May 30th 2016 03:39:49 PM
There’s more news on Bosnia’s former grand mufti, reis-ul-ulema Mustafa Ceric, currently president of the World Bosniak Congress. The Bosnian-Serb news agency RTRS (Radio Televizija Republike Srpske) reported last week that Austria’s secret services have published some documents revealing that Ceric — whom I first heard of in 2006 from an “interfaith dialogue” at a Birmingham synagogue, of all things — founded the terrorist network that our NATO allied itself with in 1990s Bosnia and then Kosovo (where some of the foreign fighters were reassigned).
Below is a not very good Google translation from Bosnia’s Kurir. In the meantime, thanks, Austria. It’s long past time you started coming clean.
PUBLISHED DOCUMENTS OF AUSTRIAN SERVICES: Mufti Ceric created terrorist network in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The main Bosnian Mufti Mustafa Ceric [was] the creator of the terrorist network in Bosnia and Herzegovina, according to the documents [of] Intelligence Service of Austria.
Banja Luka media published portions of documents of the Austrian Association for the Protection of the constitutional order in which as the creator of the terrorist network in BiH Mustafa Ceric [was] marked….
It was stated, namely, that in November 1992 [was] launched a project to stamp Serbs as a genocidal nation, which is Ceric, informed Alija Izetbegovic, who is from Saudi King Fahd received 400 million US dollars, reports RTRS who published the list of phone calls between members of the “El Mujahedin” with leading international terrorists.
Ceric, it is said, even in November 1992 an international conference on the protection of human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the secretariat in Vienna. It brings together about a hundred representatives from more than thirty Islamic countries led by prominent figures of the Islamic world, after the leaders of extremist Islamist organizations.
The report furnished to the then President of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Alija Izetbegovic, whose facsimile was published on the portal RTRS, states that the aim of this conference was that the Muslim world is familiar with the destructions of war, especially Muslims, and investment effort to urgently help the “right thing to BiH “. And in this regard is, as mentioned, the conference passed a 13 decision.
The Conference elected the Executive Committee and the Secretariat, and the first president of that board is elected Ceric.
Expert in the fight against terrorism Dzevad Galijašević …said that Ceric using the power of these organizations became reis-ul-ulema, or that can be directly linked to the first terrorist attacks in BiH.
“Shortly after the organization of this international conference we will have [had] virtually the first terrorist attack on the Council of the Islamic community, the murder of four persons, wounding Secretary Omerdić, killing former in-law and unika Reis Hadžiavdić, of course, since that time, the war will all be attributed to Serbian stray shells,” says Galijašević.
The Executive Board of the newly established Islamist organizations after the first meeting in Zagreb, again [met] in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. With Ceric [leading], Salih Sabic [the] personal representative of Muslim leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina[,] Alija Izetbegovic and renowned Islamic scholar Sheikh Mohammed al-Ghazali, it was agreed that the goal of this organization is spreading the truth about the genocide against Bosnian Muslims.
Saudi King Fahd supported [the] Ceric project with 400 million US dollars, with 20 million [from] Qatar and the Emirates. “It is important to point out that in October 1992 the three cities mentioned genocide against Bosnian Muslims, although by then we did not have any serious war conflicts. Even then [it could be seen] that the project stamping Serbs [had] started and that it is pushed to the highest level [of the] Islamist [elite,]” says Galijašević.
The Islamist elite, in his words, launched a strong chain of support and pressure on terrorist groups during the war [and they] began to come in[to] BiH. The first one, [he] recalls, came Sheikh Abdelaziz[,] called Barbarossa - the first commander of the mujahideen in Bosnia.
The document [shows phone calls of the] military intelligence war administration [of the] BH Army…[T]here are phone numbers and faxes to members of the “El Mujahedin” [regarding] sending items. Among them are the phone numbers of Abu Musab al - Zarqawi and Osama Bin Laden. Communication is conducted over the phone registered in the UK, Italy and the United States, said the RTRS.
This information comes on the heels of another Ceric revelation, which many may not have seen because I added it to the bottom of an earlier blog as an “update.” So I’ll reprint it here:
It seems that just this past December another witness — a protected witness in the Mladic trial — testified that the marketplace bombing, specifically in February 1994, was not only perpetrated by the Muslim side, but ordered by President Izetbegovic himself. The item below is from Balkan Insight, Dec. 16, 2015, and notice the word choice in the headline “Mladic Witness Claims,” as opposed to the more commonly used (when reporting from judicial settings) “testifies.” Notice also the integral role played by a certain West-beloved cleric named Ceric. And for the first time, we have names offered up of the actual men behind the attack: Mladic Witness Claims Bosniaks Staged Market Attack
Protected witness GRM-116, who testified in Mladic’s defence at the Hague Tribunal on Tuesday, claimed that the attack on the market that killed 66 civilians in February 1994 was approved by the then Bosnian president Alija Izetbegovic.
