. Defense lawyer Ralph Fernandez, who mentioned Osmakac’s “auditory hallucinations,” said he has concerns that his client may not be competent, and he requested a hearing…The lawyer also noted “desperation and paranoia” observed by government agents who were monitoring Osmakac for more than a year before he was arrested.
“This report doesn’t address some critical issues,” Fernandez said of Goldsmith’s conclusions.
Fernandez said he would like to withdraw from the case; he has cited “irreconcilable differences” with Osmakac in court pleadings. Fernandez said another lawyer may enter the case, allowing him to withdraw.
In other non-Muslimy Albanian jihadi news, it turns out that the notorious British jihadi Anjem Choudary’s “Nordic protege” is Albanian. Thanks to Nebojsa for finding this by Baron Bodissey at Gates of Vienna:
“British extremist refers to himself as a mentor for Norwegian Islamists”
Senior members of the Prophet’s Ummah are rumored to have been in close contact with the extreme Islamist Anjem Choudary and his network in the UK.
A short while ago a video titled “Message from MillatuIbrahim Norway” was published on YouTube and on the website izharudeen.com. The website is one of the media platforms for Anjem Choudary and his followers.
In the video the Albanian-born Egzon Avdyli, who has served as a spokesman for the group the Prophet’s Ummah, reads a message using the alias Abu Ibraheem.
Anjem Choudary claims that the main purpose of the website is to spread what he calls the truth about Islam.
“I was the one who encouraged him to make the video and post it there,” says Choudary to Aftenposten.
Aftenposten has contacted Avdyli, who says that it is incorrect that Choudary urged him to make the video or to post it on the website. Avdyli does not want to make any further comment.
Anjem Choudary is lawyer who founded the controversial extreme organization Al-Muhajiroun along with Omar Bakri Muhammad.
After the terrorist attacks in London on July 7, 2005, the organization was disbanded. Bakri was deported from the UK and relocated to Lebanon, and Choudary took on the leadership responsibilities.
Al-Muhajiroun was also banned by the government because it was regarded as a terrorist organization with links to, among others, Al-Qaeda.
The organization changed its name several times. In 2010 the organization Islam4UK, led by Choudary and a direct successor to Al-Muhajiroun, was also banned by the British authorities. Membership in this organization can result in a ten-year prison sentence.
Arslan Maroof Hussain, the self-proclaimed leader of the Prophet’s Ummah, and the spokesperson of the organization, Egzon Avdyli, are reported to have established contact with Anjem Choudary and his network in the UK earlier this winter.
“I have regular contact with Hussain and Ibraheem (Avdyli’s nickname — editor). There are no formal links between us, but I’m a mentor and advisor for the organization. Many claim that they represent Islam, but I see the Prophet’s Ummah as one of the few voices in Europe that speaks the truth about Islam without compromising their position,” says Choudary.
He bases this statement on the fact that the organization follows the pure teachings of Islam.
“At the same time they prioritize what Islam dictates: the creation of an Islamic state, the liberation of Muslim countries through jihad and the liberation of Muslim prisoners, who among others include Sheikh Mullah Krekar,” says Choudary. […]
Liberation of Muslim countries through jihad. Sounds like the sort of thing we helped out with in Bosnia and Kosovo.
This has been just an additional two examples of how grand it is that Albanians are all secular, moderate, tolerant and LOVE America and the West, and always will.
(See this short bit for the al-Muhajiroun-Kosovo connection.)
Last week I ventured that the choice of Feb. 17th for Kosovo’s “National Day” may have been intended to suffuse it with Serbia’s National Day on Feb. 15th, yet another humiliation and part of the ongoing identity-stripping process of Serbia. I mentioned that John Kerry congratulated Serbia for its Feb. 15th National Day on the 14th, but chose the 15th itself to congratulate Kosovo for its Feb. 17th National Day. Now, one need not get so conspiratorial, given that Kerry probably picked the 15th simply because that was the last weekday (Friday) before the 17th which was a Sunday. But somehow, it just keeps working out in this general direction, don’t it?
