******UPDATE AT BOTTOM******
…the tribunal resorts to repackaging a Hitler-era policy against Serbs, as a Serbian policy against Hitler’s side. An astonishing paragraph appeared in The New York Times and Al Jazeera. Astonishing even from the tried and true Balkans tall-tellers who for 20 years have been doing the bidding of their Islamic and other anti-Serb masters. Indeed, this one outdoes the countless other outsize accusations against the Serb side that we’ve grown numb to by now.
That’s because the phrase is so familiar, so often recited by those whose families perished as a result of it. “Kill a third, convert a third, expel a third.” That was the stated and executed policy of Hitler’s Croatian Ustashe regime. And so if the victims’ descendants were to see the day that the dreaded phrase would be mis-attributed and even inverted, it would momentarily transport them into another dimension, one where such unimaginable gall was possible. And to a surreality where such a glaring historical perversion and subversion could actually go — as all astonishing things Balkan-related do — unnoticed by the entire third dimension. (Except for a handful of us ‘cranks’ who pay attention to the ongoing dissolution of Germany’s eternal target, the Former Yugoslavia, successor state Serbia.)
That day arrived on July 12th, the traditional day for articles commemorating the July 11th, 1995 Srebrenica “genocide.” Written by Western journalists who feel an ongoing compulsion to mourn the deaths of Allah’s soldiers.
Nebojsa Malic recently emailed me the following note:
The ultimate result of Ustasha crimes being suppressed, denied and excused is that the SERBS get blamed for them:
“[Appeals judges] said there was evidence from meetings attended by Karadzic in the early 1990s ‘that it had been decided that one third Muslims would be killed, one third would be converted to the Orthodox religion and a third will leave on their own’.”
From NY Times:
“For example, the judge said, evidence presented during the trial showed that ‘in meetings with Karadzic “it had been decided that one-third of Muslims would be killed, one-third would be converted to the Orthodox religion and a third will leave on their own” and thus all Muslims would disappear from Bosnia.’”
Not only is this a lie, it is a word-for-word plagiarism of Ustasha minister Mile Budak’s assertion from 1941, that the objective of [Croatian fuehrer Ante] Pavelic’s state was “kill a third, convert a third, and expel a third” of the Serbs.
[Even] Wikipedia indicates that Budak said this at a speech on July 22, 1941 in Gospić — where Serbs were brutally murdered in 1941 as well as 1991: “The movement of the Ustashi is based on faith. For the minorities we have three million bullets. We shall kill one part of the Serbs, expel the second part, and convert to Catholicism the third part of them.”
What both present-day “Bosniaks” and Croats did in NDH [Hitler-bestowed Independent State of Croatia], and the Albanians did in occupied portions of Serbia, during the 1940s, clearly qualifies as genocide under Lemkin’s definition. So does [1990s Croatian president Franjo] Tudjman’s plan to eradicate Serbs from territories he claimed as Croatia, or the KLA’s pogroms of Serbs in occupied Kosovo, or the ethnic cleansing of Muslim- and Croat-controlled portions of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Yet it’s the victims of these atrocities that are being accused of “genocide” — and even falsely framed using the language of their very executioners!
Just on the face of it, the blatant juxtaposition of Eastern Orthodoxy today being an aggressive, expansionist, proselytizing belief lends laughability to the projective phrase. Even someone who has never heard of the Balkans would think it a strange charge. At the same time, we do know of at least two far more aggressive religions — Islam and Catholicism. Both, coincidentally, historically anti-Orthodox. On that point, I close with the article that Malic wrote while trying to recover from glimpsing the devil’s face in the pages of Jazeera-Times:
The Big Lie (Gray Falcon, July 14)
Two months ago, I wrote about a horrifying feature of Yugoslavia II (1945-1991): the moral equivalence the regime of Josip Broz Tito imposed between the royalist Serbs and the Nazi Croats (both Catholic and Muslim).
The very real genocide (entirely fitting Lemkin’s definition) of Serbs in the “Independent State of Croatia” (NDH) was thus systematically minimized and suppressed, while the royalists (”Chetniks”) were accused of massacring Croat and Muslim civilians and open collaboration with the Nazis. The West participated in this cover-up, partly to prop Tito’s regime as a wedge in the Eastern Bloc, but also to protect the Roman Catholic Church, whose clergy backed the NDH.
Thanks to the suppression of truth about the NDH, Croat exiles were able to impose the myth of their own suffering at Communist hands…as a foundation of an independent Croatia proclaimed in 1991 (and forcibly “cleansed” of Serbs by 1995, with [the West’s] help). Part and parcel of this was a media operation in the early 1990s, by which the heirs of NDH were presented as victims, and their intended victims as executioners:
“…the Croatian and Bosnian past was marked by a real and cruel anti-semitism. Tens of thousands of Jews perished in Croatian camps. So there was every reason for intellectuals and Jewish organizations to be hostile towards the Croats and Bosnians. Our challenge was to reverse this attitude. And we succeeded masterfully.” (James Harff or Ruder Finn, 1993 interview)
This went beyond “reversing the attitude” of Jewish organizations; through the legerdemain of perception management, the very real Nazi connections of Croats, “Bosnians” (i.e. Bosnian Muslims) and later Albanians — during the 1999 attack on Serbia — transformed into the entirely fabricated “Serb fascism” in the Western public opinion…
What you see vs. what happens (source unknown)
Not only did this whitewash the Holocaust, it manufactured a cover for its continuation, this time under [Allied] sanction. The outcome of NATO’s “Deliberate Force” (1995) and “Allied Force” (1999) was arguably worse than of Hitler’s “Strafgericht” (1941): there are hardly any Serbs left in today’s Croatia, while those that survived 14 years of ethnic cleansing, pogroms, murder, rape and worse in Albanian-occupied Kosovo are now being forced to submit to KLA rule. Serbia itself has a quisling government far worse than the puppet regime of [WWII] General Nedić. Only in Bosnia did the Serbs manage to defend their rights, though the political assault on them shows no sign of abating.
Part of that assault have been the “war crimes” trials of the entire political and military leadership of the Bosnian Serbs. The ICTY, a “court” conjured by the [West] for the purpose of legitimizing its Balkans meddling, is insisting that the Bosnian Serbs committed “genocide” against the Muslims. Not in a general sense, mind you, but in seven or so municipalities, cherry-picked by the prosecutors. Both this, and classifying what happened in (or rather, outside) Srebrenica in 1995 as genocide are patently absurd.
The actually legitimate ICJ ruled in 2007 against the claim of “municipal genocide”. Last year, the ICTY “judges” dropped that particular charge against wartime Bosnian Serb president Radovan Karadžić. This week, an appeals panel led by ICTY president Theodor Meron, reinstated the charge — on July 11 no less, the date Muslims mark as the anniversary of “genocide” in Srebrenica.