The witness said that as a member of the Biseri special security unit from 1992 to 1994, he worked on security at the Bosnian presidency building.
He said that during that time he could hear what Izetbegovic and others said during meetings.
According to the witness, Izetbegovic’s main goal was to ensure Western intervention to help the Bosniaks “by creating mass suffering in Sarajevo and Srebrenica”.
He said that Izetbegovic was heavily influenced by Islamic community leader Mustafa Ceric. According to the witness, Ceric convinced Izetbegovic that “losses must be suffered”.
Speaking about the attack on the Markale market, GRM-116 testified that was “Ceric’s idea, which was carried out by generals Sefer Halilovic and Mustafa Hajrulahovic, alias ‘the Italian’”.
“I was there when Alija [Izetbegovic] approved this,” he said.
At the next meeting, the witness said that Halilovic reported the first attempt was a failure because the mortar hit the roof of the market.
“Alija told them to try again. They went and soon we heard what happened with Markale,” he said.
Izetbegovic, who died in 2003, said after the attack that it was a “black and terrible day for the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina”.
As commander of the Bosnian Serb Army, Ratko Mladic is charged with terrorising the population of Sarajevo during wartime with a campaign of shelling and sniping.
According to the charges, the mortar which killed 66 citizens at the Markale market on February 5, 1994 was fired from Bosnian Serb positions. […]
Not really an update, but since we’re on Austria, I wanted to add this other Austria/Balkans item, which you don’t exactly hear every day:
“I believe that admitting Kosovo to international organizations at this point would create more problems than it would solve.”
– Austrian presidential candidate Norbert Hofe, from the far-right Freedom Party FPO, to Tanjug, May 20th.
May 30th 2016 12:10:15 AM
How did I ever live without Sputnik News before? Anyway, we know the end goals of the late “moderate” Kosovo president Ibrahim Rugova were no different from those of the violent radicals we backed in the KLA, but just to humor the rest of the world and pretend there was a big difference, let’s now also feign shock at the following. He may be Rugova’s son, but he’s still Albanian:
Busted: Son of Former Kosovo President Sold Illegal Schengen Visas (Sputnik News, AFP, May 20, 2016)
An EU prosecutor in Kosovo filed charges against 20 people, including the son of Ibrahim Rugova, former president of Kosovo from 2002-2006, for allegedly selling illegal Schengen visas between 2011 and 2014 for thousands of euros.
The case was opened back in February 2014, when police detained ten men, including Ukë Rugova, the deputy of the Kosovo Parliament and son of the ex-president of Kosovo. He was arrested after a search of his house exposed a few hundred photocopies of passports, visa forms, domestic passport copies, photographs and other documents.
Rugova was sent to a preliminary detention center for several months and was then kept under house arrest.
According to the police inspectors, customers were paying from 2,700 to up to 3,500 euros for a Schengen visa, although the standard price for a visa is around 60 euros.
The visa package consisted of false documents to be submitted and even had the approval of the Italian Embassy, where the criminals had their own people, including, as reported by the newspaper, one of the former ambassadors.
In addition, Rugova and his team are suspected of having links to organized crime and the trafficking of illegal migrants.
The kid is just trying to fit in.
May 30th 2016 12:06:01 AM
In addition to the Huffington Post letter, I wrote a letter to an old acquaintance after the recent Jerusalem Post article ran (re Pope Francis stalling Cardinal Stepinac’s sainthood). It follows below.
In 2010, after my Jerusalem Post article about WWII Croatia, you sent me a 23-page paper on Cardinal Stepinac by a Croatian Jewish woman [Ester Gitman]. While you never heard back from me, I did read the entire pro-Stepinac work. Which was written by someone who was understandably eternally grateful to Stepinac for what he did for some Croatian Jews to help them survive WWII.
The reason you never heard back from me is that I started an email to you, but it kept growing and growing, until it became a monstrosity that required a lot of time and attention. I promised myself I’d get back to it as soon as I could make the time. Well, I never found the time, and only kept adding to it over the years. The email still sits in my “drafts” folder.
To remind you, in your email you wrote the words, “I think you’ve been deceived.” Leaving aside the little credit this gives me — someone whose writings you respected as they were in line with your perspective on all the usual issues — you meant, presumably, deceived by the Serbian Orthodox.
That would be the side whose history has been suppressed for 70+ years, while their slaughterers got to write the history of the region for the ever gullible West, and today enjoy mainstream acceptance including EU membership, while their demonized eternal victims, the Serbs, still await accession. (Though you and I, as conservatives and Euroskeptics, know that’s a blessing in disguise.)
