Friday, February 29, 2008
(Excerpt) Try this one out on your friends and family. Ask them to name all the wars that we’ve fought or funded since they were born. Few Americans can do this. Think about it. So many wars and so few concerns. Why do these wars start? How do they end? Do they end? Who gives a damn? Britney’s trying to have a baby.
The 1990s were a particularly bloody period—and a downright rough time to be a cartographer. Americans learned new words, like “Kyrgyzstan” and compound appellations like “Kohistan-Badakhshan.” Suddenly the Risk board sort of made sense, but maps had the shelf lives of tomatoes. We also lost terms like “Serbo-Croatian,” while dusting off old ones like “Balkanization.”
And then there was Kosovo. This was Bill and Hillary’s war. But let’s back up here—quite a bit. In the 1350s Kosovo was the heartland of Serbia, and the population was close to 90 percent ethnic Serbs. Now remember, this is a real slow-spinning part of the globe where people have long memories and somewhat short lives, and Kosovo still has a mythic lure for the Serbs. By the 1990s, however, no matter how the Serbs remembered it, Kosovo was close to 90 percent Albanian. Albania had undergone a rough few centuries, resulting in a country that really sucked by the end of the Cold War, hence the 500-year exodus.
When I was a kid, very few Americans were aware of the existence of Albania. It was, and still is for that matter, the poorest nation in Europe. During the Cold War it was run by a tragically comical and rather peculiar dictator, Enver Hoxha, whose legacy was cemented with his government’s construction of 750,000 odd little bunkers scattered around his gray-on-gray nation. Hoxha was a Stalinist to the end, even denouncing the Soviet Union when it finally denounced Stalin in the late 1950s. By the 1970s Hoxha had broken ties with both the Soviets and the Chinese, declaring his Hoxharian regime to be the only true communist nation. He had a mélange of silly followers among upper middle class college kids in the US, but little support in his own hunger-ravaged country. During his reign, Albania’s biggest export was people. Hoxha’s bunker-laden country was a twisted parody of itself.
Next door to Albania was Tito’s Yugoslavia. They held their own pretty well resisting the Nazis in World War II, eventually developing one of the Soviet Bloc’s strongest economies and all that wonderful infrastructure we’ve subsequently seen blown to hell in a nasty series of “my accent is purer than yours” wars. The idea that Hoxha’s Albania would one day rise and seize Yugoslavia’s historic heartland wasn’t on my radar any more than the possibility that my gerbil would escape and force my neighbor’s German Shepherd to learn ballet. ... Art Voice
Russia, the world's second-largest oil-exporting nation after Saudi Arabia, has been quietly preparing to switch trading in Russian Ural Blend oil, the country's primary export, from the dollar to the ruble.
"The role of the key reserve currencies is under review," said Dmitry Medvedev, the likely successor to President Vladimir Putin, "And we must take advantage of it." "We are in Russia, and the currency is rubles, not euros, not dollars," he said. "We don't want to depend on the rise or fall of the dollar."
A move away from the dollar, meanwhile, is more glum news for the United States.
During a speech on economic policy this month, Dmitry Medvedev, a deputy prime minister and the likely successor to President Vladimir Putin in elections on March 2, said Russia should seize opportunities created by the weak dollar.
More at IHT
Contributed by: Shelley Rubin
Once again the United States has sold out the good people and rewarded the bad. I am speaking of the recognition of Kosovo as an independent state by our government.
As a bit of background information, the Jewish Defense League was the only activist Jewish organization to support the Serbian people and their right to their ancestral homeland during the war that dissolved Yugoslavia during the 1990s. While we did not approve of alleged war crimes by some Serbs, we understood they felt they were entitled to settle the score with their Nazi-loving Croatian and Bosnian neighbors. . . .
During World War II, Yugoslavia signed the Tripartite Pact with Nazi Germany and the other Axis Powers, an act that resulted in a coup d’etat. A new government was installed and promptly withdrew the country’s support for the Axis. This enraged Hitler so much that he sent his soldiers into Yugoslavia and took over the country in a matter of days. The Nazis dissolved the government and replaced it with a puppet state led by Milan Nedic. Under his leadership, several Nazi concentration camps were established, such as Banjica and Sajmiste.
Next door in Croatia, the Nazi-lovers there were massacring Serbs, Jews and Roma (formerly called Gypsies). In the 1970s, the Jewish Defense League discovered a Croatian Nazi war criminal, Andrija Artukovic, living the good life in the Surfside Colony near Long Beach, California, and was in large part responsible for the revocation of his American naturalization status. JDL Chairman Irv Rubin personally escorted the father of L.A. radio personality Bill Handel to the federal courthouse so that he could testify against Artukovic. Before intervention by my late husband, witnesses were being harassed by Artukovic supporters and family members. The case took several years to complete because of pressure by Croatians living in the United States and members of the Catholic Church. In his role as minister of the interior in the Nazi puppet state of Croatia, Artukovic supervised the genocide hundreds of thousands of Jews, Serbs and Roma. After he was stripped of his American citizenship, Artukovic was returned to Yugoslavia where he was sentenced to death for his war crimes. Because Artukovic was in ill-health, the court there said he was too infirm to be executed, and the Nazi murderer died in a prison hospital. Croatians were infamous for their worship of the Nazis and their brutality to their fellow man, like hang their neighbors on meathooks in kosher butcher shops.
And as far as Bosnians are concerned, they are mostly Muslims. During World War II, a proud fighting unit was the 20,000 member Bosnian Muslim 13th Waffen-SS Division Hanzar. Hanzar means “to slit the throat” in Arabic, and that’s what these animals did to 300,000 Serbs and 60,000 Bosnian Jews. They also killed thousands of Americans in Italy, where they fought against the 5th U.S. Army division for six months. None of those animals faced war crimes tribunals for their actions. By the way, their spiritual leader was Hitler’s bootlicker, Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, better known as the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.
Back to Kosovo. Kosovo is made up of 92% ethnic Albanians, whose religion is predominantly Islam. There are over two million people living in Kosovo, but no Jews live there. They used to. Sixty or so years ago, their neighbors made sure they wouldn’t return. And what happened to all the Serbians who used to live there? According to history professor Carl Savich, ethnic cleansing has been perpetrated on the Serbian people throughout the history of the region, first by the Ottoman Turks, then the Albanians, the Nazis, the Communists, and now by the Western nations that have accepted the Kosovans claim that the land is theirs. In reality, taking Kosovo away from the Serbs is the Albanian dream of linking Albania with Kosovo (are Bosnia and Herzegovina next?) in order to create a Greater Albania.
And what about the Serbs? The Serbs share a tragic past with the Jewish people. They have lived in peace and friendship with the Jews. They have died alongside us. What is wrong with the world? Despite historical proof, the world puts the screws to the Serbs just as it does to us. It’s a crying shame.
Fortunately, there were no American injuries in the Belgrade incident which most certainly was regrettable. Serbia has expressed official regret. President Tadic said: “There is no excuse for the violence. Nobody can justify what happened yesterday.” It doesn't contribute to the image Serbia wants to present to the world and is damaging in the long run. However, there was a very sad Serbian fatality, a student burned in the fire set by demonstrators, Zoran Vujovic, 21 years old Kosovo Serb. His own 82-year great-grandmother, Ljubica, was strangled on August 2, 1999 in her bathtub by Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) thugs. Needless to say, nobody was prosecuted. Two year's later, Zoran's grandfather, who had found Ljubica's body, committed suicide by throwing himself under a train. Zoran's father was a successful businessman. Yet, with the family, he was forced to flee their home to save their lives. Zoran was 12 years old at the time. The family was ethnically cleansed and made a new life in the northern Serbian city of Novi Sad where Zoran became an exemplary student and a soccer enthusiast.
The White House spokesman called the attackers “hooligans and thugs.” Does Zoran fit into this description or was he simply overwhelmed with emotions and outrage that his native Kosovo was being amputated from Serbia by the U.S. ? Other attackers were also young people, male and female, in their twenties or even younger. When interviewed they did not see themselves as vandals but as victims of U.S./NATO bombings of Serbia in 1999. Are they thugs? First of all this term should be applied to the Kosovo's PM Thaci and his KLA narco-terrorists who have not only murdered the Serbs and Roma but have stained their hands with Albanian blood as well. In any “civilized country” they would belong in jail as war criminals but not in Kosovo. “Civilized” America has installed them as statesmen and now has given them even a statelet to run!
The question needs to be asked whether real hooligans might have been hired by somebody, perhaps with connections abroad or even a foreign secret service, to overshadow massive and highly successful peaceful demonstrations with participation of 200,000 people. The Belgrade police have thus far discovered that some of those arrested had hand-drawn maps pointing to streets and buildings of the U.S. and other embassies and did not attend the peaceful demonstrations. A prudent thing to do is to await the police report. There were some 130 Serbs injured including more than 50 policemen. The police detained some 200. Hence, the police have done at least part of their job. Whether they were slow to react, as alleged, can only be established through an inquiry.