Political symbolism? Marlise Simons (see here) of the New York Times thinks so:
“By scheduling the hearing on what has become a sacred date for Bosnian Muslims, the presiding judge, Theodor Meron, seemed to want to send a message to the war’s survivors as he recited an usually long and gruesome list of atrocities committed against Muslim civilians and prisoners of war.” (emphasis added)
However, among the “evidence” cited by Meron is the following:
“…there was evidence from meetings attended by Karadzic in the early 1990s ‘that it had been decided that one third Muslims would be killed, one third would be converted to the Orthodox religion and a third will leave on their own’.”
Lest you think this is Al-Jazeera editorializing, Simons cites the same passage in her NYT article. So does Carol Williams of the LA Times. And here it is, in the official ICTY press release:
“For example, the Appeals Chamber observed that the Trial Chamber received evidence that in meetings with Karadžić “it had been decided that one third of Muslims would be killed, one third would be converted to the Orthodox religion and a third will leave on their own” and thus all Muslims would disappear from Bosnia.”
If this is what it considers “evidence,” the ICTY ought to disband itself immediately, disbar all its judges and prosecutors, and sentence itself to whatever is appropriate for contempt of court and obstruction of justice. Because this particular claim is a word-for-word plagiarism (with names changed) of a statement made by Mile Budak, Nazi Croatia’s minister of culture, in a 1941 speech about Croatian plans for the Serbs.
Nor can ICTY “judges” claim ignorance of this fact, because the original statement by Budak was quoted in the Karadžić “trial” not two months ago, by Nenad Kecmanović (testifying on May 31 this year, official transcript, end of p. 7133).
Take a minute for this to sink in. Not only is a political court, acting on political instructions, fabricating a political accusation for political purposes, the false evidence it cites to accuse the Serbs of genocide is based on a Croatian Nazi plan to commit a genocide of Serbs. This isn’t just blaming the victim, this is blaming the victim in order to amnesty the culprit.
And not a single Western journalist covering the “trial” has noticed this.
Still think the media have anything to do with the truth? That ICTY has anything to do with either truth or justice? Why?
Reader Danny points out that in its own coverage of the reinstatement of the genocide charge against Karadzic, the AP doesn’t mention this “evidence” of a kill-convert-expel policy. That may be because, as Politika Online reported last week, the American judge Meron — whose push, in contrast, to acquit Croatian cleansers of Serbs last year finally baffled other judges on the panel — “relied on an anonymous witness” who came up with the kill-convert-expel projection. (Projected from WWII Croats-on-Serbs to 1990s Serbs-on-Bosniaks.) Via Google Translate:
…This kind of inversion of the famous Ustasha plan to eliminate Serbs from the territory of the Independent State of Croatia…shocked the public in Serbia… Petronijević Goran, a Belgrade lawyer team from Karadzic’s defense counsel, [said the defense was ’stunned’]: “We searched all possible evidence and documents from the trial before the trial chamber and responsibly claim that there is no proof, and no document to confirm that it ever existed in the Bosnian-Serb Republic a similar plan or decision.”
Petronijević said the defense team only found that there was a protected witness who said that “he knew someone who knew someone who was supposed to be at the meeting at which such a policy is agreed upon, ostensibly in the presence of Radovan Karadzic. The secret witness did not provide any evidence of the hearsay statement.”
“The Hague court allowed hearsay, but this is the criteria that’s impermissible — the president of judicial decisions relying on such gossip. That such a meeting took place there would have to be some clue, some paper, some evidence of a witness. None of this exists in any indictment against Radovan Karadzic, no other evidence,” said Petronijević.
[Citing “privacy,”] the prosecution failed to trace the source of the alleged inflammatory claims. Protected witness identified under the label KDZ 051 claimed to have heard of the plan of the Holy Veselinovića Rogatice, who during the war was one of the leaders of the local branch of the Serbian Democratic Party.
Danish judge Frederik Harhoff [has claimed] that “The Hague Tribunal does not dispense justice, but also implements policy decisions and Meron influenced acquittals….”
As corroboration, Appeals Chamber also admitted into evidence [an oft-used statement by] Karadzic on the eve of the war in Bosnia that Muslims would “disappear” if a conflict occurs. [We saw THAT coming. Recall upon Karadzic’s 2008 arrest how that phrase was plastered across newspapers, when in fact Karadzic said this in the course of trying to prevent war, warning that it would be madness for the Muslims to start a war, because they would be no match for the Serb militiamen around Sarajevo and would be seriously imperiling themselves.]
Apart from the political implications, the latest twist in the tribunal [broaches] cultural and historical revisionism, using known [historical] patterns, this time attributed to the Serbs. Particularly surprising[was the] assertion that the Serbian Orthodox Church [would] forcibly convert them [Muslims].
Archpriest Stavrophor Velibor Dzomic, an expert on church-state law, according to “policy,” the Church not only never in history has forcibly converted, but there is no such provision in the Church’s doctrine.
According to him, such argument was not even in the political programs of Serbian parties.
“[Such policies] were [stated and employed] by members of the Ustasha movement of Ante Pavelic. Therefore, bringing the Bosnian Serbs in connection with the Ustasha ideology is not the first planting [framing] of the Serbs by the ICTY, and unfortunately will not be the last,” says Archpriest Dzomic.
American law professor Robert Hayden, who testified as an expert at the first Hague trial of Bosnian Serb Dusko Tadic, points to the problem of anonymous authentication, protected witnesses whose credibility is difficult to test. Hayden recalls the famous case of false witnesses L with Tadic process, after which the court rules changed….The professor from the University of Pittsburgh warns that this very seriously raises the question of prosecution of ethical rules and legal principles.
In the hullabaloo last week over potential names for the new royal baby (who has since been named), the most obvious choice was left out of contention, despite all the betting taking place. (”George, James: Royal Baby Boy Names are Bet On“)
Surprisingly not among the 15 names suggested by one article — including even a nod to the Brit-dreaded Jews (”David”) and a nod to the Brit-dreaded Russians (”Boris”) — was the most obvious choice for a name. The name that overtook “George” in popularity in the UK as early as 2006: Mohammed.
I’d have thought that would be a no-brainer for the royals, given not only England’s hasty submission to Islam but also Prince Charles’ always going on about the wonderfulness of Islam, even advising his countrymen to look to the religion on matters of planting and the environment.
