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While the United States and Germany are browbeating Serbia into the last leg of surrendering Kosovo to the narco-terrorist mafia demanding it, the latter are beating up female missionaries.

It happened this past November, and for almost two weeks was kept quiet and out of the news. And it happened in the very capital of our Kosovo “success,” Pristina. The Albanian perpetrators attacked Americans, their stubbornly eternal benefactors at Christian-Orthodox expense. (And of course at the expense of local Roma, Turk, Bosniak, Ashkali and Gorani Muslims who were just fine with rule from Belgrade.) When the news did finally get out, via an AP report, it was carried only locally and in Utah:

2 LDS sister missionaries attacked in Kosovo (Fox 13 Now, Nov. 13, 2013)

SALT LAKE CITY — Two American missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were attacked in Kosovo; it happened in the city of Pristina ten days ago, but news reports of the beating just surfaced late Wednesday afternoon.

The incident is being tied to terrorism and the suspects responsible have been arrested.

[An actual arrest is unusual for Kosovo; then again, the victims weren’t among Kosovo’s ethnic minorities, so they count for something.]

Fox 13 News has learned two sister missionaries were beaten by Albanians, who are also tied to plotting a terrorist attack. The LDS Church said the two young women are out of harm’s way and doing OK.

[Also unusual: This local Fox affiliate actually identified the perpetrators directly as Albanians.]

Kosovo is tucked away in the Eastern block of Europe; the country is no stranger to political strife. Video from 2004 shows the break-away Balkan territory suffering from bombings, protests and riots. Civil unrest was not uncommon during that time, and today there are growing concerns about the rise of Islamic extremism in the country.

[Now there’s a nice, neutral way of putting it. Why provide readers/viewers context for what just happened to their fellow Mormons, such as being specific about who was rioting and hurling those Molotov cocktails in 2004? Specifically, Albanians continuing their ethnic and religious purification process while sending a message to the internationals to hurry up with the hand-over of the cleansed Serbian territory.]

Six Albanians suspected of plotting a terrorist attack were arrested ten days ago, and authorities believe two of them beat two sister missionaries in the capital city of Pristina on Nov. 3.

The LDS Church released a statement saying, “We can confirm two sister missionaries were beaten in Kosovo and have been moved out of the area. Gratefully they are making a full recovery.” […]

The video at the link below also uses that oh-so-controversial identifier “…attacked by a group of Albanians.” (As opposed to terms preferred by polite society, like “former Yugoslavs”; “Kosovars”; or “in Serbia.”) The accompanying report mentions that two of the total six arrested reputedly fought alongside Syrian rebels:

2 LDS Sister Missionaries Attacked in Kosovo

SALT LAKE CITY — Two suspected terrorists are being held in Kosovo after a Nov. 3 attack on two American women serving as missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

A total of six men were arrested Nov. 5 in connection with an alleged terrorist plot “inspired by extreme Islamist ideology.” Two of the six are suspects in the investigation of the attack on the LDS missionaries, a senior police official involved with the investigation told the Associated Press.

After being treated in Pristina, the two women left Kosovo to return to the mission home in Tirana, Albania, about a three-hour drive. The women are part of the Adriatic South Mission, which includes Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia. [What a lucky assignment for two women!]

Six ethnic Albanians suspected of plotting a terrorist attack inspired by extreme Islamist ideology, including two believed to have fought alongside Syrian rebels, have been arrested in Kosovo, officials said Tuesday.

A seventh suspect remains at large.

One last report had the detail of a flashlight being used to hit the women in the head:

Two LDS Sister Missionaries Recover after Attack in Kosovo (KUTV, Nov. 13)

…On November 5th, the beating suspects and four others, all ethnic Albanians, were arrested for allegedly planning a terrorist attack. Police said they found a sniper rifle, handguns and explosive materials at the suspects’ houses.

An elder serving in the same mission, posted on his blog that the American embassy in Kosovo reported that the attackers were part of a larger group that has unfriendly feelings toward the LDS church. That missionary also said the sister missionaries were beaten with flashlights and that since the attack, missionaries in that area travel in packs of four.

The mother of one of the victims told us over the phone the two young women are recovering and made the decision to continue serving, although in a different mission area.

Really? Not in safe and stable, multi-ethnic-democracy Kosovo? ( “[Biden] stressed the United States’ continuing, irreversible support for Kosovo’s independence, territorial integrity, and sovereignty as a multi-ethnic democracy.” That’s Vice President Biden, who former Defense Secretary Robert Gates this month confirmed “has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.” Meanwhile, what else in the political world is emphatically described as “irreversible,” with use of terms like “eternal,” a hint that Kosovo and the U.S. are condemned to each other, inextricably linked to guard each others’ secrets and crimes like a pair of Clintons.)

It was only thanks to reader J. Brock, a non-Serb outraged over “what the U.S. and other governments are doing to Serbs,” and his puzzlement that most everyone is fooled, that I even learned of this incident. He himself came upon it through some twitter post with a link to an angry ex-Mormon’s blog raging over the incident. So, it was only local Utah news and Mormons or ex-Mormons on forums or blogs, who wrote or knew of it. Some unreported details came from that ex-Mormon blogger — Utahnite — who claims that local media only covered it after community forums such as his shamed them into it:

It was 2 sister missionaries, who were beaten severely with a sharp [or blunt] object to the head & shoved down a flight of stairs…They had to have their heads shaved & stitched up & they’re now recovering in the church mission home & YES, OF COURSE, brainwashed as they are..PLAN TO FINISH THEIR MISSIONS! If their parents had ANY SENSE..they’d demand they come home, NOW!

Utahnite also wondered what Mormon missionaries were doing in Kosovo to begin with. According to an August 2012 article, the LDS Church established itself in Pristina in mid 2011, and Adriatic South Mission president Andrew Ford “says the country is ‘just another place, and we’re used to all sorts of places’ …There are plans to…introduce women (or ’sister missionaries’) into the country next year.”

That doesn’t seem to be going so well.

Kosovo’s being tough for Christian missionaries is a theme that’s come up before. A 2010 article in Cornerstone University’s The Herald (which has since been removed, and the young missionary couple — an American and her converted Albanian husband — asked that their names not be mentioned), read in part:

Kosovo is a Muslim country…religion is not just a faith for them — it is a culture… “When a person converts to Christianity in Kosovo it seems like you are betraying heritage, family, culture,” [____] said. Because of this, [her husband] could not openly tell others that he is a Christian. He needed to wait until the right time and build the right relationships. [His] faith is still a secret to some of his friends and family…

Another Christian group had the misfortune of operating in Kosovo in time for the 2004 riots. If one follows the World English Institute’s “Kosova” chronicle (Prizren, Kosova Church of Christ; the church in Kosova is under persecution) one will notice these excerpts:

The church grew in number and in spirit for a period. In April 04, the people of Prizren raided the school stealing property.

The church has changed significantly recently. Jim is back in Scotland. Several moved to Prishtina for university studies. The Muslim community has become violent, and the assembly is now in the home of Ismajl…”

April 2004
Comments: The church in Prizren is in a city subject to conflicts between the resident Muslims and a few Serbs. The Serbs, confined to their homes for the most part, recently have seen their church buildings burned. NATO failed to halt this conflict. WEI’s school and the church in Prizren suffered loss of some items in their building and are now meeting in homes, appropriately.

Note: August 04
It has been reported that shots were fired over the house where the church meets. This is the home of Ismajl who not only hosts the assemblies, but he regularly teaches students using WEI’s lessons.”

Dear Dick,

Thanks for your words of encouragement.

There were two days of “demonstrations” in Kosova on the 18th and 19th of March. About 30 people were killed around the country, including several UN workers. I arrived the following week, and by then all was calm….all of the windows had been broken out of the WEI office and church meeting place. However, they had regrouped, as it were, and were meeting in one of the members home…In Christ and for His sake,

One is reminded to be dismayed that the flood of Christian groups into post-war Kosovo has focused on Albanians more than on helping their Orthodox brethren, who needed food, clothes, medicine, housing and support. And of course this one uses the majority-Muslim usurper’s pronunciation and spelling of the Christian-Serb province.

Between the LDS news and this weekend’s shooting at Columbia Mall in Maryland, it’s become relevant to bring up a certain other mall shooting. This past October NY Post carried a noteworthy item by Paul Sperry, which deigned to bring up the 2007 Valentine’s massacre at Trolley Square in Salt Lake City. The Post article also dared to utter the Bosnian-Muslim name and origin of the perpetrator, Sulejman Talovic, and to be emphatic via photos and a TV news clip. (Do check out the last sentence of that two-minute report.) “Dared,” because the Bosnian Muslims are our other protegees at Orthodox-Serb expense. Significantly, Trolley Square was the first deadly mall shooting in America. Links and bold emphasis added:

Could the Kenya attack happen here? It did (NY Post, Oct. 12, 2013)

After Islamic gunmen attacked the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, the collective reaction from the US media was to speculate whether such terror could happen here, as if a jihadist assault on a mall inside America had never before been tried.

CNN was typical: “Can it happen here? Yes, say security experts, but it hasn’t.”

News flash: it did.

On the evening of Feb. 12, 2007, a young Muslim man walked into the Trolley Square mall in Salt Lake City with a pistol-grip, 12-gauge shotgun and a 38-caliber revolver and opened fire on shoppers, killing five and wounding four others, including a pregnant woman.

Police say he “sought to kill as many people as possible.” He had a backpack full of ammunition, enough firepower to massacre dozens of innocent people. But fortunately, an off-duty cop returned fire and eventually, with the help of other police, put an end to the terrorist’s life and grand plans.

Twice as many people were killed at the Utah mall than the Boston Marathon. Yet the attack garnered few national headlines.

Local media wrote it off as the act of a madman, parroting the quick conclusion of law enforcement.

Officially, the FBI declared the mass shooting was not an act of terrorism.

“We were unable to pin down any particular motive,” said Tim Fuhrman, then-special agent in charge of the bureau’s field office in Salt Lake City. “Unfortunately, his motivations went to the grave with him.”

Sulejman Talovic
Photo: AP

But the FBI ignored much of the shooter’s background.

A Salt Lake City police officer inside the Trolley Square Mall Feb., 12, 2007, the night of the shooting
Photo: AP

The shooter was Sulejmen Talovic, an 18-year-old Bosnian immigrant named after Suleiman the Magnificent, the 16th-century jihadist-turned-sultan.

As early as 2004, police were called to Talovic’s school after it was discovered that he was looking at Tek-9 semiautomatic firearms on the Internet and boasting that his “grandfather was in the jihad.”

It was a reference to the 1990s holy war between Bosnian Muslims and Christian Serbs in which his grandfather was reportedly killed.

And yet, even with this boastful admission, our news media and so-called law enforcement insisted that the boy probably became demented by the fighting that resulted from that jihad rather than by a family history of violence in the jihad itself. (Again, check out the last sentence of that news clip.)

Apparently, Talovic had prepared for his own martyrdom. He told a friend before the attack that “tomorrow is going to be the happiest day of my life, but it will happen only once.”

“One interpretation of this statement is that Talovic was happy that he was going to be a shahid — that he would be committing jihad and go to paradise,” according to a July 2, 2007, electronic communication from the Salt Lake City field office to the counterterrorism division of the FBI.

Before leaving for the mall, which was located just a few minutes from the mosque he attended, he showered and put on a necklace featuring a miniature Koran, a gift from his father [also a jihad veteran].

Prior to his death, some witnesses overheard Talovic shouting “Allahu Akbar!” — or “Allah is greatest!” — a ritual cry of suicide terrorists.

Talovic was “described as religious,” according to the FBI communiqué, marked “Secret.” “He had attend[ed] the mosque regularly for Friday prayers.”

That mosque was the Al-Noor Mosque, led by a Somali national. Some investigators suspect Talovic was radicalized there.

These details are buried in the more than 745 pages of investigative reports generated in the case by the FBI, the same agency that officially claims it found no evidence Talovic’s religion was a factor.

“Clearly, he had some religious beliefs,” Fuhrman said, “but just because someone has religious beliefs doesn’t mean anything is a terrorist act.”

No, but it strains credulity that Talovic wasn’t animated by his faith. There was an abundance of clues he was motivated at least in part by jihadist impulses. […]

According to a Utah-local report on Feb. 21, 2007 (link no longer available), Talovic’s initial target may have been an LDS church:

“Was Talovic Spotted at LDS Church?”

A security worker for the LDS church reveals to ABC 4 News, security guards watching over the crowds at Music and the Spoken Word the Sunday before the Trolley Square shootings were trailing a man he believes was Sulejmen Talovic… “There was a suspicious man with an overcoat and a back pack…[He] appeared to be carrying something inside the coat that he kept adjusting.”

The security worker says the young man resembled Talovic and in the week following the Trolley Square killings, many of his peers in LDS security agree Talovic was amidst the crowd at the conference center just one day before the shootings. “If we wouldn’t have been on our toes something could have happened. We highly believe it was him.”

ABC 4 News spoke with LDS church spokesperson Scott Trotter, who confirmed video tape was rolled on the suspicious person, and that the person had a similarity to Talovic…The security worker tells ABC 4 News he believes the man left after seeing that security procedures dictate purse and back pack searches before entrance to the conference center is permitted. […]

But the dossier on Bosnia and Kosovo be damned: Always in step with U.S. policy on the Balkans and Eastern Orthodoxy, “Hollywood has resolutely kept its eye on the real threat. Serbian terrorism,” Daniel Greenfield wrote last Friday. “The United States has remained unscathed by Serbian terrorism, though…this weekend, ‘Ride Along’…once again takes on the terrible threat of: Serbian terrorism. When the Serbs aren’t available, the Russians have to step in…When ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’ featured a terrorist cell in Dearborn, even though Muslims dominate the area, the villains were shown operating out of a Russian Orthodox church and getting their cues from a priest reading the bible while the terrorists cried out, ‘Slava Bogu’ or ‘Praise God.’”

In closing, one must linger on a sentence contained in the NY Post item above: “[T]he Islamic element was so efficiently scrubbed from the Trolley Square terrorist attack that Salt Lake charities and local Mormons helped raise funds for Talovic’s family to prepare and ship their son’s bullet-ridden body to Bosnia for an Islamic burial.

The United Suckers of America have similarly stepped up for Kosovo, in one case donating and transporting a fire truck (link no longer available):

“2012 - Mason helps Kosovo, Dart grows and Dansville gets tech” (Lansing Journal, Dec 31, 2012)

INGHAM COUNTY — An international act of charity and growth for a company that has its international headquarters in Mason were top stories for southern Ingham County in 2012.

The Leslie School District opened a 100-acre nature center and Dansville Public Schools gave every student an iPad this year as well.

An unfortunate setback for a plan for Mason to donate a fire truck from Mason to Kosovo turned into [an] example of vigorous community support.

After two years of red tape, inspections and planning, the 1984 decommissioned fire truck donation from the Mason Fire Department was on its way to Selfridge Airforce Base when on Aug. 6 when it broke down near Brighton.