The reason I’m writing you — briefly for now — is that while the unfinished 2010 email still awaits my attention, I thought the J-Post article below by a Croatian journalist would be a good start for you as a compass. Perhaps after reading it you might at least begin to reevaluate who really has been deceived here: Me, or — like the rest of the world — you.
Regardless, I hope you’re thriving in life. Certainly more than some almost-been who’s allowed her life to be ruined for noticing the greatest collective injustice in the history of the world. Which somehow still remains invisible to most.
May 27th 2016 01:45:47 AM
Just wanted to share an email I sent last week to editors at Huffington Post (Danielle Crittenden, Devon Murphy, Stuart Whatley, Angelina Chapin, and Arianna Huffington):
Dear Danielle, Devon, Stuart, Angelina and Arianna,
In late 2012, you pulled an article of mine that subsequently appeared in Connecticut Jewish Ledger. It was about Croatian Catholic Archbishop Alojsije (Aloysius) Stepinac, who presided over the little-known WWII genocide of the Christian Orthodox. Your co-religionsists, Arianna, if I’m not mistaken.
As you can see from Tuesday’s Jerusalem Post, the pope has taken the unprecedented step of halting the outrageous yet little debated canonization of the very same Stepinac. Francis wouldn’t do this lightly. Clearly, he has been convinced that Stepinac’s record requires further review. My hastily nixed article objected to Canadian former immigration minister Jason Kenney proudly telling Croatian audiences (viewable on video) that he keeps a photo of Stepinac on his desk. Meanwhile, the constituency that he thereby endears himself to suffers from a fascist nostalgia that has become increasingly difficult to ignore in the three years since Croatia entered the EU.
While I’d become accustomed to the appalling treatment of contributors at HuffPo (editors whose communication style — present company excluded — ranged from non-existent, to dismissive, to irritable), I was still taken aback when not one of you even told your contributor (me) what the “inaccuracies” and “potentially libelous” parts of my article were. (Those were the words used in Danielle Crittenden’s brief email, by way of an “explanation.”) Even after I inquired. Instead, my login simply stopped working, though I tried to resist the logical conclusion that it was related.
While I regretted using the phrase “oversaw genocide” when I meant “presided over genocide,” I didn’t know what else could be considered “factually inaccurate,” and worthy of erasure rather than a one-word fix. Hence, your reticence led me to believe that your Canadian site (where the piece was published) was perhaps ‘gotten to’ by Kenney’s people. And that HuffPo caved. No questions asked. Not that any North Americans would know what questions to ask in the first place, given that the subject sits atop 75 years of buried history. Interestingly, when the article appeared on a U.S. newspaper’s website, no one was “gotten to” about any “inaccuracies” or “libel.” (Did you guys even check the purported inaccuracies against my previous, related article which HuffPo did not unpublish?)
I wasn’t the only one who suspected that Canadian ‘free speech,’ such as it is, had been compromised by the government there. A left-leaning blogger wrote at the time:
Huffington Post deep-sixes Kenney criticism, By Dr.Dawg on November 14, 2012
… An article about Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney’s University of Haifa doctorate by conservative commentator Julia Gorin has mysteriously disappeared from the pages of the Huffington Post without explanation….here’s what appears at HuffPo now…
Does part of [Kenney’s] image-making include political pressure to vapourize articles that are unkind to him? Is this self-censorship by HuffPo (if that’s what it was) related to other incidents recently reported of direct and indirect political pressure on our so-called free press? The Huffington Post editors owe us an explanation. And so might the Harper government.
Arianna, have you done anything since speaking out in 1999, the year of our history-obliterating war, to raise awareness of the evil that the high-minded Western powers have continued to visit upon your co-religionists in the ever expendable Balkans? Those ‘great’ powers that decided that violent jihadists, unrepentant fascists, and mobsters are preferable to Christian Slavs, and treat them accordingly? Understandably, the pull of celebrity, inclusion, and political correctness is more tempting than righting a historical wrong, but your ever-rising star precisely puts you in a position to influence people in power. At the very least, HuffPo could refrain from obstructing a lone blogger who has ruined her life trying to get the truth out.
Forgive the presumptuousness of my tone, but life’s been tough and HuffPo didn’t make it any easier, even when (admittedly) Arianna tried. I’ll close with an excerpt from Tuesday’s JPost article:
[Francis] touched the heart of Croatian nationalism when he suspended the canonization process of the Zagreb Archbishop, Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac. In response, numerous Croatian Catholics have written him off…What made him do it?
…Namely, in 1938, Pope Pius XI planned to publish an encyclical criticizing Nazi racial theories. He appointed the American Jesuit John LaFarge to prepare the text, and advised him to visit and consult the young Archbishop of Zagreb. Stepinac had drawn attention to himself by helping Jews….