Britain Wonders if Baby Prince Will be Circumcised; Prince Charles Snipped by Royal Mohel (Algemeiner, July 24)
…Circumcision for members of the royal family in England dates back to King George I, who introduced the custom. Queen Victoria traced the British royal family’s tree back to ancient Israel’s King David, and insisted that her sons be circumcised along the lines of Jewish tradition….Although the rite was considered of vital importance over the past two centuries, Princess Diana was not interested, and royal watchers believe she decided not to have her son’s [sic] circumcised. […]
Circumcision being both a Jewish and a Muslim rite, one wouldn’t be surprised if royal circumcision proceeded these days in a more Islamic context than Jewish.
As I’ve answered before, the U.S. isn’t exactly what we thought. And it has been spearheading the Fourth Reich. (After all, we simply must “show leadership,” whatever it is we’re being led to.) Starting on the heels of WWII, the U.S. switched sides to the Axis. Ostensibly to “handle” Russia. Yet even with Russia handled, the U.S. remains Axisy.
The following is a pretty impressive piece of work from establishment-connected folk, and I’m gratified that it comes from a Jewish historian. Gatestone chairman John Bolton, of course, has been impressive all along on just about everything including Kosovo, faltering only on the 2008 Georgia-Russia war. Similarly, his under-chairman, R. James Woolsey has been impressive on Bosnia, faltering only only on Chechnya — both men hopelessly establishment in their (non)thinking on Russia. (See “Chechen ‘terrorists’ proved useful to the U.S. in keeping pressure on the Russians….In fact, many neocons signed up as Chechnya’s ‘friends,’ including former CIA Director James Woolsey.”)
The U.S. Helps Reconstruct the Ottoman Empire (Gatestone Institute, May 29, 2013, By Robert E. Kaplan)
Since the mid-1990s the United States has intervened militarily in several internal armed conflicts in Europe and the Middle East: bombing Serbs and Serbia in support of Izetbegovic’s Moslem Regime in Bosnia in 1995, bombing Serbs and Serbia in support of KLA Moslems of Kosovo in 1999, bombing Libya’s Gaddafi regime in support of rebels in 2010. Each intervention was justified to Americans as motivated by humanitarian concerns: to protect Bosnian Moslems from genocidal Serbs, to protect Kosovo Moslems from genocidal Serbs, and to protect Libyans from their murderous dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Other reasons for these interventions were also offered: to gain for the United States a strategic foothold in the Balkans, to defeat communism in Yugoslavia, to demonstrate to the world’s Moslems that the United States is not anti-Moslem, to redefine the role of NATO in the post-Cold War era, among others.
Each of these United States military interventions occurred in an area that had been part of the Ottoman Empire. In each, a secular regime was ultimately replaced by an Islamist one favoring sharia law and the creation of a world-wide Caliphate. The countries that experienced the “Arab Spring” of the 2010s without the help of American military intervention, Tunisia and Egypt, had also been part of the Ottoman Empire, and also ended up with Islamist regimes.
In the United States most discussions of the military conflicts of the 1990s in the Balkans and the “Arab Spring” of the 2010s do not mention that the areas involved had been part of the Ottoman Empire; these included Turkey, the Moslem-populated areas around the Mediterranean, Iraq, the coastal regions of the Arabian Peninsula and parts of the Balkans. In the areas that experienced the Arab Spring Turkey’s role in every instance has been to support the rebels and quickly recognize them as the legitimate government of the country in upheaval. [The same can be said of Kosovo, where Turkey had threatened to take matters into its own hands if the West didn’t intervene militarily to help the Muslim side. And I’m sure that if I look through my files, I’ll be reminded of a similar Turkish dynamic vis-a-vis the Bosnia war.]
Turkish leaders do make the connection between the conflicts in the [Balkans], the “Arab Spring” and the Ottoman Empire. Harold Rhode, an American expert on Turkey, has reported:
“[President of Turkey] Erdogan’s recent  electoral victory speech puts his true intentions regarding Turkey’s foreign policy goals in perspective. He said that this victory is as important in Ankara as it is in the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sarajevo, under Ottoman times, an important Ottoman city; that his party’s victory was as important in a large Turkish city Izmir, on the Western Anatolian coast, as it is in Damascus, and as important in Istanbul as it is in Jerusalem….”
In saying that this victory is as important in all of these former Ottoman cities, Erdogan apparently sees himself as trying to reclaim Turkey’s full Ottoman past.
The occurrence that since 1990 each European and Middle Eastern country that experienced American military intervention in an internal military conflict or an “Arab Spring” has ended up with a government dominated by Islamists of the Moslem Brotherhood or al-Qaeda variety fits nicely with the idea that these events represent a return to Ottoman rule. Besides being a political empire ruling a territory and its population, the Ottoman Empire claimed to be a Caliphate with spiritual suzerainty over all Moslems – those within its borders and those beyond. Though it might seem strange at first, the idea of advancing the renewal of the Ottoman Empire on two tracks – breaking down the post-Ottoman political structure and promoting a Caliphate which Islamists say they long for – is really quite reasonable.
Just as the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s and the “Arab Spring” of the 2010s considered in historical perspective suggests that Turkey might be attempting to recreate its former empire, consideration of the Turkish Empire in historical perspective suggests the possible partnership of Germany with Turkey in the project given that, from its creation in 1870, Germany viewed Turkey with its empire as a most valuable client and ally. In the view of the leaders of Germany, Turkey was controllable through a combination of economic intercourse, gifts of educational opportunities, provision of technical expertise and administrative aid, as well as bribes to Turkish officials. Germany saw influence over Turkey as a means of influencing Moslems worldwide for its own interests. Thus as the German scholar Wolfgang Schwanitz has shown, during World War I Germany employed the Turkish Caliphate to promote jihad – riot and rebellion – in areas where Moslem populations were ruled by its enemies Russia, France, Britain and Serbia.
Yet in the 50-odd articles collected in an exploration of the awareness on the part of Americans of a possible Turkish connection with the “Arab Spring,” I found not a single mention of “Germany.” Only from a link in one of those articles – to an article on the International Criminal Court (ICC) which, with its indictment of Muammar Gaddafi and issue of a warrant for his arrest, provided the “legal” basis legitimizing NATO’s bombing of Libya — which gave the rebels their victory and ended the Gaddafi regime – did I find mention of Germany. From that article, “A Lawless Global Court” by John Rosenthal (Policy Review Feb. 1. 2004 No.123), one learns that the ICC is a project initiated, promoted and, to a considerable extent, funded by Germany. Given this, the idea that the ICC serves Germany’s purposes is common sense. Through the ICC connection, Germany’s promotion of the “Arab Spring” is clear. Yet it is never or almost never mentioned. This silence calls for explanation.
