UN, France & US in Libya and Ivory Coast: Using violence and Islamic forces just like Kosovo



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The current problems in Libya and Ivory Coast are complex and clearly the opposition has different aspirations.  After all, both sides are involved in a bloody conflict and the use of violence is being used by each faction in these divided nations.  Therefore, it appears that the “new democratic warriors” of peace and freedom carry guns and kill their enemies, just like their enemies would kill them.

This article is not about defending the leaders of either nations and clearly the leader of Libya is known for being despotic and obsessed by political power.  Also, forces loyal to Gaddafi care little about human rights and political freedom and it is abundantly clear that Libya does not have a future under him.

However, the United Nations and France, which are involved in bombing both Libya and the Ivory Coast,; do seem to have an agenda where you support the uprisings and if they kill in “whatever name” then it is fine but if central forces fight back then they deserve to be bombed into submission.

In the Ivory Coast it was reported that forces loyal to the Muslim led forces of Alassane Ouattara have just massacred between 800 and 1,000 Christians in the Ivory Coast.  Alassane Ouattara is being supported by America, Europe and the United Nations and it is noticeable that once the forces who are loyal to the Christian leader, Laurent Gbagbo, were bombed by France and the UN; then the Muslim led forces of Alassane Ouattara began their onslaught and massacres are ensuing.

However, in the new democratic world order of President Obama, the European Union and United Nations, this will not infringe on them supporting Alassane Ouattara and the massacre of up to 1,000 Christians will bite the dust before the dust is even settled.

Also, the uprising in Libya is complex because it appears to be an uprising based on regionalism, military splits, nationalists, Islamists, secularists, and a hot-botch of others; but clearly you do have an Islamic angle and Al Qaida hopes to spread radical Sunni Islam in Libya.

It is difficult to see a democratic savior amongst the opposition to Gaddafi in Libya.  This in itself does not mean that Gaddafi must be left alone to kill and attack innocent citizens but once you take sides then the situation becomes even more chaotic.

Added to this is the confusing nature of Libyan politics and power structures and it is hard to see what the future holds for Libya.  It may just be that it is a case of “the devil you know” against the “possible devil that you don’t know” but with the hope that somehow a policy can work.

However, look at Kosovo and the military intervention of this part of Serbia because the objectives in Kosovo appear to be to downsize Serbia and to install a mainly Islamic state at the expense of the deep-rooted Orthodox Christian community.

Kosovo, just like Libya, is witnessing a combined Western elite force which is unifying itself with radical Sunni Islamic and nationalist/regional factions in order to reach an agenda which is only known to the powers that be.

Therefore, in Abidjan the military forces who are loyal to the Christian leader, Laurent Gbagbo, were attacked by a joint operation of United Nation forces and the French army.  This will lead to deadly silence in the so-called “Muslim street” because just like Bosnia, Cyprus, and Kosovo; the “Muslim victim card” does not wash and Christians are once more expendable while power games are being played in higher circles.

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Kosovo 1998: Hashim Tachi (sitting in the middle) as commander of terrorist and criminal Kosovo Liberation Army

America, the United Kingdom, Iran, and a host of other nations and Islamic terrorist movements, were allies in Bosnia and thousands of Islamists were given a free hand to massacre innocent Christian civilians.  At the same time, the Islamic network of Al Qaida (Al Qaeda) obtained a foothold in Europe via Bosnia. Therefore, some Islamic terrorists who were involved in September 11 and Madrid had helped the Islamic jihad in Bosnia by killing Christians and plotting future terrorist attacks.

Why is it that when four million mainly African Christians and Animists were killed in Sudan by the Arab Sunni Islamic elites that nothing was done?  Why is it deemed allowable for Sunni Islamic forces to kill and persecute Shia Muslims in Bahrain and Yemen?

However, when it comes to the Ivory Coast and Libya then the West desires to get involved.  More alarming, even after a massacre of between 800 and 1,000 Christians took place in the Ivory Coast then very little was said by President Obama and other leading political figures.  Yet the power mechanisms of the UN and France are still supporting the massacres alongside the Muslim leadership despite the complex nature of the civil war.

The lesson from Kosovo was that it was fine to massage reality and then to allow the dismantlement of Orthodox Christian churches throughout Kosovo.  Indeed, it is obvious that elements within the American administration, under Bill Clinton, and the British government, under Tony Blair, had hoped that the Christian Orthodox community would be cleansed entirely because this would solve any lingering doubts of who owned Kosovo.

Therefore, Western forces supported the terrorist deemed KLA according to America prior to the conflict in Kosovo.  However, Bill Clinton overturned this and the KLA became freedom fighters over night. This pro-Muslim Albanian policy meant that an alliance of democratic nations, Islamists, Albanian nationalists, narcotic gangs, and others; formed an alliance with the upshot being the support of a narcotic tainted and organ transplant tainted leader called Hashim Thaci.

Despite Hashim Thaci and other leaders in Kosovo being implicated in the organ transplant scandal where people were murdered for organs. Little appears to change and this episode is a watershed because it shows you the complete lack of morals within the elites of the democratic world.

Also, the media logic and Western logic is very fickle and based on a short time frame in order to pander and indoctrinate by using massive propaganda.  Say for example that Slobodan Milosevic was wrong and that he was an evil dictator; does this vindicate taking Kosovo from Serbia?

How can a short period of history over-run hundreds and hundreds of years of Christian persecution, massacres, pogroms, and utter dhimmitude at the hands of the Turkish Ottoman Empire.  Yes, an Islamic empire in the heart of Europe which enslaved and took Christian boys from their parents by implementing the barbaric devsirme system and converting them to Islam.

However, in the bankrupt policy of Kosovo, which is now being implemented in the Ivory Coast; you have outsiders intervening within complex areas and you have no simple answers.

The same applies to Libya and while the leader of this nation does not deserve people to shed tears for him because of his despotism and past policies; this does not mean that the West should once more support Islamists, just like they did in Bosnia and Kosovo, because this policy is not only immoral it is dangerous.  After all, September 11 and Madrid, and other major terrorist attacks, have their links to the Bosnian Islamic jihad.

Steven Emerson, The Investigative Project on Terrorism and leading international figure in exposing terrorist networks, highlighted the current reality of Libya by stating that:

The mounting violence in Libya could have the unintended consequence of reviving radical Islamists including the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), a terror organization aligned with al-Qaida.” 

“As Muammar Gaddafi’s 41-year-old dictatorship totters on the brink, U.S. policymakers should pay close attention to reports that LIFG members are being released from Libyan jails, according to Jonathan Schanzer, a former Treasury Department official who monitors jihadist organizations. Until now, the LIFG has been essentially moribund inside Libya since Gaddafi’s regime launched a repression campaign against it in the late 1990s.”

In Bosnia and Kosovo the Clinton administration only paid attention to terrorist Islamic networks by working towards “similar objectives” and maintaining channels which were distant, however, it is hard to keep this channel too distant when America and other nations allowed nations like Iran to violate the UN military arms embargo.

Also, thousands of Islamists from nations like Afghanistan, Egypt, Pakistan, and homegrown Islamists in the United Kingdom, were given the green light to enter and somehow escape all those national security passport agencies.  Not only this, the Bosnian Muslim government was issuing passports to Islamic terrorists and clearly the Clinton administration understood the “Islamic rat lines.”

Steven Emerson continues by commenting that In February 2006, the Treasury Department announced it was formally designating four organizations and five individuals as financial supporters of the LIFG, “an al Qaida affiliate known for engaging in terrorist activity in Libya and cooperating with al Qaida worldwide.” Patrick O’Brien, assistant Treasury secretary for terrorist financing and financial crime, said the LIFG “threatens global safety and stability through the use of violence and its ideological alliance with al Qaida.”

The current situation in Libya is complex and how do you keep Islamists out of the opposition and how do you unite an ad hoc mixture of radical Sunni Islamists, disgruntled army units, democrats, socialists, and a mixture of other forces and added to this you have regionalism and tribal based loyalties.

Similarly, how can America, France, the UN, and others, support the Muslim opposition leader against the Christian leader of Laurent Gbagbo?  Who is to say which side is open to democracy and greater religious freedom and what policies are in place in order to stop the bloodletting?

Therefore, we have the global disgrace of UN forces and France bombing forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo in the Ivory Coast and this is happening amidst a massacre of between 800 Christians to 1,000 Christians in Duekoue by mainly Muslim forces who are loyal to Alassane Ouattara.

This shame applies to many democratic nations who still support Hashim Thaci and Kosovo independence.  After all, Kosovo Albanians have destroyed countless numbers of Christian churches and ancient monuments after the war and more alarming the leader is being implicated with organ trafficking and other evil deeds.

Vojin Joksimovich, in his article called Grisly Albanian Organ Harvesting Crimes: Is Justice Going To Be Served, comments that:

In my late December essay Amorality of US Kosovo Policy: Friends with the Snake “I have published reactions to the Council of Europe (CoE) 27-page report authored by the Swiss-Italian politician, senator and prosecuting lawyer Dick Marty. The report, after his two-year investigation, claimed that the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) thugs headed by the current Kosovo prime minister Hashim Thaci, known as the “Snake,” abducted mostly Kosovo Serbs but also some Albanian so called “collaborators,” transported them to northern Albania, murdered them, extracted their organs like the kidneys, and sold them on the black market. These macabre Nazi/Croatian Nazi style crimes were covered up by the leading international organizations such as the UN, NATO, OSCE as well as the governments of leading western countries. NATO’s secret documents as well as an UN report have been leaked out clearly demonstrating that both of those international organizations had full knowledge of these grisly crimes and opted to cover them up in addition to several western governments, the U.S. and Germany in particular. While a EULEX investigation is being launched, it will focus on the grisly crimes committed by the Snake and his thugs but will not include an investigation of those who enabled these crimes to be covered up for over a decade. In addition, it is doubtful if EULEX is capable of conducting an all-encompassing inquiry. Hence, the most important question needs to be posed: Is the justice going to be served?”