Mason Mayor Leon Clark was driving the truck in what he thought was its final ride in America before taking a 5,000-mile trip by cargo plane to Germany, than to the town of Vitina in Kosovo.

But instead it had to miss its flight because of a costly blown head gasket.

Undeterred, the community stepped up again to not only help get the truck repaired but raise funds to send people along with it.

An all-day fund-raiser on Sept. 10 at the Mason A & W raised $1,700 towards the cost of sending people, along with a $1,000 donation from the Ingham County Mounted Division and $1,000 private donation from a member of the Mason Rotary Club.

“If you add in the over $2,000 worth of repairs donated by Mark Hildebrandt at Done Right Auto and RV, you can see that this has truly become a community wide project, that everyone is proud of,” he said.

The truck and four Mason officials eventually made it to Kosovo along with extra equipment in November.

Fire truck that was headed for Kosovo. Poor fire truck.

From another report:

…The city seems to have a fondness for Kosovo: shortly after its civil war, eight refugee families moved to Mason. Jakup Jahiri, a Kosovo native, came to the city two years ago to visit his son and was amazed at the amount of firefighting equipment Mason had when his own city had so little.

“[Jahiri] said, ‘You must sleep very peacefully at night to have this amount of trucks and equipment for the size of town that you have,’” said Mason Fire Chief Kerry Minshall. “That led to the discussion about what they do and don’t have over there and we decided to see what we could do to get this donated to them.”

This time around, Clark, along with three other Mason firefighters, are accompanying the truck across the Atlantic. But the donations don’t stop there — they are also donating lightly used supplies, including coats, pants, boots, gloves, helmets, hoses, exhaust fans and a set of jaws of life. Clark and his team are going to spend some time in Vitina after the delivery showing the local firefighters how to use some of the equipment and making sure everything gets delivered intact — and with no breakdowns.

A reference point on Vitina, among countless others: Kosovo: Serb house destroyed in fire (B92, Oct. 1, 2007)

KOSOVSKA VITINA, Oct 1 (Tanjug) - A local Serb’s house burned in a fire that broke out late Sunday in the village of Klokot, near Kosovska Vitina. The house belonged to Milan Nedeljkovic, who escaped unharmed. Locals suspect that the incident was the work of arsonists…[T]he Nedeljkovic family moved to their old house because it is located in “a better protected part of the village.”

A week ago, in the same village, unidentified gunmen opened fire on a store owned by local Serb Bora Spasic. Although a dozen people were inside the store at the time of the attack, no one was injured.

So, who’s sleeping less “peacefully at night”? Kosovo’s Albanians, because there aren’t enough fire trucks? Or Kosovo’s non-Albanians, because the Albanians habitually set their houses, schools, and churches on fire? Knowing, of course, that there aren’t enough fire trucks.

I leave you with a Vitina news item that opened 2013, with its festivities for Kosovo’s five-year independence anniversary:

KPS suspend members over WW2 memorial incident (Beta, Jan. 22, 2013)

PRIŠTINA — The Kosovo police, KPS, have announced that five of their members were suspended over an incident that occurred on Monday in the town of Vitina. They include the police station and operations chief, according to a statement.

According to a Beta report, it was said that “despite announcements” from the directorate in Priština, they did not undertake the measures to prevent the tearing down of a monument.

The memorial was dedicated to the fighters of the WW2 anti-fascist Partisan troops (NOV).

According to the news agency, “a group of about 100 citizens led by the president of the organization of veterans of the former KLA” yesterday attacked and brought down the memorial.

The incident - filmed and posted on YouTube - was one in a series in Kosovo on Sunday and Monday, when ethnic Albanians targeted Serb cemeteries and memorial sites.


I missed one additional report, on Glenn Beck’s “The Blaze” blog, confirming that the women were thrown down a flight of stairs, and offering a few other specifics about the suspects:

Islamic Extremists Reportedly Attack Two Female Mormon Missionaries in Kosovo (The Blaze, Nov. 14, By Billy Hallowell)

Arrests have been made after two American women were brutally beaten on Nov. 3 in Pristina, Kosovo. The victims were serving there as missionaries…[and] were reportedly followed home by the assailants, thrown down a flight of stairs and hit in the head with a sharp object. While they sustained numerous wounds, the victims miraculously survived.

It didn’t take long for authorities to locate their alleged attackers. Just two days after the incident, six men were arrested in connection with an alleged terror plot that was “inspired by extreme Islamist ideology,” The Associated Press reported.

Two of these individuals who are being identified as ethnic Albanians are also reportedly suspects in the investigation of the missionaries’ beating. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, they are accused of joining four others in planning an attack on an unidentified target. A seventh suspect is reportedly still on the run.

The Associated Press said that an arrest warrant listed the men following names: Genc Selimi, Nuredin Sylejmani, Valon Shala, Adrian Mehmeti, Musli Hyseni, Bekim Mulalli and Fidan Demolli. […]

The above-linked AP-Salt Lake Tribune report, meanwhile, mentioned a few other unmentionables (links and bold added):

…Authorities have grown increasingly worried about the rise of extremism in a country with a strong presence of NATO peacekeepers, including hundreds of U.S. troops. Authorities had followed the alleged terrorist cell for three months after intercepting a call allegedly plotting an attack with another person of Kosovo descent in an unnamed European country….

Gee, any chance this “alarming” trend of rising extremism in a U.S.-overseen area has something to do with the Rules of Engagement for our troops in Kosovo: If you encounter Albanian rebels, turn tail and run (but report it to a “higher,” so he can do nothing about it). Oh, and if you stop patrolling the dangerous areas, then you’re not likely to encounter them in the first place.

Four of the suspects were arrested in a park in Pristina by undercover police agents posing as weapons dealers, the police official said. Another suspect was arrested in central Pristina and the sixth in the eastern town of Gnjilane…A sniper rifle, handguns and material for making an improvised explosive device were found in suspects’ houses, according to the police official.

A justice official said the suspects had been watched by video surveillance, phone tapping, and email monitoring….Though the country of 2 million is overwhelmingly secular, ethnic Albanians from Kosovo and neighboring Macedonia have been linked with terror plots in the United States, including a foiled bombing last year in Tampa, Fla., and a 2007 attack on military personnel at Fort Dix in New Jersey.

Nice to see that someone in MSM world has belatedly started keeping track.

Around 150 ethnic Albanians are believed to have joined foreign fighters battling the forces of Syria’s President Bashar Assad and some 12 are believed to have been killed there.

On Tuesday local media said police and justice officials received an email threatening to launch “painful attacks” on police if they do not release the suspects. […]

Sounds a lot like the kinds of demands and threats that Serbian authorities are used to getting from those secular, ‘non-extremist’ Albanians. Ah, the new Albanian ’state’ may eventually get a taste of its own medicine, becoming the Serbs dealing with Albanian threats and violence. It’s always nice to get to know oneself a little bit better.

Since I recently posted a nice letter by a Mexican Catholic named Gamalieth, I am reminded that I never cross-posted a fabulous 2010 interview with my favorite Irish Catholic, Iseult Henry. Since there is otherwise no English-language record of it online, it’ll be here for future referencing:

“[Iseult Henry]: I am a witness to the truth about Kosovo”
Pecat Magazine-Serbia, Aug. 15, 2010
Interview by Natasa Jovanovic

1. Ms. [Henry], you have spent several years in Kosovo working for the international community. What ideas of that region did you arrive with — how were you prepared for, and what instructions were you given prior to your arrival in Kosovo — and what ideas did you leave with?

I first came to Kosovo in August 1999 with an Irish NGO, I worked as a volunteer with them in Pec for a total of 14 months. I received a general briefing before I departed but in actual fact received very little concrete information because the people briefing us did not know much. However, on the 24 August as I travelled from Skopje to Pristina, I was given a detailed account of recent happenings in the villages we passed on the way to Pristina. It was only later I realised that the houses I saw burning in all the villages we passed could not have been torched by the Serbian defence forces as the ethnic Albanian driver told me, not least because the Serbian forces had withdrawn almost ten weeks before — but these houses were burning as we passed them. It was only after I got to know Kosovo better that I realised the villages we passed had been without exception Serbian villages with some Roma communities as well which had been torched by the UCK [or KLA]. This experience was repeated several times with drivers, all ethnic Albanians, detailing the crimes that had happened against them perpetrated by the Serbs but every time they pointed out a destroyed village I subsequently learned they were Serbian, for example the village of Dolac near Klina which had an old medieval monastery and church overlooking it.

Without exception, every driver passing Dolac would point out the poor Albanian village and the mosque on the hill which had been destroyed by the Serbian forces. However, it is a matter of record that Dolac was a Serbian village and there had never been a mosque there. These types of experiences made me seriously question what had actually taken place in Kosovo. I have never left Kosovo in the sense that I travel there regularly nor do I plan to leave anytime in the near future. I am a witness for the truth.

2. As you know, the terror against the Serbian Orthodox holy places did not begin yesterday. It has been going on for decades. Why, do you think, that fact is no longer of interest to the creators of the New Order in the Balkans?

I am only too well aware of the destruction of holy places in Kosovo. I recorded evidence of this systematic and well co-ordinated destruction myself and on many occasions my life was threatened. On one occasion on 8 December 2003 an Irish friend of mine and a Russian nun accompanied me to Bogorodica Leviska, in Prizren where we photographed all the frescoes. I did not know then that we would be amongst the last to see those wonderful frescoes and certainly the last to take a pictorial record of them before they were destroyed in the March 2004 pogrom. All three of us were lucky to get away unharmed as a crowd surrounded our car and we beat a hasty retreat reversing at speed down a narrow street chased by the mob. To date, more than 150 holy places around Kosovo and Metohija have been destroyed — all since UNMIK and NATO arrived in June 1999, and yet who in the West is aware of it let alone prepared to say anything about it.

3. Why is the official Washington unable to establish a link between September 11 in New York and March 17 in Kosovo? Why is the destruction of the two towers of the World Trade Center a greater crime than the destruction and torching of hundreds of Christian churches in the middle of present day Europe?

There is a force in human behaviour that should never be underestimated. It is the need to save face. There is very little that people (and in particular men in positions of power) will not do in order to avoid the admission that they have made a mistake. Governments will persist with the lie rather than lose face. For NATO to admit that there was any connection between the two crimes they would need to examine their own actions and in my opinion that is never going to happen.

4. According to all available information, the Albanian separatist government of Kosovo needs a couple of [the] most famous monasteries, which it would present in the future as “cultural monuments of Kosovo”; [it’s] most certainly not present[ed] as holy places of the Serbian Orthodox Church. How do you interpret this “beauty salon cosmetic intervention” approach and what do you think is hidden behind it?

In all official correspondence that I have [read] in recent years, it would appear that these remaining few monasteries are simply a token presence that will at some stage in the future come to be regarded as tourist attractions generating income for the people of the new Kosovo. That is part of the strategic development plan of international donors which will culminate in a regional cultural centre in Prizren operating in close co-operation with the Turkish government. As someone who was in charge of the Returns Programme to Kosovo since 2001 - for the largest donor organisation in Kosovo - I advocated in every possible way for the return of the displaced to their ancestral homes. I argued that return had to be linked to the restoration of destroyed holy places including churches, graveyards and monasteries many of which had formed the ecclesiastical centre of the settlement. This pattern of settlement was not unknown to me, being from Ireland where many towns and villages grew up around monastic sites in the medieval era and before. It goes without saying that my ideas for return met with little support or success. Indeed a previous plan to return some 10,000 Serbs between late 2001/2 put forward by Andrew Whitley, a UN official, led to his being replaced and the end of that particular plan. Perhaps the best way to think of it would be to consider the words of one former UNMIK official in charge of returns in Kosovo who told me in my office in Belgrade in February 2005 that Return to Kosovo was “just a smokescreen to trick the Serbs.”

5. In your opinion, how right are geostrategists, historians and even many theosophists who maintain that the conflict of religions and civilizations in Kosovo is equally important for the destiny of humanity as the one in Jerusalem?

In my opinion what you refer to as the conflict of religions and civilizations is equally important wherever it is happening.

6. You are probably aware of official and unofficial discussions of the possibility of His Holiness the Pope’s visit to Niš, the birthplace of Constantine the Great, for the bimillenary celebrations of his Edict of Milan (313), which officially ended the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire.

When I tried to discuss the on-going persecution in Kosovo with the Papal Nuncio in Belgrade in June 2005 I got the distinct impression that my information was not welcome. I went to see him with an outline of what was happening to communities in Kosovo initially focusing on the Croats in Letnica village in Vitina municipality. As they were Catholic, he was Catholic and I was Catholic I thought we would have a common language. After twenty minutes listening to my catalogue of human rights violations he began fidgeting with his mobile phone and making obvious signs that my time was up. I did not even get to discuss in detail the abuses committed against the Serbs and their places of worship. I told him that as fellow Christians we had a duty to protect our brothers and sisters in Christ. He responded that the Vatican was following UN Resolution 1244, at which point I stated that if they were then they were the only ones who were. At this point he politely showed me the door but not before I gave him a little lecture on ‘Whited Sepulchres’ and ‘Pharisees’, people with nice facades but rotten on the inside. Strange that I should have to remind a Papal Nuncio about basic Christian principles.

My main concern is human rights. At the moment I am studying International Human Rights Law; I believe that all people should live in dignity free from discrimination. I believe that human rights are universal rights and all persons should be able to exercise their rights. However, this is not the case in Kosovo. Not all people are able to exercise their rights — neither civil and political nor economic, social and cultural rights. The on-going denial of basic human rights to those displaced from Kosovo in not being able to return or access their properties, and to those who remain in Kosovo — particularly those who live in the enclaves, in container camps, military barracks and collective centres south of the Ibar [River] and the displaced Roma in the camps north of the Ibar — should be highlighted by NGOs and Human Rights Defenders but this is not the case. These people have no voice.

I am not a theologian and therefore feel unqualified to write about ecumenism or issues surrounding the pope’s proposed visit. However, I think we need a new Constantine if we are to save Christianity in the 21 century and beyond.

7. Based on your personal experience, can you tell us how you saw the Albanian authorities in Kosovo, the Albanian people and their everyday life?

The Albanian authorities have very little actual authority except at municipal level where they have carte blanche to do what they want including falsifying cadastral records and discriminating against what they see as minority ethnic groups or indeed anyone opposed to their vested interests. After working in Kosovo for more than eight years I would say that the Kanun e Lek, the traditional and customary practices of Albanian clans, has more to do with everyday life in Albanian society in Kosovo than any form of statutory legal practice or the modern rule of law.

8. At what point did you begin to realize what the presence of the Serbs means to Kosovo and what is their situation in Kosovo, and what was the key reason for your taking a different perspective and basing your conclusions on your personal knowledge of the situation?

I follow a Human Rights perspective and quite soon after beginning work with the largest international donor in Kosovo I realised that human rights and development aid was targeted at the majority community in Kosovo. I started working on projects with Serbs and Roma communities in early 2000 which did not make me very popular either with the local population or with their international mentors. Perhaps being Irish I have a keen appreciation of the need to question authority especially when that authority is blind to gross and systematic human rights violations.