There is no question that the Vienna Convention places the “fundamental responsibility” on the government of Serbia to protect the American diplomats. However, it is utterly hypocritical and cynical of Undersecretary Burns even to mention adherence to the international law and conventions when his country has chosen to violate the UN Charter, the Helsinki Accords, the UN Resolution 1244 and prior resolutions 1160, 1199, 1203 and 1239 as well as the Badinter Commission ruling. It amounts to a massive law breaking power game. Russian president Putin stated in televised address: “The Kosovo precedent is a terrifying precedent. It in essence is breaking open the entire system of international relations that have prevailed not just for decades but for centuries. And it without a doubt will bring on itself an entire chain of unforeseen consequences.” Way back in 1648 the Treaty of Westphalia established the doctrine of sovereignty, which declared a state's domestic conduct and institutions to be beyond the reach of other states.
The PM Kostunica's criticism of Washington , which he has regularly described as a law-breaking bully intending to amputate Kosovo from Serbia , irritates the State Department more so than anything else. The argument that Kosovo is a sui generis case because of Milosevic's government actions suffers from historical illiteracy. A rebuttal of this argument is contained in other writings by this author, e.g. Kosovo Solution: International Law Not Independence . It should be pointed out that PM Kostunica together with other Serbian leaders as well as the Russian leaders, including president Putin, have repeatedly warned the U.S. not to recognize Kosovo fearing violence which has now taken place. However, these warnings fell on deaf ears in the State Department. The same is true with regard to the warnings from distinguished Americans with high level credentials in the foreign affairs, e.g. former UN Ambassador John Bolton, former secretary of state Lawrence Eagleburger, former Assistant Secretary of Defense Peter Rodman and others.
The Kosovo recognition policy has been reckless, irresponsible and anti-American. The recognition announcement has divided Europe and the world and was met with a delirium from every separatist movement in the world from the U.S. to Kashmir and Sri Lanka . Republica del Norte (Aztlan), consisting of Arizona , New Mexico , and parts of California , Nevada , Colorado and Texas , has recognized Kosovo. Juan Fernadno, a spokesman for the Aztlan movement, said: “The situations of the Former Yugoslavia and the United States are very similar. Both are breaking up along the ethnic lines. Fifty years from now, we may use the phrase “Americanization' to refer to what is now meant by ‘Balkanization.' Viva Aztlan! Viva Kosovo!” So one of these days, those of us living currently in the region of Aztlan, will wake up one morning to find out that without our consent we have become citizens of the Aztlan nation to be recognized by most Latin American countries and most certainly by Mexico . We will then all have to speak Spanish to survive and get passports to travel to our native country, the U.S. This is exactly what is expected from the Kosovo Serbs. An elderly Serbian lady lives in a village which now is part of “independent” Kosovo. Her husband is buried in a cemetery which is in Serbia . In order to visit his grave she needs a passport. She is also asking who is now responsible for paying her pension.
Secretary Rice stated that it was time for Serbs to accept that Kosovo was no longer theirs. “I mean, after all, we're talking about something from 1389-1389! It's time to move forward.” This undiplomatic and insulting statement shows that she is yet another State Department Balkan history illiterate. This isn't about 1389. Serb-Albanian conflict is 130 years old. In its complexity it is comparable to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. German Chancellor Bismarck said “When the Great War comes it will come out of some damn fool thing in the Balkans.” In 1908 Austria annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina in clear violation of the 1878 Treaty of Berlin. Protests of Russia and Serbia were in vain. In 1914, Gavrilo Princip shot the archduke setting in motion the train of events that led to WWI. The U.S. pressure to grant Kosovo independence was similar to capitulation in the Munich 1938 manner. Great Britain and France allowed the Sudetenland to be ceded to Hitler's Germany . A year later WWII erupted. This continues to be one of the great traumas in Czech and Slovak contemporary history.
Undersecretary Burns is a holdover from the Clinton administration, which launched a 78 day aerial war against Serbia again in violation of a host of international laws, including the UN and NATO charters, in order to wrest Kosovo from Serbia . Walter Rockler, a Nuremberg prosecutor, stated:” Most brazen aggression since Nazi attack on Poland to prevent Polish atrocities.” He and his State Department bureaucrats should be held accountable for the U.S. dismantling of the international legal order. The policy of U.S. recognition of second Albania in Europe (Kosovo Albanians have no identity—they are Albanians) has been Burns' baby for years. It is a product of the State Department's “auto pilot” (the term borrowed from ambassador Bolton) policy vis-a-vis Serbia designed over 15 years ago. This policy didn't recognize that Milosevic was dead and out of power since 2000 and that Serbia is now a democracy. It is not obviously an anti-Milosevic policy as parroted by the compliant media but an anti-Serb policy with the U.S. siding with every single ethnic and religious group in the Former Yugoslavia against Serbia . It is a policy of Radical Muslim appeasement which has led to the U.S. siding with jihadists: Iran and Qaeda first in Bosnia and then in Kosovo.
Burns and his State Department ilk have ill served the nation. It is not in the interest of America to be generally viewed throughout the world as a bully and an international law pariah. In a poll conducted in Germany several months ago majority of Germans, a U.S. ally, viewed the U.S. as the biggest threat to the world peace. Burns and his ilk have abandoned the art of diplomacy long time ago and thus made a significant contribution to this deplorable image that America enjoys in the world. He has announced resignation from the State Department, which is good news for the Americans but he should be held accountable by the Congress for the damage done.
Vojin Joksimovich has authored two books on Kosovo and lives in Escondido , California
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
by Tony Dolz
Every nation has the right to defend its borders and the obligation to protect the people that it serves. ....Muslim Albanian insurgents funded by Bin Laden, the same Bin Laden that funded the 911 act of terrorism against America, defied the sovereignty and authority of Serbia over its Kosovo Province. When the Serbian government used its political and military power to defend its territory, it was attacked viciously by the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in violation of its own charter.
Years later, America was attacked by Muslim terrorists funded by Bin Laden and it used this incident to wage war against Afghanistan and Iraq. Ironic?
At the same time U.S. federal elected representatives (The United States Congress) under the seductive and corrupting influence of corporate interests that employ cheap legal and illegal labor, has allowed 20 million aliens from Mexico to invade the United States (cheap labor).
Mexico has taught its school children for 160 years that the United States stole it southwestern states from Mexico and that Mexico will take them back one day. This is a dangerous situation similar to the demographic takeover of Kosovo by Albania. If Mexican insurgents attempt to take territory, will the United States use its political and military power to retain its states, like California? In light of its 78 day merciless bombing of Serbia for protecting its territory - that would be ironic also......NWS
With Kosovo unilaterally declaring independence and a host of wannabe states looking to follow its lead, you might be thinking it’s about time to set up your own country. You’ve picked out a flag, written a national anthem, even printed up money with your face on it. But what’s the next step? Creating a new country isn’t as easy as you think......Foreign Policy Magazine
SerbBlog: Yes, it is that easy, when the US wants a Camp Bondsteel on your land!
Camp Bondsteel: The biggest “from scratch” foreign US military base since the Vietnam War.
There are 25 kilometers of roads and over 300 buildings at Camp Bondsteel, surrounded by 14 kilometers of earth and concrete barriers, 84 kilometers of concertina wire and 11 watch towers. It is so big that it has downtown, midtown and uptown districts, retail outlets, 24-hour sports halls, a chapel, library and the best-equipped hospital anywhere in Europe. At present there are 55 Black Hawk and Apache helicopters based at Bondsteel and although it has no aircraft landing strip the location was chosen for its capacity to expand. There are suggestions that it could replace the US Airforce base at Aviano in Italy.
The contract to service Camp Bondsteel is one of the military contracts awarded to Brown & Root Services. Its fortunes have grown as US militarism has escalated. The company is part of the Halliburton (can you say, Dick Cheney?) Corporation, the largest supplier of products and services to the oil industry.
The hypocrisy of US government officials is boundless. On February 18, the US government inflamed Serbians by recognizing Muslim separatists in Kosovo, a historic province of Serbia, as an independent country. Two hundred thousand Serbs marched in protest and the US embassy in Belgrade was damaged. Is this surprising? No, not unless you are an official in the American Empire. The notorious Empire Neocon Counsel, Azlmay Khalilzad, Bush’s representative to the UN, declared: "I’m outraged by the mob attack."
What’s an embassy building compared to a province of Serbia, a province that stirs nationalist sentiments associated with the Serbs' long military struggles with the Turks? Had it not been for the Serbs, Europeans would probably be Turks.
