From a press release by the office of Rep. Connie Mack: He “strongly supports efforts to preserve free speech and a free press, which he considers to be basic pillars of democracy.”

But, as evident from his article below, that doesn’t apply to Kosovo: Journalist Lumturie Blakaj Physically Assaulted in Kosovo (Dec. 22); Kosovo Government Accused of ‘Suffocating’ Media (June 2009); European agency says Kosovo television “media arm” of ruler (Oct. 2009);Kosovo’s Thaci Accused of Interfering with Public Broadcaster (Oct. 2009); More on “Prime Minister” Thaci Suffocating Kosovo Media (Oct. 2009)


Hashim Thaci to Rep. Connie Mack: “Thanks, Sucker!”

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It would have been embarrassing enough had he written this the day before Thaci’s outing, but he actually published it a full 10 days after the world (the part of it that didn’t already know) found out what Hashim Thaci and Kosovo really are.

NATIONAL VIEW: Kosovo: Fast-tracking democracy
By Rep. Connie Mack
Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla., is a member of the House Foreign Relations Committee.

December 24, 2010 - 12:00 AM

On Dec. 12, Kosovo had its first free election since declaring its independence on Feb. 17, 2008.

Leading the charge for free elections is the current Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, a key figure who is arguably the George Washington of Kosovo. Thaci has been leading a coalition government in a country with no fewer than 15 political parties. Due to unconstitutional actions by the former President Fatmir Sejdiu, Parliament was dissolved and Thaci made clear his desire to follow the constitution toward a peaceful election — no arms, no swords, but the peaceful transition of power in a country that only a decade ago was torn apart by war.

Thaci’s leadership in Kosovo will go a long way to integrating them into the European Union and into effective relations with the West in general. This is a huge step forward for this young democracy; and all of us in America should proudly welcome Kosovo again into the global community of free and democratic nations.

Throughout the Balkans, the collapse of the former Soviet Union led to armed conflict, including of course in the area of Kosovo and Serbia. Under Thaci’s leadership, a peaceful free election process followed by overtures to enter the European Union should be seen as huge progress. This time without assassinations of archdukes, nor the horrors of ethnic cleansing; the almost silent punch of a ballot will have a resonance far greater for the ages to come.

This region has not known peace for nearly 100 years, since the start of World War I. Through the last century, many have dirtied their hands in the nearly countless conflicts for mere survival, including Thaci, a general in the struggle for Kosovo’s independence. Emerging from this conflicted region stands a new peaceful, European democracy.

Kosovo, a multicultural nation with a Muslim majority, has lived through political turmoil and instability. Today, it is fast-tracking democracy. Kosovo should serve as a reminder to all of us that democracy takes time.

What is happening in Kosovo is critically important. I am confident that Kosovo will complete this first peaceful transition of power and in doing so will serve as an example that democracy works and freedom matters.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
South Coast Media Group, a subsidiary of Dow Jones Local Media Group.

Yes, facilitating the infiltration of Europe by thousands of Albanian criminals is “huge progress.” That’s why EU countries started battening down the hatches upon recognizing Kosovo.

All that can be said at this point is what reader George wrote in his email alerting me to this tripe:

Its useless. The Serbs and other Orthodox Christian Balkan nations just need to forget Euro-Atlantic integration and focus on Eurasian integration….first step is some Russian anti-aircraft and special forces, a comprehensive defence, science and trade treaty with Israel…including a Mossad presence to monitor jihadists….and trade agreements with China and India….

*******CORRECTION*******

I found this piece by Rep. Mack published in several other media outlets, the earliest of which was Dec. 12. So it seems that Mack did not write it after the organ story broke, but put his foot in it like the rest — before all the ugly stuff got out of the bag. So my opening comments about it being “bad enough if he’d written this the day before the news broke, but publishing it 10 days after…” are moot. That particular embarrassment belongs to the publications that printed it even after the organ story broke. Mack’s timing on his own website was actually rather impeccable: He congratulated “Prime Minister Thaci” the very day that Dick Marty released his report: “Victory for Democracy in Kosovo.” (Honestly, American lawmakers should just stick to pothole issues.)

The Boston Herald carried his piece a day before the story broke: “Democracy at Last Dawns in Kosovo,” and The Miami Herald had it on the 12th. Those would be the two places where a letter to the editor would make the most sense, if anyone is so inclined. That’s the readership that was duped by this guy, so that’s the readership that should see the correction. HeraldEd@MiamiHerald.com ; letterstoeditor@bostonherald.com.

While Mack’s ignorant and callous piece of tripe was being circulated by a free press that has always followed the State Department’s line on Kosovo, election monitors in Kosovo were crying foul: “Kosovo in Gridlock as Monitors Cry Foul” (Dec. 14); “Reports on Irregularities Pile Up” (Dec. 14); “Kosovo: Election Repeat in 5 Municipalities” (Dec. 17); Kosovo to Hold Vote Re-run” (Dec. 16); “Kosovo Oppositions Demand Repeat of Marred Elections” (Dec. 16); and so on and so on…

Of course, all the other options are just as bad.

The Assembly elections, organized by the Kosovo authorities without UNMIK involvement, were held in a peaceful atmosphere, but [UN Special Representative for Kosovo, Lamberto] Zannier said local and international observers reported “widespread irregularities and manipulation of votes.”

Feb. 16 2011