9. As a Roman Catholic and an Irish woman you have continued to monitor analytically and to write about the situation in Kosovo. What motivates you to do this?

One can leave Kosovo but Kosovo never leaves one. No matter where I am whether it is in Kosovo or outside it I continue to work towards redressing the many wrongs that were committed there in the name of peace since 1999. I firmly believe that the truth must be told and that there is a pressing need for a more accurate, more balanced and more truthful account of the tragedy that has unfolded in Kosovo since 1999.

10. Do you understand Serbia and Kosovo as well as you understand your native Ireland?

Between June 1999 and 2004 a war of terror was unleashed against an innocent civilian population who were unarmed and unprotected. Every town was ethnically cleansed of its Serb and Roma populations as well as many villages. Properties were seized, houses burnt, lands were illegally occupied, people returned to find roads, car parks, factories and petrol stations built on their properties. This all happened in a UN Protectorate which was under the effective command of NATO. People displaced from Kosovo came from more than 30 ethnic groups. Detention camps were opened up by the KLA/UCK in many parts of Kosovo and most of those who ended up in the camps were never seen again.

The UCK operated with impunity armed not only with sophisticated weaponry and explosives but with lists of those whom they had earmarked for death [and] also conveniently with lists of the households that had handed in whatever weapons they had.

Regarding Ireland, on many occasions during my time in Kosovo the resemblance to what happened in Ireland’s province of Ulster stuck me forcibly, things like the ethnic cleansing of the native population, the re-granting of their lands to newcomers, the destruction of the oldest monasteries and churches, destruction of entire settlements, the renaming of places in a new language although often preserving remnants of the old name spelt differently as if to say the new inhabitants were there all along. All this occurred supposedly as part of the New Order created during the reign of the Tudors in particular under Elizabethan England’s ‘civilisation’ of Ireland.

Recall this part of a letter I blogged in September 2010:

I was born 1963 in Banat, but lived until 1970 with my parents in Kosovo, where I started going to school. We also were exposed to Albanian-Muslim violence, for instance an Albanian shopkeeper who had a shop in the basement of our building threatened me — then 5-6 years old — with a knife. I went home screaming and after my parents went down he told them with a smile that I was lying.

My mother was nearly beaten up by Albanians on the street, because she picked up a Yugoslav flag they previously threw to [the] mud. There was nothing my parents or other Serbs could do to change this, the authorities did not want to protect us, they gave in to Albanian violence (in and outside Kosovo), because they were indoctrinated with the official Yugoslav “brotherhood and unity” ideology (an early verson of today’s multiculturalism), and partially they were simply afraid of this brute violence, so we had to leave Kosovo.

The way that Kosovo was taken away from the Serbs is the way that Israel is being taken away from the Jews. Consider this video testimony of Yoel Zilberman, who a few years ago started a group called The New Guardians, or The New Guardsmen. ( “HaShomer Hadash”) Ignored — and even persecuted — by Israeli law enforcement, citizens took to defending themselves and one another:

[About four years ago]…my father, who has a cattle herd on 5,000 dunams [dunam=just under a quarter-acre] of land north of the Zipori moshav [a cooperative agricultural community]…sits us down for the Friday night dinner and tells us “I’m going bankrupt. There’s a tribe of Bedouin who for many years have been slashing the fences, torching the fields, threatening to kill me, to slaughter the cows, doing whatever they want. I have registered 240 complaints with the police, and no one even looks in my direction.” He simply tells the family, “I have decided to abandon 2500 dunams. I can’t handle the land anymore.”

At that time, I’m exactly at a crossroads, leaving for an officers’ course in the army. I say to my father, “Over my dead body; this isn’t going to happen.” A few guys from my [untranslated] get organized and buy an old Renault Express. We start going out into the fields. There are already some people here who visited me out there in a shipping container on wheels, in which I lived for two years. Last year it was upgraded to a trailer out in the field. Everything was arranged legally with the authorities, because we understood that in the Galilee the rules are somewhat different.

We hung a flag of Israel, brought in books only on Zionism and Judaism, and each day after army training and operations we’d come to the land and start guarding and fighting the Bedouin to get them out. Whenever we crossed paths with the police [or] called the police, the duty officer would say, “If you call me one more time, I’m coming to arrest you.”

There are 15 authorities in the state — from police, to border police, to the Jewish National Fund — who don’t dare do their job out in the field. While in this process…we discovered that when you talk to the teenagers in Israel…and you ask them about a story they know, then they can tell you who Harry Potter’s grandmother’s cousin’s brother is, and when you ask them who the Rambam is, even the hospital by that name doesn’t mean anything to them, and when you ask these guys if they know who Berl Katz or Tabenkin or Jabotinsky is, at best it’s some street in Tel-Aviv and even that is highly doubtful. And you understand that this generation is a generation whose oxygen and whose energy [comes] mostly from “Survivor” and “Big Brother” reality shows — that’s what provides them with insights, with thoughts…The Jews don’t feel that Israel belongs to them, and that this is our story…I started living out there on the land, [and] stories started reaching me — tens of stories of kibbutzniks and moshavniks that have already abandoned, left the land after the Bedouins abused them for decades. Three years ago, the Kfar HaNassi kibbutz abandoned 4,000 dunams, just gave up and left the land. The Tuba-Zangariyye village — a Bedouin village — is already invading the land and building illegally. Kibbutz Amiad — 13,000 dunams. Moshav Alonei Abba — 2000 dunams. The stories go on.

And farmers and cowboys start coming to me, saying, “Yoel save us.” Amir Engel from Tel-Adashim, whose murder was attempted. Moti Peretz from Mt. Turan in Bet Rimon, whose murder was attempted. You suddenly realize that these people are really on their own out in the field and we decided right then to come together and build a group. As we said, Yitzhack Ben-Zvi writes in his book on the history of the Hagana that when a country deserts its citizens — by the way not only is it deserting them, the country is even harassing them, really making sure they tire out — then, he says, the public has no choice but to unite and to know together how to protect one another.

We all decided at once in that situation, we decided as a group of friends — all guys who served in the army, most in special units, all who love the country, all glad to be living here, not one of them confused, all understanding and knowing the expression “know where you come from,” knowing their story and knowing where they’re headed — out of all this we decided to establish something to be called The New Guard. Which we’re not inventing, because 100 years ago the same group of Jews was here who arrived in Israel and the authorities abused them as well. We understand that by dong this we are renewing the concept of mutual responsibility of people coming to save others’ lives . We now have over 600 volunteers , guys who donate 7-10 reserve days a year, who come to the farmer and the cowboy out in the field and say to him: Go sleep with your wife tonight; today we’ll guard the field. Because although you make money from it, it’s ours — it’s our story.

And you meet these cowboys who say to you, “My wife says either we’re getting a divorce, or you leave the land.” You suddenly show up for these people and simply save them. We have more than seven yeshivas and army preparatory programs that come on a regular basis to guard — young guys who join the farmers and work with them day by day. Last week we did, you can say, a historical revolution…a program like the army preparatory programs, like in Eli, Atzmona — like a service year, a year before the army, when guys finish high school — we have more than 230 male candidates for whom last week we did a very different trial training where we tested from the 20-30 guys who will start next year, as we say “like King David.”

Every eight, ten guys will be on a lookout in the fields with a herd of sheep, learning Torah in the morning, learning Zionism in the evening, learning Arabic — so these guys understand we don’t live in a place surrounded by France , Switzerland and Holland, but rather we’re in the Middle East. And these guys together with the cattle herds with training for full contact and running and practicing, they’re going to restore the courage of the Jew in Israel, the Jew who guards….By the way, there are those who come to guard and those who contribute either their money or their help with equipment or otherwise; everyone feels that they want to be part of this thing, and this thing grows each week — at least 60 people join. We do between three and seven lectures a week. We also receive three to six requests for help per week. Oz Davidian, the guy from the Negev who called me a year ago and said to me, “Yoel, three weeks ago three Bedouins caught me alone at my farm, beat the hell out of me with bars, with metal bars.” Why? Just because he has 1500 dunams and they really want him not to hold on to them anymore. He says that three weeks after, the same Bedouins came and stole all his sheep. He says to me, “If you don’t come tonight, these guys are going to kill me.” In that situation, the other volunteers and I from the north, without a car, hitchhike and reach him at 2 a.m.

I find a man all skin and bones, anorexic, hasn’t left the farm for four months, can’t leave the farm. His daughter is prohibited from visiting by court order because it’s dangerous out there in the Negev. I sit with 20 pilots at the Nevaim base…it’s between Arad and Be’er Sheva. Twenty pilots, cream of the crop. They tell us their base commander doesn’t let them [travel] on the Arad-Be’er Sheva road, the Shoket-Be’er Sheva intersection. Why? Because Bedouins there throw washing machines and boulders on the road. The cars stop suddenly, they take the soldiers out from their cars and beat them. So they travel to the base via Dimona, make a detour. Now as I see it, whoever thinks — by the way, I always claim that in the end, the fortified walls of the State of Israel are the open areas, the fortified walls of Jerusalem are those same farmers and cowboys, the same land, the four million dunams of state land, that’s what protects our country — whoever thinks the Israeli State will save us, has it wrong.

From all this, we foresee that in the year 2015 we’ll have more than 2000 guards, no less than 6000 volunteers in the overall structure, and no less than 30 groups which I described of 8-10 guys before the army, out with the sheep in the fields, literally going back to the roots, and these guys re-learn their own story and don’t let anyone confuse them. And then there are no cracks and no confusion, and then the whole world will be clear on whose this is. By the way, I say this to include the Arabs; they’re just waiting for us to tell them it’s ours. They haven’t yet understood that. They’re just waiting, and with god’s help and through long processes it will happen.

Regarding Oz Davidian’s story, wherein Bedouins were beating him with metal bars and stealing his sheep because they want him to let go of his 1500 dunams, recall the story of Froka and Haki in Kosovo. It came to us by way of the 2007 book Hiding Genocide in Kosovo, in which the author explains that “In Kosovo, land doesn’t belong to those who own it, but to those who want it.” The story of Froka, though a Croatian, is representative of the way that Serbs and other non-Albanians were bullied out of Kosovo:

A climate of fear prevails in Letnica just like all the other enclaves in Kosovo. It does not matter that they are Catholic Croats. Someone wants their land and their property and therefore they are legitimate targets. Some families in the village have suffered almost daily harassment and intimidation.

The first to be killed in the area was a Croat man from the village of Shashevici; his name was Petar Tunic and he was 70 years old. A Catholic nun went with KFOR to look for him when he went missing. They found the corpse in the woods near his house. According to the nun every organ had been ripped out of his body and then he was shot. He had been with his horse and when the horse got back to the house it dropped dead. The nun went searching for Petar as Froka was afraid to go because not long before he was beaten up by the UÇK [KLA]…This event was enough to frighten most of the rest of the remaining Croats. [Village representative Froka Djokic] explained that the Croat community decided to leave after this killing….That one killing was seen as a warning and the continuing campaign of harassment has underlined the same message as far as the Croat community in the area is concerned. On 27 October 1999, two days before the “Day of the Dead” the Croatian government sent buses to rescue the remaining Croats and 400 left that day. More left later.

Most of the houses belonging to the 400 who left that day were later handed over to Albanians from Macedonia who were temporarily displaced by the war in Macedonia in 2001. This was presented by UNHCR as a humanitarian gesture. But, they are still there six years later although it is safe for them to return to Macedonia. The Croats who left Letnica on October 27, 1999, have never had the chance to return and even if they wished to return they could not in the present circumstances given that their houses have been occupied by Albanians from Macedonia with the official approval of a UN organisation. According to Froka, one French representative of UNHCR asked him why could the Macedonian Albanians not keep the occupied Croat houses. In reply, Froka asked her that if they were occupying her house in France whether she would be happy to let them keep it. She did not reply. She did not seem to understand that the displaced Croats as the rightful owners of the properties should be allowed to return. This attitude by the international community towards the return of the displaced Serbs, Roma and Croats is not uncommon.

An Albanian man Haki Ahmeti from the village Komo Glava in Urosevac municipality bought a small piece of land from a Croat neighbour of Froka’s who had decided to leave. The land was on the bank of the river which ran under Froka’s house. Haki cut off part of the water to Froka’s mill. Froka took Haki to court. In November 2003 when Haki got the summons to go to court he attacked Froka in the street near his home and rammed the summons into Froka’s mouth. He called him vulgar names saying he would cut off his private parts. Froka reported the assault to the Kosovo Police Service who took statements and prepared a case for court. Two others from Letnica were witnesses. These were Marian Nikolic and Marko Kolic, who both told Froka that they were threatened by Haki to keep quiet. In court the judge said the case would be resolved if they shook hands and kept the peace in future. They did so but upon leaving the court only a few hundred metres from the court house Haki and his son attacked Froka and beat him up. Then and there, Froka decided to drop the case because of the threats. His friend Marko used to work in the mill but he is afraid to go there alone now. The Croat community is now afraid to report incidents and has no faith in the court system to defend their rights.

…Haki always tells Froka that it does not matter what the court says, “We will get the mill in the end.” Haki is now using the land that he bought from Froka’s neighbour to re-direct the course of the river. Froka took a second court case against him, this time because he was affecting the water supply to the mill. Haki beat up Froka in the street outside the court and warned Froka that he was not to sell the property to anyone….

Haki is using all of Froka’s land and the land of the other Croats who have left; they asked Froka to look after their land for them while they were gone. The remaining Croats are afraid to work their land as Albanians both here and from across the border in Macedonia threaten them on a daily basis.

Froka consulted an attorney, an Albanian who promised to send a commission to investigate. But he has heard nothing since.

There is a primary school in Letnica and a secondary school in nearby Vrbovac. A Serb boy Milos used to go to the school in Letnica with Milorad’s daughter but was beaten up by Macedonian Albanians on his way to school.

The village has lost hope. More than 100 reports of harassment have been lodged with the authorities but not one case has been resolved and the reports make the Albanians even more angry. Albanians come to see Milorad every day to see if he will sell his house in Vitina. The Albanians graze their cattle on Froka’s land as if it is already theirs.

In March 2004 all the windows of the Croat houses were broken. This was at least the third time they had been smashed; however after the March 2004 violence UNMIK paid for the window repairs.

Froka thinks that the Albanians want to liquidate all Croats from here and they stay awake at night afraid to sleep. His daughter and grand daughter have been attacked and verbally insulted on numerous occasions.

The Catholic priest who replaced the Croat priest, Fr Gerge Crista, is an Albanian; he says Mass in Croatian every Sunday at 9 am but all other masses are in Albanian. The Albanian priest is seen by the Croats as unsympathetic; they say he gives no support to them. He never talks to them. After the earthquake some years ago, he visited all the Albanian villagers including the Muslims but none of the Croats. The Croats receive no support from him and he does not voice their needs.

No NGOs except the Serbian Red Cross assist this village; they bring stuff, food and non food items to Vrbovac and they share it out with the Croats in Letnica.

In 2005 in all the Croat villages there were 63 people left compared with 1999 when there were 570. In the early 1990s there were 6,000. All that remain are the old and sick. When returnees have visited Letnica they have been subjected to threats and intimidation.

