Search Results for 'fellenzer'


Kosovo rings in the new year:

K. Serb returnee seriously injured (FoNet, Jan. 24)

OSOJANE — A Serb returnee to the Kosovo village of Opraške near Osojane was attacked and seriously injured in his home, FoNet reports.

[Branko] Milovanović was attacked by unknown persons, and is currently in an intensive care unit in a hospital in northern Kosovska Mitrovica.

According to this report, Milovanović was attacked by “three unidentified young men in front of his house”.

He was hospitalized with head injuries, concussion, broken ribs and heavy bruises.

This is the fourth incident in Opraške, where nine returnee families live. A week ago, the house of Serb returnee Mile Vuletić, empty at the time, was set on fire and burned to the ground.

During last week, two Serb houses were broken into and robbed.

The Serb families, driven out of their homes by ethnic Albanians, returned to the village in 2006.

Update, from Serbianna.com (temporarily off-line): “Battered Kosovo Serb recovering” (Jan. 25)

Kosovo Serb Branislav Milovanovic who was attacked and brutally beaten by a mob of Muslim Albanians is out of danger, says the hospital.

Milovanovic was attacked by a mob of Albanian men as he was trying to return back to his home from which he was ethnically cleansed by Albanians…in the Village Opraske located near Osojane, Metohia.

“As soon as I was on the street, they cut me off and whacked me,” said Milovanovic.

With a cracked skull and broken ribs, Milovanovic was still able to walk 2 kilometers to a nearby village of Kos where the villagers took him to the hospital in Kosovska Mitrovica. Milovanovic said that they were beating him “to kill.”

Returnee coordinator Vesna Milikovic says that the attack on Milovanovic has made the other nine returnees in fear for their life. Milikovic says that returnees in nearby villages are also in fear of the organized Albanian mob.

“Since the New Year day, attacks on Serbs are more frequent and attacks on their property and just in Opraske, in which 9 returnee families live, this is a fourth incident…

Since 1999 when the Albania separatists violently took power in Kosovo, Serbs have been routinely attacked and killed and conviction of attackers is very seldom.

The Minister [Serbian minister for Kosovo-Metohia, Goran Bogdanovic] pointed out that the conspicuous silence of the Kosovo police is an incentive to Albanian extremists, as well as proof that Kosovo institutions are trying to prevent the return of banished Serbs to the province. […]

Ah, it’s good to see the efforts of our troops implementing “official Serb-return policy” paying off. And according to some, the efforts and good intentions of our troops are what count. Here’s just a fun flashback to a conversation that took place on this site and elsewhere in July and August of 2007. I’m sure my two interlocutors on that subject — two National Guard ‘information officers’ just passing through Kosovo on their one-year rotations at the time — are very glad to be done with that conversation. Unlike those cheap patriots, however, my American conscience doesn’t afford me the same luxury. The first quote comes from an Orthodox military chaplain in Kosovo, who entered the fray, named 1st Lt. Michael Wikstrom:

Living in the past will not solve the issues folks. Only going forward from here. Yes there are problems, yes there have been mistakes, yes there is hatred and mistrust, but I do not see ANY of the things that Ms. Gorin has stated and I travel Kosovo extensively…[T]he rhetoric needs to be replaced by actions. Serbs need to return to Kosovo. Scaring them off by publishing reports, false reports that those left here face wholesale slaughter on a daily basis is not helping or encouraging them to return. [Ahem, ahem, ahem.] If the idea is to get as many Serbs to return to Kosovo-Metohija then telling them they have a high probability of being murdered and that they will be forced to live in “concentration camps” is not going to do it. Am I wrong?

A note on the ubiquitous admonition by dismissive internationals such as Lt. Wikstrom to stop “living in the past” and “go forward”: Aside from the fact that skewed policy is still being built on that “past,” Mary Ellen Synon of the UK Daily Mail blog responded to this intellectually impotent dismissiveness last month in a post titled “Organ trafficking, eugenics and corruption: meet our new EU ‘partners’“:

So you would think that the European Commission might have a more muscular reply to Senator Marty’s report than what was offered just before Christmas by Cecilia Malmstrom, the Swede who is Home Affairs Commissioner. When confronted by a journalist about the report, she stuck to: ‘We do not deny there are problems in Kosovo and in other countries. This report you refer to, I have read about it in the media, I cannot comment what is true and what is not true.’

Not that she much wants to know what is true and what is not true in Kosovo: the EU wants Kosovo ’stable,’ even if that means the butchers stay in power. Or as Senator Marty noted in his report, ‘even certain representatives of international institutions did not conceal their reluctance to grapple with these facts. “The past is the past,” we are told, “we must now look to the future.”‘ (I’d say that is a line you won’t hear much at, for example, the Simon Weisenthal Centre in Vienna.)

My response to Lt. Wikstrom at the time:

You’re not wrong, Lt. and indeed, as Ms. Fellenzer reported, “we have aided 74 Serbian Kosovars in their return into Srpski Babus, helping to provide infrastructure, food and CIMIC support.” But the question is, why am I a liar for reporting Serb Returnee Killed in Central Kosovo (June 2006):

A Serb returnee was found shot dead inside his house in a central Kosovo town Tuesday, police and Serb officials said. The 68 year-old Serb, identified as Dragan Popovic, was discovered by police after the officers received a report of a body found in a house in the town of Klina, 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of Kosovo’s capital, Pristina, Kosovo’s police said in a statement…He was last seen late Monday returning to his home from a shop. Nothing was touched in the house, the Serb officials said…Police have no suspects and have not yet established a motive for the apparent killing. Several Serbs have returned to Klina recently, after fleeing the aftermath of the province’s 1998-1999…Separately, vandals damaged sixteen graveside monuments in the Serb village of Staro Gracko, 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of the province’s capital, Pristina, police said.

And here’s me “living in the past” — this past September [2006], to be exact:

An explosion in western Kosovo injured four Serbs late Tuesday, the fourth bombing in the last five days, police said. The blast occurred outside a home in the small town of Kline [Klina], about 60 kilometers (40 miles) west of the capital…Three other bombings in the province since Friday only damaged cars, with no reports of injuries…Today, only about 100,000 [Serbs] remain [in Kosovo], most living in small, isolated enclaves scattered around the province.

From Reuters:

Police said the victims were former refugees who had returned to Klina a year ago having fled Kosovo after the 1998-99 war…At least half the Serb population fled a wave of revenge attacks after the war, and those who stayed live mainly in isolated enclaves. U.N. officials say the rate of attacks against Serbs has fallen, but they fear fresh violence as a decision nears on Kosovo’s “final status.”

And here’s another Serb refugee return story that I’m a liar for telling readers about, because it’s “exceptional”:

After fleeing almost seven years ago, [Zoran] Stanisic, along with his mother, moved back to Pristina five months ago…“I’ve found both my business and living places broken in to…Since I am one of the few Serbs living in Pristina, it’s funny that this is the second time this month that someone has probably tried to send us a message.” …Stanisic said that he trusted the promises of the international community, the Kosovo Government and the Return Ministry, that the minimum conditions of normal living would be given to him, which encouraged him to return to Pristina.

“When winter came, we had nothing, so we were forced to temporarily get out of the way, and wait to see whether their promises would be fulfilled or not. It looks as if there is nothing for Serbs in this city, and Serbs are ordained to live in enclaves, concentration camps, and behind barbed wire.” …Until 1999, about 40,000 Serbs lived in Pristina. There are currently 150 living there now. Zoran Stanisic is now living in Gracanica, because, as he stated, he cannot live in his Pristina apartment.

So that was a conversation from July and August of 2007, and the above Serb-return stories don’t even include these more recent ones.

The National Guard’s amateur PR duo had also tried to assure readers that Serbs and other non-Albanians have freedom of movement in Kosovo:

“[I]n most of the province, Kosovo Serbians are free to leave their enclaves, drive to their destinations, take vacations and walks,” wrote Fellenzer, who cited an Orthodox military chaplain [probably Wikstrom] as “concurring” that in her area of operations, there are “no concentration camp-like conditions.”

That was 2007, and supposedly my information was from 2005 — ancient and obsolete. Yet out of the countless articles to have come out since 2005 making these same observations first hand — by European news reporters, human rights groups and various organizations’ rapporteurs — here’s a random one from just this year:

South of Mitrovica, the occupied province is dominated not just by Albanians, but by the KLA. [The “disbanded” KLA, according to our PR duo.] The few non-Albanians that survive there live in ghettos, where the only thing between them and brutal death are barbed-wire enclosures and NATO “peacekeepers” — the very troops [who were employed in creating] their predicament.

Some closing quotes on this issue follow below.

“Over 230,000 Serbs and other non-Albanians have been expelled from Kosovo since 1999. Less than five percent have returned so far.”

“I remember one day meeting the UN regional administrator for Mitrovica [David Mitchels] outside the UNMIK offices in Pristina and he told me that Kosovo would be better off if all the Serbs were gone.” — Iseult Henry, author of Hiding Genocide in Kosovo

“In the mid to long term there will be some kind of biological end to the problem here because, you know, one of the population(s) will simply disappear.” — KFOR commander Lt. Gen. Xavier de Marnhac in 2007, on the fact that the average age of a Kosovo Albanian was 28 and that of a Kosovo Serb was 54

I’m Going to Miss this Place

As KFOR 9 [that’s the next NATO rotation, for those just tuning in] prepares to take over, we’ve been showing them around Kosovo and introducing them to the Serbian Soldiers with whom we work. It’s been a week of saying “goodbye” to friends I’ve made here — both Serbian and Albanian. I’m going to miss them all.

I have so much respect for the Serbian Soldiers with whom I have been working this past year. They are true professionals, and we’ve developed friendships that I hope will last well beyond my rotation here. We’ve learned a lot about one another. We’ve done a lot together — patrols, joint recons, meetings and investigations. I think we’ve taken a gigantic step forward in not only making the region more secure, but also developing a partnership between our two militaries.

From what I can see, politicians may do their thing. Their decisions are many times stupid and self-serving. And we in the military are obligated to implement these decisions.

Recall what a difficult concept this was for Nicki to grasp just a short two months ago. It seems like just yesterday she considered this notion to be equal to “slamming the troops”, “misrepresenting the Soldiers”, “attacking” the troops, saying the soldiers “aren’t doing their jobs”, that they “don’t love America”, “insulting” the troops, “doing a great disservice to every Soldier who is serving here”, “shedding a negative light on the Soldiers”.

But we are Soldiers, and we have a bond that goes beyond politics and beyond the stupid decisions of self-serving politicians by virtue of being military professionals.

No, Kosovo is not completely violence-free yet, but I think we’ve left this a better place for KFOR 9, and I’m pretty proud of that.

She should be. Leaving places better than they were is the American way and, in contrast to some earlier rotations, KFOR 8 represented that. Nicki herself leaves Kosovo a better and more informed American.

