November 2013

Bosnia: Radical Muslims arrested for entering church

Sarajevo, 24 Nov. (AKI) – Bosnian police arrested two Muslims allegedly linked to a radical ‘Wahabi’ sect after they sought access to a Catholic church in Sarajevo on Sunday…Church of Trinity vicar Ivan Ravlic said the two men knocked on the door of the church late Saturday and asked to see inside the building.

“My answer was that there was no need for them to look at the church at that late hour and that was when they explained they were disturbed by the church bell,” Ravlic said. […]

In a group email, author Bill Dorich wrote the following:

“I have spent the past two and a half decades defending the Serbian people and writing about the mockery the American media has made of “Freedom of the Press.” I am particularly grateful for people like Michael Averko, Peter Brock, John Peter Maher, Michael Pravica, Gregory Copley, Julia Gorin and others who risked personal harm and death threats to write the truth. I encourage [seeking] out my newest book, Memoirs of a Serbian-American Dissident that is available on the AppleStore and the iPad [for $1.99].”

Memoirs of a Serbian-American Dissident Table of Contents:

4 Who Are These “Despicable” Serbs?
11 State Shuns Heroic Ally
13 Truth About WWII MIAs Still Covered Up
15 “Lift & Strike,” Kirkpatrick’s Idea of Diplomacy
19 Gorazde, Another Muslim Lie
30 I Remember Mostar
43 The Truth about Gorazde
66 It’s Not Genocide, It’s Magic
82 A Response to The New Republic
101 The Plot Sickens!
105 A Letter to Baroness Thatcher
108 Dateline Yugoslavia: The Partisan Press by Peter Brock
117 Sarajevo… Bosnia’s Dodge City
120 Open Letter to Ambassador Warren Zimmerman
135 Open Letter to Elizabeth Dole, American Red Cross
141 Dehumanizing A Nation
144 Open Letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein
150 Father of the Homeland, Father of Hate
155 Open Letter to Kofi Annan, Under Secretary of UN
157 Open Letter to MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour
161 Georgie Anne Geyer, Washington Week in Review
169 Open Letter to Rep. Susan Molinari
176 People Must Not Be Pilloried
184 Socrates and the Balkans
188 Open Letter to President Ronald Reagan
196 Michael McAdams, Ustashi Apologist?
201 The Last Plane from Sarajevo
206 Pres. Wm. Clinton - The Faked O’Grady Rescue
212 Capt. Scott O’Grady, Another Cardboard Hero
213 Open Letter to Rep. David Obey
215 U.S. Mercenaries Firms Work for Croats
216 Phantom Cavalry
230 Fabricating Your Way to a Pulitzer
233 Behind Kosovo’s Facade
237 Open Letter to Condoleezza Rice, Stanford Provost
238 Open Letter to “60 Minutes”
240 Open Letter to The Pulitzer Commission
242 Ecocide: Nato’s Biological War on Serbia
247 McGrory Kisses up to Silajdzic
250 Hillary Celebrates Independence while Mocking It
258 Liar, Liar (Madeleine Albright)

And below are some salient paragraphs from a 2010 review by Spiked-Online of The Politics of Genocide by Edward S. Herman and David Peterson. Their subject of criticism extends to Western intervention in Sudan and Rwanda, which I’d always thought was the opposite of intervention. I know little about these conflicts but was under the impression that nothing was done about the real genocides there, while the easier battle — against Serbs for fictitious genocides — was used as deflection and overcompensation for the other two. Lumping the three in the same category would seem to diminish the truly evil interventions in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo, but we know that the anti-war left is nothing if not consistent. And even a broken clock is right twice a day. And so they’re right about the Balkans:

Playing the genocide card (Spiked-Online, Aug. 27, 2010, By Tara McCormack, lecturer in international politics at the University of Leicester)

…[W]hile a kind of ersatz anti-interventionism and criticism of government propaganda is now mainstream in relation to Iraq, critiquing Western powers’ meddling in other conflicts - such as those in the Former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Sudan - invites serious charges, including comparisons with Holocaust denial. These conflicts have become fixed moral signifiers in an age otherwise ridden with moral and political uncertainty. They have come to be understood as simple cases of good vs evil, conflagrations that have sprung up in previously harmonious societies, in which one side, driven by vicious ethnic hatred, attempts to exterminate their fellow citizens. To speak of political root causes or the impact of external intervention here will invite derision and fury - and in particular from those on the left.

