March 2013


It seems that the Albanian arts of self-glorification and falsifying history extend to what had previously seemed their one true thing: Mother Teresa. I’ve of course noted in the past the dubious honor of having a hospital named for you in which people were killed for their organs, an airport named for you that was used to transport them, a Mother Teresa Boulevard where a Bulgarian UN worker was killed for knowing Serbian, plus the desperate PR surrounding Kosovo’s new Mother Teresa cathedral which is hyped in order to pepper the creds of a “tolerant” Muslim Kosovo — once again creating a situation where Catholicism somehow manages to be of service to Islam. But none of that is her fault. Still, it all may prove to have been prophetic.

I hadn’t read Christopher Hitchens’ work exposing this Albanian Catholic saint, but I was always just slightly wary of her — even before knowing she was Albanian — because of the way she would cradle injured Palestinian children but not dismembered Israeli children. She seemed to be abiding by the typical, politically correct callousness that’s de riguer for everyone who’s anyone, vis-a-vis the Middle East conflict. I have no doubt that the woman — not the saint — is in heaven. But for those of us still left on this earth, it’s important to get an accurate sense of her character, even if the legend is always preferable. (Though we won’t expect any reexamination by the Church.)

It appears two Canadian-French researchers happened upon some unwelcome information about Agnes Gonxha, a.k.a. Mother Teresa, and one certainly has sympathy for the overly proud Albanian nation as yet another “great Albanian” is exposed. One almost understands the Albanian proclivity to hijack other nations’ greats and call them their own (e.g. the Serbs’ ancient Prince Lazar in recent years has become Albanian, and the “Albanian” Lord Kastrioti Skanderbeg has a father and grandfather buried in a Serbian-Orthodox cemetery. And there’s an even bigger example that I’m forgetting, but which I came upon recently.)

Mother Teresa: anything but a saint (Nouvelles - University of Montreal, March 1)

The myth of altruism and generosity surrounding Mother Teresa is dispelled in a paper by Serge Larivée and Genevieve Chenard of University of Montreal’s Department of Psychoeducation and Carole Sénéchal of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Education. The paper will be published in the March issue of the journal Studies in Religion/Sciences religieuses and is an analysis of the published writings about Mother Teresa. Like the journalist and author Christopher Hitchens, who is amply quoted in their analysis, the researchers conclude that her hallowed image — which does not stand up to analysis of the facts — was constructed, and that her beatification was orchestrated by an effective media relations campaign.

“While looking for documentation on the phenomenon of altruism for a seminar on ethics, one of us stumbled upon the life and work of one of [the] Catholic Church’s most celebrated woman and now part of our collective imagination — Mother Teresa — whose real name was Agnes Gonxha,” says Professor Larivée, who led the research. “The description was so ecstatic that it piqued our curiosity and pushed us to research further.”

Facts debunk the myth of Mother Teresa

In their article, Serge Larivée and his colleagues also cite a number of problems not take[n] into account by the Vatican in Mother Teresa’s beatification process, such as “her rather dubious way of caring for the sick, her questionable political contacts, her suspicious management of the enormous sums of money she received, and her overly dogmatic views regarding, in particular, abortion, contraception, and divorce.”

The sick must suffer like Christ on the cross

At the time of her death, Mother Teresa had opened 517 missions welcoming the poor and sick in more than 100 countries. The missions have been described as “homes for the dying” by doctors visiting several of these establishments in Calcutta. Two-thirds of the people coming to these missions hoped to a find a doctor to treat them, while the other third lay dying without receiving appropriate care. The doctors observed a significant lack of hygiene, even unfit conditions, as well as a shortage of actual care, inadequate food, and no painkillers. The problem is not a lack of money — the Foundation created by Mother Teresa has raised hundreds of millions of dollars — but rather a particular conception of suffering and death: “There is something beautiful in seeing the poor accept their lot, to suffer it like Christ’s Passion. The world gains much from their suffering,” was her reply to criticism, cites the journalist Christopher Hitchens. Nevertheless, when Mother Teresa required palliative care, she received it in a modern American hospital.