I’ve met Serbian Soldiers who deliver potable water and provide aid and medical care to villagers along the Administrative Boundary Line, regardless of the fact that they happen to be Albanians. And these villagers are thankful and have a good relationship with the Serbian Armed Forces. I have met two Serbian Orthodox Priests, whom I am proud to call friends, Father Zvonko of Vitina and Father Dragan of Partes, who are both dedicated to God and peace for everyone, regardless of what they are ethnically.

That is the Serbian way. And the Serbian way is rooted in Christianity. Unlike those whom we favor over the Serbs. As Father Sava Janjic, whose Decani Monastery and two nearby churches repeatedly came under mortar attack in 2002 — said: “In this monastery we sheltered 200 Albanians during the [NATO] bombing period and organised humanitarian aid, which is something which even Albanians now recognise, though they are not ready to do anything for us now, when they are in a position to help.”

I’m likewise proud of the teachers at the Liria school in Lovce, who believe in teaching Albanian children how to be decent human beings and how to respect their fellow man no matter if he is Serbian or Albanian.

Indeed. Specifically Albanian children need to be taught “how to be decent human beings” and tolerance for those who are not of their blood. Though this is a lesson that all children need, most tend to internalize the fairly basic concept early on, and for life. Unfortunately, because of cultural and family influences, and as Nicki confirms here by correctly singling out Albanian children, Albanian children require some remedial training in this department.

These guys actually want to work with KFOR on developing a curriculum of civics for their kids, teaching them about human rights and unity among citizens of Kosovo! I think if people such as these are allowed to continue working for peace and cooperation, and KFOR continues to work toward apprehending criminals and ethnic armed extremists, things will eventualy be OK here.

Correct. Rule of law does not yet prevail in Kosovo. Ethnic armed extremists (a.k.a. jihadist/nationalist terrorists) still have free run in and near Kosovo — and local authorities still need KFOR to do most of the catching.

I can see the confusion and a bit of apprehension in the faces of our KFOR 9 counterparts. But the more we travel the region, the more comfortable they get with the area.

What could they be apprehensive and confused about? In Kosovo? Maybe, just maybe they’re confused about the U.S. position there, which makes the mission uncertain. As my source soldier put it in his last letter to me: “I talked to more people about all this, and they are legitimately worried. And as far as the next rotation coming, I’m worried that those guys will get hit hard and be caught in a mess.” Back to Nicki:

I hope they continue the good work we’ve done here. I remember how scared I was when I first hit the ground here, and how my heart pounded every time I left the wire. I remember how nervous I was the first time I met the Serbian Soldiers with whom I was to work. But the nervousness gave way to knowledge, understanding and relief. And I know KFOR 9 will adjust much like I did.

Indeed. Serbs are not the enemy. Though the U.S. has done everything in its power to make them so, kicking and shoving them into Russia’s arms which they didn’t seek while they did desperately try to be America’s pet over the past eight years, not Russia’s. This now unavoidable Serbian-Russian alliance will determine whether the Serbs stay friendly to the West.

I wish KFOR 9 luck here.

She can say that again. So let’s review our lessons:

* Serbian soldiers are not genocidal. (Recall partner Brad’s words from August that Albanians are “still a bit miffed about a plan of extermination carried out against them in 1999.”)

* Policies and our soldiers who implement them are two separate creatures. To impugn a mission, particularly out of concern for American soldiers, is not to impugn the soldiers themselves.

* Albanians often cleave toward supremacy and therefore may require specialized, extra training in tolerance.

* Criminals and terrorists are running around Kosovo where, additionally, rule of law as a concept still has a long way to go.

* American soldiers, particularly this next rotation, are imperiled.

* It’s not because of Serbs.

That pretty much sums up the crux of my American Legion article that caused Nicki Fellenzer and Brad Staggs to make an enemy of me.

As a sidebar, and to illustrate that indeed the Kosovo that Nicki and her fellow KFOR 8 soldiers, including my source, leave behind is superior to the Kosovo that we saw as recently as 2004, is this snapshot from May, 2003. Via Oslo, Norway’s Forum 18 News Service:

KOSOVO: No protection in capital for attacked Orthodox Church and Priest

Despite repeated requests for protection, including requests made personally two weeks ago to the KFOR commander, adaquate [sic] protection for a Serbian Orthodox Church and its priest in Kosovo’s capital Pristina has not been provided since the removal of KFOR guards at the end of 2002. Attacks have become frequent and on 10 May many church windows were broken. Parish priest Fr Miroslav Popadic told Forum 18 News Service that “I open the church gates only on Sunday mornings and on major holidays for the faithful to come to liturgy, otherwise, if someone comes to church without a call in advance I do not open the gates. When I visit local villages, I make the sign of the cross, sit in my car and drive fast at my own risk”. KFOR’s commander told Fr Popadic he “cannot give any more troops for the protection of churches”. No arrests have been made since for the attacks on Orthodox churches since 1999 and KFOR has not replied to Forum 18 News Service’s questions on this latest attack, or to questions about the security of Orthodox churches and monasteries.

“There have been various attacks on this church before,” reported Fr Popadic, the only remaining priest serving the once thriving parish. “On 27 December 2000 a hand grenade was thrown into the churchyard, causing minor damage. But people keep stoning my apartment regularly, since I live in the parish house in the yard.”

He said the grenade attack had occurred while KFOR troops were still protecting the church. During January, he reported, two police officers kept guard, one from the UNMIK police and the other from the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC), a local police force mainly made up of ethnic Albanians. He said that during February the church was guarded only by a single KPC officer, while for the last month and a half the church has had no protection at all. “No wonder the extremists are encouraged.”

“Bishop Artemije personally sent a written warning to international representatives in Pristina that KFOR should resecure the church and the parish hall,” the diocesan statement declared. “Regrettably, this appeal did not result in a favourable response.”…

Two weeks ago, in the wake of Bishop Artemije’s letter, KFOR commander Lt-Gen. Fabio Mini visited Fr Popadic, accompanied by police officers. “I complained that I am unable to walk freely even in the churchyard, let alone in the streets of Pristina, that often in the night from 9pm to midnight my apartment is stoned, and that there are fewer than 200 Serbs now living in the whole of Pristina,” Fr Popadic told Forum 18. “The police promised more frequent patrols, while General Mini told me we have to move forward and that he cannot give any more troops for the protection of churches.”…More than a hundred Orthodox churches have been destroyed or badly damaged in Kosovo since the international community took control of the province in 1999.

Thankfully, NATO, UN and other international organizatons today are devoting greater attention and resources to the safety of what’s left of Kosovo’s churches. At the same time, we shouldn’t kid ourselves; one must maintain a dose of cynicism as concerns all things Kosovo. It is not an accident that as status determination drew nearer, promising to shine a spotlight on the region for a little while, more began to be done to fulfill the international community’s obligations there and create some semblance of standards. Again, this in no way impugns soldiers, who behave in earnest regardless of policy — always ready, willing and able to help but not always able to, depending on the policy of the day.

Hopefully we stay true to our word and do not abandon these people should our policymakers achieve their obsessively-sought goal of independence for Kosovo.

In a recent post titled “Have You Shot a Serb Today,” I mentioned that some Albanians picking fruit from the garden of a church ruin shot at two priests who were there — but that no one was hurt and so, I assured military mouthpieces Nicki Fellenzer and Brad Staggs, they could go back to sleep. I added the word “together” to make it funnier, and linked a photo for readers who weren’t aware that the two are a couple.

Imagine my surprise to learn the next day that Fellenzer and Staggs are in fact not a couple. Through the trusty Google Alert system, the next day I found that Staggs had scribed an indignant post accusing me of committing a “personal attack” — though I honestly thought the two were married or engaged — I just wasn’t sure which. (I suppose if I’d followed either’s blog more regularly, I’d know they were not “together”, but that’s not the case.) I assumed the two were a couple because of the tone of their bios, which describe how they met and how they became a writing team — punctuated by a lovey-dovey photo. So, readers, for the record: Fellenzer-Staggs is NOT a couple. With that in mind, please feast your eyes on Drama Queen Brad’s post correcting me on this point:

Julia Gorin Gets Personal

This is the photo. This is the photo which has caused Julia Gorin to declare that Nicki and I are sleeping together. Where is her proof? Why, this photo, of course.

And where did Ms. Gorin find this photo? It is the photo we posted under the authors section at the website for our book Ashmadai. That’s right, out in the open for all to say. That must be proof that Nicki and I are sleeping together.

(For some reason, Brad thinks it’s an important point to make that he and Fellenzer are the providers of the photo in question, but this merely attests to the innocuous nature of my referring to it.)

When we originally responded to Ms. Gorin, Nicki and I were responding to falsehoods she was perpetuating about American Soldiers via an article in American Legion Magazine. I don’t care what her views on Kosovo are. I don’t care why she has those views. As a Soldier, I will fight to protect her right to have her own views if need be.

Thanks! But readers, go to the Legion article and try to find where I write something awful about “American soldiers” specifically, as opposed to the general conflict-evasion policy that KFOR soldiers as a whole are encouraged, and sometimes ordered, to practice. But apparently, “soldier” means “American soldier”, and “KFOR troops” means “American troops” — and impugning a multinational policy means impugning American soldiers. And I thought I was ethnocentric!

The original post set off a firestorm of people presenting their own views on Kosovo independence, Serbian vs. Albanian, right and wrong going back several centuries, and just about everything else they could think to say about and to each other.

Even a post I did about my trip to the beautiful Decani Monsastery was met with hatred and derision.

Awwww! What’d the poor chap expect? He scheduled the trip immediately after slamming my Legion article — that is, in the midst of the controversy, to cover his behind; it was a damage-control trip. Here was my very apt — and entertaining — post on that.

However, none of what has been said about me has bothered me. Ms. Gorin and her ilk have no power over my life in any way and I refused to be part of their back and forth sniping.

As he should have done from the beginning, given that he didn’t even know that the Kosovo “genocide” was a fraud. (See the bottom third of this blog.)

Maybe that’s why she has now decided to make unfounded accusations about Nicki and me. I have said and will continue to say that I don’t care what is said about me. I have a good life and nothing she can say about me will change that. But now she is trying to affect the life of my best friend.

That’s right, best friend. Ms. Gorin says in her latest blog post about two Priests being shot at in Kosovo “Phew! That was close. Nothing to be alarmed about, Nicki and Brad; you can go back to sleep together.” She links the word “together” to our authors page in order to show the picture, proving that we sleep together.

Let me say, for the record, that Nicki and I are NOT having an affair or sleeping together. She and I are best friends who have written a fiction book together. Not only would our sleeping together be against the Uniform Code of Military Justice, it would also betray the friendship I have with her husband and children. I babysit for them.

The personal attacks on Nicki and me are based on a single photo which her husband has seen and is on the back dustjacket of our book. It is a baseless accusation from somebody so desperate to make us look bad that she will stoop to personal attacks. Nicki’s husband and Nicki can respond, if they so wish, in their own way, but I just see this as another way that Ms. Gorin is proving that she writes only from a reactionary stand-point. She ruins her credibility by throwing out personal slams which miss their mark, which in turn hurts her “cause” more than helps it.