The Macedonian Albanians [who took over the fleeing Croatians’ houses] have recently become increasingly belligerent, making insulting remarks to the Croat women in front of their men-folk in an apparent attempt to provoke some sort of incident. Certain women in the village have been threatened with rape. Froka, his Serbian son-in-law Milorad and the other Croat men express their shame that they cannot protect their female relatives and friends…

A few years ago, professor and historian Fracisco Gil-White wrote the following about the exodus of mostly Serb non-Albanians from Kosovo, in a piece titled “The Serbs Were Not Oppressing the Kosovo Albanians…Quite the Opposite”:

People do not lightly leave their home and their land, especially peasants who have a thoroughly romantic attachment to the land, who are fearful of travel and strange places, and whose entire property is almost coextensive with the territory they farm. Terrorism however, can certainly tip the balance…[N]ot only were the Kosovo Serbs not oppressing the Kosovo Albanians [but] after 1981, a troubling number of Kosovo Serbs were at least sufficiently fearful to leave everything they knew and loved behind…[T]here was nothing easy, institutionally, about the Serbs oppressing the Albanians when the latter controlled all of the government organs in Kosovo. It is clear even from a book dedicated to explaining the alleged extremism of Slobodan Milosevic (Cohen 2001) that as late as 1987 Milosevic could not yet figure out how to get the Albanian policemen not to beat the Serbian peasants in Kosovo. His hands had been tied by concerns in Belgrade — including his own concerns — that any moves to protect the Serbian peasantry in Kosovo (as any state should protect its citizens) would be perceived as Serbian nationalism!

Such politically correct considerations increasingly have been guiding the response of U.S. law enforcement to potential threats and provocations against the citizenry here as well. Even though audiences were meant to shake their heads disapprovingly during the 2006 film “Path to 9/11″ when one airport security employee said to another (paraphrased): “If you want to keep him off the flight, it’ll be your ass, not mine” — about a passenger who turned out to be a hijacker — this mentality has only increased since 9/11. After all, people want to keep their jobs and our law enforcement agencies don’t want to be sued for discrimination.

But in a more direct parallel to Galilee and Kosovo, however, there is Arizona. As my source JK wrote a few months ago:

Here in the US, what better example of the same tactics being applied than the situation in AZ? Most of the press blatantly lies about the law while AZ seeks to defend itself against a de facto insurrection, where the narco-mafia places bounties on US law enforcement officers and raids homes and ranches. How long will it be before car bombs are going off?

Between the increasing violence of Latin American drug cartels/gangs, and the antics of Muslims, we too are going to start hearing from our lawmakers and authorities what the Israelis and Serbs did: “That’s just the way it is.” Again, law enforcement doesn’t want firings, bad PR, or lawsuits. This is why when I see the public service advisory to report suspicious behavior (”If you see something, say something”), I wonder: Why, so I can be arrested for discrimination?

In case that sounds far-fetched, keep in mind that Yoel Zilberman has been threatened with arrest for calling in to police the deadly provocations by the Bedouins, and the daughter of one of the other farmers is prohibited by law from visiting her father. The state turns against the citizenry, eventually to totalitarian lengths, and becomes an enforcer of its enemies’ demands.

Our authorities and politicians throwing their support behind the Ground Zero Mosque instead of behind the Americans it’s terrorizing also portends of this impending reality. Whose advancement is helped when the citizens forget or forsake their own history and therefore lose a sense of entitlement to the land, as Zilberman and his Guardians are trying to keep from happening.

Next to baseball, the favorite American pastime is to ignore the Balkans. Despite its being the genesis of the first world war, a key player in the second world war and the pivotal and defining point in the current world war. And despite the fact that the biggest overseas U.S. military installation since Vietnam is situated in what Americans continue to wishfully think is a small, insignificant and obscure land called Kosovo.

Despite that place being the site of America’s most recent war until 9/11.

The name of the base, of course, is Camp Bondsteel. As is my favorite pastime, I was recently going through some old files on the Balkans, and only just noticed that attacks on Bondsteel have been planned since as early as the year after our 1999 war carrying out Albanian bidding. Here is a BBC Monitoring translation of a March, 2007 article which mentions a 2007 plot:


NATO said considering Serbia’s Wahhabis as Mujahidin, Al-Qa’idah “offshoot”

Text of report by Serbian newspaper Vecernje novosti on 20 March

[Report by “M.A.”: “Al-Qa’idah Preparing for Jihad”]

Five members of a terrorist Wahhabi group arrested in the Novi Pazar area [in Southern Serbia, near Kosovo] are just an offshoot of the Mujahidin and Al-Qa’idah, which are preparing concurrent conflagrations in Kosmet [Kosovo-Metohija] and the Raska [Sandzak] region.

Vecernje novosti has learned from diplomatic sources close to the international peacekeeping forces in Kosmet that Kfor [NATO’s Kosovo Force] and UNMIK intelligence services informed their governments and the NATO head office to this effect back in late February. They especially stressed that the command of the “New Army of Kosovo” has instructed its followers in Sandzak to prepare for a “decisive battle” and to provoke violence in Sandzak at the same time as an offensive against Serbs is launched in Kosmet and so prevent any interference by Serbia in Kosmet.

How much terrorist groups of the former OVK [Kosovo Liberation Army - KLA; UCK in Albanian] are counting on armed support from Sandzak is evident from a Kfor intelligence report that literally says that “terrorist groups in Kosmet have begun intensively to transfer armaments and military equipment from the territory of Kosmet to Sandzak.” It quotes the fact that depots with armament for the extremists in Sandzak are situated on Mt Bajgora in the north of Kosovo (it stretches from Vucitrn to Leposavic). A terrorist organization known as the Bajgora Storm is active in this mountain.

The channel for transferring armament to Mujahidin and Wahhabis goes through Mt Rogozna, along the stretch between Vucja Lokva and the village of Kaljin.

A major arms delivery was made by way of this channel in early March. It all happened between the hours of midnight [2300 gmt] and 0300 [0200 gmt]. Under cover of darkness, eight trucks laden with all kinds of armament and explosives and covered with wool carried their cargo from Kaljin village, by way of Batnjak, to Novopazarska Banja spa. There, the cargo was taken over by an Al-Qa’idah group that then transported it through special channels to its bases in Sandzak. Part of the armament and explosives reached its cell on Mt Ninija, where the first group of Islamic warriors was captured.

Kfor intelligence operatives said in their report that the arms cargo was smuggled into Sandzak “with the help of corrupt Serb policemen” and that the Al-Qa’idah cell in Novi Pazar had planned to use the same convoy of trucks to send chemical weaponry - nerve paralysing gases - in the opposite direction, allegedly to be used in an attack on US Camp Bondsteel outside Vitina.

According to this report, Mujahidin and Wahhabis have at least 10 training camps on Sandzak territory and hundreds of followers “prepared to contribute to the struggle of the Muslims in the Balkans.”

[Box] ‘Islamic Salvation Front’ Arrives, too

The Islamic Salvation Front terrorist group was infiltrated into Sandzak two months ago. According to the Kfor intelligence report, this is a religious terrorist organization made up of Arabs from Sudan, Algeria, Palestine, Turkey, and Egypt. It is under the command of a Turkish national and two Bosnian nationals. Active parallel with it is a 20-member group of Islamistsfrom Turkey that have entered Sandzak illegally. They are specialists in chemical warfare.

In my digging, I also came upon this 2006 email from Kosovo whistleblower Tom Gambill:

More proof that Al [Qaeda] is and has been operating in the Balkans and specifically in Kosovo. The planned attack against Bondsteel in 2004 or it could [have] been in 2005…it was going to be a suicide attack planned in the dining facility…it was thwarted by a polygrapher, interviewing an Albanian Terrorist[.]

What was it that the Camp Bondsteel job advertisement was saying about hiring only Albanians rather than Serbs because of fear of infiltration?

Quoting Gambill in his book The Coming Balkan Caliphate, Chris Deliso mentions what sounds like yet another attempt that was planned:

After 9/11, the Saudi charity organizations not only became more secretive; they also became more hostile, at times showing classic signs of organized intelligence activity. According to Gambill, who a year earlier had personally witnessed soldiers from the United Arab Emirates filming the U.S. military base, Camp Bondsteel, by the fall of 2001 the [Saudi Joint Committee for the Relief of Kosovo and Chechnya] had begun conducting “aggressive surveillance of US personnel and property…[Saudi Red Crescent Society] ambulances were thought to be transporting weapons and explosives — they had never been seen transporting sick or injured locals.”

Indeed, things are in place all around Kosovo to provoke incidents and restart a war, in the event of a partition or of international recognitions grinding to a halt and Kosovo not gaining UN membership. Former UN rep for Mitrovica Gerard Gallucci warns of precisely such a scenario still ahead in his Kosovo blog:

…Serbia rejects independence but is trying to pursue a pragmatic policy of rapprochement with Brussels, offering cooperation even at some cost to Kosovo Serbs. Kosovo Serbs are split between north and south – with the latter having little choice but to try to co-exist with the Albanian reality surrounding them – but both wishing for more outside help in preserving their communal existence than they get from either Belgrade or the internationals. The Kosovo Albanians are pushing for more international recognition while also using all means to press the Serbs – north and south – into accepting their subordinate place under the Pristina institutions. The countries supporting Kosovo’s independence – led by the EU and US – are seeking to help the Albanians by replacing the UN and adding to the pressures on the Serbs. The Russians continue to support Belgrade and to insist on the UN’s lead role.

Logically, there can be only three outcomes: Kosovo’s status is settled through force, if not outright war then perhaps through targeted provocations or violence to further “clean-up” the ethnic map of Kosovo (and possibly southern Serbia); status is settled through new negotiations; or the current status quo becomes more or less entrenched for some indeterminate period (perhaps until the whole region merges into the EU). Of course in reality, the actual result may include all three, either at once or ad seriatum. But possible elements of a negotiation scenario can be discerned.

Or, it may be that after a [International Court of Justice] ruling, the issue could be framed as one of defining Kosovo’s borders. The legality of these borders cannot be justified on the basis of an UDI. Pristina and friends cannot have their cake and eat it too. They cannot on one hand claim that Kosovo’s current borders are legal because they were established under Yugoslavia while also unilaterally declaring independence from the legal successor state.

The other element for a possible negotiation is “who” might facilitate and play the role of honest broker. As it now stands, the two candidates seem to be the Contact Group – again uniting the Quint and Russia – or the UN. Both have a legitimate mandate and the political responsibility to finish resolving Kosovo’s status…But the EU currently has no credibility with Kosovo Serbs. It has done nothing to intervene in Albanian efforts to press the southern Serbs to surrender and has supported Albanian efforts to take territory in north Mitrovica and to push Pristina institutions – customs, courts, KEK – into the north whilst squeezing Serbs everywhere to participate in the November local elections called by Pristina. The EU has repeatedly made clear that it is not neutral, with its role being instead to help spread Pristina institutions everywhere.

In a recent piece about the pope’s visit to the Holy Land, WND’s Aaron Klein described the plight of the Christians in the Palestinian terrortories starting from the time that Arafat took over. To Kosovo watchers, it should sound familiar:

Christian leaders and residents in Bethlehem told me they face an atmosphere of regular hostility. They said Palestinian armed groups stir tension by holding militant demonstrations and marches in the streets. They spoke of instances in which Christian shopkeepers’ stores were ransacked and Christian homes attacked.

Some Christian leaders said one of the most significant problems facing Christians in Bethlehem is the rampant confiscation of land by Muslim gangs.

“There are many cases where Christians have their land stolen by the [Muslim] mafia,” said Samir Qumsiyeh, a Bethlehem Christian leader and owner of the Beit Sahour-based private Al-Mahd (Nativity) TV station.

“It is a regular phenomenon in Bethlehem. They go to a poor Christian person with a forged power of attorney document, then they say we have papers proving you’re living on our land. If you confront them, many times the Christian is beaten. You can’t do anything about it. The Christian loses, and he runs away,” Qumsiyeh told me, speaking from his hilltop television station during an interview last year.

Qumsiyeh himself said he was targeted by Islamic gangs, his home firebombed after he returned from a trip abroad during which he gave public speeches outlining the plight of Bethlehem’s Christian population.

One Christian Bethlehem resident told me her friend recently fled Bethlehem after being accused by Muslims of selling property to Jews, a crime punishable by death in some Palestinian cities. A good deal of the intimidation, she added, comes from gunmen associated with PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah organization.

A February Jerusalem Post article cited the case of Faud and Georgette Lama, Christian residents of Bethlehem who said their land was stolen by local Muslims, but that when they tried to do something about it, Faud was beaten by gunmen.

One religious novelty-store owner I met recently told me Muslim gangs regularly deface Christian property.
“We are harassed, but you wouldn’t know the truth. No one says anything publicly about the Muslims. This is why Christians are running away.”

Meanwhile, Benedict’s call for a Palestinian state would bring complete PA control over more territory in which Christians reside. Thus, his call, if implemented, may well result in even more Christian deaths, persecution and intimidation.

To quote Iseult Henry, author of Hiding Genocide in Kosovo, “In Kosovo land doesn’t belong to those who own it, but to those who want it.”

The constant intimidation described above applies as well to the non-Albanians of Kosovo, but more specifically, where it says, “Palestinian armed groups stir tension by holding militant demonstrations and marches in the streets.” Such has been the regular scene in Kosovo since the 1970s, so that the non-Albanians get the message as to whom the province belongs. It’s also what the many monuments to fallen KLA fighters dotting Kosovo’s landscape are all about, the few remaining minorities having to suffer the indignity of tributes to those who killed their family members. The Albanian flag being raised all over Kosovo is about the same thing, as well as the KLA insignia everywhere and KLA graffiti on churches and private property.

As described above in the Palestinian areas, Albanians come and go into non-Albanians’ homes and take what they like, also destroying the homes or small businesses of Serbs.

In reference to this above: “If you confront them, many times the Christian is beaten. You can’t do anything about it. The Christian loses, and he runs away.” This is precisely the lawlessness that has led to the flight of 300,000 people from Kosovo since the 1999 NATO intervention. I described exactly this scene in Kosovo, between one of the last Croats there and the Albanian who wanted his land:

A climate of fear prevails in Letnica just like all the other enclaves in Kosovo. It does not matter that they are Catholic Croats. Someone wants their land and their property and therefore they are legitimate targets. Some families in the village have suffered almost daily harassment and intimidation.

An Albanian man Haki Ahmeti from the village Komo Glava in Urosevac municipality bought a small piece of land from a Croat neighbour of Froka’s who had decided to leave. The land was on the bank of the river which ran under Froka’s house. Haki cut off part of the water to Froka’s mill. Froka took Haki to court. In November 2003 when Haki got the summons to go to court he attacked Froka in the street near his home and rammed the summons into Froka’s mouth. He called him vulgar names saying he would cut off his private parts. Froka reported the assault to the Kosovo Police Service who took statements and prepared a case for court. Two others from Letnica were witnesses. These were Marian Nikolic and Marko Kolic, who both told Froka that they were threatened by Haki to keep quiet. In court the judge said the case would be resolved if they shook hands and kept the peace in future. They did so but upon leaving the court only a few hundred metres from the court house Haki and his son attacked Froka and beat him up. Then and there, Froka decided to drop the case because of the threats. His friend Marko used to work in the mill but he is afraid to go there alone now. The Croat community is now afraid to report incidents and has no faith in the court system to defend their rights.