Questionable politics and shadowy accounting

Mother Teresa was generous with her prayers but rather miserly with her foundation’s millions when it came to humanity’s suffering. During numerous floods in India or following the explosion of a pesticide plant in Bhopal, she offered numerous prayers and medallions of the Virgin Mary but no direct or monetary aid. On the other hand, she had no qualms about accepting the Legion of Honour and a grant from the Duvalier dictatorship in Haiti. Millions of dollars were transferred to the MCO’s various bank accounts, but most of the accounts were kept secret, Larivée says. “Given the parsimonious management of Mother Theresa’s works, one may ask where the millions of dollars for the poorest of the poor have gone?”

The grand media plan for holiness

Despite these disturbing facts, how did Mother Teresa succeed in building an image of holiness and infinite goodness? According to the three researchers, her meeting in London in 1968 with the BBC’s Malcom Muggeridge, an anti-abortion journalist who shared her right-wing Catholic values, was crucial. Muggeridge decided to promote Teresa, who consequently discovered the power of mass media. In 1969, he made a eulogistic film of the missionary, promoting her by attributing to her the “first photographic miracle,” when it should have been attributed to the new film stock being marketed by Kodak. Afterwards, Mother Teresa travelled throughout the world and received numerous awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize. In her acceptance speech, on the subject of Bosnian women who were raped by Serbs and now sought abortion, she said: “I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing — direct murder by the mother herself.”

OK, well that’s distinctly un-Albanian of her, I’ll give her that. Normally, Albanianism is so imbued with anti-Serbism — indeed, it’s a building block of whatever identity can accurately be ascribed to them — that the priority here would not be anti-abortionism, but anti-Serbism and therefore abortion.

Following her death, the Vatican decided to waive the usual five-year waiting period to open the beatification process. The miracle attributed to Mother Theresa was the healing of a woman, Monica Besra, who had been suffering from intense abdominal pain. The woman testified that she was cured after a medallion blessed by Mother Theresa was placed on her abdomen. Her doctors thought otherwise: the ovarian cyst and the tuberculosis from which she suffered were healed by the drugs they had given her. The Vatican, nevertheless, concluded that it was a miracle. Mother Teresa’s popularity was such that she had become untouchable for the population, which had already declared her a saint. “What could be better than beatification followed by canonization of this model to revitalize the Church and inspire the faithful especially at a time when churches are empty and the Roman authority is in decline?” Larivée and his colleagues ask.

Positive effect of the Mother Teresa myth

… “If the extraordinary image of Mother Teresa conveyed in the collective imagination has encouraged humanitarian initiatives that are genuinely engaged with those crushed by poverty, we can only rejoice. It is likely that she has inspired many humanitarian workers whose actions have truly relieved the suffering of the destitute and addressed the causes of poverty and isolation without being extolled by the media. Nevertheless, the media coverage of Mother Theresa could have been a little more rigorous.”

Nothing like a legal lesson from a mafia state.

I don’t know what’s more absurd: the spectacle of a roomful of Harvard Law students being subjected to a speech by a “president” of the “Constitutional Court of Kosovo,” or Prime Minister “Snake” Thaci being awarded a “good governance” award at the “world peace summit” in South Korea last week by Rev. Hyung Jin Moon and his “Unification Church.” (And an honorary doctorate to boot.)

All part of the ongoing efforts to buy credibility for the terrorists-slash-mobsters we’ve installed to govern “democratic, multi-ethnic” Kosovo. Starting with the latter of the two events, what we have is the son of late Rev. Sun Myung Moon — Mister World Peace himself — giving the “good governance” award to a mass murderer and Albanian crime boss.

This is too much for even a comedian to bear:

The above images are from a website of Thaci’s office, basically reporting to his “citizens”: Look how well we’re getting one over on the world.

I’ve pointed out before that the education level at Ivy League schools differs not at all from community college when the subject is the Balkans. And so here we have little Harvard students — whose parents think they’re getting something special in return for all those megabucks — being subjected to the same Kosovo fact sheet that all the slower kids get. Delivered by a “Kosovar” official who — there’s a 50-50 chance — may surprise the students one day when he’s found either arrested or murdered. (Assuming he’s a typical “Kosovar” leader.)