EXCUSE ME? What was that? Could you please repeat that?

She ruins her credibility by throwing out personal slams which miss their mark, which in turn hurts her “cause” more than helps it.

Hear ye! Hear ye! Let the record show: Brad Staggs has just announced that Julia Gorin has credibility.

This — after all this:

Ms. Gorin may be a funny lady, but her commentary is filled with wild accusations, inaccuracies, distortions and downright lies that serve only to hurt our peacekeeping mission in Kosovo and shed a negative light on the Soldiers who are carrying out said mission.

It is difficult to say where Ms. Gorin is getting her erroneous information, or whether she’s simply using her rather fertile imagination as a substitute for checking facts.

What was published by Gorin were insulting lies that do a great disservice to every Soldier who is serving here, away from home and family.

Julia Gorin is entitled to her own opinion. However, if you’re going to publish lies about Soldiers and their missions, at least have the facts to back you up. [Linguistic gems such as this are Nicki’s.]

complete fabrication

Ms. Gorin is quite the liar.

talk about a “would-be journalist.” LOL!!

attention seeker

Her article gets published with these lies and misrepresentations.

The issue is debating the outright lies published by Gorin in her article for the American Legion magazine.

this woman doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude to admit her mistakes. She doesn’t have the guts to reply to anything that is posted here or on Brad’s blog. She simply fabricates stories and claims “government conspiracy” as an explanation for her lies. Here’s your tinfoil hat, Julia. You’ve earned it.

what she’s doing is lying about our Soldiers.

Gorin’s crap in the American Legion magazine….She screwed us for her political agenda. Told lies about us, in particular, that are not true. [Another linguistic gem from Nicki.]

supporting her stance with lies about American Soldiers just destroys her credibility and paints her (accurately, I might add) as a lying sow.

Hatred and bigotry are just two of my pet peeves. [Ain’t Nicki an original!] I wouldn’t have taken her seriously anyway, just based on what I’ve read of her writing.

the accusation she randomly hurls

It’s one thing to have a contention you passionately believe is true. I’m not impugning that. It’s quite another to promote lies about those who defend your right to promote those contentions to further your political agenda. [They never did inform me what my political agenda is.]

I’m not at all worried about Gorin or the lies she spews.

Whether Ms. Gorin’s position is right or wrong is not the point. The point is she uses lies about what we are doing here to support and bolster it.

In addition to this sustained attack, Staggs-Fellenzer thought it could tattle on me to publications I write for, circulating letters like this to them.

So here we are. After accusing me of being a liar and having no credibility, Brad Staggs is concerned I could lose my credibility. Folks, we’re not exactly dealing with towering intellects here.

Say what you want about me, I don’t care. But if you’re going to talk out of your butt about Nicki and say things to hurt her family, you do nothing but make yourself look like an ignorant ass.

My ass is ignorant for thinking two people are a couple!

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the last time I’m going to dignify Julia Gorin with a response. It’s just not worth the wasted effort.

I could have sworn he promised to stop dignifying me before — like in August or something. So stop responding already, and take what you’ve got coming like a man. I’ve got at least another two years in me on this; you’ll get tired.

Meanwhile, I call readers’ attention to a letter posted by Fellenzer’s real husband. He too was positively compelled to weigh in on this oh so serious matter. (That is, on my thinking that Fellenzer was Staggs’ yenta instead of his.) So here’s Drama Queen #3:

I have seen this picture and several others similar to it. As Brad has stated he and Nicki are friends!!! I am not sure where your accusations are coming from but all it shows to me is your small mindedness and in inability to refute the facts presented by Nicki and Brad.

Here I think he’s confusing me with Nicki and Brad, who never refuted my refutation of their ignoramus press release. The daily developments in Kosovo further refute his wife’s and her other husband’s “facts” (i.e. quotes from military spokespeople). Again, we’re not dealing with towering intellects here, but at the same time let’s not assume anything; for all I know, there may be reading disabilities involved here.

Nicki had asked me to stay out of this and I should most likely should have listened, but you are attacking my family. As Nicki and Brad have both said you can attack them both personally all you want but to stoop so low as to try and destroy a family and marriage of over ten years because you have your facts wrong and refuse to admit it. That to me is just completely reprehensible!

Now I have nothing else to sat on this matter other than I do not believe they are having an affair! They are both too honorable to do that!

Wallace Fellenzer

Why would an easy mistake to make threaten to “destroy a family”?

Below the distraught Mr. Fellenzer’s letter there is also a psychoanalysis of me posted by someone who goes by the handle “Sailorcurt”. Again, keep in mind that this psychoanalysis was necessitated by the fact that I thought Brad and Nicki were a couple. The drama, the dramaaaaaaaaaaa!

Anyway, let’s hope that Fellenzer-Staggs sticks to its promise of not dignifying my sniping any further, so that I might have fewer distractions.

(For those who are interested, I just came across Fellenzer’s post on this matter. Skimming it, I’ve learned a few new words; she should have been a sailor.)

Chris Deliso’s book The Coming Balkan Caliphate describes the ordeal of former OSCE official and Kosovo whistle-blower Tom Gambill as he tried to sound the warning about terror groups operating in the Balkans. In the process, Deliso sheds light on the difference between the type of soldier my erstwhile KFOR source is and the types of military hacks who muzzled him are:

[Gambill] knew from police reports and photos that the group [Revival of Islamic Heritage Society] was active in the central Kosovo village of Malisevo and was presumed to be dangerous. The security officer made a point of bringing it up at security meetings and in written correspondence with the U.S. Department of State throughout 2003. However, he ran up against a brick wall. “I had this info [about the charities] all the way back in 2001,” says Gambill. “But the State Department didn’t want to hear about it.” He recalls:

“I brought it up at every meeting I went to that included [the U.S.] military, but nada. Many of the American KFOR guys were there for their six months — you know, get the ribbon, do a few good deeds, and go home. And those who confided in me didn’t want to rock the boat with their superiors…the thinking was, ‘hey, we’re here for only six months — let’s get the job done as assigned and get home.’

Cases such as that of the RIHS attracted attention, says Gambill, from a handful of “motivated” American security officials….However, he says, “they were held back in some cases by orders from those higher up in the pecking order. This was much to the disappointment of the lower echelons — lieutenants, captains, some majors…the same thing with the CivPol [UN Police].” When Gambill presented photographic evidence of the RIHS presence in Kosovo, and waved the UN decree outlawing the group, the FBI representative at the time was “somewhat peeved.” Later, he claims, “I was verbally attacked via e-mail by an American major…He said that I was not qualified to make comments, and that neither my information nor comments were accurate…After forwarding his comments to my point of contact on the American base, he (another major) was taken back at this kind of behavior.”

Yet most who dismissed Gambill’s concerns, he contends, only claimed to be experts — though they visited Kosovo once or twice a year:

“The ones who did not believe my reports were many internationals who argued that these things [Wahhabi penetration, etc.] didn’t occur in Bosnia, and that therefore the Islamic fundamentalists were not a threat. They claimed that there were no organized efforts on the part of the Islamic fundamentalists and that the [Albanian] rebel groups causing trouble were not a significant concern. That line came from many of the U.S. military commanders who came through the region once every six months. There was no continuity in the passing of intelligence from one unit to another — ever.”

These realities have been only too evident throughout the Bosnian and Kosovo peacekeeping missions, where arrogant, careerist diplomats and military men claim to know the situation on the ground better than do those working there. Yet these were the people shaping policy — by listening to the underlings who said what they wanted to hear and ignoring those who, like Gambill, had a less flattering story to tell about the aftereffects of the Western intervention.

Quietly, however, some of the whistle-blower’s colleagues were thanking him for his contributions: “In several meetings of the combined group (U.S. military, UN, and CivPol), just as many commended me for the information that I brought to the table,” he recalls. “I was told that my sources and reports were 90 percent accurate and were appreciated. In one case, a commander came to me after a meeting and commended me on my participation in all his meetings and gave me a unit coin for my contributions. It was done quietly, of course.”

The chronic changeover of civil and military staff meant that whereas the locals had learned early on how to understand and manipulate the internationals, the latter were always starting from square one… “The UN didn’t really understand what was going on — and they didn’t want to know,” he charges, citing cases such as higher-ups’ apparent disinterest in investigating six Albanian-American radicals with stated foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks. “There was no continuity of mission, or pass-on intel.” The endless stream of fresh-faced, ignorant personnel posed no threat to Kosovo’s powerful criminals and extremists. Peacekeeping in Kosovo became a thankless and truly Sisyphysian labor.

But it actually gets more sinister than a Sisyphysian labor, as Deliso continues:

One American special police investigator recalls how, in early 2006, several wanted men — North African Islamists — with passports from a Western European country were sheltered in a Kosovo apartment belonging to local Islamic fundamentalists. “A police buddy and I staked out this building, and interviewed some people,” he said. “We had photos and good information that showed these guys should be dealt with. You think anyone [in UNMIK] cared? No chance. Why do you think I’m leaving?”

Further, the officer charged that the Kosovo Albanian government leaders — the same ones that, according to Jane’s [Intelligence Review], are supplying the United States with “intelligence” on Islamic extremists in the province — have blocked investigations and staffed the civil administration with the often underqualified friends and relatives of known Islamists. “The Kosovo Department of Justice won’t act on [counterterrorist information], because the people inside the institution are from the ‘other side.’ It’s very frustrating — and a very dangerous thing for the future.” Michael Harrison [UNMIK Field Coordinator for Protection of Minorities] refers to another case later in 2006, in which an undercover investigator from a Central European country posed as a mafia figure interested in buying rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) from an Albanian Islamist. “No one cared. No one [in UNMIK] gives a shit. We have terrorists here, and the Wahhabis coming in from everywhere. Instead of doing something about it, you have the Germans donating 30 tons of weapons for Kosovo’s future army, the TMK, now in storage.” Tom Gambill added in the fall of 2006 that a NATO internal map from 2003 listing some 17 illegal paramilitary and terrorist training camps was “still currently valid, to the best of my knowledge.”

There are jihadists even among the multinational peacekeeping force in Kosovo, who are there to keep an eye on the internationals more than on the locals, as witnessable from the April 2004 incident (just a month after the orchestrated riots and attacks on churches in Kosovo) in which a Jordanian CivPol officer opened fire on American ones, killing two female American peacekeepers and leaving 10 others injured — a story that disappeared from the news almost sooner than it appeared. I recently heard from a KFOR criminal intel analyst who helped load the women’s bodies onto helicopters. Apparently, the State Department suppressed information that the Jordanian peacekeeper had Hamas and Hezbollah literature in his dorm; as well, the source reports that “after this incident, there were other weird things that happened — mostly threats/waving of guns at American CIVPOL by foreign CIVPOL.” He too paints a grim picture of our “progress” in the region:

March ‘04 riots, Wahhabis and Salafis, Nationalists, Islamist[s], training grounds for paramilitary stuff, it goes on…KLA begat Kosovo Police Service and PDK [Democratic Party of Kosovo]…These two REMF’s (OK, intrepid journalists!) are completely unaware. [He is referring to the Fellenzer-Staggs duo; REMFs stands for “Rear Echelon Mother F–kers” — those who do not venture outside the wire — known in Iraq as FOBBITs.]…The place is a snake pit…Anyway, glad to see that someone is on it. The whole existential threat thing just isn’t catching on here in the US.

