February 08th 2012 11:28:17 PM
Check out this headline and byline from this past November:
Radical Islam in the heart of Europe:
Wahhabis unsheath terror in campaign to impose Shariah
By Jeffrey T. Kuhner
The Washington Times
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Belated though it is, my snide commentary is required. So here it is:
Well. Well. Well. Thanks for finally noticing, Kuhner. But let’s take a moment to appreciate how this Croatia-defender is able to see Bosnia for what it is, but resents anyone seeing Croatia for what it is. ( “I saw the hit job you did on Croatia,” he told me after my 2007 piece “When Will the World Confront the Undead of Croatia” ran in Baltimore Sun. “I wasn’t very impressed.” To which I responded — after realizing whom, or what, I’d accidentally gotten on the phone at Insight magazine which I used to write for: “Well you haven’t had a problem with over 15 years of hit pieces on Serbs, so that’s pretty standard. Have a nice day.”)
Shouldn’t The Washington Times’ Kuhner have started a conversation by now with The Weakly Standard’s Stephen Suleyman Ahmad Schwartz? A fine pair. The conservative press’s resident Ustasha and its resident Balkans-Muslim promoter.
Schwartz wouldn’t appreciate Kuhner’s recent observations about Bosnia (indeed, he threatened a CNSNews.com reporter’s career when she asked him to comment on the growing post-war Islamist and terrorist threat in Bosnia; on the other hand, only a few years later — seeing the writing on the wall and to cover his behind — he was already styling himself as the alarm-sounder on rising radicalism in Bosnia, albeit redirecting attention to usual suspects such as Pakistan and Afghanistan). Conversely, Kuhner surely wouldn’t appreciate Schwartz’s likely resentments toward Croatia’s doings during the Bosnian war, which undermined the ambitions for an Islamic Bosnia when the two republics turned on each other. If you pick on Croatia, Kuhner isn’t happy, and if you pick on Bosnia, Schwartz isn’t happy.
So when Croatia isn’t the target, Kuhner ‘gets’ it. But he certainly wasn’t worried about the eminently foreseeable progression (regression) of Bosnia when the Bosnian Muslims and Croatian Catholics were repeating history together and slaughtering Orthodox Serbs while the U.S. and Iran were flying in weapons, mujahedeen and Iranian Revolutionary Guard trainers to Bosnia.
As welcome as Kuhner’s remedial piece on Bosnia is, you nonetheless get to that inevitable point where, as with all evil souls who write on this topic, the heavily invested Serb-hater stops ‘getting it.’ Observe:
Is Bosnia-Herzegovina doomed? The small Balkan nation is being subverted by powerful internal forces that threaten its existence. The West must wake up before the former Yugoslav republic descends once again into sectarian bloodshed.
Last month, an Islamic terrorist from neighboring Serbia, Mevlid Jasarevic, opened fire on the U.S. embassy in Bosnia’s capital, Sarajevo…Mr. Jasarevic was protesting American policy toward the Muslim world…Police also raided a northern Bosnian village, Gornja Maoca, which is a hotbed of Wahhabist activity and a place Mr. Jasarevic often visited. The terrorist attack shocked both Sarajevo’s political establishment and the U.S. State Department. It shouldn’t have. In Bosnia, radical Islam has been growing for years. In fact, America and the West have deliberately turned a blind eye to its dangerous rise. [Not unlike the blind eye that we — including Kuhner — turned to 1990s Croatia’s resurgent Nazism.]
From 1992 to 1995, Bosnia was ravaged by a war pitting Muslims (known as Bosniaks), Serbs and Croats against each other. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the conflict was not - and never was - a civil war driven by “ancient ethnic hatreds.” Instead, the country was a victim of outside aggression. Serbia’s late strongman, Slobodan Milosevic, waged a genocidal campaign to annex large chunks of Croatia first and then Bosnia in order to erect a Greater Serbian Empire.
Here we see that Kuhner is still on-program, still blindly blaming Serbia for the war Bosnia started — despite Bosnia’s true colors now being on view for more than just the besieged Serbs. He remains immune to his own evidence and unwilling to extrapolate backwards or benefit from hindsight. So we’re left with the predictable, common reason for Kuhner’s learning-disabled pace of understanding: he, like everyone else on the planet, is still trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, to contort and hammer the outgrowths and repercussions of a war we inflamed and took the wrong sides on, into the flawed premise that he stubbornly clings to as his framework for the conflict. He even still cites the outdated figure of dead as he continues “enlightening” his readers:
More than 200,000 were murdered and nearly 2 million ethnically cleansed. To counter Serbia’s expansionist [sic] ambitions [sic], Islamic countries sought to help the besieged Bosniaks.