The encyclical was…never promulgated because Pius XI died three days before it was to be published, and his successor, the controversial Pope Pius XII, held it back and locked it away. In his memoirs, LaFarge describes Stepinac as someone who clearly understood the dangers of nacism and racism. How is it then possible that only three years later, when the Croatian puppet state, the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) was founded and the Ustasha leader was installed by Hitler and Mussolini, the same Stepinac embraced this fascist construction which was not only clearly founded on a racist interpretation of the Croatian nation, but also sought to promote racial laws which were instrumental for the genocide against Serbs, Jews, Roma and others?
…Stepinac spoke with Pope Pius XII on various occasions asking – begging – him to recognize and support the NDH…Although Stepinac knew about Jasenovac and all the other death camps, he advocated for the recognition and support of the NDH…
Those who claim that Pope Francis has succumbed to provocations from the Orthodox need to be reminded that Pope Francis has also decided to stop the beatification process of Pius XII…There is no doubt that Stepinac tried to help Jews, at least those who were in Zagreb, during the Second World War. But what continues to be controversial are his words. He never clearly condemned the race laws. In his letters to the Ustasha leaders he merely asks that Jews be treated “humanely” in the camps. Yad Vashem has twice denied petitions to give Stepinac the title “Righteous Among the Nations.” And they are right in doing so.
However, when analyzing Stepinac’s attitude toward Serbs and the Serbian Orthodox Church his position becomes very difficult: Stepinac did not like Serbs or Orthodoxy. In his diary he wrote that “…Orthodoxy is Europe’s greatest curse, almost greater than Protestantism…”
Stepinac serves as a national and political saint, strengthening “Croatianness” and in the struggle against the communist regime – which ceased to exist a long time ago. However, according to Pope Francis, when someone is canonized a role model of the Christian life is created which gives direction to the politics of the Church; saints are guides who show us the right way.
I am aware that there are those who will consider me a national traitor for saying this, but I believe that the beatification process and the sanctification of Aloysius Stepinac are a great and unnecessary burden for the Church. It is a process which should never even have started….
The author mentions that Francis has established a Vatican-Serbian-Croatian commission to discuss the Stepinac case and analyze historical documents, which will also shed light on Pius XII. This will be a historic opportunity for journalism. Though I expect few among its ranks will seize it.
Your excommunicated contributor,
May 25th 2016 07:12:26 PM
Actually, when does she look into his eyes? Search for “Google Images Hillary Putin,” and these are among the first five photos to show up. One can’t help but notice that, while Putin looks Hillary directly in the eye, she avoids his.
Why can’t she look him in the eye, or at least hold her gaze more than momentarily? Could it be:
a) She knows he’s the real thing and she isn’t;
b) She knows he knows that she’s nothing;
c) She’s planning to attack his country;
d) All of the above.
In contrast, real leaders look each other in the eye:
George W. Bush had famously said that he looked into Putin’s eyes and saw a soul there. Perhaps this is what Hillary fears. Seeing something she doesn’t recognize.
May 23rd 2016 07:35:26 PM
I submitted the following letter to Los Angeles Times a week ago. If I haven’t heard back by now, I’m assuming they’re not going to publish. But I at least wanted to get the point out, so I’m posting it below.
Madeleine Albright as Commencement Speaker: Not at All Bright
It seems everyone has missed the real problem with Madeleine Albright as commencement speaker, including Meghan Daum (“Scripps College’s baffling crusade for simple thinking,” May 12), and Rosanna Xia (“War criminal or role model?” May 9). While both articles shrugged at Albright’s record, and student objections took on standard PC tones, the reason Albright is no role model goes even deeper down the rabbit hole than war criminality.
Let’s recall that, more than anyone else, Albright pushed for a universal military attack against Yugoslavia, such that it was dubbed “Maddie’s War” (remember her in full combat regalia on the cover of TIME). But it’s the spoils of war that make Albright particularly contemptible. Few know that her firm, Albright Capital Management, had aggressively bid for — and was shortlisted to win — privatization of Kosovo’s state telecom company PTK (which wouldn’t be up for grabs without her war to wrest Kosovo from Serbia in the first place). Never mind that the same year (2012) Kosovo’s privatization chief Dino Asanaj had been stabbed 11 times ( “suicide” in Ameri-Kosovospeak), and that a sister company, Albright Stonebridge Group, already owned shares in PTK’s only competitor — which could have “destroyed all market competition in the fledgling [non]nation,” Nathan Wellman wrote last February.
It was only eventually, after being advised how icky it all looked, that Albright — that paragon of female achievement — bowed out of this grubby profiteering. (Yet when Kosovo opposition parties had dared to try to deny Albright her spoils, U.S. officialdom accused them of the one thing we’re taught Albanians by definition just can’t be: anti-American.)