Some have suggested that the Greater Albania that is forming will be more like a Greater Kosovo, which is an even scarier creature. Here it is in action, from Deliso:

The danger of Kosovo becoming a terrorist transfer zone has been increased since the internationals handed over border control duties to the local Albanian authorities. What this means, in essence, is that there is no longer a border with Albania itself. While border policing was hardly stellar during the period of UNMIK’s direct control, it has now effectively vanished. For the United Nations, relinquishing control of Kosovo’s borders is just another of the scheduled “transfer of competencies” from international to local rule. In Macedonia, too, where an experiment in ethnic coexistence has left the western third of the country largely in the hands of former NLA [National Liberation Army, Macedonia] leader Ali Ahmeti’s men, there is no appreciable border with Albania either. According to one Macedonian military intelligence officer, even though small militant groups are “smuggling heavy weapons in every day from Albania,” there is no will to stop the trade, “because all the local police are Albanian, they are in it together, and they don’t talk [to outsiders].” The officer feared that the well armed groups could act to destabilize the country in the case of any failure to make Kosovo independent — indicating the complex trap the West has made of the region through its interventions.

Which brings us to last week’s news reflecting precisely this reality:

Macedonia: Ethnic Albanian Leader Calls for Village to Join Kosovo

Macedonian TV Views Security Situation in Ethnic Albanian Village

Tanusevci wants annexation to Kosovo

“Tanusevci — Village of Blackberries, Potatoes and AK-47″

Two More Albanian Villages to Organize Referendums for Separating from Macedonia

Albanian Commentary: Give us Kosovo or We will Create a Greater Albania

Secretary of Macedonia’s Organization of the Veterans of the Army for the Liberation of Kosovo ( “AOK”) Faton Klinaku: “Albanians in Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Greece Live Under Occupation”

Separation of Kosovo will mean separation of Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Greece: AOK veteran

ANA [Albanian National Army] Sends Threats to all Albanian Politicians in Macedonia

But the Albanian Threat of the Week award goes to Klinaku:

If the international community fails to recognize the right of the Albanian people for self-definition, and the status is defined on the basis of compromises, we would naturally resume the fight…Every other decision different from [independence] would lead to violence for which both the politicians and the international community would be guilty.

Serblog’s Melana Pejakovich paraphrases: “If we have to make any compromises, there will be a war and it will be the international community’s fault…Give us exactly what we want or we will start killing people, and YOU will have made us do it!”

Pejakovich further breaks down the Klinaku interview thus:

1. Albanians consider wherever they live (or have ever lived) to automatically be “Albania” and the non-Albanian governments of wherever they live — including the governments of the sovereign countries of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Greece — to simply be “Occupiers”. If Albanians live in a place in significant numbers, they consider it to be “theirs”, independent of any international borders — and they consider the non-Albanian governments of those countries to be “the enemy”…

2. If Kosovo is granted independence, then that automatically justifies “the right of self-determination” (and secession) for Albanians in Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Greece.

In other words, “Kosovo Independence” is just the beginning of a series of conquests in the “Greater Albania Project” and to grant Kosovo independence, is to encourage the conquest of the rest…So much for the delusion that granting Kosovo independence will “bring peace and stability to the Balkans”…

3. According to Klinaku, Albanians believe that they fought “a war of liberation” for Kosovo and part of Macedonia, and they won, so there is no need for them to compromise with Serbs or anyone else. Albanians were “the victors” so there is no need to consult anyone else re their “self-determination” or to “discuss anything in Vienna”. The 1999 NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia appears to be perceived as irrelevant to Albanians, because Albanians did it all.

Here we are faced with the consequences of letting Albanians believe they can have it all — and for the most part delivering it to them — sans legality or any kind of established norms of statecraft, while holding them to none of the agreements governing the region. In fact, just yesterday we saw what happens when you do something uncharacteristic and crazy, such as say the words “UN Resolution” to Albanians:

Kosovo Albanian daily slams UNMIK head for saying UN resolution 1244 still valid

[Commentary by Express Chief Editor Berat Buzhala: “This Is Provocation, Mr. Ruecker“]

At a time when an entire nation is desperately waiting to hear what will happen to the final status of Kosova [sic], the Kosova [sic] chief administrator [Joachim Ruecker] returned from holidays and provoked us openly by saying that no one should be hasty by setting dates for declaration of independence because the UN Security Council Resolution 1244 is still valid.

We have waited beyond every limit. Besides, I can say that we are about to burst into tears and it is regrettable that we are being provoked, because we might now easily fall prey to this provocation. I recall a press statement made by the Israeli defence minister on the very first day when this country began the war against Hezbollah troops operating in Lebanese territory. He has said, “If someone meant to provoke us by kidnapping two of our soldiers, then they have managed to do so.”

That’s right. To Albanians, rule of law is provocation. On par with kidnapping.

…Leaving all these things aside, tell me, Mr. Ruecker: What happened inside you that made you issue such a surprising threat? Will this mean that in the days to come you will say that, based on that resolution, Kosova territory is part of Serbia’s sovereignty? Or perhaps, reading carefully the text of the resolution, will you mention the possibility of the return of a limited number of Serb forces based on a request made by Belgrade?

Do you believe that that resolution, which you mention so improperly, will be implemented one day? Perhaps it may be, but only through a new war that would be bloodier and less controllable and have more consequences for the region. Mr. Ruecker, we have become used to living in freedom [impunity] — something for which you, your country, and all Western countries deserve credit — therefore, it will be a very big problem to convince us to go [back].

Where have we seen this before? Oh yes — in Bosnia, as Balkans analyst Nebojsa Malic aptly illustrated when writing about the departure of UN High Representative Paddy Ashdown in 2005 (emphasis added):

So used were they to Ashdown’s support, Izetbegovic’s heirs found it shocking when last month the viceroy quashed their plan to rename the Sarajevo international airport after the departed First Bosniak [wartime Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic]. Leaders of Izetbegovic’s SDA party howled in protest and denounced Ashdown, forgetting instantly his support for their agenda, or that his decision didn’t say “no,” so much as “not yet.” Ashdown thus found himself sharing the fate of every foreign official who came to Bosnia sympathetic to the Muslim cause, only to end up an object of invective as soon as he deviated even slightly from the SDA dogma of Muslim innocence and victimhood.

And now for the Kosovo punch line of the week. Because it comes from the kings of secession and border-redrawing, the Albanians: “We can never approve of partition [of Kosovo]. It is unacceptable. If we start redrawing borders, who knows when and where it will stop.” — Kosovo “Prime Minister” Agim Ceku

Summing up the Kosovo Effect is Deliso:

Indeed, longtime UNMIK employees in Kosovo who have watched the process disintegrate over the years express disbelief at how the Western Media and politicians can get away with calling the intervention a success. As has been recounted, the direct link between Kosovo Albanians and terrorist plots, up to and including the London July 2005 attacks, has materialized in the form of arrests…

For the American special police investigator in Kosovo, a formidable ex-military man with long experience in the Balkans, the sluggish response of Western security services in the Balkans to the terrorist threat is vexing. “I saw some of the same shit in Bosnia, not going after the terrorists, letting ‘em hang out and stay comfortable,” he says. “But seeing this stuff here in Kosovo — it really ripped me out of the old red-white-and-blue, you know what I mean?

The picture gets more disturbing still, especially when one realizes that Kosovo’s future is a window into our own. Deliso:

The small semblance of order remaining in Kosovo owes to the fact that the UN has allowed former KLA leaders and the mafia to control society…Today, this chaotic situation has moved from the unfortunate to the scandalous, with the CIA, MI6, BND, and others eager to build “special relationships” with Islamic extremists bent on killing Christians, attacking Western targets, and creating a fundamentalist caliphate.

Western officials currying favor with extremists, perhaps in subconscious preparation for a future with Muslims as our masters, is by now a familiar phenomenon even on our shores. When it interferes with terror investigations, I call it the Kosovizing of police work in America, and it’s something that first hit home for me when Debbie Schlussel wrote about lasers being pointed from Dearborn, Michigan at commercial airline pilots in flight, and the reluctance of our authorities to do much about it. She specifically cites the terrorist-friendly Brian Moskowitz, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent in Charge for Michigan and Ohio:

[W]e’ve heard from several of Abu Moskowitz’s agents, who tell us they’ve brought to his and his top lieutenants’ attention Arab Muslim smuggling rings and restaurants in the same Dearborn and Dearborn Heights areas (from which the laser pointers emanated), which routinely employ illegal alien Muslims and launder funds from their all-cash businesses, sending the money “back home.” Mr. Moskowitz and his top underlings have repeatedly said they are “not interested” in pursuing those cases.

[B]oth Moskowitz and Murphy were in fawning attendance at the Hezbollah mosque, where they gushed over an Islamic cleric who openly praised terrorists, and they joked with him about why Hezbollah is on the State Department terrorist list…

We also note that Murphy, the chief U.S. Justice Department official in the heart of Islamic America, sought a very light sentence for Nemr Ali Rahal, a member of the mosque who is a member of Hezbollah and committed fraud and money laundering to send the money “back home”. Explosive material was found on the man’s and his young son’s passports. Where was Abu Moskowitz’s investigation into where the money was going (which is under his purview at ICE)? Where was Murphy’s press conference on that? (No charges on the explosives or even money laundering were ever filed — and won’t be.)…[Y]ou have a giant, radicalized, concentrated Muslim population located in one single armpit of America, and yet authorities not only kowtow to it, but put investigations into that community off limits to law enforcement…

Welcome to Kosovo, USA.

From AP:

Seven inmates escaped from a high-security prison over the weekend in western Kosovo, and police backed by NATO helicopters launched a manhunt throughout the province, authorities said Monday.

The convicts, on a scheduled walk in a yard at Dubrava prison late Saturday, were supported by an armed group who shot at guards….Two senior prison officials and two prison guards were arrested on suspicion of involvement, Elshani said. No injuries were reported.

Police said they found six unused rocket launchers and shell casings from automatic rifles at the site of the gunbattle. The inmates, some convicted of terrorism, murder and theft, were believed to still be in the province, but police have notified authorities in neighboring countries.

More, from Beta:

Kosovo Police Service (KPS) spokesman Veton Elshani told B92 the group was lead [sic] by Faton Hajrizi.

“Hajrizi is known to the public as a suspect in the murder of a Russian KFOR soldier in 2000,” he said, adding that Burim Basha, Amir Sopa, Astrit Shabani, Ramadan Shuti, Davit Morina and Lirim Jakupi were also among the escaped convicts.