The question raised by Vojin Joksimovich is important and it also applies to the Bosnian civil war whereby Islamists from all over the world were given a free reign to slaughter Orthodox Christians.  It now also applies to the massacre of Christians in the Ivory Coast where UN forces and France are in collusion with one faction over another, despite the massacre that their allies have just done.

Also, like Steven Emerson warns about Libya, the situation on the ground is very complex and Islamists may fill the vacuum or just like Bosnia and Kosovo; then Islamists in Libya may be supported from a distance.

Of course Bosnia, Ivory Coast, Kosovo, and Libya respectively are complex and you have no easy solutions but supporting either terrorist organizations or turning a blind eye to massacres, while continuing to support forces deemed “legitimate,” can’t be the answer.

Also, the West may have stepped into Bosnia and helped the Muslim cause just like they supported the Turkish invasion of Cyprus or at worse allowed it to happen; but despite this some Sunni Islamists used Bosnia on their way to doing September 11 and Madrid; if this does not alarm you then you can ignore the “fog of war” in Libya but the long term consequences are still unknown apart from the fact that Al Qaida will try to fill part of the vacuum or to at least exploit the situation.

Meanwhile, the debacle in Ivory Coast is shaming the name of France and the UN because nothing was done to stop the massacre of between 800 and 1,000 Christians and not only this, both France and the UN are supporting the mainly Muslim forces which did this massacre.


2011-04-07

By Lee Jay Walker, Modern Tokyo Times

Source: Islamic Terrorism and Religious Persecution

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Orthodox Christian ghettoization and anti-Serb clampdown in Kosovo



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If you reside in a parallel universe then welcome to Kosovo, the land of Albanianization and Islamization and all in the name of democracy. A flick back into history tells us that the Serbs were 98% of the population of Kosovo 600 years ago but today the Orthodox Christian Serbs are between 6% and 8% depending on various figures.

Of course, the Kosovo Serbs became a minority because of the ravages of the Ottoman Empire, dhimmitude, Islamization, and Albanian support of fascism during the German Nazi period. Communism in the old Yugoslavia was the final nail in the coffin because Albanian long-term objectives became a reality and this applies to immigration and other important areas. However, this reality is ignored and instead the dehumanization of the Kosovo Serbs goes hand in hand in this parallel universe.

Irrespective of the rights or wrongs of who is to blame for the Kosovo crisis the simple cold reality exists. Let us say that Serbian nationalism was to blame based on the Western and Islamic propaganda machine.  Does a short period of a clampdown allow over 600 years of Kosovo Serbian persecution and marginalization to be ignored and thrown away?

In truth, it sadly does because this is what happened, therefore, the children of the enslavers and supporters of Nazism have been rewarded and the “Orthodox Christian lamb” was allowed to be slaughtered by Western intervention.

The ghosts of World War Two and ethnic and religious hatred towards the Kosovo Serbs is highlighted in the article titled 21st Waffen-Gebirgs Division “Skanderberg” on Wotan’s Children.

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“Kosovo Albanian nationalist militias called the “Balli Kombëtar” (or “Ballistas”) carried out a campaign of deportation and murder of Serbs in 1943 and 1944. Then, on Hitler’s express order, the Germans formed the 21st “Waffen-Gebirgs Division der SS” – the Skanderbeg Division. It was hoped that Skanderberg Division Albanians could achieve its well-known political objective of creating a viable “Greater Albania” including Kosovo.”

“In general, policy was to organize volunteer military units among sympathizers in occupied countries. Of all the occupied nations only the Serbs, Greeks and Poles refused to form volunteer units. The Germans recruited the 9,000 man Skanderbeg division to fight resistance groups but the Skanderbeg’s Albanians had little interest in going up against soldiers; they mainly wanted to terrorize local Serbs, “Gypsies” and Jews. Many of these Kosovo Albanians had seen prior service in the Bosnian Muslim and Croatian SS divisions which were notorious for slaughtering civilians.”

“Why such passionate hatred for non-Albanians? A big factor was militant Islam. The Fundamentalist “Second League of Prizren” was created in September 1943 by Xhafer Deva, a Kosovo Albanian, to work with the German authorities. The League proclaimed a jihad (holy war) against Christians. They were backed by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, El Haj Emin Huseini, who had called for getting rid of all Jews in what was at that time British-occupied Palestine. Albanian religious intolerance was shown by their targeting Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries for destruction.”

“In 1945, but the remnants of the Kosovo Albanian fascist groups continued fighting the Yugoslav government for six years, with a major rebellion from 1945 to 1948 in the Drenica region. That rebellion was under the command of Shabhan Paluzha and it is called the Shabhan Paluzha rebellion. Sporadic violence continued until 1951. It is literally true to say that the last shots of World War II were fired in Kosovo.”

In recent times it wasn’t only the Kosovo Albanians who persecuted the Kosovo Serbs because outside Western forces had a grand plan and a huge propaganda machine took place under Western support for the terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army. The organ scandal tainted leadership of course is fine because Hashim Thaci and the Kosovo Albanian clique are friends of London and Washington.

For over a decade in Europe the systematic destruction and abandonment of a religious and ethnic minority took place under the watch of the international community.  Of course, certain photo opportunities take place and the resemblance of trying to protect can be seen on the ground but in the cold reality of Kosovo the Serbian Orthodox Christians have been ghettoized and have either been forced to flee or to face even more pressure.

9780520282810Orthodox Christians don’t have a rightful place at the table in Europe unlike secular, Catholic, Protestant, and Muslim dominated nations.  Three wars since World War Two in Europe involving Orthodox Christians and Muslims in Bosnia, Cyprus, and Kosovo respectively, and each time Western powers supported Muslims over Orthodox Christians.

The Russian Federation which is mainly Orthodox Christian but with a sizeable Muslim minority, is also deemed to be a nation to contain, therefore, NATO expansion is aimed at containing the most powerful mainly Orthodox Christian nation in the world.

Therefore, the same international community which was robust about Kosovo and supporting the mainly Muslim Albanians of this region; is the same international community which did zilch about Turkey taking control of northern Cyprus.  Of course, Orthodox Christian nations are welcome in the “European club” and “NATO club” but on conditions that they fall into line and agree to join a military pact which is aimed at containing and reducing the power of the Russian Federation.

However, it appears that Western cliques who rule Kosovo and maintain a favorable relationship with the organ tainted Albanian leadership desire not only ghettoization but the complete humiliation of Kosovo Serbs. Therefore, while many areas of Kosovo have witnessed de-Christianization of Orthodox Christianity this is fine with the powers that be in London and Washington.

Yet, if the Kosovo Serbs dare to challenge Albanianization, Islamization, and de-Christianization of Orthodox Christianity, then “the rule of law” and implementing shared themes with the organ tainted Albanian leadership comes into place in order to cut the Kosovo Serbs down to size.

Therefore, in this parallel universe where a minority is being squeezed even more in order to placate the majority, more anti-Kosovo Serb policies are being implemented.

A fresh operation against Kosovo Serbs will take place in northern Kosovo after the death of one policeman during recent demonstrations by Kosovo Serbs.  Therefore, the usual “rule of law” mantra is being ushered but where was the “rule of law” during the organ scandal and ethnic pogroms which took place against many vulnerable Kosovo Serb communities and other minorities.

Western morality is that the victims of history who suffered 600 years of victimhood at the hands of so many external forces must be taught a lesson for trying to defend their land.  NATO and other institutions which have helped to take Kosovo away from Serbia would have been welcomed with open arms by the slave master Turks of the Ottoman Empire and the grand designs of Nazi Germany.

Who said history is dead? After all, Germany and Turkey welcome the downsizing of Serbia and both nations are intent on spreading their power base in the Balkans in the modern period and only a compliant and weakened Serbia will be allowed. 


2011-08-31

By Lee Jay Walker, Modern Tokyo Times

Source: Islamic Terrorism and Religious Persecution

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Albanian organized crime in UK and mainstream media



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The anti Serbian hysteria, ignorance, corrupted officials, media and  public is something the British have to take consequences for.  The consequences are: blooming  criminal,  narco business, robberies, theft, prostitution, kidnappings, radicalism, terrorism and other criminal officially supported (and) by Great Britain activities. But only while on Serbian soil. The Serbs were not allowed to defend their state form the criminals; there were NATO bombs to support Neonazi regime(s) in Croatia, radical Islamists in Bosnia and Islamofascists Albanian quasi state Kosovo, built on drug trade, prostitution and Serbian harvested organs.

Since Albanians were not happy with ‘Kosovo’ state anymore, and after they destroyed all what Serbia and Yugoslavia have been building and finansing during more than half a century, they decided to go to their confirmed friends and patrons, whose personification became former UK PM Tony Blair, whose name became extremely popular among young Albanian parents: Tony Blair (or Tonibler, Albanian ‘version’).

So they went to UK.

After arriving to UK, they continued  with the same type of ‘business’ they developed in ‘Kosovo’ and Albania.  Means, they behave the same way they did in Serbia and Yugoslavia (Except didn’t ask for independence, but, hey, since they flee ‘Kosovo’ en masse, it’s only a question of time).