In fact, one of the most striking aspects about the Western response to the conflicts in the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda in particular was the way in which large sections of the left abandoned some core left-wing positions on foreign policy. There was a religious-style conversion to the merits of Western intervention. Erased from memory was the recent history of the West in the developing world (and in the poorer states of Europe): the exploitation, the establishment of murderous ‘friendly’ regimes, the role of the West in creating instability and war. In the 1990s, many on the left claimed that in the post-Cold War era, Western states could be a ‘force for good’ in the world. Demands for ‘humanitarian intervention’ became common; such intervention symbolised for many a new progressive post-national politics. Conflicts were no longer interpreted through a political framework, but through a moral one of victims and aggressors, innocents and ‘genocidaires’.

“In this era of human rights and international criminal courts, not all ‘crimes against humanity’ are judged equally”

Certainly no one could accuse Edward Herman and David Peterson, authors of The Politics of Genocide, of being part of the new left that cheers on the humanitarian potential of Western guns and bombs. At times, their book reads like an old-school, left-wing polemic against Western intervention and the way in which the killing of millions by the West is widely ignored or accepted as a necessary evil.

The fundamental point of their book is that all killings are not treated as equal…[T]heir arguments about Rwanda, Yugoslavia and Darfur threaten some of the most cherished certainties of the post-Cold War left. They argue that the wars in Yugoslavia have been completely misrepresented by the West as a simple tale of evil nationalistic Serbs seeking to exterminate innocent Muslims. And much of what has been accepted as indisputable fact has turned out to be totally fabricated. For example, the death toll has been vastly inflated and Serbs have been wrongly accused of setting up ‘rape camps’.

It is a little-known fact that the biggest single act of ‘ethnic cleansing’ during the Yugoslav civil wars was conducted by Croatian forces (trained by American private military contractors and supported by NATO jets) in 1995, when Croatia expelled the Serbian population of the Krajina region. But Serbs had been so demonised by the Western media by then that little attention was paid to the event other than perhaps to say that they got what they deserved. This was not considered an act of ‘genocide’, nor was it brought up at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Yet the expulsion of 250,000 Serbs from Croatia was, in Herman and Peterson’s terminology, a ‘benign bloodbath’.

The same process of propaganda and misrepresentation occurred in Kosovo in 1999. At least this time there were some vocal critics in the UK against Western intervention and against the way in which the conflict was being presented. Figures in the British Labour Party, such as Tony Benn, Tam Dalyell and Alice Mahon, were very vocal in their arguments against the NATO bombing and against the demonisation of the Serbs. At the time Clare Short, self-professed anti-war heroine during the Iraq invasion, compared her critical colleagues to Nazi appeasers. […]

People really shouldn’t try to innovate on the doughnut. Not until someone can point me to a good doughnut.

Because there just aren’t any. I’ve tried Dunkin. I’ve tried Winchell’s. I’ve tried every supermarket’s. And you can tell I’m not lying by looking at me. I’ve even tried — several times — Krispy Kreme (whose national proliferation in 1996 everyone got so excited over for nothing; they can’t even get Boston Cream right).

The last time I had a good doughnut was in 1994, when I was working at PARADE magazine and downstairs was a no-name deli with a giant no-name doughnut. It was the first doughnut that had enough icing, and it was enormous. It was my breakfast every morning and would last me until lunch.

I’m sure that SOMEWHERE out there is a good doughnut that I’m overlooking. But clearly it’s not widely or easily available, or I would know about it. I’m a dessert expert, after all. You can tell by looking at me. (Which is why you haven’t seen me since 2008.)

So to hear about a craze, which can cost you up to $100 for a single one, over this new hybrid called Cronut, one loses respect for humanity.

Doughnuts are already too bready and dry, the icing almost an afterthought. (The Krispy Kreme factory in particular must have a permanent icing shortage.) So a doughnut crossed with a croissant? That just sounds like a diluted doughnut.

Until such time as someone comes up with a decent doughnut and I deem it ready for innovation, the word “Cronut” will continue to mean what it has always meant around here. It’s nothing more than the correct pronunciation of Croatian.