To neocon Khalilzad a province of Serbia is nothing. It is merely real estate to be given away by US recognition bestowed on a break-away movement led by what some consider to be a gang of Muslim drug runners.
Secretary of State Condi Rice also found the Serbian response to the US giving away part of their country to be "intolerable."
Former Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke also sees no reason for the Serbs to be upset that America gave away part of their country. He explained away the Serbian protests by declaring: "The Russians are behind this."
We can understand why US diplomacy is a failure when we see our diplomats explaining that, had it not been for the Russians stirring them up, Serbians wouldn’t have noticed the loss of a historic part of their country.
Perhaps Kosovo should have its independence. However, the US government could not have handled the issue in a more provocative way.
Washington has been interfering in Serbian internal affairs since the Clinton administration. Told that Americans had to prevent genocide, few paid enough attention to Washington’s facilitation of the breakup of the Yugoslav state during the 1990s and to the Clinton administration’s bombing and murder of Serbian civilians in order to support Muslim separatists in Kosovo in 1999. Clinton used NATO as cover, but the bombing campaign was not backed by the UN Security Council. Bombs fell on Serbia for 78 days, taking out public infrastructure, bridges, factories, power stations, petrochemical plants, telecommunications facilities, markets, refugees, the Chinese Embassy and a passenger train. "Sorry honey, tell the kids I won’t be home tonight. President Clinton decided to bomb my train." Cluster bombs and depleted uranium were used. Clearly, the US government and its NATO puppets were guilty of war crimes under the Nuremberg standard.
Americans were told by an obedient media that the bombings were necessary in order to prevent Yugoslav leader, Slobodan Milosevic, from committing war crimes against the separatists who were stealing part of his country. After Clinton’s bombings intimidated the Serbian political establishment, Milosevic was turned out of office and handed over to the Americans for a payment of several hundred million dollars and delivered to the Hague for trial as a war criminal.
Milosevic represented himself at his trial and was more than a match for the trumped up charges. Unfortunately, he died in prison. Many believe he was helped on his way by an embarrassed American Empire unable to convict him.
What is the US government’s secret agenda in the Balkans? Why is the US government on the side of Muslims intent on severing Kosovo from Serbia? What is being served by creating a new Muslim state closer to Europe?
Whose interests are being served by Washington? Clearly, not our own. Or Europe’s.
And, please, none of that BS about "building freedom and democracy." As one of England’s most famous conservatives, Peregrine Worsthorne, wrote on February 20, America’s reputation as "the West’s conscience is fatally weakened."
Supposedly our time is the era of globalism and one worldism. Ancient European nationalities are dissolving into the European Union, a new super state. US corporations now have transnational interests devoid of any national loyalties. Yet, the US is hard at work dissolving a small Balkan state into even smaller constituent parts. Why is this happening? Why did Bush order US puppets in Britain, France and Germany to instantly recognize the historic Serbian province as a new Muslim state?
Is the new state of Kosovo, as rumors would have it, Richard Perle’s payoff to the Turks, or is the explanation that Serbia, like Palestine, Iraq, and Iran, lacking any international media reach, was easy for Empire Neocons to demonize in order to establish the precedent that Washington decides what territory belongs to who and who rules it. Clinton’s bombing of Serbia was a precedent for Bush’s bombing of Afghanistan and Iraq and now Africa and tomorrow Iran and Syria.
The day the Empire Crazies bomb Russia or China, we are all fried.
Be a macho super patriot, believe your government, help to fry the world. It’s the American way.Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider's Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Who Will Be Judged the Worst President of the 21st Century?
From the Perspective of a Lifelong Republican
Well, if you want to consider the 21st century to have begun January 1, 2000, it would be a tough choice between Clinton and Bush, as Clinton’s last thirteen months in office were pretty hideous. More traditionally, though, we have considered the year ‘01 to be the actual beginning of each century. From that perspective, while Clinton’s last three weeks in office were no improvement over the rest of those eight years, the damage he managed to do in that time period was trivial by comparison.
But if any president in the next 92 years really wants to look worse than George W. Bush, he or she is going to have to work pretty hard at destroying the Republican Party; promoting the socialist agenda in the United States; aiding and abetting Islamic terrorism; planting “time bombs” in the economy that are set to go off after he or she leaves office; promoting tyranny against the American people; destroying our relationship with the one nation on the planet that has most in common with us and that has the strongest reasons to be our ally; and last, but certainly not least, supporting a criminal gang of Islamic terrorists in establishing a stronghold in the Balkans.
Destroying the Republican Party
In January of 2001, an historic event took place. Or so we thought. A supposedly conservative Republican became President with the backing of a conservative Republican Congress. What could have been better? Cut taxes, raise revenue, promote business growth, provide jobs, cut federal regulation, recognize States’ rights. But George W turned out to be no Ronald Reagan.
We got some temporary tax cuts, slow to take effect and all too quick to expire. Most notably, the draconian death tax, enacted right out of the Communist Manifesto, will spring back to life soon after Bush leaves office. And every Republican in Congress was told to be a “good Republican” and back the President’s plan rather than hold their ground and insist on something better - so such legislation passed.
George W let Ted Kennedy, one of the leading Senate Communists in all but name, write an education bill that firmly entrenched left-wing propaganda into our youth “re-education camps” - otherwise known as “public schools.” And every Republican in Congress was told to be a “good Republican” and back the President’s plan; so such legislation passed.
The list goes on and on. The end result is that Republicans looked more and more like socialists, and less and less like Conservatives, and - surprise! The party lost the Congressional majority that countless Conservatives had worked decades to achieve.
If George W does not get invited to speak at Democratic convention this summer, it will be a sign of the Democrats’ ungratefulness. After all, no one has done so much to bolster the Democratic Party since FDR!
Promoting a Socialist Agenda
You would think that allowing legislation that cuts taxes for a few years, only to bring them back with a vengeance, not to mention the “No Child Left to Grow Up Without Socialist Indoctrination” legislation, would be enough. But not for George W, he stood by passively and allowed a major frontal assault on freedom of political speech in the form of the McCain-Feingold Act. Yes, THAT McCain – he is an enemy of the freedoms that this blog seeks to protect. Under the new law, the leftist news media can say what they will, but all other will be under the gun of government-controlled censors. It’s ironic – and obviously no accident - that John McCain seems to be one of the three finalists to replace George W as America’s next dictator.
George W let pork-barrel spending run wild, and in doing so, he has betrayed the legacy of his party, and he has betrayed the principles of limited government embodied in the Constitution he swore to uphold. Thirty years ago, everyone knew that the Republicans were fiscally conservative and many leftists feared their rise to power would finally doom socialism in America. Would that it were so!
Twenty years ago, we had already seen some hypocrisy from a Republican-controlled Senate. Even so, Ronald Reagan’s veto pen had pretty much kept the GOP’s image intact, no matter who was in control of Congress. However, in this decade, little boy Bush did not even have the guts to veto his own Republican party’s pork-barrel spending. Now, there is no longer any major party in America that Eugene Debs would have hesitated to embrace. Thanks, George W!
Of course, if George W had ever bothered to read the Constitution, and the Articles of Confederation that preceded it, he would have known that the primary task of the federal government is, and has always been, to secure the homeland. No, like a true socialist, this Georgie Porgie el presidente created a new bureaucracy to do the job that he had already taken an oath to do. Now we have a Department of Homeland Security, multiplying layers of bureaucracy, providing another arena for turf battles, and putting even more roadblocks in the channels of communications. Just try getting rid of that outsized and pointless boondoggle. No matter how well, or indeed how poorly, the DHS does its job – that department will remain in power. So we have more bureaucrats, more spending, more taxes to support it and more socialism, thanks to the present US dictator.
Aiding and Abetting Islamic Terrorism
On September 11, 2001, Islamic terrorists flew four kamikaze missions against US targets. George W was either too stupid to notice that fact that the terrorists were Mohammedans, or he simply wanted to aid and abet their cause. But then, his family is in the oil business. If he forgets for an instant which side his bread is buttered on, they’ll remind him.
So George W sidestepped the issue. He declared war on “terrorism” rather than on the terrorists themselves and their hate organization, which we allow to masquerade as a religion. Make no mistake about it, Islam and religion, as the rest of the world defines religion, have nothing in common. You don’t see Baptists hijacking planes and flying them into buildings. You don’t see Jains strapping on suicide belts and walking into places were they can kill innocent civilians. You don’t see Hindus killing people for having left their faith. You don’t see Buddhists blowing up trains in Spain. You don’t see Jews getting all bent out of whack because someone makes a political cartoon that includes Moses.
But you do see followers of Mohammad doing all these things, and other heinous things besides. And it happens often. George W. had a golden opportunity to expose Islam for the hate organization that it is now, and has been for 1400 years.