But what happens now?

Manchester Evening News reports:

Police investigating suspected Albanian drug gang raid 17 homes across Greater Manchester  – 

Police investigating a gang of Albanians suspected of cocaine dealing have raided 17 homes across Greater Manchester this morning.

They executed search warrants at addresses in Manchester, Salford and Traffordbefore dawn.

It is believed a number of arrests have been made.

The investigation centres on a group of mostly Albanian nationals suspected of trafficking cocaine into the north west.

Officers from Greater Manchester Police carried out the raids along with immigration officials from the Home Office, etc.

This is a few days old express.co. uk report concerning organized crime. And looks who’s there again – the Albanians.

“Gang of Albanians held on suspicion of cocaine smuggling and trafficking after drugs raid – A GANG of 21 Albanians were in custody last night on suspicion of cocaine smuggling and human trafficking.”

The last paragraph is significant: “This week it was revealed that taxpayers are footing a £110million bill to house a record number of eastern European criminals in our jails.”

Albanian nation is impossible to separate from crime. Another article about Albanian contribution to UK society (almost)  hits the nail:

“But it is Albanian gangs – known as the Mafia Shqiptare – that are causing particular concern. The gangs are said to have been brutalised by the conflicts in the Balkans in the 1990s and sit on worldwide trade routes for guns, drugs and women. The Mafia Shqiptare are believed to have taken over the sex trade in London’s Soho district and even reduced the power of the feared Italian Mafia in their own areas”.

Stephen Whitelock, a Detective Chief Superintendent with the SCDEA, said: “We are noting the emergence of a number of crime groups from other countries operating in Scotland. “The Albanians are here now. Some of the individuals concerned are known to be capable of extreme violence.”

“Albanian serious and organised crime groups have been know to be involved in prostitution, arms and drugs. They have been flagged up in our mapping exercise.”

He added: “We have a list of the top 20% most serious organised crime groups and, each of which is in the ownership of one of the forces or the agency. The Albanians are on that list.”

It is thought Albanian crime families arrived in the UK in the aftermath of the 1999 Kosovo war. The families are relatively small but strongly bonded by a code of honour and blood feuds.

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Police raid in UK against Albanian narco mafia

As long ago as 2003, Luan Plakici, an Albanian from Montenegro, was jailed in Scotland for 10 years for trafficking women from Moldova.

Former SCDEA boss Graeme Pearson, now a Labour MSP, said: “The Albanians are a bit of a challenge because they have a military background in their homelands and their criminal elements have a very violent history. They are very difficult groups to penetrate.”

(source:  http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2012/01/15/albanian-crime-gangs-top-list-of-most-feared-foreign-gangsters/)

Not to mention the last year’s  case when the Albanian gang members  set up a cocaine hotline for drug addicts, what brought them  more than £4million profit from 100,000 calls in just one year (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2564848/Pictured-Albanian-drug-gang-ran-call-centre-sell-4million-worth-cocaine-YEAR-clients-received-staggering-100-000-calls.html).

Or last November case, when Albanian drugs gang attempted to flood London and the south of England with £40m of cocaine and heroin.  After the arrest, they have been jailed for a total of 157 years. And UK pays for it (http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/gangland-london-40m-heroin-cocaine-bust-lands-albanian-gang-157-years-prison-1475662).

One of the greatest Albanian achievements and contribution to UK society certainly occurred in 2006. It has been  known as the world’s largest-ever cash robbery, with £53m stolen from a Securitas cash depot in Tonbridge, Kent, by a gang dressed in latex masks and police uniforms. The inside man for this robbery was Ermir Hysenaj, an Albanian who entered the UK as a teenager in 1999, claiming to be a ‘Kosovan’ refugee. He moved to Hastings and remained in touch with a childhood friend from Albania, Jetmir Bucpapa, a wide boy who had paid money to a smuggler to take him across the Adriatic sea in a speedboat and had made his way across western Europe, also posing as a Kosovan refugee.

As Howard Sounes recounts in his book on the case,  Bucpapa met a small-time local villain, Lea Rusha, who in turn introduced him to the man regarded as the robbery’s ringleader, Lee Murray, a cage-fighter. The plot was hatched. Hysenaj signed up with a recruitment firm that had the contract to supply staff to Securitas’s nearby depot. He was interviewed for a job as cash administrator and, six days later, having passed the security checks with false name and birth-date, became the inside man.

Confident that no one could understand him, Hysenaj spoke in Albanian on his mobile phone to Bucpapa, passing on details of the depot’s security weaknesses. But the robbery was a sloppy one. Hysenaj, no longer working in the depot but easily traced, was picked up soon by Kent police. His mobile phones linked him to Bucpapa. At the end of an Old Bailey trial in 2008, both were jailed along with the other robbers.

(This is the most significant part: “The involvement of two eastern Europeans alongside British villains was seen as significant by police and criminals alike, in that such a spectacular crime would normally have only been undertaken by a homogenous crew.” Wait a second, Eastern Europeans would have been ok, if their exact nationality was unknown. Seems like Brithish media prefers to accuse all east Europeans than an Albanian gang?).

And more of Albanian activities:

“In the same year, there was a fatal shooting in an Albanian/Kosovan social club in Acton, west London. A gunman had opened fire, killing one man and wounding two others. The reason for the shooting? A turf war over which Albanian gang was entitled to steal from the parking meters of Westminster. Using skeleton keys, small teams of Albanian-speaking Kosovans, Montenegrans and Albanians had been supping heartily from one of Westminster council’s most reliable revenue streams.”

To the police, it was a puzzle. Robbing parking meters was not one of organised crime’s portfolios. Who would put so much effort into something so painstaking – all those sacks of coins – that yielded such relatively small sums? But to those involved, a share of the £1,243,000 that was stolen in one year alone in Westminster was worth the bother, not least because no home-grown criminals seemed interested in the franchise – and because coins, unlike banknotes, are untraceable. So if someone tried to trespass on this territory, they had to be chased off. The gunman, Herland Bilali, fled to Denmark, was tracked down, extradited and is now serving a life sentence with a 34-year tariff; a co-defendant, Timi Spahiu, protests his innocence. Another Albanian parking-meter turf war murder in Golders Green in 2008 remains unsolved.

A couple of years earlier, Luan Plakici, an Albanian “immigration expert”, as he described himself without irony, was jailed for 23 years. He had smuggled around 50 Eastern European women, mainly from Moldova and Romania, into Britain for prostitution. He entered the country as an asylum seeker in 1999 and worked for law firms as an interpreter. His trial at Wood Green crown court was a rarity. Usually, the witnesses are too frightened of what might happen to their relatives at home to appear. This time, some brave young women gave evidence against him.

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Albanian drug gangsters from UK

And of course, there are always corrupted journalists to ‘clean’ the immage of Albanians (and fool the UK public): Thus Muhamed Veliu, an Albanian ‘investigative journalist’, states that (quote):

“Only a small minority are involved in organised crime but the tabloids have created a stereotype of Albanians as the new gangsters. In the past 12 years in Britain, I have read only one positive story about an Albanian – a barrister, in Time Out – but there are Albanian doctors in the NHS, Albanian LSE lecturers, Albanians in the restaurant business. The success stories are never reported.”

But the good man Veliu couldn’t hide what he was actually proud of:

“However, he added, the Securitas robbery was regarded with some national pride in Albania: “It was ‘the crime of the century’, it was seen as very different from making money from prostitution, which is the lowest form of crime. It is wrong, of course, but they did need bravery to get involved and at least they went for a bank, that was the feeling in the Albanian community. The British media are now trying to stereotype the whole Albanian community.”

So it’s British media who’s stereotyping the whole (actually innocent, honest ) Albanian nation. As seen in Kosovo ’90 -ies: Albanians are victims! Again. 

The UK media was easy to convict, so this report doesn’t end speaking about ‘Eastern European’ gangs. Instead media pushes Albanian crime behind crime as global phenomena, ”that can be found everywhere” (!?).

This is now The Guardian ( Guarding the Albanian criminals?)  report ended:

“Crime has always been an import-export affair and in many ways mirrors “legitimate” business. As old family firms in Britain have been replaced by multinationals so, too, have the family-based gangs in Britain (the Krays, Richardsons, Arifs, Adams) been overtaken by multinationals, where different nationalities co-operate in the pursuit of higher profits. This is a two-way street. Many British criminals have moved abroad, most famously establishing themselves on the Costa del Crime. Many still operate there, making money from everything from bent time-share deals to drugs smuggled in from Morocco; more than 2,000 Britons had their collars felt in Spain last year alone. British criminals also made themselves at home everywhere from Thailand to Florida. The police may well be right when they say that the Games will attract villains from the east but, if there was to be an Olympics for crime, homegrown Britons would still be going for gold” (quote from: http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/jun/25/eastern-european-immigration-crime-britain).


2015-02-09

Source: There Must be Justice

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The murderers of Serbian children in Goraždevac remain “unknown”



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Families want to know if one of the reasons of halting the investigation was, as they claim, the fact that the murderer came from the village of Ćuška, the birthplace of the former commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army and the current minister of Kosovo’s security forces, Agim Ceku.

GORAŽDEVAC, SRNA – Tuesday marks the 12th anniversary of the murder of Serbian children in Goraždevac near Peć. On August 13, 2003, Ivan Jovović aged 19 and Pantelija Dakić aged 12 were taking a swim in the Bistrica River when they were shot dead with automatic weapons.