Three months earlier, there was a bizarre and telling incident in the Czech Republic. In late October 2012, Albright was signing books at a Prague bookstore when she was confronted by some Czech anti-war activists holding photos of the devastation she visited upon Yugoslavian civilians and their infrastructure — targets unprecedented in the history of traditional warfare. “Get out!” she screamed repeatedly, and followed up with, “Disgusting Serbs.” The video is still available on YouTube.
Is it proper statecraft, when taking one’s country to war in an outside ethno-territorial conflict, for a high official to harbor hatred and perhaps even a vendetta against one of the sides?
Indeed, Albright’s having achieved being the first female secretary of State is regarded as a virtue in and of itself. Rarely is it considered that this ‘accomplishment’ — facilitated by a nod from Hillary to husband Bill — could be an eternal disgrace to womankind. Hillary voters, take note.
May 23rd 2016 01:02:47 AM
If you ever have the misfortune of stumbling onto a site called Prishtina Insight (a contradiction in terms), spare yourself the agony of reading even a single article. It appears to be a collection of Albanian “thinkers” pondering why things like visa liberalization don’t move faster for Kosovo (never mind that it’s not even a country yet, and was never supposed to be in the first place). A writer named Besa Shahini “analyzes” the “discrimination” against Kosovo on this front, while fellow columnist Gezim Krasniqi cheers “Kosovar sport’s fight for international recognition and glory” — despite international sports bodies generally only accepting membership of actual countries. Like EU membership itself. Yet in both cases, as always, rules are made up special for Kosovo as we go, and it muscles its way into all kinds of memberships, thanks to its Washington enforcers. An excerpt from Krasniqi’s May 11th article:
This month has been an exceptionally good one for Kosovo and its citizens. After a very long delay and a month after the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between the European Union and Kosovo entered into force, the European Commission recommended visa liberalisation for Kosovo passport holders for visa-free travel within the Schengen Area…Equally important…was Kosovo’s dramatic breakthrough in European and World Football associations, UEFA and FIFA respectively. On 3 May, the Football Federation of Kosovo (FFK) was admitted as the 55th member of UEFA….This brought a quarter of a century of international isolation of Kosovo football to an end and at the same time paved the way for admission into FIFA ten days later. With fast-track support from FIFA, Kosovo is expected to begin participating in World Cup qualifying matches in September.
“After a very long delay,” he says! Never mind the never-promised statehood that was fast-tracked in a tidy eight years (which itself wasn’t moving fast enough for Albanians, so they had to help it along with pogroms and other violence).
But let’s move on to Jusuf Thaci, who warns, “If the current Demarcation Agreement with Montenegro is ratified without being based on principles of international law, then Serbia must be behind it.”
As usual, “Serbia is behind (fill in the blank),” while suddenly Albanians are interested in principles of international law — unlike when they were seizing their Kosovo. Check it out:
Kosovo’s border demarcation with Montenegro: a Serbian Trojan horse (May 16)
On April 25, 2016, professor and former head of the Constitutional Court Enver Hasani published a research paper entitled “The demarcation of Kosovo’s borders is mostly an issue of international law.” Hasani, who is currently on trial for abuse of office and falsifying documents, presented a surprising paper which has [gone] mostly unnoticed by the general public.
Laws, norms and principles of international law that have to do with border demarcations between counties exist precisely to ensure an accurate and fair process so that neither party is negatively affected, intentionally or inadvertently. This is why international arbitration and courts exist in the first place.
Of all mythical creatures, a Kosovar — admonishing others about law and order! No wonder EULEX had such an easy time in Kosovo and was so welcome. Not.
In the case of Kosovo and Montenegro, these principles, norms, rules, laws and precedents (of international arbitration and courts) have been completely disregarded, seeing how almost everything is based on local legal documents (predominantly cadastral) and flawed local expertise (mainly that of geographers, topographers and surveyors), which in no way guarantees an accurate and fair border demarcation between Kosovo and Montenegro.
Ah, so when cutting corners isn’t a win for Kosovo, cutting corners is bad.
…If Kosovo ratifies the existing Agreement for the Border Demarcation with Montenegro, which is not based on norms, rules, laws and precedents of international law that guarantee an accurate and fair demarcation, it will be the first ex-Yugoslav country that exclusively uses cadastral data as the only basis for demarcation (and not delimitation).
Through this, Kosovo would create a precedent that would obligate the country to use the same method for the border demarcation with Serbia (since Serbia itself will insist on it). This is extremely dangerous for Kosovo because Kosovar authorities (the now independent state of Kosovo) did not have control over cadastral books from 1989 until February 17, 2008 (when Kosovo declared independence).