Yet, he praised Islam after 9-11. Instead of interning the enemy, as FDR had the courage to do during World War II, he invited one of them to pray with us right after the horrible event. It should surprise no one that the imam he invited, Hamza Yusuf, turned out to be no moderate at all, but a radical Wahhabist convert who played George W for all he’s worth. And then there’s George W’s other friend, Imam Hassan Qazwini, closely linked to various Islamist organizations in the US.He even aided and abetted the relatives of Osama bin Laden in their efforts to leave the US, post 9-11. We must agree with our liberal friends on one thing they often say – though not for the reasons they claim. George W. is, in fact, a terrorist, because he aids and abets terrorists.
Economic Time Bombs
1389, the primary admin of this blog, has a degree in economics, and she would not allow the following data to be posted on this blog if she were not 100% certain that it is true. High taxes discourage economic activity. It’s the working poor, those of modest income, those who are in debt, and most of the middle class, who really suffer when taxes are high. When taxes are low, economic activity is stimulated and those at the bottom benefit the most from those opportunities. (Politicians like to talk about “soaking the rich” – but when was the last time a poor person hired anybody? And anyway, rich people will never pay that much in taxes, no matter what you do. They are comparatively few in number. Moreover, they are mostly smart people and that is why they are rich!)
Bush could have insisted that his tax cuts, especially the estate tax cuts, must remain permanent. He did not. After all, “we can always do that later.” Well, later came and no one has been in a tax cutting mood. Income taxes will increase. Estate taxes will revert to what they had been, back in the day when you could still get something for a dollar or so. Tax shelters and estate planning will prevent the rich from losing anything. Middle class families, especially small businesses and family farms, will suffer, as they always do when taxes go up.
Historians don’t always understand economics, so they may even make George W look as though he was a “good president” for the economy. But unless someone steps to the plate, which seems mighty unlikely, economic woes are soon to follow.
We’re tired of hearing the widespread myth that “the Jews” control the media and American thought, and that, because of their influence, US policy is highly pro-Israel. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. The US is no ally of Israel, not by any stretch of the imagination. Israel had no problem caring for itself before America supposedly became its “ally”. Witness the way Israel defended itself in 1948, 1967 and 1973. American became its “ally” and convinced it to give back territory. (Note that Israel never asks the US to give Texas or California back to Mexico.) Anybody with normal powers of observation can figure out that, ever since the Carter Administration, it’s petrodollars that have been doing the talking.
Israel is a tiny strip of land surround by Islamic states. Only 7/24 vigilance and sheer determination to survive secures this Jewish homeland. The Arabs have many countries in which to live. Yet, a number of these Arabs have been camping out in Israel – mostly in the hopes of a better economic future than what was available in Muslim-controlled lands – and calling themselves “Palestinians.” Well, the Romans did start calling Judaea “Palestine” and anyone living there when it was called that – including Christians and Jews, had they thought in those terms – would have had every right to call themselves “Palestinians.” But that cannot make “Palestinian” an ethnic identity any more than living in New York City could create an ethnic identity of New Yorkers.
Yet, George W still insists on squandering tax dollars on financial aid to the Palestinian terrorists, who are our enemies. He even supports providing them a terrorist base so they have a safe haven from which to kill more Jews. Calling it a “homeland for the Palestinians” is like calling the area around Auschwitz a homeland for the caretakers of a concentration camp.
Make no mistake about it, support for a Palestinian “homeland” is vile anti-Semitism, and serves as proof that George W is every bit as anti-Semitic as Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.
It is clear to anyone who has at least half a brain, or who has any reading comprehension ability at all, that radical Islam has declared war on the US. Osama bin Laden’s fatwa against the US was in the news well before 9-11. And there was no question about what he meant – none at all. He meant to destroy us, and his followers still mean to do exactly that. And the only way to change their minds is to defeat them.
In World War II, after the Empire of Japan perpetrated an act of war on the US, Japanese-Americans who remained loyal to the Emperor of Japan, and other Japanese-Americans who wished to remain on the West Coast, were watched very carefully. Many were interned. Those who were decidedly in support of the Japanese war efforts were even held as foreign enemies. We won the war and very few of them bothered to complain. They knew what was at stake and they were willing to help the US war effort in that fashion.
FDR never even thought of stripping all Americans of their basic rights and their financial privacy. But George W has done exactly that. Much as I detest FDR, I have to say he was a better man than George W in this regard.
The Holy Land of Kosovo
George W promised to remove US troops from the Balkans, and to honor the treaty with the Serbian people that ended the 1999 Kosovo War (a/k/a the Kumanovo treaty or UN Security Council Resolution 1244). Did he keep his promise? No way! Camp Bondsteel is still alive and well. The Serbs should have known better than to trust the US to honor a treaty. Ask any American Indian. Once you disarm, withdraw, or abandon your struggle in any way, the tendency is for the US to keep whatever the other side gave, and to keep on doing whatever it had been doing. We had expected George W to be a man of character and to keep the agreement with the Serbs. But clearly, little boy Bush has no character.
According to the Kumanovo treaty that ended the 1999 Kosovo War, the Serbs had the right to move their forces back into Kosovo to protect their church property and to protect their people who had been abandoned when the KFOR peacekeeping troops took over that war-torn Serbian province. The Serbs were willing to fight to the finish, perhaps to the last living person, to keep Kosovo as part of their homeland.
When the Clinton Administration had so depleted the American conventional arsenal that the security of US interests elsewhere had been severely compromised, Clinton and company finally agreed to Slobodan Milosevic’s original terms of peace. For some reason, the same wonder weapons that allowed the US to devastate Saddam Hussein’s forces in the 1991 Gulf War were making little, if any, dent in Serbia’s commitment to keep Kosovo as part of Serbia. Yet, the dumb-dumb son of the earlier President Bush, who claimed to be a Christian himself, never could understand that Christian people of Serbia were very committed to keeping the most important part of Serbia as part of Serbia.
Well, yes, it may be hard for anyone who is not a Serb to understand the importance of Kosovo to the Serbian people. Kosovo is the place where the Serbian people pledged themselves and one another to serve the Lord. That is not a familiar concept these days! It may even be impossible for anyone who is not an Orthodox Christian to understand it fully. However, it would be liking telling any Christian—be he Roman Catholic, Protestant or anyone else who adheres to the traditional definition of the faith, as agreed upon in the Seven Councils—to preach the Gospel, but to leave out the part about God walking on Earth as a mortal man and the part about Jesus Christ rising from the dead. There simply would be nothing left.
Kosovo is Serbia. Those words are embedded in the heart of every Serb I have ever met, and trust me, I have met many of them. To a Serb, Serbia is Kosovo – just as, to a Serb or any other Christian, the Gospel message is our Lord coming to Earth as a mortal man and Jesus Christ having risen from the dead.
Yet, because of George W’s love for the pseudo-religion, or rather, the expansionist totalitarian ideology, of Islam, George W recognized the claim of radical Mohammedans that Kosovo should be torn away from Serbia and placed under the rule of a criminal gang of thugs who were nothing less than the local branch of al Qaeda.
The Friend of Terrorists
Clearly, George W. Bush prefers Islam over Christianity. He prefers helping al Qaeda to honoring his oath of office and his pledge to uphold the Constitution. He is obviously working on behalf of al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists, both in the Israel and in the Balkans. In siding with terrorists, he has become one himself.
So, we must agree with our liberal friends on this one point – though our reasons are, of course, very different. We at 1389 Blog consider George W. Bush to be every bit as much a terrorist as those nineteen quasi-human wastes of protoplasm who flew hijacked airliners into the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
By David Binder
February 24, 2008
A question to ponder: If you now can transplant a human heart, implying amputation of the original heart, can you transplant the heart of a nation?
The question, outside the category of geography, is posed by what is happening these days with Kosovo-Metohija, the heart - heartland - of the Serbian nation.
My answer is: No.
Despite assertions of a few Albanian historians with academic pretensions echoed by some non-Albanian pseudo-scholars, the Serbian heartland remains forever Kosovo.Deranged efforts by pathological xenophobes to obliterate any signs of a Serbian presence - burning, bombing and looting monasteries, churches, houses; desecrating cemeteries, the saints in frescoes and icons - make the virtual absence of any Albanian cultural monuments in the province all the more stark. The contrast in terms of history could scarcely be greater.
Kosovo rests enshrined in Serbia's prayers, poetry, legend, architecture, painting, music - in graveyards and in the very soil. Just as it is impossible to think of the Serbian past without Kosovo, so it will be impossible to think about the Serbian future without Kosovo.
Those who may have thought the younger generation of Serbs was disenchanted with the subject and preferred to focus instead on "Europe" or some other popular contemporary theme, need only note the February 18 demonstration of thousands of Belgrade students carrying banners proclaiming "Kosovo is the heart of Serbia!"