Their peers Đorde Ugrenović aged 20, Bogdan Bukumirić aged 14, Marko Bogićević aged 12, and Dragana Srbljak aged 13 were severely wounded.

gooraydevac-decaDespite promises and a million-mark reward offered by UNMIK administration and police for information leading to the orchestrators and perpetrators of the crime – no one has been brought to justice to this day.

In late 2010, due to “lack of evidence” EULEX closed the investigation which it took over from UNMIK upon its arrival in Kosovo, even though it also “inherited” the promise made by former UNMIK police chief Stefan Veller that “no stone will be left unturned” in an attempt to find the perpetrators of the crimes committed against the Serbian children.

Despite their assurances that they came to Kosovo and Metohija to enforce the rule of law and detect all crimes, EULEX investigators once again confirmed by suspending the investigation that the crimes against the Serbs are swept under the carpet and, as they like to put it, that type of crime is difficult to investigate due to the “wall of silence.”

It remains uncertain why it took Prosecutor Alenka Sagmeister-Ranzinger from Slovenia 8 years (!?)  – February 2011. –  to let the families know that the investigation was suspended.

The murdered and wounded children’s families want to know if one of the reasons of halting the investigation lies in the fact that the murderer came from the village of Ćuška, the birthplace of the former commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army and the current minister of Kosovo’s security forces, Agim Ceku.

Serbian families received the information thanks to the efforts of Bogda n Bukumirić, who received seven entry-and-exit wounds in the attack and who persistently asked EULEX to inform him of the results of the investigation.

The Prosecutor’s Office’s decision came as a shock to the families and they felt resentment over it, while Bukumirić who barely survived the attack that left him disabled believes that the “investigation on this monstrous crime was not conducted the way it should have been” and that Serbia and its prosecuting authorities should seek another investigation.

When he heard that the investigation was suspended, former minister for Kosovo Goran Bogdanović asked EULEX, UNMIK and KFOR to say how many years it would take them to shed light on at least one crime against the Serbs and what was preventing them from doing it.

“If after 10 years not a single crime against the Serbs has been prosecuted, then the international agencies should clearly state what or who the problem is, but they also need to remove the obstacles and create the conditions to finally solve those crimes,” Bogdanović said at the time.

Families of the dead children are urging the international bodies to finally raise the issue of the other crimes against the Serbs.

Apart from Goraždevac, the crimes that have not been prosecuted yet are the one in Staro Gracko when 14 Serbian harvesters were killed, the murder of four members of the Simić family in the village of Slivovo near Gračanica, the murder of the Stolić family in Obilić, the attack on a Niš Express bus in the village of Livadice near Obilić, etc.

The Tuesday commemoration will be held in a local church in Goraždevac and in the town’s cemeteries, while the Kosovo Police is reported to provide security for the assembly of Serbs.


 

2015-06-23

Report by Neđeljko Zejak, SRNA

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Kosovostan Albanian monstrous crimes



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Serbian girl Jovana was only 11 years old when Albanian terrorists captured, beaten and detained iher together with rest of the  family.

They were taken in a camp in the village of Klecka , Lipljan, along with her mother and grandmother . The camp was under  direct rule and control of Fatmir Limaj (acquitted by the Hague cangaroo court) and Hashim Thaci.

Hasim Taci used to visit the camp. One day little Jovana was taken by the Albanian KLA bandits, Luan and Bekim Mazrreku, who, before the eyes of her mother and grandmother raped the eleven years old girl.

They tortured her, cutting her body parts for hour and forcing mother and grandmother to watch and listen…

When little Jovana  was almost dead,  they burned her alive, in the sight of the unfortunate mother and grandmother.

e12254e3ffa6873d5050f78af4e8f33cce77b6e5On 27 August [1998], in the region of Klecka, at the height of 1,044 meters the Serbian police discovered a base of Albanian terrorists and a crematorium with the remnants of burned bodies.

According to testimonies  of captured Albanian terrorists Ljuan and Bekim Mazreku from Orahovac, those were the remains of Serbs kidnapped by the  Albanian /NATO terrorists in June ’99.. The terrorists have abducted over one hundred people of Serb nationality from  streets,  fields, hospitals, pharmacies, but also from their homes and apartments. The terrorists took them by buses to Klecka and imprisoned them in improvised camps.

There were the evidence to believe that most of the abducted Serbs were killed right there. It was  difficult to determine the number because the victims’ bodies were burned and almost completely turned into ashes. So far, the remnants of 22 bodies were found. In one group of those murdered by gun, there were three elderly and two younger men, three women of the age of around thirty and two children aged seven to eleven. According to the  captured terrorists, the KLA bandits have set up firing squadrons, numbering up to twenty “soldiers”. Following the pattern of Fascist reprisals, they tied the people, aligned them and shot them. Then they threw their bodies in a lime processing plant, an improvised crematorium.

“From a group of kidnapped persons, we snatched a girl. I heard someone calling her Jovana. I do not know if that was her mother. I was ordered to hold her while they raped her. Then one of the three commanders, Gani Krasnici told me to rape her. She was crying and screaming while we raped her, mumbling something in Serbian. We did not understand anything. Those who looked on were crying. Then we were told to take all women side and then gang raped them. Then Gani told us to mutilate them. The boy was around 8 years old. They were Serbs. At first, I did not want to do it, but later I had to. I cut off a woman’s ear and did not want to touch the child. The others did just about everything. They cut off their ears, gouged their eyes out and cut off their hands. I saw them gouging a woman’s eyes, both arms and then cutting both ears. I saw Skender Krasnici cutting off body parts, but I do no remember if it was a woman or a man. After that, the twenty of us were ordered to lign up and shot them. I was third in the group. In the firing squad there were also Dardan Krasnici, Skumbin Krasnici, Nebin, Ismet, Basken and Bekim Mazreku, Besim and Abazi Betici and Skender Krasnici. I do not remember the others. The person’s arms were tied up in one group. When we were ordered to shoot, I said no, I could not. The girl I raped and a woman with a child, whose ear I cut off, came before me. When I saw them, I lifted the gun and said I was not going to shoot them, I have had enough. Daniel hit me over the face and took my automatic rifle away. He took me to the group that was to be shot and said I was to be shot too. Hasni Kidaj and Skender Krasnici came, pointing a gun at me and took me out from the group. All the time Gani was standing behind, holding a gun with a tromblone mine and said that I would be shot unless I shoot them. I did not have any choice, I had to shoot.

The man they called Tiger gave the order to shoot.  Ready, steady, shoot. We all shot at once at the group. We were shooting utill the ammunition lasted. We checked whether they were dead and then shot again. There have been some 100 people in the camp, abducted Serbs and several Albanians. Among those abducted, there were several policemen. All of them were previously mutilated or massacred before being shot. They were individually buried in graves, along the roads exiting Klecka, on the way to Sedlar village.The graves have not been marked at all.” Aslan Klecka was in charge of teaching us to pray and worship. He told us that after the banishment of Serbs the Albanians will be the most devoted of Moslems in the world”

On the scene of the monstrous crime the police had found a small  cut off arm of Jovana, cut away from the elbow and partially burned …

Spasm of the little fingers seemed like begging for help and waving to mother and grandmother . When asked by Judge Danica Marinkovic how they found out that the girl who was raped and murdered was Jovana, one of the Mazrreku  brothers said:

”When I ripped the girl from the hands of the mother , the woman was calling that name until we finally executed her; and the old woman died too. Instantly.”

Members of Serbian police  have arrested  the two villains. The Mazreku brothers admitted and described the crimes that were committed in Klecka, and  what they did to little Orthodox Christian girl Jovana. All this was recorded by  Judge Danica Marinkovic;  they took statements , the cameras filmed the crime scene and the villains.

The Court pronounced the verdict and sent the monsters to prison . But the West made a strong  diplomatic and non diplomatic pressure after the fall of Slobodan Milosevic; and they were – acquitted!! –  with the generous support of some blackmailed and corrupted Serbs who have been brought to power by NATO after the October 200o, such as: Biljana Kovacevic -Vuco , Natasa Kandic , Sonja Biserko , Cedomir Jovanovic , Natasa Micic , Borka Pavicevic ,  Miljenko Dereta,  and other well-wishers to Albanian narco supliers, these criminals  are free . I spoke about the little girl Jovana hundred times; I’m trying to record the names of   the martyrs, who died for Orthodoxy, in order to save them for oblivion.

jovana-pesme-slavko-v-nikic

The collection of poems “Jovana”, written by Slavko Nikic, was named after the girl Jovania who was barely 11 years old when Albanian terrorists kidnapped, raped  and killed in the most monstrous way in the village of Klecka in Kosmet.

Together with her ​​mother Albanian bandits  hem into live fire.

What is most amazing here,  is the fact that the monsters were released from the Nis prison and acquitted. 

My silent hope is that some Serbs, certainly better that us, picture Jovana on an icon,  in front of which we all could pray.


2015-09-05

Source: There Must be Justice

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Muslim Albanian women from Kosovo are training ISIS terrorists



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Accoring to the “Zeri” news agency from the city of Priština, women who join the Islamic state are mostly 23 years of age, and before joining them they were “modern girls“.

One of them is Laura Huseni who was, according to the editor-in-chief of the “Zeri” magazine, a typical teenage girl from Kosovo who used to go out and have fun with her mates.

She would take a cab and go with her friends for a drink. She used to dress like all her friends, she would wear skirts of jeans. She was very modern – said Faik Ukasmajli, whose son married the young woman.

More and more women from Kosovo are joining the jihadists.