Say, I thought that Kosovo terrorists aren’t Albanian. From The London Times:

Among the escapees were Ramadan Shiti, a Saudi-born suspected Islamist terrorist expelled from his native country for allegedly plotting an attack on senior public figures, and Lirim Jakupi, a leader of the rebel Albanian National Army — a group of guerrillas who fight for a greater Albanian state in the Balkans.

Wait a second, wait a second. There are Albanians actively engaged in securing a Greater Albania? But we were told for two decades that this was just a Serbian myth — propaganda to dupe the internationals into thinking that there’s a bigger picture to Kosovo independence. And yet in his book The Coming Balkan Caliphate, Chris Deliso writes:

Emboldened by their victory over the Serbs in Kosovo, irredentists sought to take the next step….Indeed, as Ali Ahmeti, the chief of the Albanians’ so-called National Liberation Army (NLA), told a Western journalist in March 2001, “our aim is solely to remove [Macedonian] Slav forces from territory which is historically Albanian.” Long after the conflict, one of Ahmeti’s former commanders would state, “like all wars, ours was for territory — not because of some ‘human rights’ problem!” Nevertheless, skilled Albanian propagandists were able to portray the war as a Kosovo redux — another struggle for human rights waged by an oppressed people…

But back to the prison break: UN wants probe into Kosovo prison break-out

Five prison guards have been charged with aiding Saturday’s break-out, and four other people have been arrested on suspicion of providing covering fire for the escape outside the prison walls with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades.

The United Nations, which has around 1,300 police officers in the province, has no direct role at the prison. But the escape is an embarrassment for the mission and the 16,000-strong NATO-led peace force.

One of those who broke out was armed with a pistol, while another was making his seventh escape from prison. A Kosovo police spokesman acknowledged the convicts might already have slipped across the province’s porous borders into neighbouring Macedonia, Montenegro or Albania.

Fugitives planning to destabilize Macedonia if partition of Kosovo (From Macedonian newspaper Dnevnik):

Jakupi’s task is said to be preparing the grounds for Macedonia’s destabilization in the event of Kosovo’s partition. Apparently, a large amount of money has been collected for the implementation of this scenario, which is also supported by political entities in Kosovo and Macedonia.

Two more incidents shook our northern border in the Kosovo area this month. Gosince police station came under attack in early August, while arms from the same station were stolen several days later…Unofficially, a few days prior to these incidents, the security services had noticed movement of two uniformed groups in that area.

In the Sunday Times piece, a spokesman for something called the Foreign and Commonwealth Office “rejected suggestions that the break-out would disrupt further the international search for a solution to Kosovo’s status but said that the incident showed the urgency of progress to end the impasse over its future.”

Let’s briefly examine this statement. Whereas some of us rational folks suspected that as the Albanians got closer to their goal of independence this year, and another Albanian state — even a partitioned one — was within their reach, they’d pull “a Palestinian” by sabotaging their goal via violence at the last minute. Well, the latter part of the prediction came true — the violence — but not the sabotage. Yes, they’re amping up the violence, but they’re not sabotaging anything — just the opposite: they’re getting the international community to hurry up and give them what they want. Which means they pulled the classic Palestinian: As you get closer to your goal, you reject it coming from the internationals and you start Intifadah 2 — and double the media’s and internationals’ sympathy.

The aforementioned London Times article also had the following:

Wolfgang Ischinger, the EU representative to the talks, caused controversy earlier this month by appearing to suggest that the province could be partitioned along ethnic lines if that was acceptable to both sides, with the north staying with Serbia and independence for the south. He later clarified his remarks saying that he did not support partition.

This reminds me of another recent “clarification”:

General Kather: There Are No Indications of Violence in Kosova [sic]

The commander of the KFOR peacekeeping troops, General Roland Kather, said today in Gjilan that there are no indications of possible violence in Kosova [sic], adding that his statement of several days ago on this issue was misinterpreted.

He made these comments following a farewell meeting with the commander of the Multinational Brigade East, General Douglas Earhart, municipal authorities of Gjilan, Novoberde [Novo Brdo], and the commander of the Kosova [sic] Protection Corps (TMK) Zone 6, General Imri Iliazi.

Kather said that his statement that status must be resolved quickly as violence may break out was misinterpreted.

“I am very much convinced from the meeting throughout Kosova [sic] that there is no proof of any violence in Kosova [sic], and this is because the citizens have understood that the Kosova[sic] status settlement process is a political process which requires a political resolution,” he said.

But pay attention to his last two sentences, as they contain encoded messages:

The outgoing KFOR commander said that people have understood that violence leads toward a dead end, warning that if there is violence there will be no settlement.

Codebreaker: Hint-hint — if you want your state, put the violence on hold.

General Kather said that he was proud that the situation in this region and in Kosova in general is safe and calm, expressing his hope that it will remain such in the future as well.

Codebreaker: The stuff is about to hit the fan! [i.e. his original, retracted message]

(Just a side note: the commander most likely did not use the word “Kosova”, but that report came from a website called “KosovaLive,” so presumably the spelling is a misquote.)

Disclaimer: Istok, where the prison break occurred, is not — I repeat NOT — in Nicki Fellenzer’s/Brad Staggs’ sector. So they probably haven’t heard about it.

More Daily Kosovo: Kosovo police seizes 68 kilos of explosive

The explosives, 68 kilos of what is believed to be TNT, [were] discovered in a private house in Vitomirica, a village in the area of Pec, 80 kilometres west of Pristina, Kosovo police spokesman Veton Elshani told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

One person was arrested following the find, Elshani said, adding that more details would be announced later. Sources close to the police said the arrested man was a Kosovo Albanian.

*****UPDATE*****

Below is a related Dnevnik item from today:


KOSOVO FUGITIVES’ “PRESENCE” IN MACEDONIA “NOT ACCIDENTAL” - SECURITY SOURCES/Kosovo will be Defended in Tanusevci
(BBC Monitoring International Reports, Aug. 23, 2007)

The fled Kosovo inmates will try to divert the international community’s attention to Kosovo regarding the negotiations on the province’s final status, by provoking minor incidents in Macedonia and southern Serbia, senior security sources claim. Yesterday they confirmed to Dnevnik that the group was primarily hiding near Tanusevci.

The only person who categorically denies that there are unwanted guests in Tanusevci is Xhezair Shaqiri, a former Assembly deputy and ONA [National Liberation Army, NLA - UCK in Albanian] commander.

“There is not a single person in the village from another place. If necessary, the residents will show their identification cards,” Shaqiri, who comes from this border village, claims.

According to Dnevnik reports, the seven inmates’ escape is neither accidental, nor naive. They claim that part of the group has been stationed in Tanusevci and part has been “mobile” in the Presevo Valley for organizational preparations.

“All our indicators point out that the escape from the prison was not accidental. It was by no chance that precisely these seven persons escaped and precisely at this point. By raising tension in Macedonia and southern Serbia, around Bujanovac, they should improve the Kosovo side’s position in the talks…” political-security sources claim.

They stress that, following the changes in the negotiations on the province’s status, when it comes to Macedonia, it is important to retain the current principles for the status determination set by [UN] mediator Martti Ahtisaari. This in particular refers to the principle of the province’s inviolable external borders, which should remain the same as on 10 June 1999, when NATO entered Kosovo.

They warn that the armed groups will act if the option of Kosovo’s partition is accepted. Their possible ways of operation may be a series of minor incidents or “occupying a village” in order to incite tension and attract the international community’s attention…

Of course, the reality is they’re going to “act” for their pan-Albanian state whether Kosovo is partitioned or not. At least the partition scenario is getting them to admit the grand scheme.

*****3 UPDATES*****

Kosovo division in our interest as then pan-Albanian state to be created - KLA (BBC Monitoring Europe, Aug. 29, Text of report by Bosnian Serb news agency SRNA)

Sofia, 29 Aug: The secretary of the veterans organization of the Kosovo Liberation Army [KLA], Faton Klinaku, has warned that Kosovo’s division must be carried out in line with international principles: the right to self-determination, ethnic principle and the principle of majority.

“These principles should be applied not just to Kosovo but to Presevo [southern Serbia], Macedonia and Montenegro,” Kliniku told Bulgarian media.

According to him, wherever there are Albanians there will be Albania, and this will happen if Kosovo is divided.

“In the final analysis, these developments are in our interest since then all Albanians would be unified in one state,” Kliniku said.

(Of course, whether such a fate is in anyone’s interest — including Albanians’ — is a matter of great debate.)

COMMENTARY SAYS CHOICE BETWEEN UN KOSOVO PLAN OR PAN-ALBANIAN STATE (BBC Monitoring International Reports, Aug. 26, Text of report by Albanian newspaper Koha Jone on 22 August)

[Commentary by Xhavit Shala: “Tectonic Movements in Balkan Geopolitics”]

Recent developments regarding the final resolution of Kosova’s status…a practically official trend towards Kosova’s partitioning, attempts to dismiss the Ahtisaari plan;…and granting legitimacy to the idea that multiethnic states have failed in the Balkans….

Under these circumstances, attempts to change Kosova’s borders are provoking the Albanians and creating a situation that would call for a change of borders throughout the Balkans. At the same time, they are creating the conditions and potential for the Albanians to organize and channel their national question towards its final solution, that is, the unification of all Albanian-inhabited lands and the formation of an Albanian national state.

“We have to sacrifice the Albanian people for the sake of peace in Europe,” British Prime Minister Edward Grey said at the 1913 London Ambassadors’ Conference, which decided that half of the Albanian-inhabited territories were to remain outside the borders of the newly formed Albanian state. Now, some 100 years on, the Albanians will not accept being sacrificed for the sake of the “sacred unity of the EU”….

Availing themselves of the restraint and submission of the Kosova Albanians and their trust in Western support for their cause, some European circles intend either to leave Kosova in a state of frozen conflict or to partition it. These circles have forgotten that, when the Albanians saw that their peaceful movement was getting them nowhere, they took up arms to defend their rights. “It was the Kosova Liberation Army resorting to armed struggle in opposition to the desires of Ibrahim Rugova and the international community that in the end led to the intervention of the West and the ousting of Serbian forces from Kosova,” says William Montgomery, former US ambassador to Belgrade.

The former European great powers, which today continue to be the main actors on the European political scene, are - together with other powers - responsible for the current state of the Albanian nation. How can one expect that those same countries that brought about the partitioning of the Albanian-inhabited territories will solve the problems that the Albanians are facing at present? Now those states, which are partly guilty for the current division of the Albanian nation, are being put to the test - to see whether they will do something to atone for their past injustice. The test is whether they will assume their historic responsibility by endorsing and implementing the Ahtisaari plan. Perhaps President Bush wanted to remind the Europeans of this responsibility when he visited Tirana on 10 June, the anniversary of the Albanian League of Prizren.