(I have heard that Sumadija sometimes referred to as "the heartland of Serbia," but the late Sasa Nenadovic (1927-2006) from the town of Trbusani, disputed this with a grin, saying, that Sumadjia was "the stomach of Serbia, where we are getting sick all the time.")
Apropos "nation," some journalists and some politicians confused this term with "state" hailing the Pristina declaration of independence as the birth of the world's "193rd nation" - as counted in terms of members of the United Nations. This might work if there were two kinds of Albanians. Then each could be represented by one of the black eagles on their flag.
In my dictionary states can be sovereign. Nations cannot.
The stuttering, messy, and contradictory responses to Pristina's independence declaration - splitting the European Union and even the United Nations Security Council - show that the road ahead is rocky, and may be mined with explosive devices.
Then there are the costs. Before 1999 Kosovo swallowed the largest of all subsidies from Federal funds for decades without much visible effect. Since then the province has taken in 1.8 billion Euros from the EU alone (not to mention US or UN aid) with little to show for it except massive unemployment, little economic activity and considerable debt. Now it is promised a half billion Euros for the next three years.
The world might also keep in mind that Kosovo is not the last of Albanian demands. "Greater Albania," with chunks of `western Macedonia, southern Montenegro and northern Greece remains inscribed on the irredentists' banner. As Sasa Nenadovic warned twenty years ago: "To give them a republic might quiet some of them. But it would encourage others. It would be giving a finger to people who want your whole arm."
In 1999 he remarked: "Almost all of our history from the Battle of Kosovo Field onward we were fighting this or that enemy. That was the main preoccupation of us Serbs. True we lost some wars but we always thought of ourselves as winners." Then he added in a sardonic tone: "It can't be different now, can it?"
Obviously it can. But on another occasion, again with a touch of sarcasm, Nenadovic said of Serbs: "There is always a way out. That is the essence of our irresistible progress as well our permanent predicament - since we always manage to prolong, to postpone, to survive, we are also inclined to endure, if not to accept, almost anything. Where there is a will, there is hope, too."
Today Serbs could find solace in the fact their ancestors guarded the precious symbols of Kosovo for more than 500 years from the days of the bloody victory of the Ottomans, through their people's migrations in the 17th-18th centuries, to the ethnic purges of both world wars. Far be it from me to suppose that it might take another 500 years for Serbs to recover Kosovo physically. Rather, the history of the Serbs is a reminder that some historical events are clad in the cloak of immortality.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Kosovo Albanians immoral & illegal declaration of "independence" and secession from Serbia have begun to inspire protests, worldwide. Over the course of today, I have been informed of a variety of planned protests against Kosovo Independence and below is a list of protests I know of so far.
Free citizens of free countries have a right to peacefully protest their government's policies and they have their grievances heard. If the borders of
Please show your support for the rights of sovereignty, international law and against the unelected bureaucrats who think that they own all of us!
Let me stress that these are to be peaceful protests. No violence will be tolerated.
SUNDAY, FEB. 24 AT
IN FRONT OF THE WHITE HOUSE.
There WILL be a DEMONSTRATION on Sunday, February 24,
starting from in front of the White House. At that time, all
interested people are asked to come to
the White House at There will also be speakers and presentations at that demonstration.
This is the first notice about what will be a series of responses to
the illegal declaration by the Kosovo Albanians. These first events are
jointly organized by:
- The Kosovo Relief Committee, and
- The STOP Coalition (The Stop Terrorizing Orthodox Peoples Coalition).
Further information by email at email@example.com
SUNDAY, FEB. 24 AT
Meet at Powell and Market
Further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
SATURDAY, FEB. 23, 2008 at 5:30PM
WESLEY BOLIN PLAZA (DOWNTOWN
COME JOIN US IN A CANDLE-LIGHT VIGIL PROTEST AGAINST THE ILLEGAL SECESSION OF KOSOVO FROM ITS MOTHER SERBIA
Sponsored by the Serbian Orthodox Community of Arizona
Further Information at PhoenixSerbs.com
CHICAGO, IL (2 Dates)
SUNDAY, FEB. 24 AT
Sponsored by Serbs in
SATURDAY, MARCH 1, 2008, 12:00 NOON
Serbian National Defense Council of America with the blessing of the Serbian Orthodox Church
and in cooperation with all Serbian-American organizations in Chicago Invites all Serbs, Americans of Serbian descent, and all people of good will to A PROTEST MEETING Against recognition of the self-proclaimed Albanian quasi-state in the Serbian province Kosovo and Metohija by the U.S. administration
More Info: www.snd-us.com
Sponsored by:Serbian National Defense Council of America
SUNDAY, FEB. 24 AT 12:00 PM
From St. Sava's to the
More Info Here (In Serbian)
SATURDAY, FEB. 23, 2008 at 5:00PM
US Consulate , 360 University Ave
Sponsored by the University of Toronto Serbian Students Association. March and candlelight vigil. More info at KosovoisSerbia.org
SUNDAY, FEB. 24 AT 1:30
More info at KosovoisSerbia.org
Saturday, February 23, 2008
5:00pm - 7:00pm
Kitchener City Hall
200 King Street West
More Info: http://facebook.com/event.php?eid=8235047551
Sunday, February 24, 2008
2:00pm - 5:00pm
In front of McGill University
845 Sherbrooke Ouest
Saturday, March 1, 2008
12:00pm - 4:00pm
More Info: http://facebook.com/event.php?eid=8770679684
Sunday, March 2, 2008
1:00pm - 4:00pm
In front of the Legislature Building
More info: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=8025514099
SATURDAY, FEB. 23, 2008, 12.00 - 16.00
in Whitehall, opposite Downing Street
Sponsored by the Serbian Council of Great Britain & Serbian Society
Sunday, 24 February 2008, 3 PM
Sponsored by the Serbian Institute for Public Policy
More information at Serbianinstitute.org
SUNDAY, FEB. 24, 2008, 1300
More info Here
Sunday Feb 24,2008, 1PM
www.istina.at , Contact: email@example.com
Friday, February 22, 2008 at 7PM
Meeting at Federation Square, walking up to Parliament House. Wear black clothing if can (to show we are in mourning) and bring a candle for a candlelight vigil.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
12:00pm - 5:00pm
Forrest Serbian Church Centre, US Embassy, British High Commission, Civic
Sunday, February 24, 2008
2:00pm - 5:00pm
North Terrace - ADELAIDE
Aukland, New Zealand
Sunday, February 24, 2008
2:00pm - 10:00pm
AUCKLAND DOMAIN WAR MEMORIAL MUSEUM
More Info and Photos on the Protests available on Serbianna's Front Page
From the desk of Thomas Landen on Mon, 2008-02-18 23:25
Today, one day after Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence, the United States and the major European countries rushed to recognize Kosovo’s independence. George Bush hailed Kosovo’s “bold and historic bid for statehood.” Five years ago, Mr Bush invaded Iraq and began “operation Iraqi freedom.” He toppled Saddam Hussein in order to get rid of a rogue regime, one of the members of the “axis of evil.” Five years later, Mr Bush is saddling Europe with a new rogue state. Surely, Mr Bush knows that al-Qa’eda fighters were involved in driving the Serbs from Kosovo in the late 1990s. The Jerusalem Post reported in 1998 that the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was “provided with financial and military support from Islamic countries,” and had been “bolstered by hundreds of Iranian fighters or mujahedin [some of whom] were trained in Osama bin Laden’s terrorist camps in Afghanistan.”.......Brussels Journal
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008 - By: Greenfield, Daniel
Even as the world rushes to embrace the newly manufactured Kosovo as a country, the rise of a splinter Muslim country in Europe can't help but give hope to Islamic terrorists fighting to create breakaway states in Thailand, the Philippines, Israel, India and Kenya among many others.
Balkanization, or divide and conquer, has always been a key element in bringing down countries and with a global Islamic war, each country with a Muslim minority, natively converted or imported, is on the same track as Yugoslavia.
What Hitler did with the Volksdeutsche, ethnic Germans, across Eastern Europe, his former Muslim allies are doing across the world with Muslim populations. With the Volksdeutsche, before a single soldier of the Reich even set foot in a country, the Volksdeutsche would radicalize and foment unrest that would either carve up the target country or justify military intervention to "liberate" them. When the country was conquered, the Volksdeutsche would quickly become occupation forces.
With Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood to the Ayatollahs either being direct allies of Hitler or influenced by Nazism, it's no surprise that Muslims have adopted Nazi tactics and Kosovo and its Muslim population that had formerly collaborated with the Nazis, is their greatest victory, a Muslim state carved out of the heart of Europe through ethnic cleansing, with the world's approval.
Whether in Gaza or the Paris riots, Kosovo or Kashmir, Balkanization is Islam's greatest weapon. Lacking a Nazi Germany to invade on their half behalf, Muslims practice violence and terrorism combined with manipulative publicity aimed at the world to convince them to take their side. And time and time again it has worked.