In a month, local Islamic religious leader and his wife made a strong influence here and many youth changed  their way of thinking and behaviour. My sons Arbnori and Albert were open-minded and hospitable. Suddenly Arbnori grew a beard and started constantly talking about Shamina (religious name for Syria).

Laura started to wear headcover and soon covered herself completely;  she abandoned going out of home and even talking to  anyone – said the father.

Arbnori was killed while fighting for ISIS. Laura is still in Syria with her two children.

Security experts claim that women mostly start fighting for ISIS while following their husbands, but there are those that think it is their moment to join the “holy mission”.

Chamilje Tahiri from the city of Kosovska Mitrovica left with her husband and went to Syria to become a leader of ISIS military camps.

According to the information from the security sector, she is leading a women’s camp and recruits new members online.

This is no surprise that Albanian women show such cruelty. In June 1999, after NATO entered the province, when the armed conflict in Kosovo-Metohija (KiM) had ended, some of the most bestial crimes committed took place in the Province.  And the torturers were – Albanian women.

Slavica Vuksanovic (45)  was  one of the few that survived the terror and torture by Albanian terrorist KLA “Gnjilane group”. This Serbian woman will remember 23 June 1999 as the beginning of four hardest days of her life. (That was when NATO  ‘peacekeeping’ forces had took over control in Kosovo)

– It happened In front of the bakery, in the bread line. Five Albanians wearing black uniforms with terrorist KLA insignia came. They immediately pulled us out of queue and duct taped our mouth. – reminds of the traumatic event Slavica.

They pushed us into the car and drove to the building of secondary school student’s accommodations in the village of Gavran. They beat us, hitting with guns and kicking, all the way. 

But the torture was just to begin. Upon the arrival to the student’s accommodations, the newly kidnapped Serbs have been separated in various rooms, in order to make them see the condition of Serbs  who have already been abducted and tortured.

– When we heard screams and cries for help we realized that there was a hundred people  in the building-  Slavica continues while her eyes start to water.  – Moans and calls for help could be heard from all sides. The two of us were then taken to a dark cellar in which there have already been our martyrs.

After being kidnapped, they were first taken there, stripped naked, tied up, severely beaten, mutilated, sexually assaulted and stabbed with knives. Parts of their bodies were cut off before they were viciously murdered.

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Albanian terrorists KLA: Albanian women were even worse than men  

We were mostly beaten by an Albanian women. She enjoyed in kicking  us with boots, batons, pulling hair …

Slavica reminds that the monstrous women was interrogating, threatening shouting  and torturing them in order to ‘recognize’ where Serbian police and army were at the moment.

— After each question the Serbs have been subject to increased torture and harder punches –

– After the torture they took us to the rooms on the second floor and tied for radiators. Then, even though we were already beaten and mutilated, KLA continued with torture.

The Albanian monster  – woman was present all the time, actively participated in torture. She was  pushing pillows and clothes into prisoner’s  mouth in order to silent their screams and cries for help during the rape.

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This young Serbian father and his little baby were brutally butchered by the Albanian Islamist Nazi KLA bandits, after t NATO Forces entered Kosovo. One of the KLA Islamist Nazi bandits grabbed the baby by his tiny legs and smashed his head against a brick wall. His father was first shot, then beaten to death with an iron pipe

Serbian prosecutor charged the Gnjilane group terrorists with kidnapping 159 Serb civilians and killing at least 51 in just few months, between June and October 1999, after NATO arrived to the occupied Serbian province.

Only few years later, NATO installed regime withdraws the charge and releases all the Albanian terrorists.

Even their methods are the same in Syria as they did in Kosovo i Metohija province

The first major Kosovo Albanian group of terrorists in Syria came to media focus after Lavdrim Mudyahiri (Albanian: Lavdrim Muhaxheri)  from Kacanik was killed in a car bomb explosion in the Iraqi town of Tel Afar.

The 24-year-old from the town of Kacanik in Kosovo first “joined Jihad” in Syria and committed brutal crimes there. In late July he posted photos on Facebook showing him holding a Syrian teenager, preparing to decapitate him with a knife, and then holding the severed head in his hands, posing in front of the camera.

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Kosovo Albanian ISIS jihad solder in action in the Middle East

In an interview published by the Tirana daily Ditari on August 2, he stated that he “did nothing more than what members of the KLA did during the war (in Kosovo).”

And the young Albanian jihadist certainly was telling the truth.


2016-01-30

Source: There Must be Justice

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The Pope openly embraced Kosovo secession in 1993



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I. Comment by Jared Israel

The two media reports from 1993, posted below, refer to Ibrahim Rugova as “President of the Republic of Kosovo,” when in fact: a) no such republic existed; b) Kosovo was a province of the Republic of Serbia and c) Rugova was not any kind of government official, let alone a president. Rather, he was the leader of a faction, supported and sponsored by outside powers, which faction had already played a key role in launching the attack on Yugoslavia, and which was now boycotting all official Kosovo institutions as part of a strategy of creating a crisis to justify outside intervention against the Republic of Serbia.

For the pope to give this man a medal and what is described below as an “official” reception, as if Rugova were a head of state, supports my charge that the Vatican was one of the ‘outside powers’ promoting the destruction of Yugoslavia. In promoting Rugova, the Vatican compounded the felony of its previous open leadership of and public support for the Croatian secessionists. This was nation wrecking on a grand scale, in grand violation of the Helsinki Final Act.

In a parallel development, even as the pope was awarding Rugova a medal for his contribution to the ongoing destruction of Yugoslavia, the Vatican was applying maximum pressure on Israel to accept the Palestine Liberation Organization as a ‘peace partner.’ And a year after the pope embraced Mr. Rugova, the PLO was invited to open a special office in the Vatican. So much for the Vatican’s much vaunted disinterest in earthly affairs.

(Regarding Vatican manipulation of the Arab-Israel dispute, see “How the Vatican Legitimized the PLO and Coerced Israel to Recognize it,” The Emperor’s New Clothes, July 17, 2006, at
http://emperors-clothes.com/vatican/pressure.htm

Regarding the Vatican opening an office for the PLO, go to http://emperors-clothes.com/vatican/pressure.htm#VII )

II. Transcript of Ibrahim Rugova’s News Conference in Albania after Meeting with Italian Leaders and the Pope

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, March 15, 1993, Monday, Part 2 Eastern Europe; C.1 SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT; OTHER REPORTS ON FEDERAL AFFAIRS; EE/1637/C1; 1532 words, (c) Albanian Radio, Tirana 1830 gmt 12 Mar 93

Text of recording of news conference by Rugova in Tirana on 12th March

[Announcer] President of the Republic of Kosovo Dr Ibrahim Rugova ended his visit in Italy. On his way back to Pristina, he made a short stopover in Tirana. On this occasion, Dr Rugova held a news conference at Rinas Airport with reporters of radio television, ATA and other press organisations, which you will hear now:

[Reporter] Mr President, will you give us a short summary of your recent activity concerning the main problems occurring in Kosovo?

[Rugova] We all know that the situation in Kosovo is very difficult, serious and dangerous. I recently paid a visit to Italy. It was a very successful visit. These are the first contacts at the highest level established between Kosovo and Italy. What was most important during my whole visit was the meeting with the Holy Father Pope John Paul II. The environment was official and special. Of course, I held other meetings with Italian Prime Minister Amato, Foreign Minister Emilio Colombo and the chairman of the foreign policy commission of the Italian Parliament Antonio Carrillo. In all the talks with the Italian officials, we discussed the question of establishing co-operation between Kosovo and Italy. We presented our demands that UN troops be stationed in Kosovo and investigate the possibility of establishing a protectorate over Kosovo. Another topic was the question of humanitarian aid at these moments. It is important that humanitarian aid enter Kosovo legally, because so far nothing is allowed to enter Kosovo legally. I can say that the Italian side supports Kosovo on many topics. It is particularly interested in preventing a conflict in Kosovo and will do its utmost to see that the Kosovo question is presented at an international level, that is, in the European and international institutions. I can say that Italy is among the first EC countries that has given an opportunity to Kosovo and to me to meet the prime minister of an EC country, Mr Amato. I am saying once again and I want to particularly stress the reception provided to me by the Holy Father. We talked about many topics involving Kosovo and the Albanian question. He showed understanding about the Kosovo issue and the Albanian question. We also talked about the visit that the Holy Father will soon make to Albania. Many Kosovars and Kosovo representatives will participate in this. Thank you.

[Reporter] Mr President, we are talking about your visit and the talks you held with the Holy Father. As we have been informed, the Holy Father is particularly interested in the harmony among religions in Albania. Especially in this situation of the democratic processes, is the motto of the Renaissance leaders that the religion of an Albanian is Albanian nationalism still necessary, and is it guidance for the Albanians?

[Rugova] Of course, this is true. We talked about the religious question of Albanians. It is clear that the Albanians have religious tendencies and have a great harmony and tolerance that is historically inherited. We should further cultivate this at these moments when religion is again free in Albania after a very long time. In Kosovo, this is being developed in a more gradual way. On this occasion, the contribution by the justice and peace French association of Catholics called (?Friday) that visited Kosovo some time ago should also be stressed. They assessed the relations between two Albanian religions, the Muslims and the Catholics, as being at the highest level, stressing, as you mentioned our Renaissance leaders, that we are brothers of the same flesh and blood and should allow a great tolerance and not induce tensions that have never separated but only united the Albanians.

[Reporter] Excuse me, as we are speaking about your talks with the Pope, can you tell us what was the Pope’s message concerning the question of the Kosovo people and the Albanians living in their ethnic territories in former Yugoslavia, and especially on the conflict that is possible to spread there?