Later, I did come across an explicit reference to Germany’s role in it — specifically in the war against the Assad regime in Syria — in John Rosenthal’s article “German Intelligence: al-Qaeda all over Syria” in the online Asia Times — which reports that the German government supports the rebels and their political arm, the Syrian National Council (SNC), against Assad; that the German government classified [made secret] “by reason of national interest” the contents of several BND (German foreign intelligence) reports that the May 25, 2012 massacre of civilians in the Syrian town of Houla, for which Assad has been blamed, was in fact perpetrated by rebel forces; and that “the German foreign office is working with representatives of the Syrian opposition to develop ‘concrete plans’ for a ‘political transition’ in Syria after the fall of Assad.” So far the German policy of keeping hidden its leadership role in the attempt to reconstitute the Ottoman Empire seems to have succeeded.
Each U. S. military action in Europe and the Middle East since 1990, however, with the exception of Iraq, has followed an overt pattern: First there is an armed conflict within the country where the intervention will take place. American news media heavily report this conflict. The “good guys” in the story are the rebels. The “bad guys,” to be attacked by American military force, are brutally anti-democratic, and committers of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Prestigious public figures, NGOs, judicial and quasi-judicial bodies and international organizations call for supporting the rebels and attacking the regime. Next, the American president orders American logistical support and arms supplies for the rebels. Finally the American president orders military attack under the auspices of NATO in support of the rebels. The attack usually consists of aerial bombing, today’s equivalent of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries’ gunboat which could attack coastal cities of militarily weak countries without fear of retaliation. The ultimate outcome of each American intervention is the replacement of a secular government with an Islamist regime in an area that had been part of the Ottoman Empire.
Why the government of the United States would actively promote German aims — the destruction of Yugoslavia (both World Wars I and II saw Germany invade Serbia) and the re-creation of the Ottoman Empire — is a question that needs to be answered.
Robert E. Kaplan is an historian, doctorate from Cornell University, specializing in modern Europe.
The above article is significant also because it addresses an Islamic-German axis beyond the WWII Jerusalem mufti connection, underscoring the Nazi creds of the Muslims.
In my earlier blog today I mentioned Fatos Lubonja, a rare Albanian to be unsettled by Kosovo elites’ approving reaction to the murderous Ramush Haradinaj getting off the hook at The Hague, though I would expand the criticism to Albanian society in general, which is of like mind with the elites.
Another righteous Albanian came to my attention, one who considers himself to be of Macedonian nationality rather than of the expansionist, ethnocentric, soon-to-come Greater Albanian nationality that all other Albanians subscribe to.
Hasani: Albania will not have democratic elections in the next 100 years (Macedonia Online, July 11)
Besnik Hasani, resident of Trebishte in the Golo Brdo area, says Albania fixed the results of their elections on June 23rd. Hasani is a vice president of the Macedonian Alliance and was a candidate for Parliament for MPs in Peskopea. Hasani says he is not interested in the votes of other Macedonians which he is convinced voted for him, he wonders what happened to his own vote and the votes of his family? According to Albania’s election results, zero (0) votes were registered for the Macedonian alliance in the municipality of Trebishte.
“This, you won’t find this anywhere on this planet. I can guarantee with certainty Albania will not have democratic elections in the next 100 years. There will always be manipulations and voting fraud as it is the norm in this country. How is it possible for Trebishte to have 0 votes for the Macedonian Alliance when I voted for myself — let’s not even count my extended family and activists,” says Hasani who says this happens to Macedonians continually.
“We don’t have Macedonians in the state electoral commission, so this prevents us from seeing what’s going on when votes are supposedly counted. The votes were not counted in Golo Brdo, rather in the city of Bulkiza. Our sources confirmed the Macedonian Alliance received large numbers in Trebishte and Ostreni which was expected. Unfortunately, MAEI votes were all stolen, and officially we were left with 10 votes in Golo Brdo, which is laughable,” says Hasani.
MAEI sent objections to the Central Electoral Commission however they were quickly rejected. On the other hand, objections sent by the Vlach community (Greek since 2005) were approved by Tirana. [Clearly, the Greek community in Albania — being higher-profile — has made greater inroads than the Macedonian community in pushing for diversity in Albania.]
Building on yesterday’s Tony Blair post about Greater Albania being a most profitable poor country for rich Western former government officials, I realize that in my February update about Albright’s business group bidding for Kosovo’s state telecom company, I neglected to include this important article from December. It sheds additional light on the tacky and blatant maneuver that, if not for recent scrutiny, would have proceeded without skipping a beat.
That Crush at Kosovo’s Business Door? The Return of U.S. Heroes (NY Times, Dec.11, 2012, By Matthew Brunwasser)
American flags streamed recently above the main street of Pristina, Kosovo’s capital…Akos Stiller
Prime Minister Hashim Thaci is in a bind. His country’s largest and most lucrative enterprise, the state telecommunications company, is up for sale…
One bid is from a fund founded by former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright. Lobbying for another was James W. Pardew, the Clinton-era special envoy to the Balkans. Both former diplomats are among the Americans who hold the status of heroes here for their roles in the 1999 intervention….
So many former American officials have returned to Kosovo for business — in coal and telecommunications, or for lobbying and other lucrative government contracts — that it is hard to keep them from colliding.
They also include Wesley K. Clark…and Mark Tavlarides, who was legislative director at the Clinton White House’s National Security Council.
The State Department has no policy that forbids former diplomats from lobbying on behalf of nations where they served or returning to them for profit….
Kosovo is not the only nation where former officials have returned to conduct business — Iraq is another example — but it presents an extreme case, and perhaps a special ethical quandary, given the outsize American influence here. Pristina, the capital, may be the only city in the world where Bob Dole Street intersects Bill Clinton Boulevard.
[And that should tell us something.]
Foreign policy experts say the practice of former officials’ returning for business is more common than acknowledged publicly. Privately, former officials concede the possibility of conflicts of interest and even the potential to influence American foreign policy as diplomats who traditionally made careers in public service now rotate more frequently to lucrative jobs in the private sector.
Asked for comment, former officials involved said their business dealings with the Kosovo government would benefit Kosovars by building a more prosperous economy. “We’re going to employ people, provide training, create exports and help the country grow and develop as a democracy,” said General Clark, who is chairman of Envidity, a Canadian energy company seeking to explore Kosovo’s lignite coal deposits and produce synthetic fuel.
Lawrence Lessig, a law professor and director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard, said the appearance of “cashing in” risked undermining the prestige of the United States by clouding the humanitarian nature of the 1999 intervention, which was aimed at ending Serbian atrocities against Kosovars.
[Um, so maybe it wasn’t? And maybe the people we’ve allowed to guide foreign policy have made the U.S.moreabout “cashing in”than about any moral principles? Lending credence to the money-grubbing caricature that the world’s socialists and communists like to paint it as?]