Furthermore, almost every cadastral book of Kosovo’s territory (certainly not unintentionally) was taken by Serbia towards the end of the Kosovo war in 1999, and for years to come Kosovo did not have access to these documents. Even today, many cadastral books are not available to Kosovo because they are in Serbia. Simply put, the territory of the state of Kosovo in the original cadastral books is exactly how Serbia determined it [imagine a country determining its own regional borders!], completely outside the control, access and awareness of Kosovo institutions. When this is coupled with the fact that Serbia has territorial claims and is hostile towards Kosovo, then we can imagine how much territory Kosovo would lose in the demarcation of the border with Serbia, which spans hundreds of kilometres.
According to my personal judgment, if it is insisted that the current Agreement for the Border Demarcation between Kosovo and Montenegro is ratified and come into force the way it currently is, then Serbia must be behind this.
In conclusion, Kosovo’s state institutions in cooperation and agreement with Montenegro’s state institutions and mediated by the United States of America and European Union need to agree on cancelling the existing deal for the Border Demarcation between Kosovo and Montenegro and agree that the demarcation should be done through an international arbitration in full compliance with the principles, norms and rules of international law….It would subsequently protect us from a dangerous precedent, which would result in Kosovo losing swathes of territory during the demarcation of the border with Serbia. In other words, Kosovo needs to protect its territory based on international law.
DANGER! Danger of Albanians getting even an inch less than the entirety of what they stole. What they stole by way of visiting actual danger on life and limb of non-Albanians aged one to 80, and on non-cooperative Albanians. Moreover, the state created by flouting and trampling international law must now invoke international law to preserve the ‘territorial integrity’ that the West broke every law to rob Yugoslavia of.
Finally, we get to an April 22nd column by Shpend Kursani, whose summary paragraph at the top is a paraphrasing of Council of Europe’s Dick Marty’s conclusion from December 2010, when he released the results of his investigation of how ill-gotten Kosovo was. That is, it’s not a new take. Did Kursani miss it six years ago?
Fasten your seat belts, this one gets rich quick. Oh yes, the West failed Kosovo. Never mind that it was the Kosovo public’s KLA heroes that the West propped up.
How the West failed Kosovo
By seeking stability over rule of law through their missions in Kosovo, the West has created a fragile state in the heart of Europe, argues Capussela in his latest book translated recently in Albanian.
In his recently published book whose Albanian translation was promoted on April 21, “State-building in Kosovo: Democracy, Corruption and the EU in the Balkans”…[Andrea] Capussela asks “Why has the West created a fragile state in the heart of Europe’s least stable region?” …Capussela’s general conclusion is that the West (pretty much the Quint – The US, the UK, France, Germany, and Italy) was not committed to actually building a just state based on modern democracy and rule of law beyond making it look as such on paper (Constitution, laws, etc.), but has intentionally allowed the main political elite (criminal groups) to accumulate as much power as they can so to keep the region stable. This means that the West’s cooperation with these gangs was necessary for their interest in short term stability.
…The actors are willing to pay any price, including ensuring that criminal groups remain in power and sidelining any well-intended political actors who view Kosovo differently from these gangs.
But why? According to Capussela, this has been the case because despite its capabilities and abilities, the West, through its massive military presence, did not fully and properly establish an international monopoly of force while KFOR (NATO) and UNMIK were fully in charge of administering Kosovo. This means that the West did not disarm those who later turned out to be criminals leading the state and their future interlocutors. This has allowed these armed elites to always have the ability to threaten the West with the potential instability.
“…those who LATER TURNED OUT to be criminals leading the state”? Mr. Kursani, your KLA heroes didn’t “turn out” to be anything. They were what they always had been. As you know, the very genesis of the KLA was as a criminal organization. Its criminality continued and worsened into and through the war, so why should it have changed once they were crowned? Do stop playing dumb.
But let’s review: We have here an Albanian admission that the threat of violence is what kept us giving Albanians what they wanted — and we’re supposed to believe the Albanians had no idea this was how it worked. And again, Mr. Kursani is talking, after all, about his and the rest of the Albanians’ KLA heroes. That’s whom they cheered. That’s who was put in charge. He knows that.
This leads Capussela to argue throughout his book that “violence works,” and this is one of his strongest convictions.