The time has come for the Albanians to react as one nation and insist on the implementation of the Ahtisaari plan for which they made many concessions affecting their rights. Now, however, the Albanians should make no further concessions…if they see that attempts are being made to deny Kosova its independence or to partition it, then - wherever they happen to be, in Kosova, Macedonia, the Presheve [Presevo] Valley [in southern Serbia], or Montenegro - the Albanians should speak with one voice and call loudly for these regions to join Albania and for the formation of an Albanian national state in the Balkans.

It will depend on the international community whether the tectonic movements in Balkan geopolitics end up with the formation of a new state - an independent Kosova - or with a change of borders that will affect several Balkan states, that is, create a new geopolitical map of the Balkans.

Even circles that are none too well-disposed towards the Albanians expect - to a certain extent - a reunification of the Albanian nation. The day after Bush’s visit to Albania, the Greek daily Ethnos wrote that “almost half the Albanians live in the countries neighbouring Albania: Kosova, Macedonia, and Montenegro. Whether we like it or not, these people want to be unified in an Albanian state that will gather all Albanians within its borders, when the conditions are ripe.”

The conditions are now ripe. Steven Mayor, a professor at the US National Defence University, has said: “…The great powers, includingthe United States, must accept the existence of alternatives which initially they opposed and which now must be re-examined.”

To conclude, the time has come for the situation to be re-examined and, if attempts are made to deny Kosova its independence, or to partition it, the Albanians of Albania, Kosova, Macedonia, the Presheve Valley, and Montenegro must speak with one voice and call loudly for the formation of an Albanian national state. Only then will the continental shelf of Balkan geopolitics find peace and tranquillity.

And an earlier, more honest item this month, which doesn’t pretend the choice is between Kosovo or Greater Albania, but admits it’s going to be both either way, and that Kosovo independence is a step along the way:

Albanian daily says Kosovo independence to boost pressure for “Greater Albania” (Text of report by Albanian newspaper Albania, Aug. 12)

[Commentary by “Prestigj”: “Is ‘Greater Albania’ Beginning or Ending?”]

Many people across the world are saying that the archaic idea of a “Greater Albania” is dead. This they link with the Ahtisaari package for Kosova’s future status…European officials now are thinking that the “Greater Albania” saga is a closed chapter too…Apparently, the Ahtisaari package…[does] not allow Kosova to join Albania or, for that matter, Macedonia. The phrases are very clear and direct indeed…”the creation of a greater state such as, for example, Greater Albania, is not an idea of the time.”

Strangely enough, this time the Albanians of Kosova and Macedonia, or those of the Albanian diaspora or Montenegro, and also those of Albania — who have been singing and dreaming of the unification of Albanian territories — kept silent. They also kept silent when they saw themselves being barred from their dream by a package of conditions set by an envoy from Lenin’s Finland. Those who think that the Albanians have “forgotten” the idea of the unification of their territories or the idea of a Greater Albania are mistaken. Only those who do not know the Albanians well as a Balkan people may think like that. Those, however, who know the Albanians well think differently. And those who know the Albanians well are first and foremost their neighbours.

This time, however, when they saw that they were being denied their desire for “reunification”, the Albanians kept silent because they knew that the Ahtisaari package had a thousand and one loopholes through which they may slip to achieve the unification of their territories, that is, to establish a Greater Albania, and this without the assistance of the former Finnish president, indeed, even without the assistance of the United Nations. Only the ingenuousness — and the sincerity — of a cool-headed diplomat from a cold country working on cold diplomatic dossiers my jump to the conclusion that Kosova will not join Albania following the establishment of its status.

For their part, another category of people and intellectuals — especially those who live close to Albania — people with the same political mentality and political ethnography as the Albanians, considered all this to be a mere “self-induced deception.” There is no reason to doubt that, shortly after the establishment of “independent” status, or a status that does not rule out independence, a Greater Albania will be formed in the Balkans. Attentive analysts and specialists in Balkan affairs consider this a reality that will happen soon.

One cannot think that Kosova’s joining Albania is far off as long [as] “immediately after the establishment of the status there will be joint markets and joint beaches,” as the Albanians say. It cannot be imagined that a Greater Albania can be prohibited by a phrase contained in the Ahtisaari package. The Balkan people only smile at these phrases. Throughout their history, they have learned how to ignore the phrases of the great powers a thousand times a day. At the same time, the Balkan peoples have learned that protectorates imposed by the great powers are short-lived. That is how the Albanians read Ahtisaari’s phrase banning Kosova’s unification with Albania or Macedonia. They know that the West soon tires of the problems of their area, just as they know that the mills of time work very quickly in the mountains that have given their name to their peninsula. A little change would be enough for the West to desist from maintaining by armed force its ban on the unification of Albanian territories.

Deep down, the Albanians do not think that a long time will pass between the recognition of Kosova’s status and its joining Albania. Not only ordinary Albanians who spend much of their time talking nationalist politics, but also their senior politicians want that. This time, however, it was the politicians who came out with the idea of a Greater Albania. Just take up the letters of greetings they sent to Ahtisaari on 3 February, and you will clearly see what senior Albanian politicians — both in the government and in the opposition — really think. They greet the Ahtisaari package “with rejoicing” and add that “this is a victory for the Albanians wherever they happen to be.” Do you not see the hidden idea rearing its head?!

…Indeed, the Balkan states are like communicating vessels: if one of them is reformatted as a greater state, other states must necessarily become smaller. Will Serbia allow itself to become “smaller” just because Albania wants to be “greater”? Or, for that matter, will Macedonia allow that? Especially as Macedonia would have to cede some chunks of its territory to a Greater Albania. A chain reaction of transformation from smaller to greater would follow its Balkan course, as the world’s senior politicians are warning.

And another honest one from July: “‘Reunification’ of all Albanian lands ‘necessity’” - Albanian paper (BBC Monitoring Europe, July 3, Text of report by Albanian newspaper Ballkan on 2 July)

[Commentary by Mona Agrigoro: “Slav and Greek Deceptions Are Being Refuted”]

…The Front for the National Unification of Albanians [FBKSh] considers the Oher Accord [the Ohrid Agreement between Macedonia and Albanian terrorists] a disaccord destined to failure…it is an accord geared to the establishment of a coalition between the Slav occupiers and the Albanian-speaking collaborationists, an accord from which the latter have received only political positions and financial benefits, not state power. Just as in the past, state power in Macedonia is in the hands of the colonizers of over 16,000 square kilometres of Albanian land. The Albanian question is a question of colonial occupation, which is still unresolved due to the occupation and colonization of Albanian territories by the Serbs, Macedonian Slavs, Greeks, and Montenegrins ever since Kosova, the Vardar Valley (now under Macedonia), the Presheve [Presevo] Valley (now under Serbia), the Northern Highlands (now under Montenegro), and Cameria (now under Greece) were invaded by Serbia and Greece in 1912.

It must also be stressed that the Macedonian state, in its essence, is an artificial colonial state that did not exist before 1947 and that was formed only to repartition (for the second time, following the partitioning in 1913) the territories of natural Albania.

[Macedonian Foreign Minister Antonio] Milosovski is just as ludicrous when he tries to separate the question of the Albanians of Kosova from that of the Albanians of Macedonia. There is no question of the Albanians of Macedonia, or the Albanians of Serbia, or the Albanians of Northern Highlands, or the Albanians of Greece, or the Albanians of Montenegro! There is only the question of the Albanians, as an indivisible nation whose liberation and reunification into a national Albanian state in the Balkans has become a necessity of the time if ever we want the Balkans to lose once for all time its powder keg appellation and if ever we want to have peace, security, and stability in Europe, which can be achieved only with the establishment of ethnic states, such as ethnic Albania, ethnic Bulgaria, ethnic Greece, and - why not? - ethnic Serbia.

*****UPDATE*****
Kosovo ex-prime minister Agim Ceku also does the Partition-or-Greater-Albania shuffle, a few months after the above post appeared: “Premier Ceku: Kosovo partition would create ‘Greater Albania’ issue” (DPA, Dec. 26)

Kosovo is ready for independence, the caretaker premier of Serbia’s breakaway province said Wednesday, warning that an attempt to divide Kosovo would create border issues in four countries.

While Serbia adamantly insists on sovereignty over Kosovo in its entirety, some scenarios being floated envisage a partition along the country’s main ethnic lines, into a small Serb north and its Albanian remainder.

However, Kosovo’s outgoing Prime Minister Agim Ceku said a partition would spell trouble throughout the region.

‘Albanians live in four countries other than Albania,’ he told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. ‘If Kosovo is partitioned along ethnic lines, those would want to talk about uniting with Albania.’

Ethnic violence and guerrilla warfare has plagued all those areas, excluding Montenegro, and Albanian extremists have not abandoned the project of a so-called ‘Greater Albania’ with all their compatriots united in a single nation.

In southern Serbia and Macedonia Albanian insurgents maintained an occasionally brutal guerrilla campaign between 1999 and 2001, but violent incidents persist amid ethnic tension. […]

In my American Legion article last month, I wrote of the 500 American airmen rescued during WWII by the anti-Nazi guerilla forces of the Serbian commander Draza Mihailovich and the U.S. troops who coordinated with him in what was arguably the greatest but never-spoken-of rescue mission of the war. I am heartened to be able to announce the release on August 28th of a book titled The Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All For the Greatest Rescue Mission of World War II:

Book Description
An astonishing, never-before-told story of the Second World War, based on newly declassified documents and exclusive interviews. In 1944 the OSS set out to recover more than 500 airmen trapped behind enemy lines in Yugoslavia. Classified for over half a century for political reasons, the full account of this unforgettable story of loyalty, self-sacrifice, and bravery is now being told for the first time.

About the Author
Gregory A. Freeman is an award-winning writer with over 25 years in journalism. He is the author of Sailors to the End: The Deadly Fire on the USS Forrestal and the Heroes Who Fought It.

Last month I published two letters from a gentleman who was part of the rescue mission and is featured prominently in the book, Arthur Jibilian. He had written me after reading the Legion article:

Thank you for your article on THE BALKAN BLOWBACK in the July issue of the AMERICAN LEGION! I parachuted into Mihailovich (Serb) territory in August,1944, to evacuate shot down American airmen.

We “saved” over 500 American airmen…..made possible with the help of Gen. Draja Mihailovich and the Serbian people, many who lost their lives protecting and hiding our boys. I have been trying to clear Mihailovich’s name for over 60 year, but no one is willing to listen.

Again, my heartfelt gratitude,
Arthur Jibilian

Second Letter:

Richard Felman was in the first contingent of 250 Americans evacuated on Aug. 9 and 10, 1944, I believe. I spent almost six months with General Mihailovich, during which time he “funneled” over 500 American airmen to us so that we were able to evacuate them back to Italy.

I was a member of the small contingent that had the honor of presenting the Legion of Merit to Mihailovich’s daughter in May, 2005. VERY little publicity attended this event……it was almost like another one of our OSS secret missions!!!!! In addition, I had the pleasure of presenting her with an album of the Halyard Mission that I had made copies of for this express purpose.