President Of Kosovo Constitutional Court speaks at HLS (Feb. 27)

On Feb. 4, more than 70 Harvard Law School students, faculty, and other members of the Harvard community gathered in Wasserstein Hall to hear Dr. Enver Hasani, president of the Constitutional Court of Kosovo, speak on “European Self-Determination and the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on Kosovo.”

…Before his appointment to the court, Hasani was the head of Kosovo’s newly established Office of Foreign Relations, a legal advisor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania, and a delegate to the Rambouillet Conference on Kosovo. He has also served as…founder and head of the Human Rights Centre, and professor….

The talk led to questions from the audience about Serbia’s motives for challenging the Republic of Kosovo’s bid for independence and the possible implications of the controversial ICJ ruling for separatist movements in other countries.

Hasani’s visit, which was organized by International Legal Studies, provided a welcome opportunity for one HLS alumnus to return to campus and reconnect with the jurist. David Palko ’12…spent the summer of 2010…working at the Constitutional Court of Kosovo at the end of the court’s first judicial year. “[Hasani] is a great leader for a court that is looking at things for the first time,” Palko said.

Yo, I went to Huntuh Kolleedge and I coulda said som’n more dope den dat!

A lesson in State Dept. Kosovo Propaganda 101. In case you missed it the first time — or the thousandth — along comes a nascent pupil of the official Kosovo narrative, named Liam Hoare, writing for the clueless Atlantic, with a piece that reads like a grade-level memorization exercise on Kosovo. It would be unbelievable if it weren’t so typical:


Why Kosovo Still Matters
(The Atlantic Feb. 20)

Liam Hoare, a freelance writer specializing in foreign affairs, has written for The Forward and The Jewish Chronicle.

…Atifete Jahjaga — the former Deputy General Director of the Police of Kosovo — is the country’s first female President, elected by the Parliament in April 2011 as a consensus candidate supported by the center-left Democratic Party, center-right Democratic League, and centrist New Kosovo Alliance. President Jahjaga is Western-educated, a speaker of three languages (including Serbian), and a Muslim with a secular appearance. Politically, she is very much pro-American and in favor of European Union membership. President Jahjaga is wholly representative of the sort of nation the Kosovar resistance movement stood for and international involvement has helped to foster.

Because little Liam has no idea that the lady president was forced on the KLA men of the Kosovo “government” by Daddy Washington’s diktat. Indeed, his flatulent brain doesn’t even know that what the “Kosovar resistance movement” — which started out as a purely criminal outfit — “stood for” (ha ha ha!) was heroin and additional land (it was a turf war), which the lawfulness of being attached to Yugoslavia was getting in the way of. But let’s not interrupt Liam’s recitation:

NATO military intervention helped to secure Kosovo, and a continued international presence in the form of KFOR, UNMIK, and EULEX has aided the creation of a secular, pluralistic, democratic, and unabashedly pro-Western constitutional republic with a majority Muslim population.

A++ !

Especially for someone who’s clearly been living under a rock for the past 14 years as Albanians — oh, sorry — “Kosovars” show their commitment to pluralism, democracy (oh my), and respect for their internationally crafted constitution. In fact, he could have been living under a rock all the way up until the month he wrote this, and still figured things out as Albanians marked five years of independence by destroying what’s left of the Serbian graves in Kosovo. How does one write in a vacuum? Where does one learn that skill? I’m desperately jealous. Maybe if I were this oblivious, I could get published in The Atlantic too.

But let’s not interrupt this pupil of 14-year-old Foggy Bottom memorandums and NATO press releases. (Disproving links under his text were added by me):

…The rape and ethnic cleansing of Kosovo had meant the deaths of several thousand Kosovar Albanians, as well as the organized and systematic rape [???] of women, the forced deportation or displacement of over 90 percent of Kosovars, and the physical destruction of property, including the flattening of entire villages [by whom?]. The sole aim of Milošević’s campaign [and this guy would know!] was to rid Kosovo entire[ly] of its Albanian identity, secure the territory as part of Greater Serbia [? ? ? ?], and, as a consequence, re-secure his bloody and absolute control of his country.

(As for rape, Mr. Hoare should check out page 5 of this only slightly less confused Vanity Fair story, to see which side was encouraging — and engaging in — systematic rape. And here’s one in the NY Times from 1987 that gives a clearer picture of which side was more guilty of raping which. As well, the real ethnic cleansing is all here.)