Kosovo and the Palestinian Authority are both triumphs of terrorism, victories by racist nationalists whose aim has always been religious and ethnic cleansing who have nevertheless managed to portray the countries they have torn to shreds as racist nationalists practicing ethnic cleansing.
Time and time again, Muslims continue to transform nation after nation into Czechoslovakia, convincing the world that there will be peace if a country is carved up and they are given a peace. Yet even as Western Europe itself is being balkanized, its leaders give little thought that tomorrow's Kosovo is Paris or London or Oslo. That the sacrifices for tomorrow's peace will come from their own territory
The Balkanization track follows the same pattern.
Stage 1: Political Grievance - In the first stage of Balkanization, the Muslim population is increased if it's not native and radicalized if it is. Political organizations are set up and claims of oppression and discrimination become constant to set the grounds for future action.
Stage 2: Violence - Terrorist groups begin operating in conjunction with political groups offering the authorities a choice, either comply with their political demands or face violence.
Governments commonly fall for this trap believing that they can resolve the problem by empowering the moderate political groups and in doing so weaken the terrorists, little realizing that it's like giving competing in a wrestling match and giving in to your opponent's right hand to weaken his left hand. The political groups serve to shield the terrorists while cooperating with liberal organizations and turning them into a fifth column. The terrorist groups serve as the stick forcing a surrender to the political groups.
Stage 3: Secession - With political and terrorist groups operating now, governments belatedly attempt some sort of half-hearted crackdown. This only serves to justify greater violence and extremism on behalf of the terrorist and political groups. Claiming discrimination, they begin to demand either secession through autonomy or outright rule. Falling into the same trap all over again, governments begin seriously pondering autonomy refusing to realize that both choices lead to the same place.
Stage 4: War - With or without an autonomous state, the violence drastically escalates into the next phase of Mao's phases of guerrilla warfare, with armed militias in the field. While these militias pose no serious threat, they tie up large numbers of government troops and carry out atrocities against the civilian population. Meanwhile any response by the government troops quickly becomes a propaganda moment and is broadcast around the world along with cries for intervention.
The government's attempts at moderation accomplish nothing except to cause the guerrillas to believe in their own immunity and give them time to regroup after every defeat. Government action typically contains enough force to make for good propaganda but not enough to actually make a difference. The civilian population grows weary of the fighting, international organizations call for intervention and peace talks and the government begins to defer to their wishes.
Stage 5: Surrender - Peace talks begin slowly carving up the country on the enemy's terms which are promptly accepted on behalf of the country by various superpowers. If the country resists, it's bombed. If it gives in, it's constantly accused of dragging its feet. The autonomous territory becomes an independent state. The native population becomes dispirited and loses hope. The country's academic and media circles accept defeat as inevitable and welcome the coming peace.
Stage 6: Conquest - The war continues this time from the independent state. Ethnic cleansing is used to purge non-Muslims from Muslim territory while any territory within the country with a Muslim minority is added to the list of demands. Atrocities and terrorism become habitual. Any government response is condemned worldwide as brutal and warmongering. Backed into a corner the country may try to fight for its survival, but it has spent too long being undermined and its bravest and brightest have learned apathy and its new generation only wants to leave. The result is a complete surrender followed by a butchery.
Stage 7: Misery - The country is carved up and renamed by its former minority and its identity ceases to exist. The former terrorists are typically corrupt and incompetent, vital services decay, crime soars, ethnic cleansing destroy the most productive elements of society and the place becomes a miserable sinkhole under a tyranny whose prime purpose is to support the terrorists who are doing Stage 1 or Stage 2 in the country across the border.
This is what we are now facing today. Yugoslavia and Israel are both teetering between Stage 5 and Stage 6. Europe is well into Stage 2 and well on the way to Stage 3. Thailand and the Philippines are in Stage 3 and moving toward Stage 4. America is between Stage 1 and Stage 2, though if Obama becomes President I imagine we'll be skipping a couple of steps. In the end though the trajectory is all the same and unless something is done, country by country will fall.
Muslims command two great weapons, a potent birthrate and the ability to lie and believe their own lies. The former is less significant but the latter is quite powerful indeed, as a short glance at the evening news will quickly show you.
And they're carving up the world country by country, land by land and territory by territory. Hitler's opening gambit has become Islam's opening gambit. Kosovo is the sordid triumph of imagined human rights by carving up a country and turning it over to Muslims who have made it their own by ethnically cleansing Christians, Jews and Roma (gypsies) from its borders.
Around the world the moral authority has fallen into the bloody hands of the terrorists of Paris, London, Ramallah Ridyah, Tehran, Damascus, Kashmir, Oslo, Kosovo and Beslan -- because the moral and culture decay of civilization has left it unable to reason or resist.
Balkanization is the tool of the rats in the walls of our countries gnawing through the mortar by by bit, knowing that undefended, even the mightiest structures must fall. Knowing that the only thing that might stop them would be if the mortar was renewed and the walls stood strong again.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Belgrade, 19 Feb. (AKI) – Several hundred Kosovo Serbs set on fire customs and police stations at border crossings with Serbia on Tuesday in an erupti
Local media reported that border crossings at Jarinje and Brnjak in northern Kosovo were set on fire in protest over ethnic Albanian policemen and customs officers taking charge of the crossing points.
Members of the international police and military force (KFOR) looked on but didn’t intervene, the Serbian news agency Tanjug said.
Ten cars belonging to Kosovo and the United Nations police were also set on fire, but there were no injuries, the reports said.
Kosovo police spokesman Veton Elsani said KFOR and police were rushed to the scene to quell the unrest.
Kosovo's border crossings with Serbia have been manned by the UN administration (UNMIK) since the province was put under UN control in 1999.
Slavisa Ristic, mayor of the nearby town of Zubin Potok said local Serbs had no objections to the presence of UNMIK and international police, but won’t accept the customs and police force of the newly proclaimed state.
“We can’t accept the institutions and levies from a non-existent state of Kosovo, Ristic said. “If they try once again to impose on us the institutions of a false state, people will surely react,” Ristic added.
About a half of some 100,000 Serbs remaining in Kosovo live in the north of the state bordering Serbia. There were some 40,000 Serbs in Pristina until 1999.
For the past nine years, Kosovo Serbs have functioned more or less independently from Kosovo's institutions. International officials in Kosovo have warned that Kosovan authorities could have difficulty incorporating northern Kosovo in the new state.
Tanjug said KFOR soldiers had surrounded and completely blocked the northern town of Leposavic, a Serb stronghold, and UN helicopters were flying over the area.
Several explosions were reported overnight in northern Kosovo and 110 people have been hospitalised in Kosovo's capital Pristina in the past 24 hours, the agency said.
Some were injured by firearms, but it was not clear how, the agency said. A bomb exploded late on Sunday in the divided town of Kosovska Mitrovica, populated mostly by Serbs, after the Kosovan parliament proclaimed independence.
The Serbian parliament late on Monday reaffirmed the government's decision to annul Kosovo's declaration of independence.
Prime minister Vojislav Kostunica has ordered the withdrawal of Serbia's ambassadors to countries that recognised the new Kosovo state. Ambassadors to Paris, Washington and London have already been withdrawn "for consulatations".
The United States, Great Britain and France, which spearheaded the independence drive, quickly recognised Kosovo on Monday, followed by Turkey, Albania, Afghanistan, Australia and several other states.
The European Union is in disarray over Kosovo and has been so far unable to reach a common position.
A ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday "took note" of Kosovo's declaration of independence, leaving it individual EU countries to recognise it unilaterally.
The United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon also said it was up to individual members of the UN to recognise Kosovo, "not the UN Secretariat".
Veto-wielding UN Security Council permanent member and Serbian ally Russia, says it will continue to regard Kosovo as part of Serbia under the council resolution 1244.
Across this last weekend, the Western propaganda machine was working overtime, celebrating the latest NATO miracle: the transformation of Serbian Kosovo into Albanian Kosova. A shameless land grab by the United States, which used the Kosovo problem to install an enormous military base (Camp Bondsteel) on other people's strategically located land, is transformed by the power of the media into an edifying legend of "national liberation".
For the unhappy few who know the complicated truth about Kosovo, the words of Aldous Huxley seem most appropriate: "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall drive you mad."
Concerning Kosovo, truth is like letters written in the sand as the tsunami of propaganda comes thundering in. The truth is available--for instance in George Szamuely's thoroughly informative piece last Friday here on CounterPunch. Fragments of the truth sometimes even show up in the mainstream media, mostly in letters from readers. But hopeless as it is to try to turn back the tide of officially endorsed legend, let me examine just one drop in this unstoppable sea of propaganda: a column by Roger Cohen entitled "Europe's new state", published in the Valentine's Day edition of the International Herald Tribune.