I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that, had Mihailovich been a collaborator, 500 American airmen, four members of the HALYARD MISSION, and three members of the RANGER MISSION, together with a three member medical team, would have been turned over to the Germans……

As the last survivor of the HALYARD MISSION, and on behalf of those who are no longer able to, I say “thank you, and God bless”.

Arthur “Jibby” Jibilian


Jibilian in 1945, and in 1999


Jibilian kneeling in front, middle; Mihailovich directly behind him (the shorter one).


How the men of the Halyard and Ranger missions slept


Mihailovich’s daughter, Gordana Mihailovich, accepting her father’s Legion of Merit.

In 1979, California Governor Ronald Reagan wrote the following letter:

Mr. Michael Radenkovich
Vice President
California Citizens’ Committee to
Commemorate General Mihailovich

Dear Mr. Radenkovich:

Please convey to the California Citizen’s Committee to Commemorate General Draja Mihailovich my sincere appreciation for their kind invitation to attend tonight’s dinner to commemorate General Mihailovich. Unfortunately, prior committments prevent me from being with you.

I believe that the spirit in which you have gathered here to honor the memory of General Mihailovich, the faithful allied commander and the first anti-Nazi leader in Europe, is shared by the great majority of Americans.

The ultimate tragedy of Draza Mihailovich cannot erase the memory of his heroic and often lonely struggle against the twin tyrannies that afflicted his people, Nazism and Communism. He knew that totalitarianism, whatever name it might take, is the death of freedom. He thus became a symbol of resistance to all those across the world who have had to fight a similar heroic and lonely struggle against totalitarianism. Mihailovich belonged to Yugoslavia; his spirit now belongs to all those who are willing to fight for freedom.

Thus, the fate of General Mihailovich is not simply of historic significance — it teaches us something today, as well. No western nation, including the United States, can hope to win its own battle for freedom and survival by sacrificing brave comrades to the politics of international expediency.

Your dinner therefore commemorates something more than the legacy of patriotism and heroism that Mihailovich left us. You commemorate the principles for which he fought and died. And you remind our nation that abandonment of allies can never buy security or freedom. In the mountains of Yugoslavia, in the jungles of Vietnam, wherever men and women have fought totalitarian brutality, it has been demonstrated beyond doubt that both freedom and honor suffer when firm commitments become sacrificed to false hopes of appeasing aggressors by abandoning friends.

Sincerely,
Ronald Reagan

*********
Several paragraphs of my Legion article that so offended a pair of PR soldiers at Camp Bondsteel — because they weren’t being shot at just yet and so their families got worried for “nothing” and because most of the Serb-cleansing had taken place before they got there in November — were devoted to Mihailovich’s fearless deeds on behalf of those 500 Americans. I also drew a parallel between Western powers’ betrayal of the Serbs then and now.

Notably, in their single-minded assault on my article, the Fellenzer-Staggs team easily forgot the Forgotten 500 as well, not deeming this part of the article worthy of any mention — even in a separate blog post. As far as these 500 saved airmen and the American and Serb men in uniform who rescued them are concerned, and to borrow Fellenzer’s words regarding myself: Staggs-Fellenzer “took a large, steamy dump on the troops.”

I recently blogged about Staggs’ visit to the Visoki Decani Monastery in Kosovo, deservedly jabbing him about some admissions he inadvertently made in the post. As well, he had written, “This was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see what I consider to be one of the surviving wonders of the world. And yes, I would defend this and other historical buildings like it with my life because I consider it to be that important.”

Of course, as part of the 8th KFOR rotation — assuming he doesn’t insist on staying on in Kosovo — Staggs will be leaving Kosovo within a month or two and making way for the ninth rotation to take over. So more likely someone else will be in the position to have to defend the monastery with his life when things get wild in Kosovo very soon. In fact, he and Fellenzer will be out in the nick of time, and there will be a whole new set of soldiers when all hell breaks loose later this year. The hapless replacements won’t have had enough time in Kosovo to figure out for themselves what my source soldier did in the year he’s been there and tried to warn them about, and they won’t have gotten the real story of Kosovo — just the official one — thanks to our politicians, the dutiful military command, and hacks like Fellenzer-Staggs who buttress the official line.

Because of my sarcastic use of the word “Soldier” before Staggs’ name in the aforementioned blog, he accused me in his comments section of showing disrespect to the uniform. But as I’ve repeatedly made clear, I’m not the one who is an insult to the uniform.

In case there is still any doubt about the stuff hitting the fan very soon, look at the statements that the Kosovo NATO commander quickly retracted after meeting with Commanding General Douglas Earhart of Multinational Task Force-East (Fellenzer’s sector):

NATO commander in Kosovo warns of trouble if no deal struck

…German Lt. Gen. Roland Kather, who commands over 16,000 troops in Kosovo, urged Western and Russian envoys to broker a deal between the independence seeking ethnic-Albanians and Serbia’s officials or risk facing a violent backlash if no agreement is reached.

“Patience is not endless,” Kather said. “They should come up with a decision as soon as possible.”

Kather said the situation was quiet in the province of some two million people but added it was “unpredictable.”

“Certainly the situation will deteriorate after those 120 days,” Kather said. “We have to do everything possible to keep it under control…They need a fuse, and then they might come up with some violent actions. That of course, will cause a reaction … and then suddenly this violence might run out of control,” he said.

I can only hope that whoever and wherever the replacement soldiers are, they’ve read at least some of my work about Kosovo, but especially the two letters from the anonymous soldier there who was sounding a warning before Fellenzer-Staggs had him muzzled.

As to this “patience” that Albanians are running out of in waiting for the independence that they were told by the UN in 1999 they had no claim to and should never expect: the reason their patience has been wearing thin is that we were mere pawns in an elaborate Albanian scheme for a Greater Albania. And we’re holding up the agenda. (One journalist I know was fired from The Washington Post in 1999 after remarking to his superiors, “So how does it feel to be outsmarted by Albanians?”)

But according to Staggs, what accounts for the impatience, and the intolerance toward Serbs, by Kosovo Albanians is that “They’re still a bit miffed because of a plan of extermination carried out against them in 1999.”

Ah. So here we are. At the usual place. The same, ubiquitous Square One we always find ourselves at when it comes to what happened in Kosovo, revealing the void that always underlies ignorance like that being flaunted by the Staggs-Fellenzer PR team. Staggs, like every other last human clone on the planet, naturally didn’t follow the Milosevic trial. How could he? No American news outlet covered it. No one covered “THE BIGGEST TRIAL SINCE NUREMBERG,” as it was billed, dealing with “THE WORST ATROCITIES SINCE WORLD WAR II,” as they’re still billed. Had he miraculously distinguished himself from the bleak sea of cloned humanity out there by following even one day of the “most important” and most ignored judicial proceedings of our time — indeed, had he actually read my Legion article as he claimed — he would know that there was no extermination plan for Albanians. No genocide. No systematic ethnic cleansing, as this Washington Post article in 2000 by Benjamin Schwarz and visiting Cato fellow Christopher Layne bears out:

As a result of its failure to understand, the [Clinton] administration appears to have fallen for some of the oldest tricks in the book. The KLA’s guerrilla campaign was a deliberate attempt to provoke Belgrade into reprisals that would attract the West’s attention. Knowing it could not defeat Yugoslavia without NATO’s military support, the KLA waged a nasty insurgency that included assassinations of Serbian political and military officials. The KLA calculated — accurately — that a violent Yugoslav retaliation would pressure Washington and its allies to intervene. Although U.S. intelligence warned the Clinton administration of the KLA’s intentions, Clinton and his advisers took the bait: Washington placed the blame for events in Kosovo on Belgrade and absolved the KLA.

In this light, Clinton ’s assertion at a June 25, 1999 , postwar news conference that the bombing was a way to stop “deliberate, systematic efforts at . . . genocide” in Kosovo seems either disingenuous or ignorant. Before the start of NATO’s bombing on March 24, 1999 , approximately 1,800 civilians–overwhelmingly ethnic Albanians but also Serbs–had been killed in 15 months of bitter warfare between the KLA and Yugoslav forces. Up to that point, however, there had been no genocide or ethnic cleansing. The Yugoslav army’s admittedly brutal operations had been directed at rooting out the KLA, not at expelling Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian population.

Ironically, the U.S.-led NATO bombing precipitated the very humanitarian crisis the administration claimed it was intervening to stop…Not only did the forced removal of civilians result from the NATO bombing, but administration claims of mass killings — made to rally popular support for the war — turn out to have been exaggerated…To date, according to U.N. reports, forensic specialists working under U.N. auspices have exhumed 2,108 bodies. It is far from certain that all of these victims perished as a result of Yugoslav atrocities; some may have been combatants, others may have been civilians caught in the cross-fire between the Yugoslav army and the KLA. Still others may have been civilians killed by NATO bombs…

The war in the province itself never ended. Moreover, despite the presence of U.S. and NATO peacekeepers, once Yugoslav forces left Kosovo the KLA began a new campaign of terror, this time targeting the province’s Serbian and Gypsy populations. This campaign of ethnic cleansing continues unabated. Albright’s assertion March 8 in a speech in Prague that the KLA “disbanded” is a fiction. Politically, the KLA leadership constitutes the backbone of Kosovo’s de facto government. Militarily, it has merely gone underground; the continuing violence against the province’s remaining Serbs bears — according to NATO officers on the ground — the hallmarks of the KLA. Meanwhile, across the border from Kosovo in Serbia proper, the KLA — as part of its effort to carve out a greater Albania — is waging guerrilla war in the Presevo Valley region, which is populated largely by ethnic Albanians…Impartial observers recognize that in postwar Kosovo, the KLA has been the heavy. Until now, the United States and NATO have been hesitant to confront it, fearing — with good reason — the KLA will turn on them.

One hopes that after reading this post, Staggs-Fellenzer has a better sense of the “extermination” myth. And if it does, then we must ask it: What explanation do you have now for Albanians not wanting Serbs to live among them?

Just a couple Daily Kosovo items I never blogged. (For “slower” readers, I should explain that Daily Kosovo items include Kosovo-related incidents as well.):

149 Sheep, 10 Cows, 3 Albanians, 2 Serbs and a Goat
Text of report by Serbian independent news agency FoNet, via BBC Monitoring (link not available)

Belgrade, 3 April: A deputy chairman of the [Serbian] Coordination Centre for South Serbia, [Sandzak Democratic Party - SDP chairman] Rasim Ljajic, told FoNet today that he demanded of Kfor to officially conduct a joint investigation with members of the [Serbian] Interior Ministry in Velika Braina village in which armed ethnic Albanians had attacked and beaten up two elderly persons, seizing their livestock.

Ljajic visited Velika Braina, a village next to the very administrative line with Kosovo in the Medvedja municipality, where the attack had taken place. He recalled that this was not the first incident in this part of the country.

“It is especially worrisome that these were armed men wearing camouflage uniforms,” Ljajic said.