[Rugova] The Holy Father himself is interested in preventing something bad from happening in Kosovo. His message was that the question of Kosovo and other Albanian territories will be supported. Of course, the Holy Father has a great deal of knowledge about Albanians.

225px-Ibrahim_Rugova[Reporter] What is your opinion about the new initiative by Mitterrand?

[Rugova] It seems that it is a question that all efforts should be made to achieve something, perhaps through talks or something else. The last diplomatic talks that are being held will perhaps give hope to this.

[Reporter] Do you have any hope?

[Rugova] All means should be attempted for a solution.

[Reporter] Your visit to Italy immediately followed your meetings in France and the United States. In the United States you revealed for the first time a 10-point plan for a perfect solution to the Kosovo question. Do you think that this official tour of yours as head of state has given new dimensions to the question of Kosovo at an international level?

[Rugova] Of course, the question of Kosovo has been raised to a higher level, and with this visit and other contacts I hope that many of our demands will be examined and specific steps will be taken in Kosovo.

[Reporter] You participated in the conference held at the Carter Centre in Atlanta, Georgia. Was the Kosovo issue treated as a national question or as a human rights issue?

[Rugova] Considering the many crises in the world today, [words indistinct] of the crisis were discussed in Atlanta, including here in Kosovo and Macedonia. In a special session, the Kosovo question was examined as a national, official and human rights question, all of these together. It is important that this question was discussed at the level of the Carter Centre, which is among the most internationally well-known institutions of this kind.

[Reporter] Can you tell us what the present stance of Italy on Kosovo is after the talks you held with Italian Prime Minister Amato?

[Rugova] If you want me to say it concisely, it is positive. It is true that in Italy we had some contacts at other levels. Of course, the further integration of Albania into the international scene and the good relations that have been established between Albania and Italy have helped create a better understanding for the question of Kosovo.

[Reporter] I have another question. Will the Arbereshi [Albanians living in Calabria, Italy] element living there, making up a relative majority of the people, help the question of Kosovo to be well and fairly understood by the Italian political circles themselves?

[Rugova] This element can help even more. The Arbereshi people have contributed for many years, since 1981, on the question of Kosovo through their channels, people and rallies. Kosovo and Albania should better consider this aspect, to organise the Arbereshi people and further involve the well-known Arbereshi people who are living in Rome and elsewhere in Italy.

[Reporter] Did you talk in Italy about the problem of the deployment of UN and NATO peace-keeping forces in Kosovo to prevent the conflict, and what is the Italian position on this?

[Rugova] We talked about this question, and I hope that it will soon be examined.

[Reporter] How do you consider the pledge of the Albanian diplomacy on this?

[Rugova] Fortunately, I have repeated this several times, and I am saying it again now that the Albanian diplomacy is the new Albanian diplomacy that is closely involved in this. Of course, it is studying all opportunities it has at its disposal on the Kosovo question even through its own representatives. They are giving us Kosovars chances to have contacts in the world. It is important that among the first to be involved, Albania, as a state, has the right to establish and present this question as it is at the highest levels of the European institutions. We are never satisfied or rather self-satisfied with what we are doing. We will do more [words indistinct].

[Reporter] At the moment you came here, a part of the Albanian opposition represented in the parliament requested by a motion that the government present its resignation. How do you assess this?

[Rugova] Honestly, I think that we should give a government created some time ago a chance to function. So far it has proved itself as a government that has made good steps. The assessments by the competent international institutions are positive. If we want to become accustomed to a non-realistic life, with many parties and parliament, the people may ask the government to resign, but this should be done with strong reason. It is necessary that a pure opposition should understand the important moments for the nation and state at a certain time. That is why I appeal that every opposition should operate through reasonable arguments. Of course, at these important moments we often talk without arguments on the national question and other issues, but we should always work specifically, as the national question is very specific, and in certain situations we should maintain reasonable attitudes, that is, reasonable solutions.

III. Rugova Discusses Kosovo Issues With Italian Leaders And Pope

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, March 15, 1993, Monday, Part 2 Eastern Europe; C.1 SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT; OTHER REPORTS ON FEDERAL AFFAIRS; EE/1637/C1; 282 words, (c) Albanian Telegraph Agency in English 0923 gmt 13 Mar 93

Text of report datelined Tirana, 13th March

President [sic! – should be: racist, secessionist leader – J.I.] Rugova met with Pope John Paul II, who concerned himself in [sic] Kosovo and the Albanians. His Holiness also spoke of his coming visit to Albania. He gave Dr Rugova a medal, whereas the latter presented His Holiness with a memorial on the Albanian question.

After the meeting, Dr Rugova stated that Pope John Paul II was well informed of the situation in Kosovo and the Albanian question.

In the context of his visit to Italy, Mr Rugova met in Rome with the Premier of Italy Amato. In their cordial conversation they expressed understanding on Kosovo’s question and devoted special attention to preventing the conflict extend to Kosovo [sic! – should be ‘expanding in Kosovo’ – J.I.]. Dr Rugova demanded from the Italian Premier the international community’s intervention and Italy’s support to install peace-keeping forces in Kosovo as the first step to stabilise the situation and begin solving the question of Kosovo. Dr Rugova pointed to the grave social problems in Kosovo and demanded humanitarian aid from the Italian Government. Premier Amato said that his government will make greater efforts to internationalise Kosovo’s question and send humanitarian aid to Kosovo.

In the Italian Parliament, President Rugova met with Antonio Carrillo, chairman of the Italian Parliament’s foreign policy commission. In this meeting they discussed the situation in the Balkan region and the situation in Kosovo due to the Serbia’s policy of aggression. Dr Rugova presented his 10-point peaceful plan for solving the question of Kosovo and demanded understanding and aid from the Italian Parliament. Mr Carrillo expressed readiness to better engage in solving the problem of Kosovo.


2008-02-26

Source: The Emperor’s New Clothes

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Dusseldorf axe attacker: “Fatmir H,” Muslim Albanian from Kosovo



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If a German had showed up in London in 1944 and opened fire, would police have ruled out any connection to Nazism? Fatmir H comes from a hotbed of jihad activity. The Islamic State and al-Qaeda have issued repeated calls for Muslims in West to murder civilians. We have seen the perpetrators of numerous jihad terror attacks declared mentally ill, often absurdly. In light of all that, the possibility that this was a jihad terror attack cannot be ruled out.

“‘He jumped out of the train and started to strike at people with an AXE’: Horror in Dusseldorf as Kosovan attacker injures seven before he is caught after leaping from a bridge – but police say it’s NOT terrorism,” by Alex Matthews and Kelly Mclaughlin, Mailonline, March 10, 2017:

Seven people including two police officers were injured when a man wielding an axe went on the rampage at a train station in Dusseldorf.

The suspected culprit, identified as Fatmir H, from Kosovo, has been arrested and German anti-terror police confirmed they are not hunting anyone else.

The 36-year-old ran towards a nearby underground station and jumped from a bridge as he attempted to flee.

But he was arrested after seriously injuring himself in his unsuccessful escape attempt and is now being treated in hospital.

Police said he was in an ‘exceptional mental state’ at the time.

Pictures from Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof, the city’s main station, showed one of the victims lying helplessly on the floor as paramedics rushed to their aid.

His victims included three men, a woman and a 13-year-old girl, with the teenager suffering lacerations to her upper arm. Three were seriously injured.

A motive for the attack has not yet been determined but the suspect, believed to be from Kosovo, suffers from mental health problems. Police said this morning that they had ruled out an Islamic fundamentalist motive for the attack.

‘A person, probably armed with an axe, attacked people at random,’ police said in a statement. Seven people were injured, three of them seriously, they said.

The suspect, who was earlier described as being from ‘the former Yugoslavia’ and living in the nearby city of Wuppertal, suffered serious injuries and was being treated in a hospital.

‘The suspect appears to have had psychological problems,’ police said….


2017-03-10

By Robert Spencer

Source: Jihad Watch

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“Independent” Kosovo: Gangland spills savagery worldwide



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The Western power centers use the “Republic of Kosovo” as a testing ground for working out the ways to create a quasi-state that could be defined as an abnormal criminal case of global scope. The final goal is reshaping the whole of South East Europe. (www.strategic-culture.org)

The states below the «first echelon» are subject to the formula «back to slavery and barbarity». This is a model of authoritative outside governance entailing devastation of natural environment, extraction of resources and creation of disastrous economy and ‘stillborn» state structures along with extreme pauperization of population. And this is not all. Control over vast space presupposes no independent way of development for a national state along with the creation of destructive criminal potential. The accelerated criminalization of East Europe (including the Balkans) has already been initiated. The crime has achieved the scope that makes Jean-Francois Geiro, a well-known French criminologist; say an almost perfect laboratory of deviant states functions as part of new Europe’s criminal corps. (1)

The wave of crime and corruption has hit the Balkans. The «Republic of Kosovo» plays the role of mafia’s citadel that freely intensifies all kinds of dangerous criminal activities under the protection of US military bases. First of all drugs transit.