Was the West capable of establishing the necessary international monopoly of force? According to Capussela, yes. He says that:
“[t]his was not inevitable, because immediately after the 1999 conflict the social order was still malleable and the elite had not yet entrenched itself. […] It could count on deterrent effect of NATO’s presence, on Kosovo’s near-complete dependence from international political and financial support, and on the fact that achieving independence entirely depended on the goodwill of the international community” (p.34)
Good point. And let me add that, once again, Kosovo serves as a microcosm of how the West manages — or rather, doesn’t manage — Islam in general. When we were still in the earliest post-9/11 years, we had the moral upper hand and the opportunity to make them come to us. Not the other way around. Make the Muslims decide what side they’re on, and prove themselves the way every other now-assimilated ethnic, national or religious group has always done, fair or not. Let them sweat their image, not us ours. Let them keep their heads down awhile, not us. Instead, our officials multiplied immigration from the Middle East, extolled Islam’s virtues, staffed themselves to the neck with Muslims, decried the First Amendment, and helped marginalize thinkers and artists who noticed the emperor had no clothes, rather than encourage more such dissent, which would have spread the risk around, thereby making it less dangerous to speak out. But back to where it all started. Kosovo, and Kursani:
He supports such arguments with compelling evidence…through his first-hand experience while directly involved in post-independence state-building processes in Kosovo as the head of the economics unit of the International Civilian Office…Studies on EULEX have mushroomed recently, and much like a few other critical studies on EULEX, Capussela shows how the EU mission intentionally dropped organized crime cases in which high profile elites were involved. Some of the cases which he reported to EULEX were simply sidelined and the mission was simply incapable of implementing its mandate. Capussela still believes that an externally driven rule of law mission can be successful with the right resources and, let’s say, under the right circumstances. I personally believe that a genuinely functioning rule of law has a chance to thrive mainly through indigenously-driven factors, possibly with some “discursive assistance” from the important international actors in Kosovo.
(Yet another Albanian who doesn’t know Albanians very well. Then again, who can argue with “belief”?)
…The reader of the book may get the impression that upon discussing organized criminal activities of many of the Western supported bandits in power, Capussela at times burdens such a discussion with an ethnic cloak. In other words, the discussion on organized crime seems to be laden, more than necessary, with ethnic adjectives, such as “Albanian criminal groups” and other Albanianization of such phenomena. This is my impression, and it may…not have been the author’s intention. With my experience in studying, dealing with, and observing political events in Kosovo and the region, such adjectives are not necessary as they are quite equally distributed among ethnicities, including within Kosovo itself. On the other hand and to his credit, Capussela successfully manages to dispel the usual rhetoric on corruption as cultural, drawing some comparative examples to other European cases. It is enough to read his section on EULEX to understand this perfectly.
So, once again, we see that, having wrested their “independence” based on ethnic identity, Albanians don’t want that identity identified. Meanwhile, here for once we have a Westerner with the courage to call our favored and propped-up nationality by its name, and it’s once too many for Albanians. As for the negative ‘political events’ that shouldn’t have the adjective “Albanian” — as for those being “equally distributed among ethnicities” in Kosovo, what can one say when the population is 95% Albanian? Certainly the writer could be speaking proportionally — that is, that the Serb, Roma and other almost-gone ethnicities of Kosovo have the same level of criminal groups in proportion to their numbers, but it’s still a pretty asinine thing to say. And one would still have to point out that the “Western-supported bandits in power” just aren’t Serb or Roma. And then one still would have to wonder what-all falls under Mr. Kursani’s “criminal” rubric, given that it’s been criminalized to be Serb in Kosovo, leading to creative survival tactics that include subverting Kosovo’s subversive statehood by cooperating with those who cooperate with Belgrade — and not with the thuggery that won Kosovo. Which Mr. Kursani himself now complains of. Finally, if the argument is that every ethnic group has its fair share of criminals, then tabloids around the world — and Interpol itself — must just be picking on Albanians, given the prevalence of that particular ethnic identifier in regard to so many drug, prostitution, weapons-trafficking, human-trafficking, domestic violence, and ISIS rings around the world.
It is interesting, however, that Capussela still remains optimistic about Kosovo. He believes that it cannot go like this for very long, and that there is a potential for non-elite groups and civil society to actually crack the gap…and penetrate the system and remove the bandits from power. [Though where does it leave us when that “civil society” is more politically radical than the thugs in power?]…However, as long as the well-established democracies of the West continue to support these bandits in power, I believe penetrating that gap will remain difficult….
The book should be particularly enlightening for Kosovo’s 50,000 plus students who have unfortunately been brainwashed through the elite controlled education system to believe that whatever the West does in Kosovo, especially when it supports these gangs, is best for Kosovo.
One imagines Mr. Kursani doesn’t have a problem with the same strong-arm tactics being used to further Kosovo’s statehood and the trappings of it. Such as visa liberalization, sports memberships, and EU, UN and NATO membership. All of which Washington twists arms to achieve, alternating between bribes and threats.
One also has to pause at this earlier sentence in the article:”…achieving independence entirely depended on the goodwill of the international community.” That’s of course accurate, and I notice that Mr. Kursani doesn’t take exception to it. But if Kosovo independence is lawful, legal, and consistent with international norms — as Albanians want you to think — then why would it “entirely depend on the goodwill of the international community”?