“Just 30 minutes after we left the place, three shots were heard in the place we had visited, and these were shots fired from weapons of a larger calibre. This means that we had been followed all the time,” Ljajic said.

Three armed ethnic Albanians on Monday attacked and beat up Branko Zdravkovic (born in 1939) and his sister Draguna Cvetkovic (born in 1938) who were tending the livestock.

One hundred and forty-nine sheep and lambs, 10 cattle and one goat were seized.

US Peacekeeper Beaten in Kosovo
Oct. 20, 2006

A U.S. peacekeeper serving with the NATO-led mission in Kosovo was beaten by three people who attacked him at a petrol station, a U.S. military spokesman said Friday.

The soldier was lightly injured in the attack, which occurred Wednesday near the main military base in the province, Camp Bondsteel, where some 1,700 U.S. peacekeepers are stationed.

The soldier, who was not identified, was treated at the camp’s hospital and released, said a spokesman for U.S. forces in Kosovo, Maj. Paul Pecena.

Pecena said the soldier was off base with other troops from his unit, but was wearing civilian clothing when he was attacked.

Just to be clear, please note that this incident was B.F. — Before Fellenzer — as it took place one month before her arrival in November. So it doesn’t really count as a Kosovo incident.

“No church or monastery has been destroyed in Kosovo since 2004.”
– Nicki Fellenzer, National Guard soldier/spokeswoman stationed in Kosovo

So pay no attention to the following, since desecration does not equal destruction, and “religious site” doesn’t necessarily mean “church” or “monastery”:

Kosovo Police Statistics Show Increase in Attacks on Religious Sites (from the independent internet news agency KosovaLive, via BBC Monitoring):

Latest statistics of the Kosova [Kosovo] Police Service (ShPK), which show an increase of the attacks on cultural and religious sites, are damaging the image of Kosov[o], officials say.

Here comes the obligatory Albanian/NATO disclaimer:

Veton Elshani, a spokesperson for the ShPK, told KosovaLive that most of these attacks have a criminal background and have nothing to do with interethnic relations.

According to the ShPK statistics, since the beginning of the year there were 52 cases of attacks on the cultural heritage sites, 18 of which were successfully resolved by the police.

Let me look into my crystal ball and see if we can’t predict whether there’ll be more attacks on religious sites. Wait — I’m getting something, I’m getting something —

Kosovo Albanians view Serbian flag on monasteries as “provocation”

“Certainly, this is provocation. To tell you the truth, we do not feel happy about this. I do not know what the village will do, but this will not remain so,” [villager Bujar] warned, not wanting to comment any further.

More news from the budding multi-ethnic democracy:

Kosovo Albanian “terrorists” said warning against sale of property to Serbs (Text of report by Serbian independent news agency FoNet, July 19)

The Serb National Council (SNV) of Northern Kosovo-Metohija said today that “Albanian terrorist organizations — the Front of National Albanian Union and the Albanian National Army (ANA) — have recently, by threatening with court matrial, warned Kosovo Albanians not to sell their houses and property to Serbs at any cost.”

In a leaflet these organizations are distributing all over Kosovo, Serbs are, according to the SNV, branded as the Albanians’ “centuries-old enemies”, to whom Albanians “must not sell an inch of Albanian soil at this historic moment”.

OSCE Mission in Kosovo calls for increased awareness on interdependence between returns and property rights

“Unfortunately, eight years after the conflict, thousands of people continue to live in unacceptable conditions of displacement in Kosovo. They have not seen any remedy against the violation of their housing and property rights and, in many cases, do not enjoy adequate housing conditions,” said Henry McGowen, the Acting Head of the OSCE Mission.

Kosovo: Return of property halted

UNMIK chief Joachim Ruecker has decided to temporarily put on hold the return of property in Kosovo…Serbia’s state secretary with the Ministry for Kosovo, Dušan Prorokovic, said the decision was “one of the most scandalous in the eight-year history of UNMIK”.

“It awards usurpers, and punished over 25,000 Serb families that applied for the return of their property,” Prorokovic told Beta. He added Ruecker’s decision made impossible for any return of the non-Albanian residents to the province, and legalized the results of ethnic cleansing of July 1999 and March 2004.

The decree was reversed on Wednesday (link no longer available):

Today [Wednesday], UNMIK Head Joachim Ru[e]cker cancelled the provision on suspension of the Kosmet property return, adopted beginning August – communicated his Deputy Stephen Shuck. According to him, today’s decision shows resoluteness of the UN administration and Kosmet institutions to respect the rule of law.

I guess there’s a first time for everything.

And a zillionth time:

Serbian TV reports on plight of Kosovo Serb villagers, June 12 (Link from Hoovers.com, a subsidiary of Financial Times, is no longer available):

[Reporter Ljiljana Jankovic] The village of Gornji Strmac is reached via a steep, barely passable road. Among the remaining 16 households in the village, which is frequently being attacked by Albanians from the nearby Drenica, is the Trajkovic family. They were expelled from the neighbouring Donji Strmac. Their three houses and all movable and immovable property have been destroyed.

[Radivoje Trajkovic] We barely managed to escape. We managed to take two cows. Everything else was left down there and was burnt and destroyed.

I missed this one from December:

Part of Zvecan-Kosovo Polje Rail Line Blown Up

Kosovska Mitrovica, Dec 9, 2006 – The Coordinating Centre for Kosovo-Metohija stated that yesterday at 5.30 pm unidentified persons blew up rail tracks on the railroad near the village of Mijalic, Vucitrn municipality, Kosovo-Metohija, just a few minutes before a train with Serbs from Poluzje and Plemetina were to pass that way. The rail line from Zvecan to Kosovo Polje mostly transports Serbs from Kosovo-Metohija, according to the statement.

And I missed this one from Reuters in November:

Grenade explodes in Serb classroom in Kosovo

A grenade exploded in a classroom used by Serb children in Kosovo on Tuesday, but the elementary school pupils escaped injury, police said.

A Kosovo police spokesman said the grenade exploded in a stove used to heat the classroom shortly after lessons began at around 7.50 a.m. (0650 GMT) at the Trajko Peric school in the village of Veliko Ropotovo near the eastern town of Kamenica.

“The stove was completely destroyed and some parts of the classroom as well,” said spokesman Veton Elshani.

A Kosovo Serb education official said the children had been moved to another classroom minutes earlier because their teacher was absent, leaving the room empty…

Kosovo is braced for a possible rise in ethnic violence following a move by major powers this month to delay a United Nations decision on the ethnic Albanian majority’s demand for independence from Serbia.

Some 100,000 Serbs live in Kosovo, many in isolated enclaves….U.N. officials say attacks on Serbs are falling, but their freedom of movement remains restricted.

Ah, there are so many things “not happening” in Kosovo. Then again, as the U.N. officials pointed out, this is actually an improvement. And in June there was even some good news for dead Serbs:

Kosovo Serb families have taken over the remains of 253 victims - the Missing Persons Commission continues to search for 570.

…[E]xhumation works [will] begin in some individual and mass grave locations as soon as possible…The last such dig was conducted a month ago in Prizren’s Orthodox cemetery, uncovering 10 bodies of as yet unidentified victims.

Several more bodies found in an Albanian family’s backyard also await identification, while families of five Serb victims will on July 6 be handed the remains of their loved ones in Merdari, on the administrative boundary between Kosovo and Serbia proper.

This is on top of these two mass graves found in 2005:

UN forensic experts are examining bodies found in a mass grave in Kosovo, believed to be Serbs killed by ethnic Albanian guerrillas in 1998.

The grave was found in the town of Malisevo, 45 km (30 miles) south-west of the capital Pristina. If confirmed, this would be the second such find in a month after 24 bodies were found in a cave last month.

This past June 20th was “World Refugee Day.” Who can guess which country in Europe has the most refugees? Excerpt from report by Serbian TV satellite service :

[Newsreader] Today is the World Refugee Day. With some 105,000 refugees and more than 200,000 internally displaced persons [IDP] from Kosovo-Metohija, Serbia is the country with most refugees and IDP in Europe.

In the Front Page article today, I make mention of an incident from last September:

An explosion in western Kosovo injured four Serbs late Tuesday, the fourth bombing in the last five days, police said. The blast occurred outside a home in the small town of Kline [Klina], about 60 kilometers (40 miles) west of the capital…Three other bombings in the province since Friday only damaged cars…

The injured Serbs were refugees who returned to Klina in 2005 after fleeing Kosovo in the 1998-99 war. Here are their photos:

As American Thinker contributor Ray Robison would say, these are “probably the same people who were raping and murdering the Kosovars in the first place.”

An American of Serbian origin, Kathleen, recently wrote me in response to all that freedom of movement that our National Guard duo assures us Serbs have in Kosovo:

I would like to comment on the blog of the National Guard lady who says that the Serbs are free to go wherever they want in Kosovo. Ask her to walk the streets of Pec dressed as a civilian and to ask one of the young males sitting in the outside cafes with sunglasses on and a cell phone to his ear for the time — but be sure to ask the question in Serbian. Then tell us (if she lives) how free the Serbs are.

Last Spring (May 2006) my husband and I traveled to Serbia to visit the monasteries. We took a side trip to Kosovo but needed a UN and (Albanian) police escort to get in. We were a group of American Serbs. When we reached the border of Kosovo [and met with them] we had to show passports even though we were still in SERBIA. We handed over our passports. It seemed to take forever. We kept saying that we’re US citizens who want to visit the monasteries. When the guard finally returned with our passports, the priest who was traveling with us asked what the problem was since we were all American citizens. The answer came, “Yes. We can see and we also see by your names that you are of Serbian descent!” And this was supposedly when the border was controlled by the unbiased UN.

Our van was not allowed to stop anywhere until we got to the Pec Patriarchate. As soon as you approach the Patriarchate you see tanks and soldiers with guns. This is freedom? We asked the nuns if they can leave. Yes they can as long as it is in an armored vehicle. Then we went to Decani and saw the same thing. Tanks and soldiers…When it was time for us to leave, a Serbian man who had brought his mother to the monastery begged to be allowed to travel back to the Kosovska Mitrovica with us since it was getting dark and he was afraid to drive back alone. Again we sped through the towns with the police escort, never stopping.

Shame on these Americans for believing their own propaganda. The article that you wrote and that they were responding to was an article that I had forwarded to several friends. However, not watching what I was typing, I accidentally sent it to someone in my address book whom I really didn’t know. When she received it she had to write back to me angrily for having sent it to her. Her husband is military and she was highly offended by what you wrote. She had to let me know that her husband worked with both the Serbs and the Albanians and the Serbs should just get over it. What was funny in the end of her letter was her statement that she was highly offended that anyone would suggest that our Congress could be bought. Our American Congress cannot be bought she said. (Do you think she reads at all?) I was almost tempted to forward the article by Serge Trifkovic that ended with the statement about the US congress — “The best Congress money can buy!”

Thank you again for all your work.