… Haki always tells Froka that it does not matter what the court says, “We will get the mill in the end.” Haki is now using the land that he bought from Froka’s neighbour to re-direct the course of the river. Froka took a second court case against him, this time because he was affecting the water supply to the mill. Haki beat up Froka in the street outside the court and warned Froka that he was not to sell the property to anyone….

The remaining Croats are afraid to work their land as Albanians both here and from across the border in Macedonia threaten them on a daily basis…The village has lost hope. More than 100 reports of harassment have been lodged with the authorities but not one case has been resolved and the reports make the Albanians even more angry. Albanians come to see Milorad every day to see if he will sell his house in Vitina. The Albanians graze their cattle on Froka’s land as if it is already theirs.

Here is another page from Froka’s life:

The first to be killed in the area was a Croat man from the village of Shashevici; his name was Petar Tunic and he was 70 years old. A Catholic nun went with KFOR to look for him when he went missing. They found the corpse in the woods near his house. According to the nun every organ had been ripped out of his body and then he was shot…This event was enough to frighten most of the rest of the remaining Croats. [Village representative Froka Djokic] explained that the Croat community decided to leave after this killing….That one killing was seen as a warning and the continuing campaign of harassment has underlined the same message as far as the Croat community in the area is concerned.

No NGOs except the Serbian Red Cross assist this village; they bring stuff, food and non food items to Vrbovac and they share it out with the Croats in Letnica.

In 2005 in all the Croat villages there were 63 people left compared with 1999 when there were 570. In the early 1990s there were 6,000. All that remain are the old and sick. When returnees have visited Letnica they have been subjected to threats and intimidation.

The Macedonian Albanians [who took over the fleeing Croatians’ houses] have recently become increasingly belligerent, making insulting remarks to the Croat women in front of their men-folk in an apparent attempt to provoke some sort of incident. Certain women in the village have been threatened with rape. Froka, his Serbian son-in-law Milorad and the other Croat men express their shame that they cannot protect their female relatives and friends. Albanian Catholics do speak to the Croats in Letnica but Albanian Muslims, mainly from Macedonia never speak to the Croats except to swear at them and their women folk telling them they should not be here anymore.

Regarding this paragraph from the Klein piece: “One Christian Bethlehem resident told me her friend recently fled Bethlehem after being accused by Muslims of selling property to Jews, a crime punishable by death in some Palestinian cities. A good deal of the intimidation, she added, comes from gunmen associated with PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah organization.”

It is similarly not allowed for Albanians to sell property to Serbs, nor would any Albanian think of doing so. In fact, Albanian shopkeepers are prohibited even from selling groceries to Serbs. Again similarly, all of this intimidation goes on with the approval and encouragement of those at the highest levels of Kosovo’s government — they devised the whole arrangement to begin with.

The last part that I quote of Klein’s article reads, “Meanwhile, Benedict’s call for a Palestinian state would bring complete PA control over more territory in which Christians reside. Thus, his call, if implemented, may well result in even more Christian deaths, persecution and intimidation.”

Precisely the end result of an independent Kosovo — statehood would make these methods officially official.

The following piece is brought to us by Iseult Henry, author of Hiding Genocide in Kosovo. She penned it as part of a collection of Kosovo-oriented essays titled Kosovo: The Score. The occasional highlighting is my own, and just a reminder to American readers: “Kosovo” means “of blackbirds”, as in “field of blackbirds”.

An observer at a Crow’s Court

Many times during my working career in Kosovo I often thought of the stories my father used to tell me about his youth growing up in County Kerry in the South West of Ireland. He…spent a lot of time up in the Kerry Mountains where he had the opportunity to see a whole variety of natural phenomena including once, a crow’s court.

This is an unusual happening rarely seen but alluded to often in medieval literature where a great congregation of crows surround one of their fellow crows. The birds pick out one unfortunate victim who will act as the ‘accused’, they then isolate the ‘accused’ while they sit on different branches around it, preening themselves, with each adopting what appears to be a different role ranging from prosecutor and judge to ordinary court flunkey. For a period it seems like there is a lot of cawing, the crows are busy building the case. Invariably the accused is found guilty and suffers the consequences [as] the rest of the group descend on the victim and it is pecked to death.

Following the trial and execution of sentence, the murder of crows [a group of crows is called a murder] takes off, leaving the battered corpse of the accused to rot. Nature watchers have never understood this phenomenon: why the group feels the need apparently to pick on one of their own number blaming it for all their ills and then partake in a very public, elaborate ceremony, the fatal outcome of which is clearly determined from the beginning. One might ask what this has to do with Kosovo. In an analogous way, everything.

I landed in Skopje [Macedonia] on the evening of August 23, 1999, stayed overnight in the Hotel Bristol and was driven to Pristina the next day, the 24 August. I had no pre-formed views or opinions about what was happening in Kosovo or for that matter in any part of the former Yugoslavia. I had been planning to work in development in Central America and viewed my assignment in Kosovo as something of an aside, of strictly short-term nature, maybe a few months at most.

I have several memories of the drive from Skopje to Pristina: …[In the] villages near Lipljan up as far as Laplje Selo and Caglavica…[w]hat struck me was that despite the conflict there seemed to be a lot of farming activity going on. Another memory was the sight of houses burning on either side of the road, small villages in the distance were ablaze and there seemed to be a lot of smoke everywhere. The Albanian driver informed us that these were Albanian villages that had been ethnically cleansed by the Serbs; he informed us that the Serbian army had burned all the houses and he pointed to several villages where allegedly massacres had taken place.

It was not until some time later when I started working in the area that I realised that these were actually Serb dwellings in Serb villages, in places like Stari Kacanik, Grlica, Staro Selo, Talinovac, Srbski Babus and Babljak. Moreover, considering that the Serbian army was forced to withdraw from Kosovo in early June 1999, some 10 weeks earlier, it was hard to see how they could have torched these houses and ethnically cleansed all these villages. Here I was on 24 August 1999, ten weeks later, looking at burning buildings and destroyed houses that had quite clearly only been torched a few days previously.

As we approached Pristina I was struck by the number of satellite dishes on all the apartment blocks and buildings. I did not have a satellite dish on my house in Ireland. I was paying for my own postgraduate studies in the National University of Ireland in Dublin and at the same time I was paying a hefty mortgage on my house. A satellite dish was certainly not a priority and was a luxury I could not afford at that time. In briefings prior to my departure I had been led to believe that the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo were poor and deprived yet this did not tally with the vista that opened up in front of me as we drove into Pristina. I came to realise that, as I got to know Kosovo better, why items such as satellite dishes were a priority. Here, where so many flats and apartments in urban areas were illegally seized and occupied, one did not worry about mortgage repayments and as I was to discover later, property belonged to those who wanted it and not to those who actually owned it. All property was up for grabs.

My office was located across the road from the UNMIK police car park beside the radio station, where there were dozens and dozens of red and white jeeps, (we used to call them the Coca Cola police cars). I remember seeing them parked there day after day as I crossed the little bridge into town. I could not figure out why they were there for months and months without once moving out. This period between August 1999 and April 2000 was a time of unprecedented ethnic cleansing and yet here were these brand new police cars that had made it to a carpark in Pec town but got no further than that. Like many other aspects of the international presence in Kosovo this too was a smokescreen.

The night of September 27, 1999 was in some respects the initial ‘wake-up call’ for me as to what was going on in Kosovo. I went to bed early with a book while my colleagues went out to have a pizza, about the only thing on offer in those days. I will never forget when the shooting started, it was unremitting. I lay in bed with my head under the covers, disbelieving the scale and intensity of the attacks which went on into the early hours. That night saw the UCK go on a killing spree, rampaging through the Serb areas of the town, burning, looting and killing mainly elderly Serbs. This all-night rampage happened in a territory where the conflict had officially ended some four months previously and which had the UN as administrators and as police and which had troops from many western countries making up the KFOR contingent supposedly to provide security. The next morning as I made my way warily down the town, the first thing I saw was a body face down in the river. It was not the only one left lying around the town but Italian KFOR had been busy that morning clearing away the bodies. Ironically and not un-coincidentally, the very next day was the deadline for the handover of weapons by the UCK [KLA].

I was working on a social development project in Pec. In my first six months I worked only in Albanian villages as that was the area of responsibility designated to us by UNHCR. Not only were we not working in the last Serbian village near Pec to have survived the onslaught after June 1999, Gorazdevac, we were specifically told not to go near the village and above all, when driving past it we were advised not to make eye contact with the Serbs in the village. We were told that the inhabitants of Gorazdevac were thieves and killers and were very dangerous as they were all armed. Many times I had been told that they had stolen everything from the Albanians — cars, fridges, televisions, etc. I was warned that if I ever went there I would be raped, beaten and finally murdered.

While most of the internationals believed these scare stories and some tragically enough still do, I found it hard to believe that a village with a church at its centre and with mainly elderly people sitting around the village square could be the evil place that it was made out to be. I first went there in February 2000 as a private individual, that is without the ‘imprimatur’ of my organisation. I travelled in the back of an Italian armed personnel carrier having been told by the soldiers to stay out of sight in the back. What I found there was the exact opposite of what I had been told. People were poor, very poor. Very few people had televisions and there were a lot of elderly women who were in a very difficult situation as they had no accommodation. Despite their difficulties people were very hospitable towards me and on my first day I was offered my first pork meal since leaving Ireland…[Editor’s note: Why the absence of pork in Kosovo — even to the non-Muslim internationals? After all, we were and are told that the Albanians aren’t the Muslimy Muslims.]

One of the first projects that I initiated in the village was a social housing project for these women. When I started working there the following month, in March 2000, I encountered great hostility from my colleagues both international and local Albanian. They threatened me, bullied me and one [female Irish colleague] even pushed me down the stairs of our office but I persevered and, then as now, saw nothing wrong in trying to help these poor, unfortunate people who had done nothing wrong to anyone. But what really frightened me was the terrible hatred displayed towards these people, even the look in peoples’ eyes when I mentioned I was going to Gorazdevac.

One international colleague who reluctantly helped out on a project which was the rehabilitation of the cultural centre in the village square managed to rehabilitate only half of the roof, stating the other half was beyond repair. Later another international NGO completed the roof and their engineer assured me that the other half of the roof was quite easily repairable, stating that from an engineering perspective there was nothing wrong with it and they quickly repaired it.

This was the type of blind prejudice that one encountered if one tried to be fair in one’s work in Kosovo and especially when a development project for Serb recipients was put forward. Social exclusion was the order of the day. It was a prejudice that was unrelenting, that led to hatred and ultimately a completely bigoted outlook on the situation in Kosovo. The same colleague [an Englishman] who refused to finish the roof later verbally abused me for going to the village to work at weekends; however the only way to keep working there was in my own time at weekends. He stared into my face inches away from me screaming at me for working in Gorazdevac. At one stage I thought he was going to bite my nose off and it was the nearest I had come to being beaten up.

When villagers wanted to leave Gorazdevac they had only one bus which was escorted in and out of the village by KFOR. The Serbs were allowed only one bag which was searched repeatedly. The whole setup was as if the powers that be wanted deliberately to humiliate these people. As a witness I shared in their humiliation, that ordinary human beings should be treated in such a manner. This was the first time in my life that I had come across people who had no freedom of movement and I could not understand how the people who were holding them hostage and who were rampaging around killing and looting and burning were not subject to any type of restraint. The hatred against these people, the Serbs, was palpable, intense and shocking to me. There was nothing hidden about it, the hatred was overt and encouraged and perhaps this was one of the reasons that I decided to stay on in Kosovo and to try to do something to redress the balance. ‘Out the window’ went my plans for working in Central America. I had stumbled across a situation in modern Europe on the eve of the twenty first century where there was a systematic denial of basic human rights, where one section of the population had overnight become less than second class citizens and all this in a place that theoretically at least was a UN Protectorate and under the protection of NATO. One question kept coming to mind and that was how could there be such violations of basic human rights in a UN Protectorate? Who was the UN actually protecting? And who was indicted for repeatedly violating human rights? No one! And when one mentioned the violations and difficult situation of the Serbs, one was threatened and nearly beaten up.

In October 2000 I moved to Pristina to work with an international aid agency. As time went on and as I gathered more experience from my field trips around Kosovo — I had an unfortunate habit of venturing outside the well-controlled “editorial confines” of my office — a different picture from the one we had been led to believe continued to emerge. Gorazdevac was not an exception, but the rule. Throughout Kosovo, Serbs and other non-Albanians were suffering similar discrimination. It became increasingly clear to me that international aid in Kosovo from the outset was reserved for those who were judged to be allies of the West and whom the media had branded as the victims. Serbs and other non-Albanians were the guilty ones and the international effort in Kosovo clearly followed that line. Many measures were taken to give the semblance of upholding law and order and justice and human rights but these, without exception, proved to be part of the smokescreen, the appearance of everything and the substance of nothing. 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. I thought that was an amazing statement for any person to make but especially from a person in his position.

There was a systematic, one might say almost regimented, effort on the part of one’s Albanian colleagues to present a very one-sided picture, in which the Serbs were quite clearly the baddies and the Albanians the victims. Had I, like many internationals, stayed in my own cocoon/ivory tower — that is my office relying only on local Albanian commentaries and western media information which was rarely more than downright propaganda — I too might have meekly served my time in Kosovo having convinced myself or at least [tried] hard to convince myself that Kosovo was a black and white issue and that NATO’s ‘humanitarian intervention’ was not only justified but was the only way to impose peace and justice.

As the time passed and I stayed in Kosovo longer than I had ever intended, I saw more and more evidence of the campaign of ethnic cleansing. If Albanians or internationals ever mentioned a particular incident it was usually to condone it saying it was natural that there might be some attacks on the Serbs. There was always a denial, a refusal to acknowledge that there was an orchestrated, far-reaching campaign going on around us to rid Kosovo of all remaining non-Albanian communities especially in the urban areas. Even after the concerted and well organised pogrom of March 2004 which targeted non-Albanian areas throughout Kosovo, the international community maintained its façade of normality and denial, its unspoken campaign of appeasement. I heard people put the 2004 pogrom down to the fact that the Albanian population was frustrated and that is why mobs destroyed over 1000 houses, 30 churches and displaced over 4,000 people. To this day the Serbs displaced in the March 2004 pogrom are still living in containers (supplied by the Russian government) in Obilic, Gracanica, Ugljare and Kosovo Polje.