Speaking of which, here are some scenes from the EU’s newest member, minted 2013:

Zagreb, Croatia today. (Photo by Danas)

No wonder Croatia was in a panic when a report — bogus or not — came out over the summer about the Croats’ own family tree: they’re descendants of Serbs, their genes closer to those of the ancient Serbs than today’s Turk-mixed Serbs.

Meanwhile, if the subject is trees and Serbs in Croatia, who can forget the Croatian Serb who had to live up a tree:

(See “Return to Earth for Serb Tree Man.” His plight was improved after a flurry of media coverage was sparked by this photo in Canada’s National Post accompanying my 2007 article “When will the World Confront the Undead of Croatia?”)

But back to this, the year of Croatia’s EU entry. It opened with the vision of still another graffito in Vukovar, in February:

“If there aren’t enough willows for the Serbs, it doesn’t matter; [hang them] from the birch trees.” (This builds on the old Ustasha saying, “Hang the Serbs from the willows.”)

Such graffiti started appearing a few days after an anti-Cyrillic meeting in which participants demanded a 20-year moratorium on the introduction of Cyrillic as an official script, a legal obligation stemming from the 2011 Vukovar census which found that more than a third of inhabitants are Serb.

Last month, Serbian president Tomislav Nikolic pointed out that “in textbooks the Serbs are still occupiers and Chetniks, there are no Serbian schools, and there is not even an editorial program in Serbian language in Croatian Electronic Media.”

In the wake of the Cyrillic controversy this year, Croatian newspaper Novosti had the decency to do this:

The Croatian weekly Novosti has published an announcement issued by the Croatian Ustasha regime, banning the use of the Cyrillic alphabet. (Oct. 25)

The ban was enforced in the territory of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) - a fascist WW2 entity that operated Jasenovac and other death camps, places of mass murder of Serbs, Jews, and Roma.

The weekly decided to print the historic document at the peak of an anti-Cyrillic campaign in Croatia….The 1941 decree banned Cyrillic “in the entire territory of the NDH,” and said this was in particular valid for “the business of state and self-government bodies, offices of public institutions, trade and similar books, correspondence, and all public inscriptions.”

Reports from Vukovar on Friday said that another bilingual sign written in both Croatian and Serbian had been removed, this time from a court building.

Since the signs were put up in September they were removed on several occasions, while the police was placed in front of the building for a while to guard them.

But Croatian PM Zoran Milanović and the group organizing the protests, “the HQ for the Defense of Croatian Vukovar,” met last week and agreed that the police should be withdrawn.

After the meeting, Milanović said that the signs would remain in place “since the law must be respected” - but that the police would no longer guard them, and that it was “up to everybody’s consciousness and sense of responsibility (to decide) how to behave.” […]

That should turn out well.

A girl gestures during a protest against Cyrillic signs at Zagreb’s main square April 7, 2013. Around 20,000 Croats, mostly war veterans, rallied on Sunday on the central square in the capital Zagreb to protest against a plan to introduce signs in the Cyrillic alphabet used by Serbs. REUTERS/Antonio Bronic (From Reuters, April 7: “Croat war veterans protest against Cyrillic signs” — Around 20,000 Croats, mostly war veterans, rallied on Sunday on the central square in the capital Zagreb to protest against a plan to introduce signs in the Cyrillic alphabet used by Serbs.”)

Croatia belongs to Europe,” indeed.

Croatia’s accession is a major step towards the full reunification of Europe,” indeed. (Beware the full reunification of Europe, particularly when it’s being hailed by a reunified Germany expanding its reunification.)

Back in April, we had this: Serbian Consulate in Rijeka, Croatia, Attacked (”An unknown perpetrator threw a Molotov cocktail at the Serbian consulate in the coastal city of Rijeka, but failed to inflict any damage… The mayor warned that ‘turning to nationalism, which we can see happening every day, could unfortunately lead to similar events like this’.”)

And July brought this:

Memorial to Croatia Concentration Camp Victims Destroyed

A memorial plaque honouring World War II concentration camp victims who died on the Croatian island of Pag has been vandalised again, just weeks after being restored.

The Serb National Council in Croatia announced on Monday that this was the third time that the memorial on Pag had been demolished since the early 1990s.