In particular, Saudi Arabia and Iran [always pure of motive!] offered extensive financial and military assistance. Thousands of foreign Mujahedeen guerrillas entered the country to battle rampaging Serb forces.
[Rampaging were they! With Islamic knives protruding through their eyes.]… Yet, after the war, many jihadists did not leave. [Imagine!] The Saudi government has spent millions funding the construction of mosques and religious education centers. More ominously, Saudi-backed clerics have vigorously promoted Wahhabism….In pamphlets, books and sermons, Wahhabis demand an Islamist Bosnia where Orthodox Christian Serbs and Catholic Croats are subjugated under Shariah law. [Gee, didn’t see that coming; you think maybe the Serbs might have figured that out 20 years before we did?] The goal is also to drive out Western, especially American, influence. It’s no accident that Mr. Jasarevic is a Wahhabi. Militant Islam has regained a foothold in the Balkans.
For the past decade, anti-American sentiment has intensified among segments of Bosniaks. Following the toppling of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, U.S. troops found more than 1,000 dead jihadists on the battlefield possessing Bosnian passports. The Saudis have supported several Bosnian charities serving as front groups for al Qaeda cells. Radical organizations, such as the Young Muslims, have proliferated. During the Iraq war, some Bosnian Muslim fighters joined the insurgency against American forces. At one of Sarajevo’s main mosques, the second-highest-ranking cleric in the country, Ismet Spahic, publicly denounced the U.S.-led campaign in Iraq as “genocide.” Western intelligence reports say Bosnia has become fertile soil for recruiting “white al Qaeda”…
Western public officials, however, have refused even to acknowledge the Islamist problem. [He’s faulting them for taking a few years longer than it took him?] For example, from 2002 through 2006, the international high representative for Bosnia, Paddy Ashdown, repeatedly downplayed the rise of Wahhabism under his watch. Mr. Ashdown acted as the viceroy of Bosnia. [Sounds like someone belatedly has been reading some Serb-American commentary; didn’t hear the words “Ashdown” or “viceroy” from Kuhner’s lips previously.] He preferred to preside over pompous ceremonies, amass administrative power and gorge at elaborate banquets. He refused to speak out against incidents of Islamic extremism, such as vandalism against Catholic churches, the harassment of priests and nuns, and the growing persecution of Bosnian Croatians. He feared offending Muslim sensibilities.
Ah, so now that Catholic Croats are today’s Orthodox Serbs of the 90s, the roles of victim and aggressor are exceedingly apparent to Kuhner. He could apply the lesson to the 90s, but perhaps he fears offending Muslim sensibilities.
Muslims persecuting Bosnian Croatians is a no-no, but when Muslims were picking off Bosnian Serbs, that wasn’t yet a problem. (Incidentally, Ashdown was among the Westerners who openly said that going against the Serbs would help us be on better terms with Muslim nations; Schwartz’s boss at Weakly Standard, William Kristol, was another. But god forbid Kuhner should put admissions like this in context and deduce that maybe such an agenda skewed the information we were being fed about victim and aggressor.)
The result is that Bosnia has become a safe haven for Islamic militants. They remain a minority but increasingly pose a mortal danger to a unified Bosnian state. The government in Sarajevo rightly condemned the terror attack. [Gee, that’s hard.] The majority of Bosniaks remain secular or moderate. For too long, however, they have tolerated the Wahhabis in their midst. This must change. Radical mosques must be shut down; fundamentalist clerics must be confronted and marginalized; videos sold on the streets of Sarajevo glorifying jihadists must be outlawed; and outside Saudi money must be banned. [Then again, it’s not banned in the U.S.]
Otherwise, Bosnia will disintegrate. The country’s ethnic Croatians are chafing under Sarajevo’s centralized rule. Yet the bigger danger is the Bosnian Serb Republic.
Bwaaaaaah ha ha ha ha! That’s his story, and he’s sticking to it! One step forward and 20 years back…to 1991. An Orthodox-hating fanatic to the end.
It is led by a bellicose nationalist, Milorad Dodik. [Remember when Dodik was a “reasonable” “moderate” while we needed Milosevic as the bellicose nationalist? Really, click on those brief preceding links to read all about Serbs electing Dodik, with Croat and Muslim backing — just two months before Wesley Clark was dispatched to Kosovo to prepare to bomb the Serbs the following year.]