Kosovo was left without proper institutions of governance and administration. In the winter of 1999, swathes of Kosovo were essentially lawless, with the Albanian mafia filling the void in many towns. [Not like the Albanian mafia that formed the KLA in the first place and now runs the place.] Timothy Garton Ash reported at the time that young women were afraid to go out at night for fear of being kidnapped and sold into prostitution. Murders, including execution-style inter-ethnic revenge killings were up [he’s still on that word, even as the rest of the MSM has finally figured out it doesn’t wash anymore]….

Indeed, Kosovo and its people are still attempting to repair, rebuild, and resolve these issues. The River Ibar, which runs through Mitrovica, remains a wound unhealed, a representation of the division between Kosovars to the south of the river who seek independence and Serbs in the north who wish for Kosovo rejoin [sic] the mother country. While relations between Pristina and smaller Serb communities have improved, Mitrovica’s Serbs have their own Assembly and a Civil Protection Force funded by Belgrade. They have also erected barricades to obstruct KFOR and the police’s access to their turf.

CUE the U.S.-policy-consistent “Serbs are the problem in the north so we should deliver that too” solution:

Kosovo will be stunted until this ethnic division is resolved….Although the International Civilian Office voted to conclude “supervised independence” last year, Kosovo’s young institutions have struggled to get a handle on corruption and the organized crime racket. Indeed, its leaders have previously been implicated in both, with a report from the Council of Europe in December 2010 alleging that officials up to and including Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi were involved in the trafficking of human organs.

FLASHBACK: “President Jahjaga is wholly representative of the sort of nation the Kosovar resistance movement stood for and international involvement has helped to foster.” Wasn’t the leader of that ‘resistance movement’…uh…Hashim Thaci?

…The legal code — complex by virtue of the incorporation of edicts of the former Yugoslavia, UNMIK Regulations, and the Kosovo Assembly — as well as multiple ownership claims on properties are “obstacles to foreign direct investment,” the Heritage Foundation asserts…

Well isn’t that a nice way of putting it: “multiple ownership claims on properties,” as opposed to saying what it is: the Serbs who owned property in Kosovo were bought or beaten out, and the Albanians simply took it. Hence the competing claims. (“In Kosovo, land doesn’t belong to those who own it, but to those who want it.” — Hiding Genocide in Kosovo)

…The United States and Europe must also the encourage bilateral negotiations between Pristina and Belgrade, which resumed Tuesday.

Encourage them? As opposed to their near-obsessive fixation and coercion of both sides to keep on those negotiations — which Ashton is riding her legacy on?

Next Liam draws on 2004, circa the March riots, when every other congressman, starting with Eliot Engel, took the floor to say that the riots happened because Albanians weren’t sure of Kosovo’s status, their future therefore uncertain. While other secessionists around the globe have been waiting decades or centuries for independence, the poor Albanians at that point had already been waiting an unbearably long five years to clinch theirs:

After all, none of the country’s economic or political problems can ever be fully resolved until the existential question is answered.

He closes his act with a Hillary suit:

Kosovo’s independence is recognized, and its borders deemed sovereign. […]

Helpful use of the passive tense there. This way, you don’t know recognized by whom — or how many deem the borders opposite of sovereign. And you don’t know that until a year ago — that is, four years into Kosovo’s five-year “independence” — there were more countries that didn’t recognize independence than did.

Mr. Hoare neatly fits this description of a type of writer when it comes to Kosovo:

“…journalists who honor the First Amendment by parroting the State Department.”
– Robert Hayden, UPI

Quite apropos of Hoare to mention Kosovo’s constitution when he doesn’t even seem to know that his own constitution allows him to break thought ranks with his government. (Assuming he’s an American, but perhaps he’s a Brit.)

Hmm, could Europeans be getting a clue? When will we?

European Commission
Press release
Brussels, 12 February 2013
First Commission report on progress by Kosovo* towards visa liberalisation

The Commission presented today the first report on the progress achieved by Kosovo in fulfilling the requirements of the visa liberalisation roadmap…The report assesses Kosovo’s record in adopting and implementing legislation and reforms as set out in the visa liberalisation roadmap, with a focus on Kosovo’s legislation.

