August 13th 2012 02:54:37 PM
I must have been looking for a distraction and had the bad fortune to read an “article” by a Vietnam vet for a senior citizen newspaper insert in El Paso, Texas. It was called “Kosovo: Our Forgotten Conflict,” and for some reason I proceeded to waste the next hour writing the following letter to the author of the piece, A.C. Sanders:
You’re very confused in your article “Kosovo: Our Forgotten Conflict.” And that’s the whole point of withholding information from the very troops who are to serve in Kosovo (you mentioned the scant information made available to them).
I’ll never forget how in 2007, after writing the real story of Kosovo for American Legion magazine, I was contacted by a National Guard soldier serving there. He was floored that someone was paying attention to Kosovo, or knew that we’d be paying for our misguided policy there, driven by Albanian violence, for decades to come.
He told me how he’d have to dig for information himself, to find out what the Command wasn’t telling the troops, and he questioned why the orders were always to “not engage” when encountering armed Albanian hostiles, but to engage when encountering the (much more rare) Serbian ones.
He knew that the guys coming in after him—the ones who would be imposing the “Final Solution” on Kosovo’s Serbs (currently underway) — would be walking in blind to a dangerous situation, made more dangerous because its full dimensions were being suppressed. What they’re also walking into is a more hostile climate by the last of the resisting Serbs, who after complying with international directives while getting picked off over the past 13 years, understandably refuse to bite the last bullet and live under the rule of their slaughterers. But all that the soldiers will see is American-flag-waving Albanians and hostile Serbs, making the latter much easier to shoot at (which has been happening intermittently over the past year).
Mr. Sanders, there is no equivalence between Albanian and Serbian violence in Kosovo. This has been a one-way street for the past several decades, and with you and your acquaintances checking in on the scene only now, naturally it looks like more of a back-and-forth. Only after a decade have the Serbs finally started to lob back. I was particularly appalled by your paragraph about the Ibar River. KFOR was stationed on the Ibar bridge to halt the frequent Albanian attempts to cross it to get to the Serbs in the last part of Kosovo where you can still speak Serbian without being stabbed. I was embarrassed for you when I read your inversion that it was the Serbs being kept from crossing to the Albanian side (though in the past two years, we may have finally had a couple such incidents).
Lucky for you, Americans don’t know any better about Kosovo — despite its being the first NATO war and our most recent pre-9/11 war in which we again helped Muslims — and so you’ll have nothing to be embarrassed about.
What our soldiers, along with the Germans, Austrians, Hungarians, Croatians and the rest of the “former” Axis now dressed as NATO’s Kosovo Force (KFOR), are doing in Kosovo will be to the eternal shame of our National Guard, and to America itself. Foreseeing this in 1999, when we turned a dark corner under Clinton to help the people bin Laden was also helping (there is much documentation for that), I allowed this issue to hijack my life. And for that I’m now called a “pro-Serb propagandist” by cheerleaders of this U.S. policy, and by its beneficiaries. “U.S. policy” being an insulting term in itself, given that the policy was driven by a handful of Washington bureaucrats who were Clinton holdovers even during the Bush administration, which itself was led down the same course. (And so, unlike with every other issue, you’ll find no Left-Right divide on this one. That’s right, no arguments from Americans on this policy, interestingly.)
In Kosovo, in what is a recognized (but just as often denied) precedent for Israel and Jerusalem itself, we have dismantled a Christian Jerusalem that has stood as a bulwark, with much Serb blood shed, against the barbarians at the gate. The Ottomans, the Austro-Hungarians, then Hitler (the Serbs having pushed his forces off long enough that they had to fight at Stalingrad during the Russian winter and lost).
People who were killed in the course of harboring 512 U.S. airmen from the Germans do not suddenly become monsters, Mr. Sanders. That’s where you need to have a little skepticism about the media that brought you the story of “the butcher Milosevic” and his “ethnic cleansing.” We did not go into Kosovo to halt ethnic cleansing or genocide, as the beheaded Jewish reporter Daniel Pearl learned in 1999, and wrote about it. The fact that we’re still subjected to a recycling of the debunked myth of a huge anti-Albanian plan by the Serbs is insulting.
I’m an American Jew, who has been watching our most un-American actions against our allies of two world wars in shock and horror. For our (initially) German-led crimes against the Serbs (payback for WWII resistance which we’ve for some reason signed onto), our entire civilization will pay. It already is paying, and yet we continue to expand the Caliphate in the Balkans. And you continue to equate the Christians that never did us any harm — and who had more experience living with Muslims than we ever did — you equate them with the Islamic monsters that have now come for the rest of us too. (The Albanian subset of them having killed U.S. servicemen last year in Frankfurt; planned the foiled Ft. Dix attack; undertook to explode Tampa before being stopped this year, and I could go on. That’s not to mention the Bosnian-born attackers against the U.S. We’ve imported the Serbs’ enemies in the course of doing their bidding in the region, and advancing their conquest.)
You ask readers if they even remember our Kosovo war. I remember it every day for the past 13 years, Mr. Sanders. It seems that you are the one who hasn’t given it much thought. And now you’ve unimpressively joined the ranks of the majority of the world, which owes the Serbs an apology. An apology that is not forthcoming in this lifetime, except by an occasional, regretful NATO soldier who did more than “do or die,” but indeed questioned why. As for me, today I wear the Scarlet Letter meant to marginalize the whistleblowers — “pro-Serb propagandist” — proudly.
With apologies for my hostile tone (but I am exasperated).
I emailed author Peter Brock about the article, who then enlightened me about “Southwest Senior”:
I’m a lifelong El Pasoan. I’m a “senior”! And, I’ve been to Kosovo without being brainwashed! I even wrote a book about Yugoslavia!
…That “newspaper” is a throw-away used to shake down local medical suppliers with “fill” to go around competing ads for hospices and other elder community crapola. It’s a pathetic little insert that a local weekly stuffs every other week or so. Not even worth the sports pages used to carpet a canary cage.
Finally, since it was too trivial to address in the letter, I didn’t respond to the part of Mr. Sanders’ article where he mentions that Alfred Hitchcock’s movie “The Birds” was filmed in Kosovo. I looked it up and couldn’t find corroboration for this, so I emailed Nebojsa Malic, asking him if he knew anything about it. All he could say was: “This guy is so ignorant, it makes my head hurt.”
To contact the writer and his paper, email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com .
Why should we be the only ones with headaches?