He is a vulgar liar. He has denied the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica, [INSERT STOCK PARAGRAPH HERE:] where about 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered by Bosnian Serb forces(TM) - the worst atrocity on European soil since the end of World War II(TM).
More ominously, Mr. Dodik has called for secession. [Oh no! Not like Bosnia’s Croatians who are freaking out over what Kuhner himself just finished describing: The Muslim component’s increasing radicalism. But again, he’s immune to his own evidence and believes this is a good situation, a Bosnia worth keeping unified.] He wants the Bosnian Serbs to form a common homeland with Serbia. He is Milosevic’s ideological heir, championing a Greater Serbia. [Didn’t Kuhner just write, “The country’s ethnic Croatians are chafing under Sarajevo’s centralized rule,” which relates to the Croats’ growing demand to secede as well?] There is only one problem: The Bosnian Serb Republic is founded upon genocide and mass ethnic cleansing. [This comes right out of the Bosnian-Muslim talking points.] It is morally illegitimate. To this day, the Bosnian Serbs have not allowed most of the Bosniaks and Croatians expelled during the war to return to their homes. [And that’s different from the policy toward Serbs by Croatia and Muslim Bosnia — how?] An independence bid almost certainly would trigger another war with Sarajevo - drowning the Balkans in blood once again.
Kuhner is an illustration of the Croatian diaspora being more fanatical even than the Croats still living in the region. Compare his word-for-word propaganda with this Bosnian-Croat deputy:
Bosnia: Muslims dominate capital, claims Croatian MP (Aug. 6, 2008)
The Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, once a symbol of ethnic diversity, has become an entirely Muslim city, a Croat deputy in the Bosnian Parliament, Branko Zrno, said on Wednesday.
“Sarajevo definitely isn’t a multi-ethnic city, but the city of one group, the Bosniacs (Muslims), ” Zrno told local media.
He pointed out that Serbs and Croats in Sarajevo have no institutional protection, and continue to leave the capital.
Zrno echoed allegations from Bosnian Serb leaders, including Serb entity Prime Minister Milorad Dodik, that non-Muslims in Sarajevo suffered discrimination and were denied their rights.
Zrno said that the Croatian presence in the city had been halved and that neither Croats nor Serbs held any important posts in local government.
Serbs claim that in the city of 400,000 only 7,000 Serbs have remained, compared to 160,000 before the 1992-1995 civil war.
The Serb claims have been supported by the Muslim President of the Bosnian Helsinki committee for human rights, Srdjan Dizdarevic, who said in a recent interview that Sarajevo had become a “monoethnic” city.
“Over 90 percent of Sarajevo inhabitants belong to only one group, the Bosniacs,” Dizdarevic told weekly Fokus.
“Ethnic cleansing in this city has, unfortunately, been successfully completed. If the will exists to reconstruct Bosnia on multiethnic principles, one should start with Sarajevo,” he concluded.
But as ethnic tensions deepened, the Muslim chairman of a three-man rotating state presidency, Haris Silajdzic, on Wednesday launched a fresh attack on the Serb entity.
Silajdzic repeated earlier claims that the Serb entity is a “symbol of genocide” allegedly perpetrated by its first president, Radovan Karadzic.
“Karadzic has been arrested, but his project continues to live,” Silajdzic said… “The international community is obliged to remove consequences of the genocide,” Silajdzic added, referring to the Serb entity.
The statement prompted the top international representative in Bosnia, Slovak diplomat Miroslav Lajcak, to state that it is Karadzic who faces prosecution in The Hague, not the Serb entity.
“The Serb entity is not a creation of Karadzic’s, but of the Dayton peace accord,” Lajcak said.
Bosnia’s majority Muslim leaders have continued to call the Serb entity a “genocidal creature” that should be abolished - a move strongly opposed by Serbs.
The irony is that it was American air power that finally brought the Bosnian Serbs to heel and saved countless Bosniak lives. [Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! But it was the Serbs who brought the Serbs to “heel,” along with the Croatians and Muslims — all of whom also brought the Croats and Muslims to heel by reluctantly signing the Cutileiro Plan; it was Washington that insisted on war, via Ambassador Warren Zimmerman who had called outright for Yugoslavia’s dissolution as early as 1992.] And still, jihadists such as Mr. Jasarevic are eager to wage holy war. This reveals the moral depravity and spiritual darkness at the heart of Islamic fundamentalism. The fundamentalists cannot be appeased. The West — including the peoples of the Balkans — must awaken to this evil force lurking in the heart of Europe.
Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and president of the Edmund Burke Institute. [Too bad for them.]