After the separation, Kosovo was an international protectorate run by thousands of officials from other countries and the United Nations serving as government representatives and private contractors…The closeness of the ties between the state-builders and the state they built has made it easy for officials to change hats. Though the country is one of Europe’s poorest, there is still the potential for profit, particularly as the government privatizes critical assets.
Albright Capital Management, founded by Ms. Albright, has been shortlisted in the bidding for a 75 percent share in the state telecommunications company, PTK. The company’s sale is expected to bring in between $400 million and $800 million.
[The fact that Albright’s company was shortlisted makes its dropping out all the more likely to have been related to the eyebrows raised not only thanks to Albright’s Serb-hatred which a group of Czech activists brought to the surface last October, but the following.]
Senior executives of a sister company, Albright Stonebridge Group, are already small shareholders in PTK’s only competitor, the private company IPKO, raising concerns on the threat to market competition if Ms. Albright’s consortium wins the bid.
Mr. Pardew, the former American envoy, lobbied top Kosovo officials on behalf of a competing consortium, Twelve Hornbeams S.a.r.l /Avicenna Capital LLC.
The memo on the prime minister’s meeting with Mr. Pardew, from within the consortium, was leaked by someone unhappy with the running of the tender process. The choice of Mr. Pardew as their emissary was “vitally important,” the memo noted, because Kosovo’s elite “know and love him for his role on the ground during the war.”
After the memo became public, Mr. Pardew withdrew from lobbying for the consortium, and he declined to comment…
Telecommunications in Kosovo can be a rough business. In 2007, gunmen tried — first with firearms, then with a mortar attack on his car — to kill Anton Berisha, the head of the telecommunications regulatory agency. He survived both attempts, which took place not long after he awarded Kosovo’s second cellphone license to the Slovenian-owned IPKO. A year later, he became ambassador to Slovenia.
In 2004, Ms. Albright became a special adviser to the chairman of the board of IPKO, Akan Ismaili, who is now Kosovo’s ambassador to the United States.
The telecommunications deal is just one of many that Americans have angled for. The biggest infrastructure project in Kosovo’s post-Yugoslav history, a 63-mile stretch of highway connecting Pristina to the Albanian border, was awarded in 2010 to Bechtel of San Francisco in a joint venture with a Turkish company, Enka.
Bechtel had help getting the contract from Mr. Tavlarides, the legislative director at the National Security Council during the 1999 Kosovo intervention…Mr. Tavlarides now works at Podesta Associates, which signed a $50,000 monthly contract with the Kosovo government on Jan. 1, advising it on communications and strengthening Kosovo’s ties to the United States government. Podesta Associates was co-founded by John Podesta, White House chief of staff in Mr. Clinton’s second term. Mr. Podesta left the firm in 1993. It is still owned by his brother, Anthony.
Mr. Tavlarides declined to comment, citing his firm’s policy to not speak with the news media about clients. [Well that’s certainly convenient.]
Watchdog groups raise the possibility that Kosovo’s government might see doing business with former American officials as a conduit to the current United States administration. They also fear that the influence of former officials diminishes competition and hurts consumers.
The appearance of an inside track by some companies had discouraged competitors “because they know the game is set,” said Avni Zogiani, a Kosovar journalist who heads Cohu, an anticorruption organization in Pristina that has investigated the links between the telecommunications business, crime and politics. “There is no interest in investing in Kosovo by reputable companies anymore.”
Even some former officials acknowledge discomfort at the extent of the interplay between dealing and diplomacy.
Steven P. Schook, a retired United States army brigadier general and former chief of staff of KFOR, NATO’s force in Kosovo, said he had “mixed feelings” about it.
Mr. Schook, who also served as the deputy head of the United Nations mission in Kosovo, has returned as a private consultant for former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, who was acquitted last month by the war crimes tribunal in The Hague. He says that he works for Mr. Haradinaj because of a belief in his leadership and that his only compensation is his expenses living in Kosovo, about $2,600 a month.
“There are a lot of ex-diplomats coming in and out that are now representing private interests,” he said. “If I’m a large corporation and I want to get in to be competitive, I want to work with people to help me do that.”
“But on the other hand, it seems a bit tawdry,” Mr. Schook added. “One minute you’re liberating a place, and the next minute you’re trying to get an energy tender.”
And that about sums it up.
But let’s ponder the fact that this pause is given by one Steven Schook, who was fired from his UN job because of…corruption. Oh, and witness-endangerment. On behalf of Haradinaj. Whom he so “believes” in. Or, at least, has so married himself to irreversibly. And would therefore naturally stay close to, helping Haradinaj to continue getting off the hook for his crimes past, present and future, lest Haradinaj make a misstep and take Schook and the rest of the U.S. establishment down with him. No coincidence, therefore, that Haradinaj “was acquitted by the war crimes tribunal,” as the NY Times article above mentions oh so casually.
For those who wed their names to the crime and cover-up of the century — Kosovo — there are apparently gradations to conscienceless-ness. And so the likes of Albright, Clark, Pardew and Tavlarides need the likes of Schook to keep them ‘honest,’ relatively speaking.
By the same token, this uncharacteristically honest Albanian should give Haradinaj-believer Schook some cognitive dissonance:
Albanian Writer Raises Storm in Kosovo (Balkan Insight, July 19, By Besar Likmeta)
Kosovo officials have rounded on Albanian writer Fatos Lubonja for saying that the political elites in both countries turned a blind eye to the crimes of the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA.
Albanian writer Fatos Lubonja
In the article published in the May edition of the magazine Sudosteuropa, Lubonja focused on the reaction of Albania’s political class to the acquittal of the former KLA commander and Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj by the Hague Tribunal.
Lubonja wrote that following Haradinaj’s release, the elite in Pristina and Tirana celebrated him as a hero, despite having enough information that the charges brought by prosecutors in the Hague were correct.
According to Kosovo public broadcaster RTK, Hardinaj has called Lubonja’s comment slanderous and has hinted that he may sue the Albanian writer for defamation. [Perhaps on the advice of his consultant Schook?]
Prosecutors had alleged that, together with two co-defendants, Haradinaj tortured and killed ethnic Serbs, and Albanians who were deemed to have collaborated with the Serbs in a KLA-run camp at Jablanica in 1998.
According to Lubonja, the reaction to Haradinaj’s acquittal in Albania and Kosovo encapsulates the hypocrisy of its political and cultural elites who use nationalist ideology to brainwash people.
“As in Communist times, Albanians are fed with the idea that they are nothing as individuals in front of the interests of the nation, and should sacrifice everything for the fatherland, turning a blind eye to every crime committed in its name,” Lubonja wrote.