The attack came just weeks after the plaque was replaced at a commemoration in late June for the victims of the WWII concentration camp complex which included Slana and Metajna on Pag and Jadovno on the nearby Croatian mainland.

“It is unacceptable that for the third time there is no reaction from the authorities who are obliged to protect the legacy and memory of the victims of World War II and the legacy of anti-fascism,” the council said in a statement.

An estimated 40,000 people were exterminated at the camp complex during its brief period in operation between April and August 1941, mostly Serbs and Jews.

It was run by the Ustasha authorities who ruled part of the former Yugoslavia during WWII in alliance with Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

The plaque was installed by Coordination of Jewish Municipalities, the Jadovno 1941 Association, the League of Anti- Fascist Veterans and the Serb National Council in Croatia.

From a blog about the same incident:

…The memorial plaque to victims of Croatian Ustasha camps on the island of Pag was first set up in 1975 and destroyed 1991, when neo Nazi Croatia was reborn; it was rebuilt in 2010…and two days later it was destroyed.

…The [SNC] statement pointed out that it is almost unbelievable that the representatives of the people and victims, anti-fascists didn’t rise against revisionism in all the spheres of the Croatian society.

“Indifference doesn’t only insult the memory of the victims, but also opens [the] door to fascist behavior of young Croats who [celebrate] singing lyrics that glorify killing of Serbs on the streets of the capital or at the foot of the monument in Jasenovac,” noted the SNC [which] also stated that such a phenomena in Croatia today should not be a problem exclusively of representatives of minority groups, but should also be the subject of interest of the Croatian state politics.

Croatian NAZI Camp Slano on the island of Pag was established for Serbian men and Metajna for Serbian women and children. According to Italian documents and survivors’ testimonies a very large number of Serbian people [were] murdered and thrown into the sea.

Serbian children in Croatian concentration camp in Pag island

Thousands of tourists…visit Pag and its famous Zrće beach every year… “What people don’t know is that Zrće is about eight kilometres from the village of Metajna, where in June 1941 the first camp for Serbian and Jewish women and children in the Second World War was opened, and next to it was camp ‘Slano’, which received its first inmates on 24 June, 1941”.

The Serbs from the Slano were murdered by tying rocks around their necks and cutting open their belles so that they would not float out, and then they were thrown overboard into the sea where people today are partying and swim”, he stated and added that the attitude of the Croatian authorities towards [these] execution sites is devastating.

Besides the fact there is often no plaque there, there is not a single mark that 70 years ago Croatian nazi concentration camps ever existed.

All Croatian websites promote the whole [s]ite as a Croatian Ibiza, so one can only see invitations to tourists to have fun in Pag, Slano [and] Metajna concentration camps.

“One of them is… ‘Feel the mystical silence that dominates, disturbed only by cries of seagulls and eagles’, and they invite people to scuba dive and enjoy the depths of the sea off the coast where inmates were thrown in’, said Bastašić and added that there are photographs of people sunbathing on the location where Italians exhumed 793 bodies of inmates and 91 children.

According to the research conducted so far on the complex of Ustasha camps “Jadovno – Gospić 1941”, which also include the island of Pag, no fewer than 40,123 victims were murdered, 38,010 Serbs, 1999 Jews and the rest were ideological opponents of the Independent State of Croatia. […]

At least Muslims are happy in Croatia; nice to see that Croats and Muslims still love each other:

Position of Muslims in Croatia example for Europe, says Zagreb mufti (Dalje, Aug. 7)

The position of Muslims in Croatia is enviable when compared to the other states in the region and the contractual relationship between the Croatian government and the Meshihat of the Islamic Community in Croatia is an example that should be followed by all European countries, Zagreb Mufti Aziz Hasanovic was quoted as saying in Wednesday’s issue of Sarajevo’s Dnevni Avaz daily.

He said the contract signed in 2002 “is in line with the official recognition of Islam in 1916 and can serve as an example, but also as a model in seeking solutions for Muslim communities in European countries as well as a model in solving (the status) of Christian minorities in the Islamic world.”

Hasanovic said the Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina was preparing a contract to legally strengthen its position in line with the solution in force in Croatia.

And if there’s one thing that Bosnia needs, it’s a stronger Muslim position.

New pastry idea: Musnut, a mushroom-flavored doughnut.