Lastly, an aside. While Mr. Kursani complains about the thugs in power, one tries not to be too distracted by the fact that his fellow columnists share the thugs’ names (Thaci, Krasniqi and, the woman’s first name is Besa, for crying out loud. The blood code itself). They’re all really the same brood, just favoring different tactics to achieve the same crime.
Give up the innocent act, guys.
May 20th 2016 03:13:23 AM
So here’s a sad sight.
Xhangyle Ilijazi, chief of the board for Kosova-Israel Friendship Association, talks to a group of Multinational Battle Group-East Soldiers about the history of Kosovo families during a Holocaust Remembrance luncheon at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, April 30.
Set aside the irony of these poor tools — used to create an ethnically clean Albanian Kosovo — earnestly trying to learn about the Holocaust.
And consider the source they’re “learning” about it from. Why, from the Axis side, of course.
Yes, Righteous Albanians saved Jews. But today’s Albanians — including descendants of the Righteous — are using WW2 Righteousness to buy political capital for today’s evildoing side (in the Serbian-Albanian conflict). Notice you don’t see American soldiers being plopped in front of any Serbs talking about Serbs who saved Jews. (And died doing it.) No, that would make too much sense, given that those saviors were not on the Axis side.
Which would then unmake sense of what side we’re on today.
Anyway, here’s the unrelenting pabulum:
News: Soldiers remember the Holocaust
Multinational Battle Group - East (KFOR)
Story by Ardian Nrecaj
CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo - The Holocaust is one of the darkest times of human history, and in that darkness there was a small light shining from a small region and community, an area in Europe occupied by Nazi forces.
Part of that community was Arsllan Rezniqi, who helped save and shelter 42 Jewish families in his home during World War II.
Leke Rezniqi, chief executive officer of Kosova-Israel Friendship Association “Dr. Haim Abravanel” and a successor of Arsllan, talked to a group of Multinational Battle Group-East Soldiers about his family history during a Holocaust Remembrance luncheon at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, April 30.
“My great grandfather [Arsllan] was one of the leading members of the Nazi resistance in Kosovo, and he devoted six years of his life to saving Jews,” said Rezniqi. “My grandfather Mustafa Rezniqi, an adolescent during the war, assisted him and he carried on the history of our family’s role in rescuing Jews during the Holocaust.”
Rezniqi said that as word spread about his family’s sanctuary, other families came asking for help.
“Soon more than 40 families from Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria and Serbia were sheltered in our house, until my family was able to organize a safe passage for them to Albania,” added Rezniqi.
Rezniqi explained that shedding light into this part of the history of Kosovo Albanian families that sheltered and helped transport Jews safely to Albania is more complex than it might seem.
“One of the goals of our association is to identify the families that saved Jews during World War II, and so far we have identified 30 families,” said Rezniqi. “It is hard, because we are doing this 70 years later, but we continue to work with Yad Vashem.”
Yad Vashem is Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.
Staff Sgt. Jason Sansom, an equal opportunity leader for Task Force Medical with MNBG-E, native of Cleveland, Ohio, organized the event.
“When people think of World War II they think of Nazi persecution in Europe, but they do not know what exactly happened here [Kosovo] and how families supported the Jewish migration through,” said Sansom.
“We are fortunate to have members of the association here sharing their personal and family experiences,” added Sansom. “They have direct ties with families who participated in the liberation of Jews through Albania, Kosovo and Balkans; it was great having them.”
Xhangyle Ilijazi, chief of the board for Kosova-Israel Friendship Association, said the main reason Kosovo Albanians sheltered Jewish families is “Besa” an Albanian cultural concept that means “to keep the promise” and “word of honor”.
Ilijazi explained that almost all the Jews that made it to Albania survived.
“Before World War II in Albania lived more than 200 Jews, but in the end of the war there were 2,000 Jews living in Albania, and this is official data from Albanian state archive,” said Ilijazi.
Mustafa Rezniqi, received a Righteous Among Nations award from Yad Vashem. The award is given to honor non-Jews who risked their lives, liberty or positions to save Jews during the Holocaust.
Further to the theme of our American lads learning all their Balkans history from Albanians, eBritic and InSerbia cited a Sputnik News article last month about Bondsteel. Two noteworthy paragraphs:
The administration at Bondsteel tries to ensure soldiers don’t get homesick and keeps shops in which personnel could buy clothes and food from the United States. There is also a souvenir shop where one could buy souvenirs from many countries across the world, except Serbia, the author said.
The personnel serving at Bondsteel have an opportunity to attend history lessons on the statehood of Kosovo, as most soldiers have a vague idea where they’re actually serving. However, since all teachers at the camp are Albanians, they only tell their version of history. The Serbian perspective is ignored.
Included is a photo of the base chapel, where a sign reads “Peacekeeper’s Chapel, Pro Deo et Patria.” That is, “For God and Country.”
Remind me how either is served in all this?