According to Lubonja, this brainwashing create[s] a form of schizophrenia, as Albanians glorify the heroes that sacrifice themselves for the nation while deploring the scoundrels that steal from and even kill them – both being the same. […]
A point this blog has made many times.
The Albanian reaction to this Albanian’s conscience-raising? Gee, the guy’s last name sure sounds Serbian.
The writer’s claims have angered members of Haradinaj’s Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK, party.
The party spokesperson, Ernest Luma, lashed out Lubonja on social networks calling him “a son of bitch”.
“Lubonja’s last name sounds like a Serbian name,” Luma wrote, calling him “a Serb who speaks Albanian”.
Kosovo’s Minister of Integration, Vlora Citaku, said she was “shocked and speechless” about Lubonja’s writings.
Kosovo’s Minister of Culture, Memli Kraniqi, accused him of making shameful and “sick comments about the liberators of Kosovo”.
******OH, AND THIS JUST IN******
Patton Boggs Wins White-Collar Acquittal in Kosovo (Legal Times, July 17)
[Law firm] Patton Boggs attorneys have secured an acquittal in a white-collar prosecution in Kosovo for the leaders of a telecommunications company.
Partners Andrew Friedman and Benjamin Chew defended the Devolli Group’s Blerim and Shkelqim Devolli against allegations of fraud, entering into “harmful contracts” and falsifying documents. The two partners were assisted by of counsel Graham Wisner and associate Mary Moore.
In 2008, Dardafone, a business venture between the Devolli Group and Unitel Co. of New York, obtained a license from Kosovo authorities to provide mobile phone service. Dardafone partnered with the government-owned Post and Telecom of Kosovo. In exchange for use of its infrastructure, Dardafone would share revenue.
The Deveolli Group allegedly defrauded its U.S. business partner and misled the government-owned telecommunications operator…In an interview, Friedman said that he and Chew were hired soon after the Devollis were charged in the middle of 2011…
Friedman said that the firm does a lot of investigations with an international perspective, and credited Patton Boggs foreign affairs advisor Frank Wisner for helping with the connection. Frank is the former U.S. Ambassador to Zambia, Egypt, the Philippines and India. He was also the U.S. special representative to the Kosovo Status Talks in 2005 which paved the way for Kosovo’s independence.
A PRNewswire item about the same thing adds the following details:
…The indictment was brought by EULEX…[and] claimed that the Devollis and their business manager defrauded the U.S. business partner and misled PTK, and that the Devollis had effectively operated as an organized crime enterprise. The indictment implicated two current or former PTK officials, charging them with mis-using their authority and exposing PTK to substantial economic damage. PTK is one of the largest revenue-producing businesses in Kosovo.
The win underscores the firm’s increasing role as an international problem solver, particularly in this region of the world. Members of the firm have played important roles at key moments in Kosovo’s recent history: Foreign Affairs Advisor and Former Ambassador Frank G. Wisner had a crucial role in negotiating Kosovo’s independence as the United States’ special representative to the Kosovo Status Talks in 2005.
So a Wisner-connected law firm is also profiting off Kosovo. The Wisner brothers — Frank and Graham — are of course the sons of Frank Wisner, Sr., who recruited Albanian Fascists for the CIA in the 1950s “Operation Mockingbird” and had the decency to kill himself in 1965 for whatever reason. May his sons follow in his footsteps. Though that could require a conscience.
One notes also that, until recent pressure, the trembling EULEX has been very reluctant to prosecute any connected “Kosovars.” So if it undertook this prosecution, we can be fairly sure that something was fishy enough about the outfit. But as with all things Kosovo, it couldn’t be proven in court.
Frank G. Wisner
Graham G. Wisner
One of the only times this blog mentioned Republican senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was when an awesome little lady named Ann Barnhardt called him a jackass for wanting to restrict Americans’ rights to freedom of speech, such as Koran-burning. (In a follow-up last year, Stella Jatras emailed Barnhardt’s response to a Muslim’s threat on her life — in which she gave him directions to her house — adding, “WOW These Catholic gals are tough!”)
Subsequently, I mentioned Graham after he accompanied failed presidential candidate and senator John McKLAin to kiss Muslim Brotherhood ass in Egypt or Libya or Syria (I forget which cesspool it was). And the only other mention of Graham in this space was in 2007, when he was part of a congressional delegation that traveled to Kosovo and praised the murderous Albanians.
It seems I need to mention this nothing of a man a fourth time, as he apparently wants to beat out the pack in typical-ness, floating the idea of boycotting next year’s Russian Olympics, a la 1980 — giving us a sense of the year our retarded political class is stuck in:
Should U.S. Boycott Russian Olympics Over Snowden? (ABC News, July 17)
…Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Tuesday that the U.S. should send a clear message to Russia by boycotting the Olympic Games in Sochi next February if the country grants asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who is currently cooped up in a Moscow airport.
“I would. I would just send the Russians the most unequivocal signal I could send them,” Graham told The Hill when asked Tuesday whether the U.S. should not participate in the Games.
“It might help, because what they’re doing is outrageous,” Graham said. “We certainly haven’t reset our relationship with Russia in a positive way. At the end of the day, if they grant this guy asylum it’s a breach of the rule of law as we know it and is a slap in the face to the United States.”
Did Mister Kosovo Independence really just invoke “rule of law”?
…”I love Senator Graham…And I think he’s dead wrong,” Speaker of the House John Boehner said in a news conference Wednesday. “Why would we want to punish U.S. athletes who have been training for three years to compete in the Olympics over a traitor who can’t find a place to call home?”
“I don’t know whether we should go that far,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. said on MSNBC Wednesday. “If they grant asylum or help Snowden, there ought to be repercussions. I can’t say what they will be. I’d have to study Lindsey’s suggestion, but I share his exasperation with Putin.”
Washington is exasperated with Putin.
…Aleksey Pushkov, who serves in Russia’s lower house of parliament told Russian news channel RT that Graham’s statement was “pulling us back to the distant past, the time of mutual boycotts when our two states were looking at each other through nuclear sights.”
“I am sure that these times are over and difficult periods in relations must not bring the nations to the worst times of the Cold War,” he added.
“I hope that certain politicians in the United States would stop making populist statements and start thinking more about their own citizens,” Vasily Shestakov, who sits on Russia’s lower house of parliament’s Committee for Sports, said. […]
Separately, reader Viki from Australia sent the following video of Paul Weston, a sort of male Ann Barnhardt, who had been chairman of the British Freedom Party and formerly a UK Independence Party candidate.
“I am a Racist.”
Toward the end, he calls out Tony Blair and the Labour Party for treason in importing terrifying elements of the third world into British society, undermining and endangering the public, all to rub conservatives’ noses in “diversity” and to improve Labour’s chances of staying in power. Exactly the way the Ted Kennedy-inspired Democratic Party has done here, where it’s now probable that a conservative president will never be elected again.