It shows that Kosovo has established a legal and institutional framework in readmission, reintegration, document security, border/boundary management, migration, asylum, the fight against organised crime and corruption, police and judicial cooperation, data protection and fundamental rights related to the freedom of movement.

The report identifies two new pieces of legislation that Kosovo should adopt: a law on inter-agency cooperation in integrated border/boundary management and a law to combat trafficking in human beings…

Kosovo’s current capacity to fight organised crime and corruption remains limited, with a potentially severe impact on the EU’s internal security.

The visa refusal rate for applicants from Kosovo varies across the Schengen area, while the number of Kosovo citizens refused entry to the EU doubled recently. The number of citizens found to be illegally staying or seeking asylum in the EU has fallen, and the number of pending readmission applications should be reduced.

The European Commission launched a visa liberalisation dialogue with Kosovo on 19 January 2012 (IP/12/32).

The visa roadmap was handed to Kosovo authorities on 14 June 2012 (IP/12/605). […]

I didn’t manage to get to this last year, but apparently an Albanian who had made it onto the “America’s Most Wanted” list was captured in May. When she circulated the item, Liz singled out one reader comment in particular:

It’s hoped that at least a few readers haven’t forgotten that the ‘likes of these’ (Most Wanted) continue to be considered allies of USA-NATO in the Balkans. Lest we forget the 1999 78-day war of USA-led NATO against Serbia, when assorted weapons of mass destruction were dropped on Serbia (including bombs laden with depleted uranium), on behalf of ‘this bunch’. Talk about ‘biting the hand that feeds you’ ! Their crime boss (Hashim Thaci) was given the honor of being President [prime minister] of Kosovo, with the blessings of USA. BTW, ‘no background checks’ were deemed necessary in 1999, when USA chose its ‘allies’ in the region…Perhaps this ‘Most Wanted’ fiasco is (in part) blowback for the stupidities of a once proud nation.

The subject line of the email with this article was also trenchant: “Albanians treat best friend USA like another Serbia - ‘America’s Most Wanted’ nabbed in Toronto”

As in: Gee, maybe the issue in Kosovo/Serbia had nothing to do with what the Serbs, as such, did or didn’t do, but about Albanian terrorism. A lesson we’re being doled out repeatedly and no one notices. But don’t look for the word “Albanian” or “Kosovo” in the MSM headlines. For example, look at the chosen cop-out in the caption (and URL) by the Toronto Sun “journalists,” who apparently realized they didn’t have to use a word like “Yugoslav,” which the MSM got busted on back in 2007. Now, they’ve discovered the fix-all word “Balkan.”

Anyway, we’ve already had an Uka and a Duka, so I guess it was time for a Lika and a Dika:


Kujtim “Timmy” Lika, a fugitive from the Balkans and wanted by the FBI in the U.S. was arrested in Toronto Thursday. He had been featured on the TV show America’s Most Wanted.

‘America’s Most Wanted’ nabbed in Toronto (Toronto Sun, May 25, 2012)

A senior member of a global Balkan crime ring who’s been sought by the FBI for three years has been arrested in Toronto.

His detention follows a police chase through five countries, officers say.

Kujtim “Timmy” Lika, 44, originally of Albania, whose crime spree was aired twice on America’s Most Wanted TV show, was arrested on Thursday outside an apartment in the Mt. Pleasant and Eglinton Aves. area, where he had been hiding, said Det. Rick Mooney, of Toronto Police fugitive squad.

Mooney said the capture stemmed from a massive four-year FBI probe called Operation Black Eagle. That operation required investigations in Toronto, New York, New Jersey, Chicago and Philadelphia, the Netherlands, Albania and ethnic Albanian regions of Macedonia, Serbia and Kosovo.

He faces extradition to the U.S. to stand trial. He, and alleged gang kingpin Myfit Dika, 44, of New Jersey, managed to escape a 2009 roundup of Balkan crime gangs in New Jersey and New York in which 26 alleged members were charged with crimes including narcotics, firearms trafficking, money laundering and interstate transportation of stolen property.

Dika, 44, of New Jersey, was captured by the fugitive squad in Jan. 2010 while hiding in Toronto. He is still fighting extradition to the U.S.

The FBI said Lika is the last member of the gang to be captured by police.