Cohen's op ed piece is fairly typical in the dismissive way it deals with Milosevic, Russia and the Serbs. Cohen writes: "Slobodan Milosevic, the late dictator, set Serbia's murderous nationalist tide in motion on April 24, 1987, when he went to Kosovo to declare that Serbian 'ancestors would be defiled' if ethnic Albanians had their way."
I don't know where Roger Cohen got that quotation, but it is not to be found in the speech Milosevic made that day in Kosovo. And certainly, Milosevic did not go to Kosovo to declare any such thing, but to consult with local Communist League officials in the town of Kosovo Polje about the province's serious economic and social problems. Aside from the province's chronic poverty, unemployment, and mismanagement of development funds contributed from the rest of Yugoslavia, the main social problem was the constant exodus of Serb and Montenegrin inhabitants under pressure from ethnic Albanians. At the time, this problem was reported in leading Western media.
For instance, as early as July 12, 1982, Marvine Howe reported to the New York Times that Serbs were leaving Kosovo by the tens of thousands because of discrimination and intimidation on the part of the ethnic Albanian majority:
"The [Albanian] nationalists have a two-point platform," according to Beci Hoti, an executive secretary of the Communist Party of Kosovo, "first to establish what they call an ethnically clean Albanian republic and then the merger with Albania to form a greater Albania.
Mr Hoti, an Albanian, expressed concern voer political pressures that were forcing Serbs to leave Kosovo. "What is important now," he said, "is to establish a climate of security and create confidence."
And seven months after Milosevic's visit to Kosovo, David Binder reported in the New York Times (November 1, 1987):
Ethnic Albanians in the Government [of Kosovo] have manipulated public funds and regulations to take over land belonging to Serbs. Slavic Orthodox churches have been attacked, and flags have been torn down. Wells have been poisoned and crops burned. Slavic boys have been knifed, and some young ethnic Albanians have been told by their elders to rape Serbian girls.
The goal of the radical nationals among them, one said in an interview, is an "ethnic Albania that includes western Macedonia, southern Montenegro, part of southern Serbia, Kosovo and Albania itself."
As Slavs flee the protracted violence, Kosovo is becoming what ethnic Albanian nationalists have been demanding for years, and especially strongly since the bloody rioting by ethnic Albanians in Pristina in 1981--an "ethnically pure" Albanian region
This was in fact the first instance of "ethnic cleansing" in post-World War II Yugoslavia, as reported in The New York Times and other Western media, and the victims were the Serbs. The cult of "memory" has become a contemporary religion, but some memories are more equal than others. In the 1990s, the New York Times evidently forgot completely what it had said about Kosovo in the 1980s. Why? Perhaps because meanwhile, the Soviet bloc had collapsed and the unity of independent, non-aligned Yugoslavia was no longer in the strategic interest of the United States.
Back to Milosevic in Kosovo Polje on April 24, 1987. An incident occurred when local police (under an Albanian-dominated Communist League government) attacked Serbs who had gathered to protest lack of legal protection. Milosevic famously told them, spontaneously: "No one should beat you any more!" If this is "extreme nationalism", perhaps there should be more of it.
But nowhere do I find a trace of the statement attributed to Milosevic by Cohen. In his speech to local party delegates that followed, which is on the public record, Milosevic referred to the "regrettable incident" and promised an investigation. He went on to stress that "we should not allow the misfortunes of people to be exploited by nationalists, whom every honest person must combat. We must not divide people between Serbs and Albanians, but rather we should separate, on the one hand, decent people who struggle for brotherhood, unity and ethnic equality, and, on the other hand, counter-revolutionaries and nationalists."
I turn again to Aldous Huxley for comfort: "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored."
But Huxley also said: "Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. By simply not mentioning certain subjects... totalitarian propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have by the most eloquent denunciations."
Last Tuesday in Geneva, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov tried to convey to journalists his grave concern about the way the United States was handling the Kosovo problem.
"We are speaking here about the subversion of all the foundations and principles of international law, which have been won and established as a basis of Europe's existence at huge effort, and at the cost of pain, sacrifice and bloodletting," he said.
"Nobody can offer a clear plan of action in the case of a chain reaction [of further declarations of unilateral independence]. It turns out that they [the United States and its NATO allies] are planning to act in a hit or miss fashion on an issue of paramount importance. This is simply inadmissible and irresponsible," the Russian diplomat said. "I sincerely fail to comprehend the principles guiding our American colleagues, and those Europeans who have taken up this position," he added.
Roger Cohen dismisses such considerations in five words: "the Russian bear will growl". Russia, he adds, "will scream. But it's backed the wrong horse." There are no issues here, no principles. Just growling and gambling. "Milosevic rolled the dice of genocidal nationalism and lost", says Cohen.
This is not only a false statement, it is a grotesquely meaningless metaphor. Milosevic tried to suppress an armed secessionist movement, secretly but effectively supported by neighboring Albania, the United States and Germany, which deliberately provoked repression by murdering both Serbs and Albanians loyal to the government. Like the Americans in similar circumstances, Milosevic relied too heavily on military superiority rather than on political skill. But even the NATO-sponsored International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia in The Hague had to abandon any charges of "genocide" against Milosevic in Kosovo. For the simple reason that there was never a shred of evidence for such a charge.
Milosevic is no longer alive, and Russia is far away. But what about the Serbs who still live in the historic part of Serbia called Kosovo? Cohen takes care of that problem in a few words: "Some of the 120,000 Serbs in Kosovo may hit the road."
As Aldous Huxley pointed out, "The propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human."
Then you can tell them to "hit the road".
The "Unique" Case
Russia has warned that Kosovo independence will set a dangerous precedent, encouraging other ethnic minorities to follow the example of the Albanians and demand secession and an independent State. The United States has dismissed such concerns by flatly asserting that Kosovo is "unique". Well yes, Kosovo is a unique case, and is the only one recognized by the United States until the next "unique case" comes along. When legal criteria have been thrown out, we just have one "unique case" after another.
The "uniqueness" claimed by the United States is a propaganda construction. It is based on the supposed "uniqueness" of Milosevic's repression of the armed secessionist movement, which was not unique at all. It was standard operating procedure throughout history and the world over, in such circumstances. Deplorable, no doubt, but not unique. It was minor indeed compared to the similar but endless and far bloodier anti-insurgency operations in Colombia, Sri Lanka, and Chechnya, not to mention Northern Ireland, Thailand, the Philippines And unlike the counter-insurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which kill incomparably more civilians, it was carried out by the legal, democratically elected government of the country, rather than by a foreign power.
The propaganda "uniqueness" is an abstraction. Like every place on earth, Kosovo is indeed unique. But in ways that have nothing to do with the U.S. pretext for taking it over and turning it into a military outpost of empire.
To know how a place is unique, you have to be interested in it.
I have not visited Kosovo since before the 1999 NATO war. On one occasion, in August 1997, I drove around the province in a failing Skoda, at my own expense, just looking. Driving in Kosovo was a bit risky, partly because of the number of dead dogs in the road, and mostly because of local drivers' habit of passing slower vehicles on hills and curves. In northern Kosovo, just outside the town of Zubin Potok, this habit produced one of its inevitable consequences: a head-on collision with serious casualties, which shut down the two-lane highway for hours while ambulances and police sorted things out.
Unable to proceed toward Pristina, I drove back to Zubin Potok to pass the time on the shaded terrace of a roadside restaurant. I was the only customer, and the lone waiter, a tall, handsome young man named Milomir, gladly accepted my invitation to sit down at my table and chat as I sipped glass after glass of delicious strawberry juice.
Milomir was happy to talk to someone familiar with the French city of Metz, which he had visited as a student and remembered fondly. He loved to read and travel, but in 1991 he got married and now had two small daughters to support. Job prospects were poor, even though he had been to university, so he had no choice but to stay in Zubin Potok. As for Europe, even if he could get a visa (impossible for Serbs anyway), he spoke no language more Western than his mother tongue, Serbo-Croatian. He had studied Russian (he loved the literature) and Albanian as his foreign languages. He learned Albanian in order to be able to communicate with the majority in Kosovo.
But such communication was difficult. Milomir was very much in favor of a bilingual society, and thought everyone in Kosovo should learn both Serbian and Albanian, but unfortunately this was not the case. The younger generation of Albanians refused to speak Serbian and learned English instead.
The town of Zubin Potok was located near the dam on the Ibar River built in the late 1970s to create hydraulic power. Coming from Novi Pazar, I had driven along the 35-kilometer-long artificial lake created by the dam, looking in vain for a nice place to stop. It seemed that there must have been villages along the Ibar River before the dam was built, and I asked Milomir about this. Yes, he said, the artificial lake had flooded a score of old villages, of ethnically mixed, but mostly Serb population. The Albanian Communist authorities in Pristina had resettled the Serbs outside of Kosovo, around the town of Kraljevo. There were about 10,000 of them.