It’s interesting that simultaneously while Blair is allowing some honest observations about Islam to escape from his lips (he recently wrote “The Trouble Within Islam,” which betrayed at least a fetal understanding of the scourge but which then proceeded to nonsensically warn about Assad and not the radicals he’s fighting), Blair nonetheless has signed up to profit from the Islamic world. Exemplifying the cravenness of our own political establishment (though our own profiteers of the Islamic takeover don’t dare to say even so little against it as Blair has ventured to do). So we have a case of the hypocrite being a cut above, though it ain’t saying much. More pertinently, what we have is yet another politician profiting off his war-making in the Former Yugoslavia:
Tony Blair will be big in Albania (The Telegraph, July 21, By Richard Eden)
It is one of Europe’s poorest nations, but Albania could soon add to the fortune of Tony Blair.
Mandrake hears that the former Labour prime minister entertained Albania’s prime minister elect, Edi Rama, at his Mayfair offices last week.
Two months ago, this newspaper disclosed that Blair had agreed to advise the next government of Albania, opening the way for a deal which could be worth millions of pounds.
The deal with Albania is understood to have been first negotiated in February when Alastair Campbell, Blair’s former director of communications, flew to Tirana, the capital, to promote his bestselling diaries. He offered the Socialist Party strategic advice in the run-up to the election last month.
Blair’s spokesman says he has not signed a contract and the Albanian government will not pay him. However, he declines to say whether he will be paid by the country’s socialist party.
Who knew how profitable the poorest nations could be?
And the Serbian one is no exception. When the thing to do was sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll, that’s what they did. Now the thing to do is Islam, and this weak character could no longer stand not giving in to the peer pressure:
Serbian musician Rajinatovic finds the answers in Islam (July 15)
(In Serbness he only found bombs, so I suppose Islam is comparatively more fun, at least at first.)
Igor Rajinatovic of Serbian origin, one of the renowned musicians of Bosnia-Herzegovina, has converted to Islam by stating that Islam has answered the questions such as death and man’s existence.
Devoting his music career to Islam after converting, Rajinatovic gives his listeners Islamic messages with his songs.
“I cannot explain how I feel after converting to Islam. I feel completely sanctified and free,” said Rajinatovic defining his life before Islam as “nothing.”
Pointing that Islamophobia was growing every day in Europe, Rajinatovic said “They can do whatever they want to oppose the Islamic understanding and Islamic ideas, the Holy Quran is quite clear about everything and show what is real.”
Well, life should certainly get easier now. Especially if he’s living in Bosnia. Boy, he must wonder why his ancestors resisted for all those centuries. Now he can fit in among his fellow Muslim Serbs. I mean, er, “Bosnian Muslims.”
Oh, and someone should remind him that there’s no music in Islam.
Reader Milos comments on “I feel completely sanctified and free”: “I suppose he has a point after seeing all these stories about Muslims
getting away with rioting, looting and murder.”
It seems the 60-year guilt complex Germany was decent enough to have after WWII has come to an end. Germany — which usually doesn’t support UN resolutions against Israel — made the unusual move in November of voting in favor of a unilateral Palestinian declaration of statehood as per the Kosovo example. That apparently was just setting the stage for what was to come, because last month Germany went a step further, joining the rest of its EU in reviving the Jewish boycott:
Germany Revives the Jewish Boycott (Front Page Magazine, June 17, By Joseph Puder)
…Germany now says it supports the European Union’s plan to discriminatively label Jewish-made products in this region, the purpose of which is to stigmatize and mark the products for consumers to avoid…
[The ADL’s Abe] Foxman explained that the EU initiative represented an “effort at singling out Israel when there is no outcry over so many human rights abuses everywhere.” Addressing the German government in particular, since it has recently passed legislation in support of the EU labeling scheme, he stated on Sunday (June 2, 2013) “If the only country you want to single out is Israel, that’s anti-Semitism.”
Foxman dismissed the notion that the situation in the West Bank was unique and therefore might justify a unique response.
Ah, so they’re saying that Israel is suffering the fate it’s suffering because it’s a “unique” example. And therefore requires a unique response. Are we noticing the same language being employed vis-a-vis Serbia’s Kosovo? All international norms and laws are being broken to wrest unilaterally declared Kosovo from Serbia because it’s a “unique” case. And because it’s a unique case, it sets no precedent for any other cases. Such as the Palestinian declaration of statehood in whose furtherance pressure is “uniquely” being placed on Israel.
[Foxman] argued that the focus on alleged Israeli human right abuses relating to settlements was an excuse to single out Israel. [Wasn’t it alleged human rights abuses by Serbia that was the excuse to single out Serbia?] Foxman pointed out that given the dismal human rights situation in so many places worldwide, “where people are being killed for who they are, and this is the only concern?” Foxman added, “Where are the sanctions against those who kill Christians [in Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Turkey, to name a few]? Where is the outcry?” [Now there’s a refreshing turn by Foxman; he’s finally noticing the Washington-facilitated Christian liquidation.]
…Moreover, a boycott against Israel, which seeks territorial compromise with the Palestinians, while the Palestinians have instead chosen the destruction of the Jewish State and have refrained from negotiations with Israel to resolve the territorial issue, is nothing less than a renewal of government sanctioned Jew hatred.
It’s certainly interesting that Serbia — the side that sought a territorial compromise with Kosovo’s Albanians while the latter would settle for nothing less than the whole thing while intermittently threatening war — was the side slapped with ultimatums and stigma. It was little more than Serb-hatred.
Just weeks following the Six Day War of June 1967, Israel’s renowned Foreign minister Abba Eban, in an interview with the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel, coined the now famous phrase “The Auschwitz borders,” when referring to the pre-1967 borders of Israel. Eban stated in the interview that Israel’s return to the pre-1967 indefensible borders will bring danger and lack of security for the Jewish State. Eban went on to say that “I am not exaggerating when I say that for us it holds the imagery of Auschwitz.”
The EU states, including Germany, have excused their discriminatory moves against Israel as stemming from pure political motives, namely, their desire to advance human rights and peace in the region. The intentional goal to hurt Jewish businesses however, removes their alleged quest for equality and justice, and exposes the ugly truth of racial and religious bias.
Not everyone in the EU supports this discriminatory boycott of Israeli products. In 2009, in the wake of a proposed boycott of Israeli products, right and left-wing politicians in Rome came out in support of the city’s Jewish community… Piero Marrazzo, governor of the Lazio region of which Rome is the capital, called the idea of boycotting Jewish shops blood-curdling and met leaders of Rome’s Jewish neighborhoods to express his solidarity. […]
Again, the only decent ones are the Italians. Things certainly are lining up in a familiar way.