Mainly the drug flows come to Europe from Afghanistan and Asian states crossing the corridors in Turkey and the Balkans. 80% of traffic goes through the Balkans. The Northern heroin (Afghanistan – Turkey – Hungary – Romania) and Southern cocaine (Turkey – Greece – Macedonia – Albania – Italy) are the two major routes. Turkey has become a key foothold of drug dealers. Even the small part of cargo captured by police is impressive: only in the second half of 2011 Turkey confiscated more drugs than all the 27 states of the European Union together. Albanian criminal groups are responsible for the major part of trafficking to the Balkans and Western Europe. They are closely connected to Italian, Montenegrin, Turkish and Kurdish drug cartels (the last ones control the vast network of drug traffic routes from Afghanistan), as well as Caucasian criminal gangs. (2)

«The Pristina Republic of Kosovo» carries out two criminal functions. It itself serves as a source of organized crime. The very existence of paramilitary subversive-terrorist formation called the Kosovo Liberation Army, thinly veiled as the so called Kosovo security force or Kosovo police, confirms the fact. On the other hand, the region has become an area of «crime dissemination» into Europe and other parts of the world.

The first criminal function of «Kosovo project» presupposes full control of the «Republic of Kosovo» quasi-state by former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) militants. They hold strategic positions, fully control «the state», social and political life; the civilian population is subject to institutionalized political, psychological and physical coercion.

According to Western special services the Kosovo national intelligence service K-SHIK is responsible for the terror against its own population, it carries out punitive actions against the political opponents of ruling clique. It’s the «boss of Kosovo project» who approves the activities. This fact is confirmed by Kadri Veseli, former head of the Kosovo Intelligence Service, a key political partner of «Kosovo Prime-Minister» Hashim Thaçi, who said the service was supported by many partners – 25 intelligence services, the US contribution was very significant.

The Kosovo national intelligence service launched a campaign of political terror after the Yugoslavia bombings by NATO in 1999 and deployment of international forces in Kosovo. Back then thousands of Serbs and Albanians, who were not loyal to the Kosovo Liberation Army, were killed. A US top official in Kosovo (he prefers anonymity) asserts the CIA sponsored the K-SHIK and that the special service was converted into an instrument crime and politics control in Kosovo. Florin Krasniqi, a former Kosovo Liberation Army militant, who then became a member of Kosovo parliament, says Veseli had direct contacts with US and British intelligence services and offered everything they wanted on a silver plate. Kadri Veseli received funds and all kinds of support and supplies from them. The USA and other NATO states still support the K-SHIK. Hashim Thaci still enjoys the support of Washington… (3)

The Kosovo criminal organizations are far from being a shadow government, quite to the contrary the dysfunction of the «Republic of Kosovo» state structures makes them the only real ruling power. The specific feature is that there is no merger of crime with clan and «state» system. It was an integral part of it from the very start. The crime is «militant»; its methods are very aggressive. It’s a phenomenon of international scale: the criminal cartels control the whole regions; their «industry» conquers more and more space in Europe and the USA becoming a nightmare of police. The Albanian mafia is the fifth organized structure in the world that distinguishes itself by «immense potential of growth». The language, traditions, and ties of blood make it a fertile ground impenetrable for police operatives. The family connections let the Albanian mafia create an unbreakable criminal chain: the clans members have their daughters married to the «comrade in arms» from Afghanistan and Turkey. They create a producer-consumer chain. This way the family criminal business prospers. 

Part of income goes to the Kosovo Liberation Army (there is no whatsoever control exercised over the «black funds» of drug clans) that acts under the protection of US «Kosovo project» promoters.

The US needs Kosovo for deployment of military installations on its territory in order to control South East Europe where the routes to Middle East oil riches start. There are the following NATO or NATO used military facilities in the Balkans: Hungary (Taszar), Romania (Deveselu, the port of Constanza, Mihail Kogalniceanu air base ), Bulgaria (the Novo Selo Training Range, Aitos Logistics Center near Burgas, Bezmer Air Base near Yambola, Graf Ignatievo air force base), Bosnia and Herzegovina (installations near Banja Luka, Mostar, Sarajevo, a small facility near Doboj), Croatia (Shepurin, Slun, Đakovo, Pula), Macedonia (Petrovec, a base near Kumanovo, Krivolak), Greece (Crete, and installations near Larissa) and finally Kosovo, (Bondstill and two installations near Montiff near Gnillane, a base near Vitina, artillery installation near Kaçanik, a base near Balovac near Podujeva). (4) According to Geiro the Kosovo Liberation Army is a punitive force that includes heads of mafia clans and is destined to oppress civilian population. It could never come to power without NATO and other Western power centers. (5)

The disguised Kosovo Liberation Army starts to intensify its activities to the degree of becoming a force capable of exploding the region again. For instance, in April 2012 a brutal murder took place in Macedonia, five Macedonians killed by Albanians. According to Macedonian special services a large Albanian paramilitary unit appeared near the Kosovo border, the uniform worn had the Kosovo Liberation Army insignia on it. Armed Albanian formations wearing the KLA emblems appeared in the vicinity of Macedonian cities Skopje and Tetovo. Bulgarian media outlet Novinite says the destabilization of Macedonia may spark an international conflict in Albania, Serbia, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Turkey in half an hour. (6)

The merger of Albanian mafia involvement in drug trafficking along with international terrorists and radical Islamist groupings is a special case to talk about. Al Qaeda units were based in Kosovo and Metohija during the Kosovo conflict. Bashkim Gazidede, a former head of Albanian secret police unit, headed the organization’s Balkans branch. Muhammad Rabee al-Zawahiri, the brother of Ayman al-Zavahiri, the current Al Qaeda leader, was one of Kosovo Liberation Army commanders. (7) Now Kosovo has become a training center of Syrian militants. The Syrian «opposition» asked the Kosovo Liberation Army for help in April 2012. It promised the recognition of Kosovo by «new Damascus» in return. The terrorist KLA leaders and Islamic extremists from Bosnia and Herzegovina rendered «support» in training Syrian paramilitary groups. Dzevad Galiashevic, member of expert team for South East Europe in fight against terrorism, claims the training centers are still based in the previous KLA locations, including the territory of Macedonia. Abdussamed Bushatlic, a former Al-Mujahedeen militant, a Wahhabi movement leader in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was among those who were seen there. According to Galiashevic missionary and ideological activities are conducted in Macedonia, Kosovo is a place of military preparatory activities. All terrorist activities are done under the patronage of NATO- led Kosovo Force (KFOR). The training camps are located in Drenitsa (the hamlet of Likovats, Yablanitsa and Glodjana). There are new training facilities built for mujahedeen from Muslim countries. One of them is situated in Drenica, another in Metohija (the hamlet of Smonitsa near Djakovica. Zoran Stijovic, former Serbian State Security officer in the 1990s, says the training is conducted for two types of operations: subversive-terrorist activities and intelligence gathering. The instructors are not Albanians only, the export model of Syrian revolution is prepared with the help of CIA operatives, Albanian KLA terrorists and the extremists from Bosnia and Herzegovina. (8) On June 20 2012 the Syrian army started a battle for the second largest city Aleppo, there were 400 «rebels» liquidated. The identification of the dead showed Kosovo Albanians fought on the side of terrorists along with the mercenaries from other countries.

Bil-Klinton-Pristina

It seems to be unexplainable; while the Western intelligence services «beat the drums» and tell breath taking details about local and international scale «operations» of Albanian criminals’, the Western political circles and international bodies seem to ignore the activities that threaten the security of their own countries…

A feature common to the serial outbreaks of unrest in the course of the Arab Spring and the conflicts in the post-Yugoslavian space was the involvement of the armed opposition which had grown out of local criminal or downright terrorist groups in the resulting transitions. The Arab countries which ended up on the US hit list over the past years – Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, and, at the moment, Syria – came under the neocolonial pressure from Washington for their stable statehoods and tendency to handle natural resources independently. The coups aimed at wrestling control over the resources from the respective governments employed NATO as the main force with local groups, mostly those of politicized Islam, contributing crucial assistance. The US, Qatar, and the European trio comprising Germany, Great Britain, and France armed and nourished financially the Muslim fundamentalists in Libya. The US, the trio, and Turkey, backed by the league of Arab princes, gave money to the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, the country where the group used to be banned. The new and de facto occupational regimes which pop up on the ruins of the bulldozed statehoods and readily pass the respective nations’ key assets to transnational companies typically agree to a ridiculously narrow political autonomy of the nations under their control.

In the Balkan region, the occupation of a part of the Serbian territory and its political separation from the original country  during the 1999 NATO aggression led to the now maturing Kosovo independence. When the conflict over the province was brewing, the opposition in it was armed and already acted as a group with a subversive and terrorist agenda. In 1999, the US Republican Political Committee issued a report titled “The Kosovo Liberation Army: Does Clinton Policy Support Group with Terror, Drug Ties? From ‘Terrorists’ to ‘Partners’”. The document contained a description of one of the first offensives launched by the Kosovo Liberation Army – a series of 1996 attacks on Serbian refugee camps in Croatia and Bosnia. According to the document, KLA officers were supposed to receive US training with an eye to transforming the group into a political force (1).

In July, 2008, Serbia’s Kurir shed light on a secret resolution passed in Brussels on March 13, 1999 by the NATO top brass. It combined the finalized decision to bomb Yugoslavia with a plan for the creation of an independent Kosovo which would function with the NATO backing and would eventually merge into a Greater Albania, drawing along Serbia’s southern part up to Aleksinc, the west of Macedonia, Montenegro’s Malësi, and a chunk of northern Greece. The projected mission of that Greater Albania was to dominate the Balkans as a region and the entire transit web linking it to Asia and Africa (2).

The Pristina regime whose record opened with a campaign of terror against the civilian population was quick to acquire, with NATO’s help, a serious military component: when the armed phase of the conflict with Belgrade was over, the KLA did not put down arms but re-entered the scene in the guise of the Kosovo Protection Corps which was renamed to the Kosovo Security Force in 2009 and to the Kosovo Army by the end of 2011. The criminal groups involved continued to exist side by side with NATO, various Western missions, and countless NGOs in Kosovo as the captioning game played out.