This was a minor example of the administrative measures taken to decrease the Serb population during the period, before Milosevic, when Albanians were running the province through the local Communist League.
Milomir was not complaining, but simply answering my questions. He did not go too often (by bus--he had no car) to the nearest large city, Mitrovica, because he was afraid of being beaten by Albanians. This was just a fact of life, at a time when (according to Western media) Albanians in Kosovo were being terrorized by Serbian repression.
While we were chatting, a friend of his came along and the conversation turned to politics. There was a presidential campaign underway. The two young men wanted to know which candidate I thought would be best for Serbia in the eyes of the world. Milomir was tending toward Vuk Draskovic, and his friend was for Vojislav Kostunica. Neither would dream of voting for either Milosevic or Seselj, the nationalist leader of the Radical Party.
Zubin Potok Today
I have no idea what has become of Milomir, his wife, his two daughters, or his friend. Zubin Potok is the western-most municipality in the heavily Serb-populated north of Kosovo. From the internet I learn that the population of Zubin Potok municipality (including surrounding villages) has nearly doubled since I passed through. It now comes to approximately 14,900, including about 3,000 internally displaced Serbs (from other areas of Kosovo where the Albanian majority has driven them out), 220 Serbian refugees from Croatia and 800 Albanians. The local assembly is overwhelmingly dominated by Kostunica's Democratic Party of Serbia, but includes two Kosovo Albanian representatives.
Up until now, schools, hospitals, and other public services, as well as the local economy, have continued to function thanks mainly to subsidies from Belgrade. The Albanian declaration of Kosovo independence will create a crisis by demanding an end to such vital subsidies--which, however, an "independent Kosovo" is unable to replace. Moreover, bands of Albanian nationalists are declaring that Zubin Potok "is Albanian" and must be "liberated from the Serbs". They can be seen on You Tube, using the Statue of Liberty as their symbol, and threatening Serbs in Albanian rap.
The European Union is moving in to provide law and order. But the "order" they claim to be protecting is the one defined by the Albanian nationalists. What does that mean to people like Milomir and his little family?
For Roger Cohen, the answer is easy: "hit the road!"
Serbia, by the way, already has the largest number of refugees in Europe, victims of "ethnic cleansing" in Croatia and Kosovo. And Serbs cannot get visas or refugee status in Western Europe. They have been labeled the "bad guys". Only their enemies can be "victims".
Before and After
Kosovo before the NATO war and occupation was, nevertheless, a multiethnic society. The accusation of "apartheid" was simply Albanian propaganda, as the Albanian nationalist leaders chose to use that heavily-charged term to describe their own boycott of Serbs and Serb institutions. Every police action against an Albanian, for whatever reason, whether for suspicion of armed rebellion or for ordinary crime, was described as a "human rights violation" by the Albanian human rights network financed by the United States government.
It was an extraordinary situation that the Serbian and Yugoslav governments allowed an illegal separatist "government of Kosovo", headed by Ibrahim Rugova, to hold shop in the center of Pristina, regularly receiving foreign journalists and regaling them with tales of how oppressed they were by the horrid Serbs.
But the laws were the same for all citizens, there were Albanians in local government and in the police, and if there were cases of police brutality (in what country are there no cases of police brutality?), the Albanians at least had nothing to fear from their Serb neighbors.
Even then, it was the Serbs who were afraid of the Albanians. Only outside Kosovo could anyone seriously believe that it was the Albanians who were under threat of "ethnic cleansing" (much less "genocide"). Such a project was simply, obviously, out of the question. It was the Serbs who were afraid, who spoke of sending their children to safety if they had the means, or who spoke bravely of remaining "no matter what".
Later, in March 1999, when NATO began to bomb Kosovo, Albanians fled by the hundreds of thousands, and their temporary flight from the war theater was presented as the justification for the bombing that caused it. The press did not bother to report on the Serbs and others who also fled the bombing at that time.
In Kosovo, in 1987, in Pristina and Pec, I observed a peculiar sort of group behavior that reminds me only of school playgrounds in Maryland in my childhood. A gang of kids get together and by various signs, body language, and a minimum of words, convey to some outsiders that they are excluded and despised. I have seen Albanians act in this way toward stray Serbs, especially old women. This variety of "mobbing" was not violent in 1987, but turned so after NATO occupied the territory. It was encouraged by the official NATO stamp of approval of Albanian hatred for Serbs, delivered by bombs in the spring of 1999.
Of course, there must have been Serbs who hated Albanians. But in my limited, chance experience, what struck me was the absence of hatred for Albanians among Serbs I met. Fear, yes, but not hatred. A great deal of perplexity. Sister Fotina at the Gracanica monastery had a very Christian explanation. We tried to help the Albanians care for their many children, she said, and yet they turn against us. This must be God's way of punishing us for turning away from Christianity during the time of Communism, she concluded. She blamed her fellow Serbs more than the Albanians.
The divine punishment has not been confined to Christians, however. In the southernmost corner of Kosovo live an ancient population called Gorani (meaning mountain people), who converted to Islam under the Ottoman Empire, like most of the Albanians. But their language is Serbian, and this is unacceptable to the Albanians. Estimates vary, but it is agreed that at least two thirds of the Gorani have left since NATO "liberation". Pressure and intimidation have taken various forms. Albanians have moved into the temporarily vacant homes of Gorani who went to Austria and Germany to earn money for their retirement. The NATO-protected Albanian authorities have found ways to deprive Gorani children of schooling in the Serbian language. In the main Gorani town of Dragash, an Albanian mob attacked the health center and caused health workers to flee. Then, last January 5, a powerful explosion destroyed the bank in Dragash. It was the only Serbian bank still allowed to operate in the south of Kosovo, and served mainly to transfer the pensions that allowed local Gorani to survive.
As usual, the crime went unpunished.
David Binder, who used to report on Yugoslavia for the New York Times, before he was excluded for knowing too much, reported last November * on a long investigation of conditions in Kosovo commissioned by the German Bundeswehr. The existence of this report is proof that the Western governments, while publicly claiming that Kosovo is "ready for independence", know quite well that this is not true. Among other things, Binder reports:
The institute authors, Mathias Jopp and Sammi Sandawi, spent six months interviewing 70 experts and mining current literature on Kosovo in preparing the study. In their analysis the political unrest and guerrilla fighting of the 1990s led to basic changes which they call a "turnabout in Kosovo-Albanian social structures." The result is a "civil war society in which those inclined to violence, ill-educated and easily influenced people could make huge social leaps in a rapidly constructed soldateska."
"It is a Mafia society" based on "capture of the state" by criminal elements.
In the authors' definition, Kosovan organized crime "consists of multimillion-Euro organizations with guerrilla experience and espionage expertise." They quote a German intelligence service report of "closest ties between leading political decision makers and the dominant criminal class" and name Ramush Haradinaj, Hashim Thaci and Xhavit Haliti as compromised leaders who are "internally protected by parliamentary immunity and abroad by international law."
They scornfully quote the UNMIK chief from 2004-2006, Soeren Jessen Petersen, calling Haradinaj "a close and personal friend." The study sharply criticizes the United States for "abetting the escape of criminals" in Kosovo as well as "preventing European investigators from working."
It notes "secret CIA detention centers" at Camp Bondsteel and assails American military training for Kosovo (Albanian) police by Dyncorp, authorized by the Pentagon.
In an aside, it quotes one unidentified official as saying of the American who is deputy chief of UNMIK, "The main task of Steve Schook is to get drunk once a week with Ramush Haradinaj."
Who Goes and Who Stays
Schook has been fired by UNMIK, but UNMIK, the nominally United Nations mission, is being taken over arbitrarily by the European Union. The EU "mission" is a sort of colonial government which, alongside NATO, plans to govern the ungovernable Albanian territory. However, already movements of armed Albanian patriots are planning their next "war of liberation" against the Europeans.
So, after the Serbs, the Roma, the Gorani, will the Europeans have to "hit the road"? Only the Americans seem sure of staying. Ensconced in their gigantic "Camp Bondsteel", they control the strategic routes from Serbia to Greece, and incidentally offer the mass of unemployed Kosovo Albanians their best-paying employment opportunities, notably by taking menial and dangerous jobs serving U.S. forces in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The reality of this shameless land-grab is available to all. I have written about it, Binder has written about it, Szamuely has written about it, many Germans have written about it. The Russians, the Greeks, the Rumanians, the Slovaks and many others know about it. But in the Brave New World Order, it does not exist. People don't know.
I leave the last word to Aldous Huxley:
"Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don't know because we don't want to know."
(* The Binder story can be found at http://www.balkanalysis.com/)
Diana Johnstone is the author of Fools' Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusion (Monthly Review Press.) She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org