Efforts to promote Kosovo-Jewish affinity continued this month with the following article in The Forward, a newspaper I was once proud to write for while a budding writer in the mid-90s. In the same section where long ago I wrote such innocent pieces as “Letter from Baltimore” (comparing Russian-immigrant waves in my hometown), I’m sickened to see the same pages now predictably succumbing to the epidemic infection of Albanian propaganda, whose tentacles leave no Jewish publication’s pages unturned.
Last month, in my piece “Twin Evils Consummated,” I described the scene of Pristina honoring a WWII Jewish cemetery and Albanian helpers of Jews, while pointing out the politically motivated focus on specifically Kosovo Albanians in this regard. And I pointed out how Stephen Suleyman Schwartz seized on and disseminated it. The Forward is no stranger to being suckers for Albanians, and here the Jewish paper is helping Washington and Brussels promote the myth of multi-ethnic, multi-confessional Kosovo. Right on schedule. Oh, and of course going to Schwartz for a quote. From writer Liam Hoare, whom we’ve encountered before:
In Kosovo’s Tiny ‘Jerusalem,’ a Struggle To Sustain Jewish Life in Corner of Balkans
Letter From Prizren
By Liam Hoare
Published July 02, 2013, issue of July 05, 2013.
Contact Liam Hoare at firstname.lastname@example.org
…In his office, [Votim] Demiri, president of the Jewish community in Kosovo, proudly showed off photographs of his family meeting leaders, including Israeli President Shimon Peres…The JDC has done extensive work in this breakaway former province of Serbia, from which it declared independence in 2008.
Demiri’s house — “the Jewish house,” as he referred to it — forms one point of a triangle in his neighborhood with two Islamic holy places. Later, he took me into the historic center of Prizren, situated around an old stone bridge spanning the Prizrenska Bistrica. He noted that the Sinan Pasha Mosque sits within walking distance of a Serb Orthodox Church and a Catholic school.
“This is our Jerusalem,” he said.
Prizren is more like Jerusalem than one might think, for better and worse. As Demiri boasts, the city 40 miles south of the capital Pristina has a polyglot of ethnicities, including Albanians of various Muslim denominations, Catholics — and a grand total of 56 Jews.
“Albanian Sunnis, Sunni Sufis, Catholics and Jews enjoy a warm sense of common municipal identity in Prizren,” said Stephen Suleyman Schwartz, executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism in Washington.
[Anyone missing from that “warm” list? Perhaps Schwartz’s reviled Orthodox Serbs? You know, that group whom Kosovo gave birth to?]
…Although it was spared the worst of the excesses of the Kosovo War, Serb forces did systemically clear some Albanian areas of the city. [”Systematically” cleared “some” doesn’t exactly sound systematic.] Albanians drove out most of the small Serb community after winning a tentative victory in 1999, and forced almost all the rest to leave in a round of riots in 2004.
“While the town is lovely, animated and hospitable,” Schwartz said, “Albanians and Serbs do not get along there.” [Ah, there’s the mention.]
It is within this uneasy admixture that virtually all of Kosovo’s Jews live. The tiny community has “not been a significant presence in public life for a long time,” Noel Malcolm, senior research fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, explained to the Forward. The community has shrunk significantly, even from the 360 or so who survived World War II and the Holocaust.
[And The Forward left every stone unturned in whom it sought out for expertise: Schwartz, and the other official propagandist of the Bosnia and Kosovo conflicts, Noel Malcolm, who disseminated the official image of wartime Bosnian president Izetbegovic as a democrat rather than the fundamentalist Muslim he announced himself to be, and accused those who took Izetbegovic at his word of being the propagandists.]
And yet in Prizren and Kosovo as a whole, the community’s very existence is valuable because it serves as a powerful example to Europe and the world of how a Jewish minority can survive among Muslims.
[And that’s become the whole point of our Kosovo exercise. But yes, let this aberration — itself a sad commentary — be the guiding rule that Jews can live unharmed among Muslims; I’m so inspired that I’m ready to move to Egypt.]
They enjoy “a real history of positive coexistence and mutual acceptance in what was a predominantly Muslim society,” Malcolm said.
[Now, insert the flattering half of Albanian WWII history]:
This remarkable coexistence was forged in the horror of the Shoah. In April 1941, Kosovo was annexed to Italian-controlled Albania. By September 1943, both territories were under German occupation. [”Liberation,” if you asked the Albanians.] Throughout this period, including the attempt to turn over Jews to Nazi authorities en masse, Albanians refused to cooperate, hiding Jews in their homes, providing them with food and clothing, and giving them Muslim names and fake documentation. In Kosovo, 258 Jews were deported to Bergen-Belsen, 92 of whom perished. But more than 2,000 Jews were saved throughout Albania and Kosovo.
[Now, insert the Albanian blood code in its more positive application]:
One key to understanding the heroism of Albanians is knowing that they were guided in part by besa, an ancient and folkish honor code stipulating that one must provide protection to any person who sets foot on one’s property, even to the point of laying down one’s life.
Schwartz adds that it also reflects “an absence of anti-Jewish prejudice in Albanian society,” related to the “cultural memory” of the tolerated place of Jews within Ottoman society, and to the fact that Jews played a historic role in the Albanian national movement.
[Jews always like to play an important role in movements that get them kicked out of wherever they’re “helping.”]
The struggle to sustain Jewish life has not halted attempts by Kosovo’s Jews and Jewish charities to carry on the spirit of intercommunity cooperation. Between 1999 and 2006, the JDC was active in Kosovo, engaging in nonsectarian projects that benefited the local Albanian population. Perhaps the most significant of these, at least symbolically, was the reconstruction of a mosque in Shqiponja, a hill village in the west of Kosovo.
[Delightful. Jewish organizations joined in on helping the victorious side — which also happens to be the Muslim side — and not the besieged losing side, the Christians among whom the Jews also had lived peacefully, with fewer problematic caveats.]
During Milošević’s onslaught against Kosovo, Shqiponja’s mosque was one of 200 or so such places of worship damaged, desecrated or destroyed by Serbian forces. Working alongside Kosovo’s Islamic and Catholic communities, the JDC [Jewish Dummy Committee] helped finance the…rebuilding of the golden-hued domes and a single minaret.
…Periodically, the JDC also makes sure the children are able to partake in Jewish summer camps organized for all the youth in the former Yugoslavia, held in Pirovac, Croatia.
Ah, the lands of Albania and Croatia. Together in the same breath, yet again. Well, I suppose the JDC wouldn’t want to be politically incorrect by holding the Jewish camp in the non-Axis part of the region, Serbia.