So, in the end, all that Kuhner is willing to understand is the evil of Islamic fundamentalism. What a genius. I guess he and Schwartz could be best friends after all.
(But the accompanying illustration was kind of cool, along with the caption which told you that this is what a Bosnian Wahhabi looks like:
Bosnian Wahhabis by Greg Groesch for The Washington Times)
No doubt, both Kuhner and his kindred spirit Schwartz missed the following, related news item. Or if not, met it with a shrug. After all, the guy below made a name for himself by killing mere Serbs. And Serb-killers just aren’t an issue until they become a danger to the rest of us. As the person who distributed this item put it, “While the ‘useful idiot’ West scrambles to recognize non-existent genocides of Muslims, the Muslims allow their worst mass murders to walk free:
Bosnian Federation president pardons Orić
Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina President Živko Budimir pardoned Naser Orić, the former commander of the Muslim forces in Srebrenica.
Orić was sentenced to fours years of probation for carrying illegal arms and ammunition.
Budimir, who heads the Muslim-Croat entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina, has thus enabled Orić to carry weapons without fear of ending up behind bars once again, since a repeated offense would have landed him in prison immediately under the conditional sentence.
Along with Orić, Budimir pardoned several other convicts, including murderers, robbers and sex offenders, daily Press writes. [Muslim heroes are always in good company!]
Explaining his decision, Budimir said that all those pardoned were fully rehabilitated and “present no danger to society.”
Interesting. That’s what our officials keep telling us about Muslims, often a synonym or religious cover for murderers, robbers, and sex offenders. Again, notice how here we have the “hero of the Bosnian war” mentioned in the same breath as “murderers, robbers and sex offenders” who were pardoned with him. Further, it seems, after being acquitted for his most heinous crimes, Oric is now pardoned for any subsequent crimes, demonstrating the criminal he always was.
Closing with the rest of that item:
The wartime Bosnian Muslim commander in the Srebrenica region, who was tried and acquitted before the Hague Tribunal for war crimes, was sentenced in June 2009 by the Sarajevo Municipal Court to two years in prison. A year later, the sentence was converted to four years of probation.
At least 1,300 Serbs were killed during the war in the municipalities of Srebrenica, Zvornik, Milići, Bratunac, while 3,267 Serb civilians and soldiers were killed in the wider area of middle Podrinje and Birač.
The Hague Tribunal sentenced Orić to two years in prison for failing to prevent crimes, but the judgment was overturned on appeal in 2008.
The Hague Tribunal Appeals Chamber concluded that “it had no doubt that grave crimes were committed against Serbs detained in Srebrenica” but that “proof that crimes had occurred was not sufficient to sustain a conviction of an individual for these crimes.”
Hmm, The Hague certainly doesn’t see it that way when it comes to convicting Serb individuals for crimes — often of undefined nature — that are known only to have occurred. And the media have long convicted Ratko Mladic of being “responsible” for the still undefined crimes in Srebrenica.
P.S. Please note that Kuhner is not too embarrassed to parrot Islamic propaganda even while warning about Islam in Bosnia…despite having been preemptively corrected years earlier. For example, John Laughland’s 2008 piece:
The arrest of Radovan Karadzic in Serbia has provided yet another occasion for all the tired old propaganda about the Balkans wars to be taken out of the cupboard and given one last [sic] airing. In particular, the war is presented as one between a Serb aggressor and an innocent victim, the Bosnian Muslims, and the former is accused of practising genocide against the latter. Even if one accepts that crimes against humanity were committed during the Balkan wars, it should be obvious that both these claims are absurd.
First, the Serbs were no more the aggressors in the Bosnian civil war than Abraham Lincoln was an aggressor in the American Civil War. The Yugoslav army was in place all over Bosnia-Herzegovina because that republic was part of Yugoslavia. Bosnian Muslims (like Croats) left the army in droves and set up their own militia instead, as part of their drive for independence from Belgrade. This meant that the Yugoslav army lost its previous strongly multiethnic character and became largely Serb. It did not mean that Serb forces entered the territory of Bosnia, or even that the Serbs attacked the hapless Bosnian Muslims.
The accusation of aggression is intended to introduce by the back door an allegation which in fact has vanished from modern international criminal justice. Although the crime of waging an aggressive war was pronounced to be the supreme international crime at Nuremberg, it has been dropped from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia which will presumably try Karadzic once he is extradited to The Hague, and even the new International Criminal Court (also in The Hague) does not for the time being have jurisdiction over it.