Lo and behold, yet something else in this same general direction came up in connection with the two National Days. Olga Ravasi, of Chicago, informed me that on Feb. 15th, Serbian National Day, the Kosovo flag was being flown in front of the Daley Plaza. She reacted quickly, getting contacts from the consulate and intervening with the city. She actually succeeded in having it removed. (A link about the situation in Serbian here.)
She tells me that on Thursday Feb. 14th, the day of Kerry’s poisoned valentine to Serbia for National Day, the Serbian consulate hosted a banquet, with officials from the city present. She continued:
On Friday I drove by the Daley Plaza, accidentally, and was shocked when I saw the American flag, the flag of Illinois, and the flag of Kosovo.
I drove around 3 times, waiting for the wind, to make sure I see clearly and take a picture which is in the article. CRAZY.
So I called a friend at the consulate, we both called the City and they were telling us how that was an Albanian flag, and the Albanian community got permission because of their independence day. I mean, people who work there don’t even know flags or anything, they follow orders. But the consulate got involved, and they said they would take it down, and they did!!!!! I was proud of my little victory. Luckily, most people who walk around and go to work have no clue what flags are there, but it was such a slap in the face — on that day in particular. Especially when they said the Albanian community got permission. What community??? They have nothing here, no consulate, no reps of any kind. Idiotic!!!!
Nothing, no one, no reps. And yet. And yet. Someone, somewhere, somehow got to someone working for the City of Chicago, to have the Kosovo flag fly. On Serbian National Day. They don’t sleep, Folks, they don’t sleep. Serb-hatred is a more effective stimulant than cocaine.
But now we have to analyze the statement, “Oh, that’s the Albanian flag. It’s their national day too.” The latter half of that was dealt with at the beginning of this blog: the purposeful date-confusion seems to have worked. But as to the former — “That’s the Albanian flag” — there’s something extra special about this. Washington, think of all the effort you’ve expended on getting the “Kosovars” to accept the Kosovo flag, and getting the world to accept that Kosovo independence is about Kosovo rather than Albanian expansion, which is why you’ve assigned it that new, inorganic banner. And think about how the Albanians keep undermining the subterfuge of that message, by insisting on waving the more honest (i.e. overt in intention) Albanian flag. Just think of all your effort that’s gone into duping Americans about what’s really behind Kosovo — only to have instances like this pop up to show that it was all for naught.
Because Americans have outdone you in duping themselves, too stupid to even get the propaganda right. Except for our intelligentsia, we’re too ignorant to be brainwashed properly. We don’t even know we had a war there. On the eve of the millennium. The last pre-9/11 war. On behalf of Muslims.
These Chicago employees have inverted the propaganda you’ve been drilling, and mistakenly arrived at the correct conclusion and the end game you’ve been concealing: The Kosovo and Albania flag is one and the same. It’s Albanian. And this is Albanian National Day. (The one that’s in addition to the Nov. 28th Albanian National Day.)
‘It’s not the Kosovo flag, it’s the Albanian flag, so it’s OK.’ Nothing to get upset about. Because it’s all Greek (a.k.a. Albanian) to us.
And thanks to that, the propaganda wasn’t able to undo the most basic and obvious seed of understanding that Americans did have at some distant point: The Albanianness of Kosovo. As opposed to its Kosovarness.
To get us Amerkns to get the intended lie straight, you’d have to reduce the propaganda to its accurate components — which flag is which — thereby starting with the correct foundation from which to build the lie.
Good luck, Foggy Bottom. Fourteen years and counting. You’ve even got the entire intelligentsia on your side.
But really, there’s no need for all the effort. As I’ve said before, the U.S.’s sweating over its demon child is redundant, wasted on a populace that doesn’t notice or care what you do in that region to begin with.