Thursday, January 18, 2007

Kosovo Needs Your Help

by Stella L. Jatras

A Ray of Hope for Kosovo," (Fall 2006) by Chrysoula Economopoulos is a fitting tribute to the wonderful work of the Decani Monastery Relief Fund and Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes. But all will be lost if the ongoing pressure within the UN to grant independence to Kosovo is successful. That is why I call upon all Orthodox Christians not to let that ray of hope for Kosovo be extinguished.

Before I begin, I must put things into perspective. What the Wailing Wall is to Jews, what the Vatican is to Roman Catholics, what Mecca is to Muslims, Kosovo is to Serbian Orthodox Christians. It is Serbia's heart and soul. Now, due to the continuation of a flawed US foreign policy, if granted independence, Kosovo will become another terrorist-controlled rogue state and those few Serbs who remain will be condemned to once again live under their Islamic masters and tormentors.

As someone who has followed and written about the events in the Balkans
for over a decade, I would like to impress upon all readers of The AHEPAN how dire and serious the situation is for our Serbian Orthodox brothers and sisters in Kosovo.

Please understand that the Serbs were once the majority in Kosovo until Hitler's Nazis ethnically cleansed hundreds of thousands of Serbs from the region in World War II. More Serbs were driven out of Kosovo by Communist Dictator Josip Broz Tito, who, in his hatred for Orthodox Christian Serbs, encouraged Albanians to cross illegally into Christian Kosovo. "One of the first acts of Josip Broz Tito, who was half-Croatian and half-Slovenian, was to pass a law March 6, 1945, prohibiting Serbs who were expelled from Kosovo- Metohija from returning to their homelands."

Former-UNPROFOR Commander, Canadian Major General Lewis MacKenzie summed it up best when he wrote, "The Kosovo-Albanians have played us a like a Stradivarius. We have subsidized and indirectly supported their violent campaign for an ethnically pure and independent Kosovo. We have never blamed them for being the perpetrators of the violence in the early '90s and we continue to portray them as the designated victim today in spite of evidence to the contrary. When they achieve independence with the help of our tax dollars combined with those of bin Laden and al-Qaeda, just consider the message of encouragement this sends to other terrorist-supported independence movements around the world."

The Wall Street Journal Europe reported on 1 November 2001 of al-Qaeda's Balkan Links, writing, "For the past 10 years, the most senior leaders of al-Qaeda have visited the Balkans, including bin Laden himself on three occasions between 1994 and 1996. The Egyptian surgeon turned terrorist leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri has operated terrorist training camps, weapons of mass destruction factories and money-laundering and drug-trading networks throughout Albania, Kosovo, [FYROM] Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Bosnia. This has gone on for a decade."

There are some in Congress today, along with the pro-Albanian media, who are working to cede Serbia's Jerusalem to indicted Muslim terrorists who have achieved high government positions in Kosovo, such as Agim Ceku, the former Kosovo Liberation Army commander who has been linked to two of the grisliest episodes of brutality in the war in the former Yugoslavia. During his trip to Washington, Ceku, who now carries the title of Kosovar prime minister and who seeks to gain full independence from Serbia, recently met with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. If independence is granted, Kosovo will become a mini-Iran, a haven for Islamo-Fascist terrorists.

President Bush said after 9/11 that we would do whatever it takes to defend our country against Muslim terrorists, yet we denied the Serbs the right to defend themselves against the same Muslim terrorists that we are fighting today.

But you can help. Where there once was no hope at all, there is today another "Ray of Hope for Kosovo," through the American Council for Kosovo at www.savekosovo.org. There, you will find more information on what is happening in Kosovo, and most importantly, how you can contact President Bush and your members of Congress to "Say NO to Kosovo Independence!" The DVD documentary, "Days Made of Fear," reviewed in the summer issue of The AHEPAN is also featured on the Web site, as well as a copy of the letter to President Bush from Bishop Artemije of Kosovo (who addressed AHEPA leaders at the Governor's Conference in Washington, D.C.), and other critical information.

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