The accusation has the effect of condemning the Bosnian Serb war effort at its very origins (in terms of ius ad bellum) independently of any condemnation for the way the war was fought (ius in bello). In fact, the Bosnian Serb war effort was no more or less legitimate than the Bosnian Muslim war effort. The Muslims wanted to secede from Yugoslavia (and were egged on to do this by the Americans and the Europeans) while the Bosnian Serbs wanted to stay in Yugoslavia. It was as simple as that.
In my view, it is not possible to adjudicate such matters using the criminal law since, as political questions, they transcend it. But the fact that the Muslims blatantly cheated by holding the vote on an independence referendum at 3 a.m. after the Bosnian Serb deputies in the Bosnian parliament had all been told to go home, and the fact that the Bosnian Muslim president, Alija Izetbegovic, remained in office throughout 1992 long after his term had expired and long after he should have handed over to a Serb, meant that the Bosnian Serbs had excellent grounds for believing that the Bosnian Muslim secession was quite simply a coup d’état.
In any case, once the Muslims had seized power in Sarajevo, the Bosnian Serbs sought not to conquer the whole republic but instead simply to fight for the secession of their territories from Muslim control. [Greater Serbia indeed, Kuhner!] Of course atrocities were committed against civilians during this period, especially ethnic cleansing. But the same phenomenon is observed, I believe, and by definition, in every single war in which a new state is created, whether it is the creation of Pakistan in 1947 or the creation in 1974 of what later became the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. If the Muslims had the right unilaterally to secede from Yugoslavia, why should the Bosnian Serbs not have had the right unilaterally to secede from the new state of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which had never before existed as a state, and to which the Bosnian Serbs had no loyalty whatever?
Second, the Bosnian Serbs are accused (and two have been convicted) of committing genocide against the Bosnian Muslims in the massacre perpetrated at Srebrenica. Let us leave aside for a moment the Serb claims that the numbers of people killed in that summer of 1995 has been artificially inflated for propaganda purposes; let us also leave aside the undoubted fact that the Bosnian Muslims were using…Srebrenica as a safe haven from which to conduct constant attacks against the Serb villages surrounding the town, during which many atrocities were committed against Serb civilians. (The commander of the Muslim forces, Nasir Oric, was released by the ICTY in February.)
What is clear is that the Srebrenica massacre cannot possibly be described as genocide. Even the most ardent pro-Muslim propagandists agree that the victims of the massacre there were all men. The Bosnian Serbs claim that they were combatants (although that is certainly not an excuse for killing them) but the point is that an army bent on genocide would precisely not have singled out men for execution but would have killed women too. The Srebrenica massacre may well have been a crime against humanity but it is impossible to see how it can be categorised as genocide.
Unfortunately, there is a very clear political reason why it has been so categorised. The Muslim president of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Haris Silaijdzic, said carefully on CNN the day Karadzic was captured that Karadzic’s trial was only the beginning of the process by which justice would be done in Bosnia. He said that there were hundreds of thousands of Muslims who had been ethnically cleansed by “Karadzic and Milosevic” and that their project therefore remained in force. The clear implication of what he was saying was this: if the very existence of the Bosnian Serb republic…is found, in a court of law, to have had as its president a man, Karadzic, who is convicted of genocide in the process of creating it, then its status would be illegitimate and it should be abolished. The Muslims continue to claim control over the whole of the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, while the Serbs merely want the preservation of their considerable autonomy within it.
In other words, far from bringing peace to the Balkans, it is quite possible that a conviction of Karadzic for genocide will reopen the Dayton settlement and egg the Muslims on to claim control over the Serb republic too. Under such circumstances, it is inevitable that the Bosnian Serbs would try to proclaim formal secession from Bosnia, just as the Kosovo Albanians did from Serbia.
However, it turned out that the “problem” Bosnian Muslim leaders and their foreign sponsors wanted solved was far more profound than the issue of one town in Bosnia-Herzegovina [Srebrenica], and that is how to take over the rule over the entire Bosnian republic after the destruction of Yugoslavia, even though Bosnian Muslims are just one of three large nations living in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and even today not a majority. The only way they thought this could be done, was if Bosnian Serbs were entirely exterminated or, failing that, if the entire Serbian nation is pinned with charges of “genocide”, which would enable the complete assimilation of all the Serb-owned land and property in state.
Ibran Mustafic confirmed this claim back in July 1996:
“According to our [Bosnian Muslim] custom, when someone finishes the foundation for a house, an animal must be slaughtered on top of it. It seems that Srebrenica was a sacrificial lamb for the foundation of this [Muslim] state.”