Police seized a Bentley and two airplanes when they smashed the ring, whose members at one time allegedly planned to smuggle 100 kilos of cocaine into the U.S.

Looking at an old blog of mine, I’ve discovered that Kujtim Lika is a cousin of the Lika who had put out a $400,000 hit on Giuliani and another prosecutor (back in the 80s, I believe), according to a 2011 series by Kevin Heldman for CapitalNY.com.

At least CBC didn’t shy away from naming the nationality of the fugitive:

‘Kingpin’ in Albanian mafia arrested in Toronto (CBC, May 24, 2012)

A man wanted by the FBI and described by police as a “kingpin in the Albanian mafia” was arrested Thursday in Toronto.

Toronto police say the fugitive squad arrested Kujtim (Timmy) Lika on Thursday morning through a joint investigation between city police and the Canada Border Services Agency.

Toronto police Det. Rick Mooney told CBC News his team got a tip on Wednesday that led them to Lika’s modest apartment.

The America’s Most Wanted website says the FBI identified Lika as an Albanian illegal immigrant from the former Yugoslavian republic of Macedonia.

Toronto police helped the FBI nab Lika’s accomplice Myfit (Mike) Dika, who was arrested in Toronto in 2010. They have been looking for Lika ever since.

Mooney told CBC News an investigation into Albanian organized crime began in the U.S. in 2005.

Named “Operation Black Eagle” after the two-headed eagle on the Albanian flag, the operation focused largely on Lika and Dika.

Investigators allege the pair shipped everything from heroin and guns to bootleg sneakers around the world.

They managed to evade a 2009 mass arrest of fellow gang members in New Jersey and fled to Canada.

Dika is being held in Toronto where he has been fighting extradition for two years.

And a few more details from CTV:

Man featured on America’s Most Wanted arrested in Toronto (May. 24, 2012)

…Lika has been described as a suspected Albanian mob boss who illegally immigrated to the United States.

Police believe that Lika entered Canada in August 2009.

Lika is a former gymnast who gained a reputation as the first major Albanian-American heroin dealer to operate in the U.S. since his illegal immigration, according to authorities. […]

It seems that Florida private investigator Bill Warner has been on the case all along, as this September 2009 posting shows:

Albanian Muslim Mafia Crew of Myfit Dika, Gazmir Gjoka, and Kujtim Lika are all wanted by the FBI in the USA and Dutch and Albanian Law Enforcement authorities for their participation in an international Afghan Heroin drug smuggling ring (support of terrorism) and criminal enterprise organization (RICO charges). The investigation into these individuals began in late 2003 and culminated with their indictments on March 12, 2009, in the District of New Jersey…[The three] have ties to…Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia, Canada, and the Netherlands.

Newark, NJ — The FBI, in conjunction with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) have charged 26 individuals with a laundry list of crimes including narcotics and firearms trafficking, money laundering, interstate transportation of stolen property, and criminal conspiracy. Four of the subjects are presently fugitives…

The coordinated arrests of 17 of the 26 defendants occurred over a period of five days in various cities throughout the New Jersey-New York area…The arrests resulted in the seizure of large quantities of ecstasy, oxycodone and heroin (of the Afghan variety), and crystal methamphetamine as well as in excess of $500,000 in cash and property, to include two airplanes used for the smuggling of illegal drugs and contraband, and two vehicles including a Bentley.

Codenamed “Black Eagle,” this four-year joint investigation targeted several loosely connected Balkan criminal enterprises operating throughout New Jersey, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Canada, and the Netherlands…The FBI was able to infiltrate the criminal enterprise and purchase over 30,000 ecstasy pills, 2 1/2 kilograms of heroin, a 9 mm handgun, two assault style weapons, and stolen jewelry. Also negotiated were money laundering transactions and the importation of large amounts of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, oxycodone, anabolic steroids, over a million pills of ecstasy, and counterfeit sneakers — all from Canada, Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Turkey, and Serbia.