Sometimes stories were spread attempting to deflect attention away from the real culprits or to put more blame on the Serbs. Often these stories were ludicrous but they were still passed on and on and on especially by internationals who had newly arrived in Kosovo.…[A]nother story that was doing the rounds especially in 1999 and 2000 was that all the beautiful medieval monasteries and religious sites dotted around Kosovo, and for which it is justly famous, were originally Albanian edifices which had been usurped by the Serbs. One does not have to be an expert in Byzantine religious architecture and art to recognise that these monasteries and other religious sites in question such as Decani or Pec Patriarchate, both in West Kosovo were clearly Orthodox in design. Anyone capable of reading could access the correct information that these monasteries were endowments of the Serbian kings given to the Serbian people for posterity. The particular line of argument, that the monasteries were all originally Albanian, was invariably curtailed when I asked the simple question:

‘If that is so why then do the Albanians keep trying to blow them up?’

I never got an answer.

However, I did not stay safely ensconced in my office and in the company of other internationals who were self-righteously engaged in their anti-Serbian crusade. I travelled to non-Albanian areas, not just Serb areas but also the Roma camps and settlements (such as the lead-contaminated Roma camp in Zvecan for those displaced in 1999 by the UCK in south Mitrovica), the Gorani in Gora, the Croats in Letnica, all of whom, since the arrival of KFOR and the UN in Kosovo and the departure of the Serbian security forces, had been on the receiving end of the violence. What ensued in June 1999 and culminated in March 2004 was a war of terror against an innocent civilian population including Albanians who did not see eye to eye with the UCK and their masters.

This violence was directed solely at civilian targets — men, women and children regardless of age or infirmity. It was an unremitting war, a war of terror and intimidation intended to drive the non-Albanians out, in some cases aided and abetted by certain contingents of KFOR.

While many Serbian villages were ethnically cleansed, all towns south of the Ibar were cleansed of their Serb and Roma populations. The tales of woe of places like Lipljan, Obilic, Kosovo Polje, Caglovica, Vitina, Urosevac etc are horrendous. The town of Vitina had over 3,500 Serb inhabitants in 1999. Over a year later there were just a handful left living huddled around the church. There are thousands of such stories. The elderly Serbs in Urosevac were put on buses and taken to the administrative boundary with Serbia proper after 1,000 of them had spent nearly a week penned behind a corral in the centre of the town with no facilities while the UCK went on [a] rampage and burnt the town and killed anyone who looked like a Serb. One UNHCR staff member told me that she went to get medicines for them and when she returned she was told that the US army had driven them away in buses to their new homes — collective centres in Bujanovac in south Serbia where many of them still reside and many others have died of a broken heart. (In reality they were the lucky ones — many of those who stayed behind in the villages were tortured, beheaded, raped and murdered.)

Consider just one of the incidents that happened in the town of Obilic. Despite the sustained assault against them, there were still some Serbs and Roma residing in the town of Obilic by March 2004. However, these residents were targeted by the mobs on 17 March that year as part of the Kosovo-wide drive to cleanse areas south of the Ibar, especially in central Kosovo near Pristina. One particular incident stands out in terms of the failure of the international community to protect ordinary people. During the attack on Obilic in which many Serb houses were burned, the entire female population of the Roma settlement in the town, that is dozens of girls and women between the ages of about 14 and 60, were stripped naked and marched through the streets near the town centre by the mob, many of whom were armed. Incredibly, there were soldiers from the British KFOR contingent present in the town that day who witnessed the incident but did not intervene. Perhaps they were under orders not to. Whatever the reason, their inactivity was mirrored elsewhere in Kosovo by the actions, or I should say the inaction, of KFOR who did not turn out to protect those being attacked or who in most cases simply stood by and watched. Others scurried off to their bases. However there were some exceptions. During the March 2004 pogrom it was the actions of soldiers from the Irish KFOR contingent who travelled from their base in Lipljan, acting on their own initiative, who saved the lives of all the non-Albanians in Obilic in those frightful days.

Another example of the almost unbelievable suffering meted out to the innocent is the case of the Nikolic family from the town of Urosevac, whom I am proud to call my friends…There is the mother Dani (Daniela) now in her 80s, born in Slovenia; she came to Urosevac when she was eighteen to visit her father, an officer in the Yugoslav army. While there she met her husband to be and after they were married they settled in Urosevac town. Daniela had two daughters, Santipa and Liljana. Both daughters were academically gifted, one becoming an architect and the other an engineer. The Nikolic family was an old distinguished family in the town which had contributed much to the development of Urosevac over the years. In 1999 they still owned a part of their large house, the rest of the house had been taken off them by the communists.

Their age and inability to be a threat to anyone did not save them from being targeted by the UCK. Although they escaped the initial onslaught against the Serbs in Urosevac, their house was visited many times in June and July 1999 by armed UCK men who stole what they liked. They were all assaulted; all of them had their teeth broken. Santipa, being the only able-bodied member of the family (Liljana is a paraplegic due to a car crash some years ago and the mother Daniela is blind), would venture out to look for food but was attacked on several occasions and beaten literally black and blue. They were protected for some time by Greek KFOR who stationed armed guards at their front door. Despite all the difficulties, they stayed in their own house until the March 2004 pogrom when a mob of more than a thousand men surrounded the house. A video tape of the attack on the house survives which I was able to obtain and it shows clearly that at one end of the town a thousand-strong mob was able to surround the house of three ladies while at the other end of town Greek KFOR were trying to defend the church from another mob.

Eventually US KFOR came to rescue the Greek contingent shortly before the interior of the church was torched and some Greek soldiers were badly burnt. US KFOR also came to the Nikolic house and forcibly removed the three ladies who were carried out under a hail of stones and other [projectiles]. Liljana who was paralysed from the waist down was hit on the leg by a rock but did not realise she had sustained a broken leg until later. The destruction of their house meant not only the tragedy of losing their family home but also the loss of 18,000 books from their library, many valuable musical instruments and a priceless fresco by the famous Renaissance painter Giotto of the Blessed Mother which was more than 400 years old. The last vestiges of European civilisation in Urosevac burned with these objects.

The Nikolic ladies were dropped off at the Greek army base where they found other Serb survivors of the final assault on Urosevac. They were not brought to the large US army base Camp Bondsteel nearby despite their need for urgent medical attention because, as it was explained to them later by a US KFOR soldier, US KFOR did not want the local Albanians working on the base to know that they were treating wounded Serbs there. Some ten or eleven days later they were brought to Camp Bondsteel for medical attention but in the meantime one elderly lady had died.

The Nikolic family was returned to the Greek army base in Urosevac where they still reside today — apart from a brief interlude in Greece where Greek KFOR wanted them to stay…They were and are determined to return to their house in Urosevac although no one from the international or the local Albanian authorities is anxious to rebuild their house or facilitate their return. Indeed the house has now been completely cut off by new buildings and their access has been denied; the only way for the Nikolic family to visit their house or what remains of it would be by helicopter. Their father’s factory has been privatised by the UN-established Kosovo Trust Agency without their knowledge or consent. One soldier said to them recently that the Albanians deserve the factory as there are so many of them and they are very poor and they need employment. The answer he received was, would you give your factory to poor people who come into your country? Despite all the hardship, they remain determined to stay in their beloved Urosevac…However, the bottom line of all this is the simple and stark fact that Urosevac, like all the urban centres of Kosovo, is not safe for Serbs to return to and that the property rights of the displaced count for nothing. No one, international or local, is prepared to stand up for basic human rights. It is as plain and simple as that.

I could fill many books with anecdotes about how I came to realise how a clear and awful wrong has been done in Kosovo. It must be remembered that before I came to Kosovo, although I was not entirely naïve, I did still have a basic belief in the system of international law and in organisations mandated to uphold and protect justice and human rights. My time in Kosovo completely changed everything and opened my eyes to the real workings and infernal machinations of the international system. Like the time I met with a senior representative of the UN established returns office in Pristina in February 2005, who quite blatantly told me that Serbs would never be allowed to return to Kosovo. He told me that there was no serious intent to facilitate the return of the Serbs to Kosovo and he stated that the structures established supposedly to facilitate return were nothing more than a smokescreen.

Then there was the British diplomat in Belgrade who self-righteously proclaimed to me that ‘the Serbs were on the wrong side of history’

The agricultural land that I had seen on 24 August, 1999 covered in sunflowers is today little more than a concrete jungle of newly constructed warehouses and concrete structures, many of which were built illegally; other plots were sold by Serbs at below the market value simply because they could not continue to live in collective centres and needed the financial resources to move out of the collective accommodation…

That the Serbs of Kosovo are being wiped out is without question, that the eradication of their history and culture is on course is also without question. The UCK has destroyed most of their churches (150 in total, some of them monasteries dating from medieval times), their graveyards have been desecrated and used as dumps, the bones of their dead used as hockey sticks, their villages have been plundered and renamed. Their young have been forced to flee.

I began with my father’s story of witnessing a crow’s court. I too have witnessed such an occurrence. However, the murder of crows that I witnessed ganging up on their selected and helpless victim are the enemies of truth and justice and human rights in Kosovo, the crow in the middle of the court is the Serbian people of Kosovo on trial for no discernible reason, guilty before the trial, sentenced to death and executed without mercy.

I was not brought up to hate nor was I brought up to take part in a witch-hunt. The Kosovo situation brings to mind the William Golding novel I studied at school, ‘Lord of the Flies’, where Piggy is killed by the mob for no reason other than he was different and wore glasses and a scapegoat was needed. I was brought up to believe in decency and respect for my fellow human beings.

I have discovered that I cannot turn a blind eye to the lethal cruelty of the mob nor can I turn a blind eye to those who support and appease the mob in the interests of containment and protecting their own credibility. I will not turn a blind eye to the cruelty of those mandated to uphold the law and to resolve conflict in the Balkans and not to sow the seeds of the next one.

(Just an aside: Notice this sentence from the essay above: “Despite their difficulties people were very hospitable towards me and on my first day I was offered my first pork meal since leaving Ireland.” Why the absence of pork in Kosovo — even to the non-Muslim internationals? After all, we were and are told that the Albanians aren’t like “those” Muslims.)

Last October I collaborted on an article with proprietor Oleg Atbashian. The article was a spoof of the final “attempt” at “negotiations” between Serbs and Albanians in New York that week, and was titled “Kosovo Delegation Kills Serbian Delegation During Talks“.

It was accompanied by the following images and captions:

UN peacekeeper inspects improvements made to 14th century Serbian Monastery by Muslim architects of Kosovo.

Ruins of a Christian church in Kosovo blown up by Muslim Albanian urban planners after it was deemed unsuitable for conversion to a mosque.

A team of Albanian interior decorators evaluate the scope of work at the freshly ruined St. George Cathedral. (As usual, Serbian nationalists claimed they were a “Muslim mob looting and reveling in the ruins.”)

Albanian interior decorators take a break from redecorating 14th century churches to participate in a planning conference and receive instructions from the boss.

British peacekeepers protect one of the few remaining churches in Kosovo from Albanian architects.

While this “spoof” was close enough to the truth, I found out that Oleg and I were kidding even less than we thought after reading the final three paragraphs of this 1999 article in the UK Independent:

Nato turns a blind eye as scores of ancient Christian churches are reduced to rubble (20 November 1999)

…Last week, I drove down the same road to Prizren and sought out the same church. I found the field and steel gate. But the church was a ruin. A single wall stood. The rest was pulverised stone. Goodbye, then, to the icons and the saints with the staring eyes. Goodbye to Jesus. Goodbye to the Serb Orthodox church. All across Kosovo I found identical scenes, places of worship — sometimes 600 years old — levelled with explosives and hammers, the very identity of Serb history turned to dust amid fields and hillsides by Nato’s Kosovo Albanian allies.

The Serb church has issued its own list of destroyed or partly demolished buildings. Between 13 June — when Nato troops entered Kosovo — and 20 October, they say, 74 churches have been turned to dust or burnt or vandalised. The 15th-century monastery of the Holy Trinity above Musutiste, begun in 1465, has been levelled with explosives. The monastery of the Archangel near Vitina, built in the 14th century, has been looted and burnt. So has the church of the Archangels in Gornje Nerodimlje. And the church of St Paraskeva, near Pec. And the church of St Nicholas in Prekoruplje — razed and its nine 16th-century icons lost, including that of the apostle Thomas.

The rubble of Orthodox churches across Kosovo stands as a monument to Kosovo Albanian vandalism and to Nato’s indifference or — at the least — incompetence. After declaring that Kosovo must remain a “multi-ethnic society”, 40,000 troops from K-For cannot, it seems, look after its historical heritage against the violence of those whom its spokesmen treated as allies in the war against Yugoslavia’s President, Slobodan Milosevic, only five months ago.

True, K-For soldiers are now billeted beside Orthodox and Catholic churches across the province. Floodlights haunt the sepulchres of ancient keeps, and in the Serb town of Gracanica, Swedish troops order Kosovo Albanians to strip off the least offensive bumper sticker advocating independence for the province. Two soldiers from north of Stockholm guard the entrance to Kosovo’s most famous monastery.

But elsewhere, religious desecration is Nato’s shame. When I turned up in Djakovica to find its Orthodox basilica blown up by bombs, Italian troops — now guarding the rubble from anyone idiotic enough to try to demolish the wreckage — instructed me to put down my camera. They were under orders to prevent all pictures being taken, they said. Back I went to Pristina, to K-For’s local office, to an Italian officer who said that, yes, I could return to Djakovica and take any pictures I wished. And back I went.

The Italians were now courtesy itself. They even wished me to identify correctly the Italian tank — a Centaur — that stands outside the demolished church. And I could take all the pictures I wanted of K-For troops guarding the integrity and sanctity of a church that had already been blown apart. This time the soldiers were more than friendly. Watch out for the dangerous walls, they warned me. Would I like a picture of the soldier in front of the tank with the destroyed church in the background? What on earth was going on?

Now, I truly believe that the Italian peace-keepers in Kosovo, like their opposite numbers in Beirut in 1982, are among the best peace- keepers on our planet….But this demolition cannot be just “revenge” — Nato’s usual excuse for the destruction under its auspices. You do not just fill with rage and spend days gathering explosives to blow up churches. This is vandalism with a mission.

Outside Klina last week, I came across another blasted church, blown to pieces just two months ago. Its shattered dome lay over walls and crosses and iconstasis. And wandering amid the rubble was a Kosovo Albanian, Ymer Qupeva. What on earth was he doing here? I asked. Sympathising with the Serb worshippers? “I have come to view the professionalism of the destruction,” Mr Qupeva said. “They did very well — they planted explosives against all four walls.”

Mr Qupeva was a graduate of “pyrotechnics” at the University of Zagreb and wanted to make sure the Kosovo Albanians had done their job well. It was, he said, a “Karic” church — the Karic brothers in Belgrade are reputed mobsters — and one of many built across Kosovo. “They used the stones from the Klina Partisan memorial to build the walls,” Mr Qupeva said. “The Serbs claimed someone had a dream that they should build a church next to the old tree by the road.” And blowing up the church? Did he agree with that? “It was good,” he said bleakly.

Now the church is finished. Blown up with great professionalism. And for good measure — so is the old tree beside it.

I only now stumbled upon a Kosovo independence post from February by the liberal Jewish site In it, the site does the standard applauding of the mono-ethnic (including Jew-cleansed) “free” gangster state. It was accompanied by this photo:

Freedom on the march: Kosovo declares independence

Nice minaret there in the backdrop, Jews!

And as we know, minarets have always symbolized and ushered in freedom and humanity.

As if this weren’t delicious enough, they got that Muslim Jew Stephen Suleyman Schwartz to be one of the three featured enlighteners for their readership. I skimmed his article and am highlighting exactly one delectable sentence from the conclusion:

[Kosovo Albanians] are entrepreneurial, moral, traditional people who are anxious to take their place as a responsible European nation.

Even funnier than the ironic choice of “entrepreneurial” is the word “moral”. Even if I were Jewish-Muslim voluntary Islamic shill Stephen Suleyman Ahmed Schwartz, I would think twice before applying the word “moral” — of all words — to Albanians. But then, blood feuds and ethnic cleansing are the new morality of the New World Order, and organized crime is such great entrepreneurialism that even the United States of America is welcoming its taste as the U.S. aligns itself with the Greater Albanian mafia. Below is just one random example of Albanian morality, out of the hundreds of thousands documented on this blog and in my and others’ articles. This one shows what the typical Kosovo Albanian thinks of court summonses/orders/judgments in his enthusiasm for Kosovo to “take its place as a responsible European nation.” From Hiding Genocide in Kosovo:

A climate of fear prevails in Letnica just like all the other enclaves in Kosovo. It does not matter that they are Catholic Croats. Someone wants their land and their property and therefore they are legitimate targets. Some families in the village have suffered almost daily harassment and intimidation.

An Albanian man Haki Ahmeti from the village Komo Glava in Urosevac municipality bought a small piece of land from a Croat neighbour of Froka’s who had decided to leave. The land was on the bank of the river which ran under Froka’s house. Haki cut off part of the water to Froka’s mill. Froka took Haki to court. In November 2003 when Haki got the summons to go to court he attacked Froka in the street near his home and rammed the summons into Froka’s mouth. He called him vulgar names saying he would cut off his private parts. Froka reported the assault to the Kosovo Police Service who took statements and prepared a case for court. Two others from Letnica were witnesses. These were Marian Nikolic and Marko Kolic, who both told Froka that they were threatened by Haki to keep quiet. In court the judge said the case would be resolved if they shook hands and kept the peace in future. They did so but upon leaving the court only a few hundred metres from the court house Haki and his son attacked Froka and beat him up. Then and there, Froka decided to drop the case because of the threats. His friend Marko used to work in the mill but he is afraid to go there alone now. The Croat community is now afraid to report incidents and has no faith in the court system to defend their rights.

Haki Ahmeti wants Froka’s house, mill and the land…The court case did not dampen Haki’s enthusiam for intimidating and harassing Froka and the other Croats. In fact he has stepped up his campaign, as now his son helps him to intimidate the Croats. Haki always tells Froka that it does not matter what the court says, “We will get the mill in the end.”

Haki is now using the land that he bought from Froka’s neighbour to re-direct the course of the river. Froka took a second court case against him, this time because he was affecting the water supply to the mill. Haki beat up Froka in the street outside the court and warned Froka that he was not to sell the property to anyone, not even other Albanians as he, Haki, is the only one with the right to it Haki is using all of Froka’s land and the land of the other Croats who have left; they asked Froka to look after their land for them while they were gone.

The remaining Croats are afraid to work their land as Albanians both here and from across the border in Macedonia threaten them on a daily basis…The village has lost hope. More than 100 reports of harassment have been lodged with the authorities but not one case has been resolved and the reports make the Albanians even more angry. Albanians come to see Milorad every day to see if he will sell his house in Vitina. The Albanians graze their cattle on Froka’s land as if it is already theirs.

Kosovo Polje also witnessed another Albanian tactic to take over areas in towns. They would buy a house at either end of a street that they wanted to take over. The price could be astronomical. Soon after the owners of the houses between the two that had been sold would be bombarded with offers to sell up, usually at prices far below what they were worth. Those that did not take the offer were usually encouraged to sell through intimidation, harassment and midnight firebomb or grenade attacks. It was an effective way to clear the town of Serbs and anyone else who did not fit in…

The agricultural land on both sides of the town of Kosovo Polje which was owned by Serbs was all sold between 1999 and 2007. In the face of the terrorist campaign against them they had no protection and were left with no choice but to leave under extreme pressure…One UN source informed me that the majority of the properties were bought by Albanians from Bujanovac, Medvedja and Presevo, which is ironically classed as one of the poorest areas in south Serbia. No one ever asks where the money comes from. This area of south Serbia which is populated mainly by Albanians is renowned as the narcotics centre in the Balkans.

Now almost eight years after the terror began most of the housing and the land has been sold to Albanians. The Serbs were left with no choice but to sell. They lived a life of sheer hell. They were not protected by anybody.

The Serbian population has been eradicated from Kosovo Polje. The few remaining Serbs lack most of all freedom of movement, economic opportunity, access to public services such as health or education; they even lack cultural freedom. What kind of peace is it that means you cannot feel safe to speak your own language in the street outside your own front door; that you cannot practice your own religion because the church is surrounded by barbed wire or burned down?

…Between June 1999 and April 2004 seventeen Serbs were murdered in Kosovo Polje. A witness of the 17 March progrom in 2004 saw with his own eyes a KPS policeman taking part in the arson. One Slovenian policeman is still supposed to be investigating the events of the 17 March 2004 but no one has heard anything. The above mentioned witness was attacked that day by a mob but managed to escape to the Health Centre like others. His house was burned down the same day. There was a five thousand-strong mob which came to Kosovo Polje but no one from the “authorities” saw it.

Congress Urged to Pay More Attention to Suffering in Kosovo

The U.S. Congress should send observation teams to Kosovo to witness first-hand the deplorable plight of minorities whose suffering over the past six years remains largely ignored by the world, according to a proposition delivered this week by a spokeswoman for the Serbian government.

Dr. Sanda Raskovic Ivic, a psychiatrist by profession, is the new head of the Kosovo-Metohija Coordination Center, a non-partisan panel in charge of pooling state, political and social resources to solve problems in the troubled province…Kosovo…has been the site of ethnic cleansing of minority groups for several years, with ethnic Albanians, most of them Muslim, targeting Serbs, Muslim Slavs, Turks, Roma (gypsies) and Ashkali.

Since June 1999, Kosovo has been governed by the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) under the authority of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244. The United Nations recently authorized final talks on the status and future of the troubled province. Yet even with this international presence, including the stationing of 7,000 troops, ethnic cleansing and oppression of minorities continues, Raskovic Ivic said. (Click here to view maps of ethnic population changes. Powerpoint required.)

She was in Washington, D.C., this week to discuss Kosovo’s status with members of Congress and the Bush administration’s National Security Council. The province should have “more than autonomy, less than independence,” according to Raskovic Ivic, who called this a “fair compromise” that will not include “victors and vanquished, winners and losers.”

Accompanied by diplomatic personnel, Raskovic Ivic told Cybercast News Service that she was in the U.S. “to convey the real situation of minorities,” in Kosovo. “Basic human rights are breached and there is no freedom of movement,” she said. “The intimidation and shootings continue.”

Schools in minority enclaves are overcrowded, Raskovic Ivic said, but students cannot attend other schools because of attempted hijackings of school buses, beatings and harassment.

Serbs are also said to be unwelcome at the majority of hospitals now run by ethnic Albanians, she said. “Some pregnant women who went to Albanian-run hospitals to give birth did not return alive.”

Property rights of minorities are reported to be almost non-existent…”UNMIK (The United Nations Mission in Kosovo) has made over 70,000 decisions in favor of Serb property rights, yet there is no enforcement,” said Raskovic Ivic. “Thousands of more claims are waiting to be processed.”

Raskovic Ivic is also pushing for an effective security package to be implemented in the region, to address organized crime and potential terrorism.

“When a mobster is arrested he wraps himself in the Albanian flag,” said Raskovic Ivic. “Then riots ensue amid complaints of human rights violations.”

Raskovic Ivic also pointed to the heroin and cocaine that pass through the region. Kosovo is right in the middle of the narco-trafficking path that begins in Afghanistan and after Kosovo, extends to Western Europe and the United States.

Raskovic Ivic confirmed information that Cybercast News Service received last month, alleging that there are three major heroin laboratories operating in Kosovo, under protection of paramilitary soldiers or former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army. The information was received from the International Strategic Studies Institute in Washington, D.C.

“There are a smaller number of labs working undercover as well, but they are all networked together,” Raskovic Ivic said. “Like a cancer, these things are going to spread. Everyone is turning a blind eye to this.”

Raskovic Ivic expressed concern over the law enforcement follow-up to the March 2004 attacks on churches in Kosovo. Albanian mobs allegedly attacked and destroyed 34 churches, monasteries and bishop residences. Since international forces took power in 1999, approximately 150 church properties have been attacked…

“There have been no indictments, even though 23 of the perpetrators were caught on film,” she said. Under pressure from the international community, the 23 were fired from their jobs.

Those who promote independence for Kosovo don’t realize that the violence and lawlessness will not stop with that change in status, she said. U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) and U.S. Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) are among the American politicians supporting independence for Kosovo, she said.

Despite the ongoing crisis, Raskovic Ivic complained that the international community remains apathetic…”No one even notices [Kosovo minorities’] suffering,” she added. “If you suffer and no one notices, no one cares. It is a terrible thing.”

And last week we heard from another human rights advocate:

Maria Lina Veca: Western Kosovo Story is a Lie

“Spending time with Kosovo Serbs who live in the ghettos, I realized the facts were inverted and that those who are considered to be the culprits are in fact the victims, while the designated victims are the culprits”, said Italian reporter in the interview given to Glas Javnosti.

Maria Lina Veca is an Italian journalist, reporter and author who visited Kosovo province Serbs 27 times during the last eight years. She has written three books and made two documentaries about the life of Kosovo Serbs after US-led NATO seized the southern Serbian province in 1999. Veca is the President of the humanitarian organization RinascereOnlus which provides aid for the Serbian children walled off in the Kosovo-Metohija enclaves.

Q: How were your views about the events in Kosovo-Metohija received in Italy?

MLV: This is a taboo subject, even today. Back then, my colleagues told me that those who speak like I ought to be sent to the Hague.

Q: Has Italy violated its own Constitution by the recognition of Kosovo independence?

MLV: By recognizing Kosovo Italy has first and foremost violated the international law. Our Parliament did not recognize Kosovo independence, and at the moment our government recognized Kosovo it was only a technical government, so it could in no way reach a decision on such an issue as recognition of the state.

Q: Why did Italy recognize Kosovo?

MLV: Because it is a United States’ colony.

Q: You stated on several occasions that the recognition of Kosovo independence is a recognition of the mafia state…

MLV: Testimony of the Italian General Fabio Mini, who was a Commander of the International KFOR troops in 2002/2003 in Kosovo-Metohija is the best evidence for that. A day after the secession of Kosovo, he said that the mafia state is being created in Kosovo and Metohija. He revealed to Corriere della Sera that Hashim Thaci had killed by his own hands 28 Albanians from the late Ibrahim Rugova’s party and many Serbs, and said that such a man cannot possibly be the head of a state… Creation of this “state” has given a blessing to the establishing of the mafia state in the midst of Europe. And the Europe is yet to learn what it had done.

Q: Why did you decide to dedicate so much time to Kosovo-Metohija, or rather to Serbs?

MLV: As a journalist, I visited Kosovo-Metohija — the town of Pec, for the first time in December 1999. I realized everything is there, except for the Serbs. When I asked where are the Serbs, I was told they live in the enclaves and that they can’t take me there because it is too dangerous. I requested from the Pristina Carabinieri Command to be taken to the enclaves. They were surprised I was interested in the Serbs, but they took me first to Vitina, then to Partes, Cernica, Strpce…

I have seen the inhumane living conditions, that Serbs live like in concentration camps. I found it incredible that the Western media — actually no-one — talks about this. I realized the facts were inverted and that those who are considered to be the culprits are, in fact, the victims, while the designated victims are the culprits. This is something I simply couldn’t be silent about, and that’s when I wrote the first book “Has Kosovo been Lost?”. I would’ve done the same for any nation on earth.

Q: How is this work of yours received in Italy? Did it help make ordinary Italians better understand what is happening with the Serbs in Kosovo-Metohija?

MLV: They understood that very well from the contacts with children [whom Veca’s program brought to Italy] and they are extremely worried, they are now following the events in Kosovo-Metohija with fear. All the families that received the children had no prior knowledge about their life in Kosovo-Metohija. They took them in as if they were the children from Africa, and it took time to explain those children are not lacking in anything except for freedom—this is what they don’t have. I consider a greatest success the fact that these families understood this and that now each of the families carries the information which spreads mouth-to-mouth…

And here’s the putz who brought on this reality for the non-Albanian underclass:

Driving Down Congressman Engel Boulevard, in Kosovo

PEC, Kosovo — …On vacation to visit a friend working in Kosovo, this reporter couldn’t help noticing the pro-American sentiments expressed by an Albanian majority. The Kosovar Albanians are grateful to the United States for spearheading the NATO bombing campaign against Serbia in 1999 that resulted in autonomy for the province under United Nations supervision, and for quickly recognizing Kosovo as the world’s newest country after its government declared legal independence[ha!] from Serbia (which had been the de facto reality since 1999) on Feb. 17 of this year. (Many countries within the European Union have also recognized Kosovo’s independence, but Serbia, and its ally, Russia, maintain that the declaration of independence was illegal.) [Actually, international law maintains that the declaration is illegal.]

There are streets in Kosovo named for former President Bill Clinton; Wesley K. Clark, the retired Army general who commanded NATO forces in Europe during the 1999 campaign; and William Walker, the American diplomat who led a peacekeeping mission in 1998 and 1999 that helped draw attention to the plight of Albanians who had been victims of violence. [i.e., Walker was the PR operative for the Albanians’ staged atrocity at Racak which broke the proverbial camel’s back so Clinton could bomb the Serbs.]

Nonetheless, it felt a bit surreal on Sunday, during a visit to Pec (also known as Peja, its Albanian name), a city in western Kosovo, to encounter a main boulevard named for Representative Eliot L. Engel, a Democrat who represents parts of the Bronx and Westchester and Rockland Counties.

A giant poster on the side of a building in the center of Pec notes that the street was renamed for Congressman Engel in July 2005. His Bronx district includes many Albanians. Mr. Engel has been a dedicated advocate of Kosovar Albanian autonomy since the mid-1990s….In 1997, Mr. Engel warned that “Kosovo has the potential to be another Bosnia.” In 1998, he urged the White House to attack Serbian positions in Kosovo and impose a no-fly zone for Serbian aircraft.

The makeup of Mr. Engel’s constituency may help explain his advocacy for the province….[So since his CONSTITUENTS support terrorists, Engel does too. Kind of like former London mayor Ken Livingstone, who endorsed Palestinian terror.]

Mr. Engel stopped in Pec for the street dedication during the 2005 trip to the Balkans, where he served as an election monitor in Albanian elections. He was treated like a celebrity.