Warner went on to list the 17 who were arrested, but I’ll just list the names that sounded interesting in a Balkan way:

HARJRUDIN PEJCINOVIC, AGE 39, OF BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
ADIS RADONCIC, AGE 30, OF BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
ERVIS GJONI, AGE 23, OF STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK
GALITIANO GJONI, OF STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK
MINIR RIZVANI, AGE 31, OF WAYNE, NEW JERSEY
MILE PETKOVSKI, AGE 49, OF LODI, NEW JERSEY
PERPARIM BILLA, AGE 38, OF RIDGEWOOD, NEW YORK
MIRSAD KOLASINAC, AGE 36, OF HACKENSACK, NEW JERSEY

Four defendants who were already in custody on unrelated charges at the time of these have been charged in this matter, but not yet arrested:

ALBAN TASE, AGE 34, OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
GEJSI SIKO, AGE 29, OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
GENTIAN NACI, AGE 33, OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
CHRISTOPHER CURANOVIC, AGE 28, OF BROOKLYN, NEW YORK

Five are charged, but not yet in custody:

RODEN KOTE, AGE 32, OF PHILADELPHIA, CURRENTLY IN ALBANIA AND ABOUT TO SURRENDER
RASIM CORHAMZIC, AGE 42, OF CANADA

Three are fugitives:

MYFIT DIKA, AGE 44, OF WYCOFF, NEW JERSEY
KUJTIM LIKA, AGE 44, OF LITTLE FALLS, NEW JERSEY
GAZMIR GJOKA, AGE 55, OF YARDVILLE, NEW JERSEY—BELIEVED TO BE OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES

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

Another one of these feel-good “troops heading to Kosovo” stories. And after eight to ten months, we’ll be treated to coverage of their welcome-home by family and higher-ups, talking about how proud they are of them. (See ad nauseum here, here, here, here here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, for just a taste.)

Fort Bragg soldiers prepare to deploy to Kosovo (Fayetteville Observer, Feb. 28, By Drew Brooks)

…Several hundred soldiers with the brigade headquarters and 1st Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment, will deploy this spring to Kosovo, officials said.

The Kosovo mission is one that has been largely forgotten by the public, overshadowed by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and maintained by National Guard and Army Reserve troops.

Always that sentence. Imagine the frustration of being someone who for 14 years — from the moment the war “ended” — has been trying to make sure people don’t forget that war, and the abominable “mission”afterwards. And still seeing that sentence in every other article. A testament to one’s limited reach without succumbing to the twin scourges of Twitter and Facebook. Here was that sentence just on Feb. 13th from the Le Monde website:

“Who remembers Kosovo? The 1999 war. NATO bombing of Serbia. The international contingent – the KFOR – and UN administration.”

And here it was in September 2011: “This weekend, 44 more members [of the NJ National Guard helicopter crew] are heading out to join one of the longest-running, most successful and nearly forgotten missions.”

Who remembers that “largely forgotten” war? That place called Kosovo, which Americans swear they never heard of until you tell them it’s where that 1999 Clinton war took place. That “insignificant” little war, which also happens to have been the last European war of the 20th Century. And the first NATO war, as author William J. Buckley pointed out in his 2000 book Kosovo: Contending Voices on Balkan Interventions. The last European war and the first NATO war, which happened to be led by the U.S. It was also our most recent pre-9/11 war. That in itself is significant, particularly if you consider that our last pre-9/11 war found us making common cause with Osama bin Laden, who was arming and training the KLA as we were doing the same. Indeed, our operatives even installed CIA-protected, full-fledged jihadists to head KLA training units, to the puzzlement and sometimes consternation of the more secular terrorists of the KLA (though not to the more religious among them).

Back to the article:

When the 525th deploys to take command of Multi-National Battle Group East, it’s believed it will be the first active Army unit to hold that post in roughly a decade.

“It’s been managed largely by our Guard and Reserve forces, who’ve done an amazing job,” said Col. Xavier Brunson, the 525th commander.

Amayyyyyyyzing! Someone’s been watching too much “American Idol.” More seriously, let’s take note of this possibly significant revelation: the first active Army unit to go to Kosovo in roughly a decade. Could we be bringing in the big guns to seal the deal? Given that we are in the do-or-die stages of the talks between Belgrade and Pristina, are we sending in the REAL Army as insurance in case things don’t get resolved non-violently, risking further delays in delivering for the Albanians? We started it with the real Army and, it seems, we’re going to end it with the real Army.