In an interview by telephone on Thursday night, Mr. Engel, in the United States, spoke of his strong relationship with the people in that region. “I’d been on TV so many times that people on the street in Kosovo recognized me,” he said. “People know me. They know my face.”

He added, with a laugh, “I would like such adulation from my constituents.”

And of course that’s what it’s all about.

In the center of Serb-cleansed Pec is this most literal visual of a giant douchebag, to borrow a “South Park” term:

A giant poster on the side of a building in the center of Pec notes that the street was renamed for Mr. Engel in July 2005.

Yesterday’s post about hacking up Serbs for their organs mentioned the following scene:

There are more than 2,000 names on the list of missing Serbs. Sima Spasich is the leader of an organisation trying to discover their fate. He showed the pictures of body parts he filmed in 2003.

“I cannot explain what I saw there. It was a small mountain of pieces of bodies and the first thing I saw was a baby who’d been taken from his mother’s stomach, lying there. It was impossible to look. It was a massive grave they’d dug before. Today I know in this massive grave were 26 Serb bodies - also there was my brother Milosh,” Spasich added.

One thing that Albanian hearsay and mythology refers to repeatedly goes like this: “The criminal Serbs did unspeakable things, in one case even cutting a baby from its mother’s womb.”

So, as always, we seem to have a case of inverting documented butchery against Serbs into stories of butchery by Serbs against Albanians, Bosnians, Croatians etc… These were some previously cited examples of this phenomenon:

From a 1999 commentary by Stella Jatras in the Washington Times:

Another big CNN story early in the Bosnian conflict was the killing, allegedly by Serb snipers of two “Muslim babies” on a bus. Who could not have been horrified by the tragic sight of the funeral service for those innocent Muslim babies? Where were Ms. Amanpour and CNN to set the record straight? If it had not been for French 2 TV that covered the funeral, this writer would never have known that the babies were Serbian (not Muslim) killed by a Muslim sniper, as was made painfully clear by the presence of a Serbian Orthodox priest conducting the funeral service. . . before it was interrupted by a grenade attack. However, in the CNN coverage the priest had been cropped out, leaving the American audience to believe that Serbs were not only the assassins, but were also responsible for the grendade attack.

Then there’s this illustration of the sleight-of-pen phenomenon reserved for Balkans reporting (from the introduction in Peter Brock’s book Media Cleansing: Dirty Reporting):

[Reporter Kurt Schork] wrote about a man named “Zarko Spasic” who disapeared near the village of Sipovac in Kosovo….Finally, in the eleventh paragraph of the report, readers could figure out that Zarko Spasic was a Serb who was kidnapped and murdered by Albanian Muslims in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).

Maddeningly, journalists used this method of allowing presumption and mistaken inference to occur until deep into the narratives of thousands of such accounts — and long after copy editors had excised the most critical information — throughout the war reporting of the 1990s!

More recently, we heard some fantastical gore from the relatives and friends of the Trolley Square jihadist in Salt Lake City, Sulejman Talovic. From the Salt Lake Tribune at the time (Feb. 2007):

Monika said Talovic described hiding in the woods over a period of three years, lying face down in the dirt to avoid watching as Serbs decapitated countrymen nearby. He told Monika of seeing people shot in the head or stomach. He did witness killings, his aunt said.

As I wrote at the time:

Hmm, Christians decapitating Muslims? It’s possible, but it could be projection: While the public has seen pictures and videos of people shot by Serbs, what has not been circulated to the public is any of the videos of beheadings, eye-gougings, disembowelment and other mutilations of Serbs by Bosniaks. So as usual, there is some projection going on. (On Passover every year, the Palestinian Authority broadcasts a movie in which a Jew slits an Arab boy’s throat to get the Christian blood he needs to make the matzo. Of course, we know who does the throat-slitting in reality.)

On his blog, Salt Lake Tribune photographer Trent Nelson, who accompanied reporter Lisa Rosetta to an intimate interview with Monika, mentions the following tidbit from [Talovic girlfriend] Monika’s mother: “She told how she was alone with her two children, and how men threatened to cut off her daughter’s head. She told how men put out their cigarettes on her 6-month-old baby’s neck. I had heard a lot of similar stories from the wars in Yugoslavia.”

We also heard from Talovic’s aunt Ajka Omerovic, who belatedly got with the program to point the finger at the Serbs when asked by media about her murderous nephew, though she’d previously said no one in the family was suffering any extended trauma as a result of the war:

She and her child Safer were present during the 1995 [Srebrenica] massacre. “Oh, I cannot tell you how that like,” she said. “It’s terrible.”

After the town was overrun, Serbs rounded up the men and killed them, amounting to 8,000, she said. “They occupied us and put us in one building,” she said. People were taken from the building, a battery factory, and killed or raped. The Serbs could “do whatever they want,” she said. Women were killed there, she said…Even though he was a young boy, he knew what was going on, she believes. She thinks his mother said that when they were traveling from Srebrenica to Tuzla, he saw women killed and women raped.

As I’ve written before about the Bosnian rapes, from reader/activist Michael Pravica in an unpublished letter to Deseret News:

Many of the claims…such as the “40,000 raped (Bosnian Muslim) women” were investigated by such respected agencies as the Red Cross and found to be wildly exaggerated. Neither has Mr. Bauman discussed the hundreds of Bosnian Serbian women who were raped.

And from former NY Times reporter David Binder, in his foreword to Peter Brock’s book Media Cleansing: Dirty Reporting:

Others pouncing on the allegations of “up to 60,000 rapes” of Muslim women by Serb soldiers included Newsweek’s Charles Lane and colleagues for a cover story and the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Judy Bachrach for a magazine piece. Conspicuously ignored then and later, as Brock points out, were the 800 cases of raped Serbian women copiously documented for the United Nations.

Binder further mentions a Bosnian Serb named Boris Herak, who admitted to committing between 35 and 42 murders plus 16 rapes after being tortured by Bosnian-Muslim officials before giving Roy Gutman of New York Newsday an interview. Binder writes that, “as with Borislav Herak, whom The International Criminal Tribunal at The Hague refused to indict after the story fell apart, so the court declined to accept as a witness one of Gutman’s principal rape accusers who turned out to be using five aliases.”

I’ve also quoted a reader named Alex, an attorney in Pennsylvania, whose family is from Yugoslavia. Alex traveled back and forth to Yugoslavia in the ’90s, alternately as a translator and as a fact-finder. In March of 1993, he was part of a “mass rape” fact-finding mission to Bosnia, and he writes:

Serb Net, Inc. sent a young lady from Chicago and myself to the old country to figure out what was going on with the allegations of mass rapes. We toured Bosnia. I remember her interviewing one Serbian victim of rape — she may have spoken to more — we talked to Moslems (who told us that all three sides were lying). I remember coming away from that experience learning that one of the international organizations concerned with the mass rape issue concluded that there were not enough rapes in all of Bosnia during the war committed by all three sides to warrant opening anything more than one rape counseling center. It would take some digging to find that source. The conclusion stuck with me because I wondered how many rape counseling centers there are in each major western city — and that in peacetime — and I wondered how many rapes there were in Bosnia before the war. There are gruesome stories of Serbian women locked in makeshift brothels by the Moslems but when we talked about it back home many people shrugged it off as ridiculous, just like the human trafficking that the Albanians engage in, and the beheadings that the Moslems do.

The aforementioned Deseret News was another paper recycling never-proven and often inverted Balkan tales. Faced with a Bosnian killing Americans, the paper schlepped over to Bosnia to keep the blame on the Serbs. There the Deseret reporter talked to an imam who had been a mujahid, and dutifully took down his words for our consumption:

When investigators dug up one mass grave last year, they found the remains of “an older woman that was approximately 103 years old — she had documents — and her grand-grandchild, that has only three years.”

The child was still in the woman’s arms. “The cause of this and the people that did this are Serbs,” [Halilovic] said.

On July 11, 1995, near Srebrenica, a woman named Jamila noticed a woman in the crowd who wore an expression of pain. Jamila asked her what was wrong. “And she was saying, ‘I’m giving birth.”‘

Jamila told her, “Hold my hand and hold the hand of the woman next to you.” The woman gave birth to a boy. “It had black, long hair, and it looked clean even though it was just born. She took the child on her stomach.”

A Serb ordered her to put the baby on the ground, then stepped on him, killing him, he said.

As I wrote then: I wonder if the Bosnian Muslims got the newborn-atrocity idea from any number of incidents in which Hitler’s willing Croatian (”Ustasha”) and Bosnian executioners slammed babies into brick walls, or perhaps from this similar incident as chronicled by the late Jewish Holocaust survivor Cadik Danon in his book The Smell of Human Flesh, A Witness of the Holocaust Memories of Jasenovac:

Some meters from the gate I saw a column of men, women and children. The Ustashas were pushing them and hitting them with the butts of their rifles. When they came near I saw that they were peasants from some Serbian village in Bosnia. They were frightened, confused, and the Ustashas were beating them mercilessly with curses and threats.

I noticed a group of women with children and among them a handsome young woman with a kerchief on her head. She was not older than twenty three, or four. She was carrying on her chest her baby in diapers; a sweet, fearful boy of about four years was holding on to a corner of her skirt.

The Ustashas were rough in separating the children from their parents. The screams of mothers and cries of children were heard. An Ustasha approached the young woman with her baby in her hands, tore away the boy and pushed him to the side where the separated children were standing. The cries and screams were growing; on the sadists’ faces pleasure was visible. The Ustasha who had torn off the boy from his mother, approached her again intending to take away her suckling baby. The fury, fear and the decidedness not to give up her child, whom she pressed even tighter to her breast, were seen on the mother’s face. The Ustasha grabbed the child with both hands and was trying to take him away, but the woman, strongly holding the baby on her left arm, suddenly grabbed the Ustasha by the throat with her right hand and tightened her grip so hard that he started choking, rolling his eyes and sticking out his tongue. Seeing what was happening, another Ustasha approached the woman from the back and with a strong stroke of the butt [of his rifle] he sent her into the mud. She fell in a prone position, over the baby, to the ground. The Ustasha who was almost strangled collected himself. He turned the woman over on the back and started again tearing away the baby from her. His fury was even more intensive, not only because of the woman’s resistance, but because she had shamed him in front of his Ustashas. So he furiously wanted to grab the child again; she was holding him tight on her chest and would not let him go. Mad, he hit the woman with his hilt into the stomach and with a sudden jerk he grabbed her child. Helpless and stunned, the woman was lying on the ground. The Ustasha began cursing: “Cursed be your Serbian mother, we shall kill all of you! How dare you [try] to strangle me!”

The baby in his hands was crying, and cursing he took off its diapers, grabbed it by his small legs and started revolving it in a circle. He turned it faster and faster and suddenly threw it on the ground at the head of his mother. The baby’s head cracked like a ripe melon, its blood and brain spilling over the mother’s maddened face. The desperate cry of the poor woman resounded and she then lost consciousness. I saw that she was taken by the legs and pulled to the side.

1998-99 — History repeats:

Serbian father and son, after the 1999 NATO invasion. NATO-backed KLA “freedom fighters” took the baby by the legs and smashed hin into a brick wall headfirst. Father killed with an iron pipe after being shot.

To finish where we started, here’s just one, recent, comment by an Albanian projecting the cutting-out-of-the-womb story:

I’m not going to deny that there weren’t any mistreatment on the Albanian side but the mistreatment on the Serb side were similar to what Hitler did to the Jews. Pregnant women getting their unborn child cut from their stomachs and the empty cavity being filled with gravel. This all done in front of their families and telling them that you will not bare anymore Albanian kids…. That’s sickening. What about burning their homes, passports, etc to get rid of their identity. What about gathering all the men and boys killing them and burying them in mass graves. What about all the rapes done in front of families that were made to watch because they knew that their culture wouldn’t accept a girl that wasn’t a virgin, especially one that lost it to a Serb. The stories I’ve heard and read about make me sick to my stomach and I know it’s wrong but there were times I wished all Serbs were wiped out. How these people could do what they did, not only in Kosova but in Bosnia, Croatia, etc. is beyond me. Maybe they were drugged by their superiors to not have remorse, I can’t think of anything else that could make people act that way.

As we know, rape was a tool of war used openly by Kosovo Albanians against Serbs, the elders encouraging the younger generation to rape the province’s Serbian girls so that the Serbs would move out.

1983 — Kosovo Serb farmer [Stojan Peric] carries his daughter [nine years old] who was raped by Kosovo Albanian Muslims [in Zitinje near Vitina].

As for a culture that doesn’t accept girls who aren’t virgins, what culture is that? It doesn’t sound Albanian per se, but Islamic. Yet again, weren’t we told that Albanian Muslims have nothing to do with Islam?

Raping in front of families is also something that the KLA engaged in, and this standardly confused Albanian is likely recirculating a KLA crime as a Serb crime. Here is a photo after the fact of such an atrocity by the KLA, which happened before the Yugoslav forces intervened in such goings-on in Kosovo:

Grahovec, Kosovo, summer 1998: “The woman in the picture was five months pregnant; the Islamist Nazi Albanians (KLA-UCK) after raping her, literally cut the baby (fetus) out of her womb with a butcher-knife. The man in the right hand corner (her husband) had his legs chopped off with an axe at his knees, so before he died he was helplessly watching what the Albanian KLA Islamist Nazi savages were doing to his wife.”

“This beautiful young Serbian girl was raped and tortured (her breasts were cut off) - then she was beaten to death with a steel rod by the Albanian Islamist Nazi bandits in Kosovo. Her genitalia were mutilated beyond recognition.This happened after NATO Forces entered Kosovo.”

“After NATO forces entered Kosovo, this entire Serbian family was butchered, men were shot and decapitated. Women and children were raped and tortured. This ten-year-old girl (in the center) was raped by 20 Albanian Islamist Nazi KLA animals, her genitalia were mutilated with a wooden pole, then she was killed with an axe blow to the head.”

Aside from the Albanian penchant for lying, and the advice of Albanian elders and politicians that rape of Serbs should be policy, what diminishes Albanian credibility on rape charges — at least widespread, systematic rape — is what a Yugoslav soldier told one of my sources speaking on behalf of himself and other soldiers he knew — namely that by the time of the Kosovo conflict, the Serbs were so disgusted by Muslims in general that the thought of having intercourse with one was the farthest thing from their minds.

The phenomenon outlined in this post was summed up as early as 1992 by Gregory Copley, editor-in-chief of Defense & Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy:

Pictures of dead or wounded (or raped) Serbs often fill the screens of the world’s television and print media, only to be re-labelled as dead or wounded or raped Croats or Muslims. Many Serbian victims — and the bulk of the victims of the conflict, contrary to popular reports, have been Serbs either from Bosnia and Herzegovina or from Croatia–not only suffer the indignity of defeat in death; they also are used in death as models in the macabre image, manipulation operation of the Croatians and the Muslim Bosnians. If the Vietnam War was lost to the United States by the negative television images of its own reporters, then the Balkan wars against the Serbs are being won by Ustashi Croatia and the Muslim Bosnians by an active, planned manipulation of international television.