Brunson, a Fayetteville native, will not deploy with the brigade. He will turn over the 525th to Col. Dave Woods at a ceremony in March.

Ah, the ceremonialism involved in sending off our troops to demean and bludgeon our centuries-long allies.

But he has overseen training for the deployment and said Kosovo will present challenges for the brigade, which originally was preparing to deploy to Afghanistan…. “It takes a new mindset,” he said. Firefights, while not uncommon in Afghanistan, are expected to be virtually nonexistent in Kosovo, Brunson said. Instead, his soldiers will work with local officials to help ensure freedom of movement between ethnic enclaves. [There goes that stock phrase.]

“How can we help them?” Brunson said. “We might not be the doers. We might be the informers. We want to make sure that it’s [cue next stock phrase:] safe and secure and that we can let people get to where they need to go.”

Kosovo is a relatively new nation in the Balkan Peninsula of eastern Europe, north of Greece. [Not just relatively new, but SO new that it’s not even a nation.] It declared independence on Feb. 17, 2008.

The U.S. presence in the country dates to the late 1990s, when NATO forces and other partner nations deployed as a peacekeeping force to ease tensions between Kosovo and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Ease tensions! Bombing a country on behalf of its domestic terrorists is “easing tensions.” Only in America, Kids. Only in America.

…Brunson said he was preparing to leave a NATO base with other officials and wore his helmet and body armor to the vehicle. The other officials told him the armor wasn’t needed.

The deployment, set for this spring, will last about nine months, Brunson said…Other assets will fall under the 525th, including an aviation unit from the Utah National Guard and a task force of medical units.

The soldiers will replace the 218th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, a South Carolina National Guard unit based in Charleston. Brunson said the 218th leadership has been helpful in the brigade’s training.

“We had to learn and understand crowd control and riot control,” Brunson. “And we want them to be able to communicate clearly.”

Brunson said many of his soldiers could not find Kosovo on a map when they were told of the mission, but they have since embraced the deployment.

Well if that don’t make my point!

“There was a minute of ‘What?’ ” Brunson said. “Now, it’s ‘Let’s get about it.’ ”

“Young kids really take to this mission because it’s something different,” he said. “They want to do well. It’s certainly different.”

Brunson said that after the Super Bowl, he found a group of soldiers discussing not the big game but the gross domestic product of Kosovo.

“It’s something few have done,” he said. “There’s nothing like seeing a young soldier get excited about a mission.”

Sure, it’s the coolest of all missions: You’re not the target of your target, so you probably won’t get hurt. But you get to shoot at people who never had anything against you. It’s a dream mission. It’s like playing a friggin’ video game.

And the skills they learn in Kosovo will be invaluable in the new, postwar realities of the military after Iraq and Afghanistan, Brunson said. […]

Staff writer Drew Brooks can be reached at brooksd@fayobserver.com or 486-3567.

If he only knew just what an ominous foreshadowing that sentence is. The new realities — or use — of Western militaries, for which the Balkans was the experimental grounds: borderlessness, stripping of national identity, international oversight, population shifting/ethnic cleansing, subversion of national constitutions and international law, the end of the nation-state. You know, the sort of thing American citizens just might rise up against. Which would of course require “crowd control.”

******UPDATE******

Just an additional report:

Fort Bragg Brigade Prepares for Deployment to Kosovo
The 525th BfSB [Battlefield Surveillance Brigade] will support the NATO mission.
(March 12, Contributed by Fort Bragg Public Affairs, Ben Abel, for Defense News)

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — For the first time in more than 10 years, an active Army unit will lead the Kosovo peacekeeping operations in the Multi-National Brigade East area, taking over responsibility for the region from members of the South Carolina National Guard.

The deployment of an active unit is a cost savings for the Army, officials said, as well as a much-needed reprieve from the high deployment tempo National Guard and Reserve units have experienced in the past decade, filling roles previously met by the active component.

[525th BfSB commander Col. Xavier T.] Brunson is confident that the entirety of his command, to include the Family Readiness network, is well prepared for this deployment.

“The families of the 525th BfSB Soldiers will continue to be fully taken care of by the robust rear detachment and taking care of the Army Family is a no-fail mission,” said Brunson.

What?? I don’t speak Militarese.

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