In December, 2010 Swiss prosecutor and Council of Europe rapporteur Dick Marty confronted the world audiences with the Balkans’ open secret – his sensational report detailed the region’s sweeping organized crime and, particularly, the illicit human organs trafficking in which the Kosovo administration and KLA top commanders were heavily implicated. Somebody Rexep, an Albanian from the KLA, says that in Kosovo everything in and around the illegal business is in the hands of the administration and that – for fear of death – nobody has any chance to run drug or human trafficking or anything like that without the regime’s blessing (3).

Dick Marty’s report showed that the KLA headed by Kosovo present-day premier Hashim Thaci (a notorious butcher nicknamed the Snake) kidnapped Serbs resident in the province and the Albanians suspected of collaborating with Belgrade, to traffic them to the north of Albania, where the people were killed and their organs carved out for sale on the black market. The UN, NATO, and OSCE, as well as the majority of the Western governments, pretended to be unaware of what was going on. K-144, a protected witness of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, claims that 4 million Deutsch marks landed in Thaci’s pockets as proceeds from dealing organs extracted from slain Serbs (4).

Bernard Kouchner was the first Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). Oddly enough, the Médecins Sans Frontières group of which he was co-founder smuggled weapons when the conflict was raging in the post-Yugoslavian space and was caught red-handed at 43 checkpoints in Bosnia, 25 – in Croatia, and 14 – in Kosovo (5). The withdrawal of the Serbian police from Kosovo enabled Thaci’s gangsters to kidnap people in the province with no risk of meeting with resistance. Some sources are convinced that the kidnapped were placed and subjected to illicit extractions in the NATO bases. Indeed, 6 – 14 aircrafts took off at Camp Bondsteel NATO base in Kosovo daily, and suspicions multiply that the flights could be used to deliver human organs to recipients in West Europe, mostly in Great Britain (6).

On January 7, 2011, 50 British surgeons voiced a call for the legalization of human organs trade, citing the steady increase in demand and the freedom of choice for those eager to be donors due to financial regards (7). No doubt, human organs trafficking has a potential to become a source of criminal enrichment on pars with the drug business. Der Spiegel argues that, in the global distribution of roles in the market of illicit transplantations, most of the buyers are found in the US, Canada, Israel, and  Saudi Arabia while most of the donors – in China, India, the Philippines, Egypt, and Moldova (8). The independent Kosovo, a territory with a reputation of horror land, acts as a major trafficking hub in the framework.

Kosovo ISIL Ridvan Haqifi and Lavdrim Muhaxheri

Investigating the nightmare pictured in Marty’s report is supposed to be the responsibility of EULEX. The mission currently oversees two probes in Pristina: prosecutor Clint Williamson looks into the 1998-199 story around the Yellow House near Burrel in central Albania, and prosecutor Jonathan Ratel – into the Medicus clinic case. Initially, in November, 2008, the latter case was opened by the Kosovo police and its UNMIK colleagues, but later EULEX took over. The probe is still incomplete, but, shockingly, it seems clear at this point that only 9 people are to face charges, the key figures in the number being Pristina University professor of medicine Lutfi Dervishi, Medicus founder Ilir Recaj, Turkish surgeon Yusuf Sonmez, and an Israeli named Moshe Harel. The Medicus inquiry is at least    conducted in an open mode, while the Yellow House drama is being dealt with under wraps for the stated reason that the investigators must be kept safe on site. The real parallel between the two cases, however, is that both are stalling: Williamson, for example, says no completion should be expected within the next couple of years. Importantly in the context, EULEX rejects any form of cooperation with Serbia’s law-enforcement agencies  (9) and maintains that internationalizing the case is off the table. Even if the Medicus case unravels to some sort of a final point, it will continue to revolve around the tiny clinic, with the Kosovo administration and its influential international patrons unaffected.

The inescapable conclusion stemming from the pertinent materials is that the heinous crimes can be traced to the uppermost administration levels  in Pristina. The office of Serbia’s war crimes prosecutor says the KLA command posts were sited in the Prifc and Tropojë villages. Tropojë, the place to which mujahideen flocked from across the world, was where the KLA headquarters functioned. For a reason that invites guesswork, the Haradinaj brothers – Nasim, Shkelzën, Daut, and  Ramush – are known to have frequented the village hospital. Tropojë, Kukës, and Bajram Curri served as the training bases, the latter also hosting wounded KLA guerillas at a medical centre. Captive Serbs, Roma, and Albanians “guilty” of disloyalty were held in hangars near the abandoned barracks and firing ranges. An illicit detention facility was set up at the Deva deserted mine, with tunnel outlets on both sides of the border, and used to torture the captives or to extract organs from the healthier of them. The Viçidol village is located not far from Tropojë – in April, 1998, it was visited by the entire KLA command which stayed at a house owned by the family of Albanian premier Sali Berisha. The reception was coordinated by Suleiman Berisha, the brother of the premier’s uncle and the man who kept in touch with the Kosovo envoy to Tirana. The village was the start of a route massively supplying arms to Kosovo (to the Junik and Borovina villages in the proximity of Decani), and, moreover, members of the Berisha family tentatively were a part of the hierarchy in a criminal group which kidnapped people to extract their organs for sale in West Europe where a heart or a kidney can cost as much as Euro 120,000. A big camp where up to 200 guerillas per shift were trained existed right in Tirana and was equipped with a hospital. Funds were poured into the KLA internationally, mostly from Switzerland, via the Tirana-based Dardania Bank (10).

A scandal erupted in 2012 when Der Spiegel released facts concerning the Kosovo administration’s complicity in human organs trafficking, a partnership between the Kosovo criminals and several German citizens, and the organs supply from  Medicus to medical institutions in Berlin, Göttingen, and Regensburg. The organs went illicitly to recipients who paid large sums of money and received treatment ahead of other patients. Reportedly, Vera, an immigrant from Russia, sold her kidney for Euro 8,000, and it was bought by Walter, a German industrialist, for Euro 81,000. Medicus was, in reality, owned by Manfred Ernst Beer, an urologist from Berlin with business ties to the registered owner Lufti Dervishi, whose family suggested opening a clinic in Kosovo. EULEX would not comment on the hypothesis that Medicus was an element of a wide international network of illicit transplantology (11). It came as a vivid illustration of the proportions of the phenomenon that Carla Del Ponte quoted a Middle Eastern intelligence service in her “The Hunt: Me and War Criminals” as asserting that a sheik said he regretted that he had been given a Serbian heart but was glad to be alive (12). Up to date, the abundance of implicating materials does not appear to translate into any progress in the probe. The stalemate is in part owed to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia where, unbelievably, the whole bulk of evidence pertinent to the Yellow House case opened in January, 2005 was destroyed in 2006, with no indictments produced. Evidently, the investigation spotlight reached figures too important to be disturbed.

The KLA commanders turned independent Kosovo’s leaders are confident of their immunity to prosecution and are not going to tone down their criminal activities. In a conversation which took place shortly after the assassination of Serbian premier Zoran Đinđić, Hashim Thaci and Agim Çeku discussed plans for exporting illicit money to Serbia, buying into the country’s investment funds, and thus grabbing enterprises and land lots across it. Thaci said Pristina’s agents should start companies in London or – even better, as he remarked – in Russia, take part in the privatization in Serbia, buy lands, food-processing factories, and real estate in major cities within a money-laundering campaign. He also suggested partnering the Croats who already got plenty of land in Vojvodina cheap (13).

Monah na rusevinama crkve

The Euro-Atlantic blueprint for the future of South East Europe gives a big role to the criminal enclave called the Republic of Kosovo. It is to become a base of world-level organized crime, and that is already happening. Drug supply to Europe, illicit organs extraction and trafficking, campaigns of terror against the resident populations and ethnic cleansing are hallmarks of the Kosovo independence which sends criminal metastases all over Europe while it stays under a delusion that its civilization standards are intact…

The KLA was instrumental in NATO’s game aimed at undermining Yugoslavia. Now that the federation is gone, Serbia is nevertheless the top regional power which can, moreover, anytime boost its potential by truly engaging with Russia. Clearly, the KLA will be preserved and cultivated as a counterforce. It has full political control over Kosovo, including the predominantly Serbian north of the province, is heavily armed and well-funded,  and enjoys permanent support from Washington. With the Pristina administration enthroned, Kosovo is a territory of chaos dominated by criminal groups thinly disguised to look like credible officialdom. While the probes into the organized crime in Kosovo remain an imitation of justice, the problem is spilling worldwide.

Endnotes:

(1) http://www.vesti-online.com/Vesti/Hronika/233286/Kriminalci-vladaju-Balkanom-

(2) Balkanski koridori heroina i kokaina // Daily Survey. Atina, Ankara, 22 januara 2012. http://www.mfa.gov.rs/Srpski/Bilteni/Srpski/b230112_s.html

(3) http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/110321/kosovo-intelligence-services

(4) http://www.fakti.org/oruzje/nato-oko-srbije/za-kontrolu-balkana-i-opkoljavanje-rusije

(5) http://www.vesti-online.com/Vesti/Hronika/233528/Mafijasi-americki-saveznici-

(6) http://www.vesti-online.com/Vesti/Srbija/220576/Gorece-pola-Balkana

(7) http://kpolisa.com/KP17/kp17-I-2-VeselinKonatar.pdf

(8) http://www.novosti.rs/vesti/naslovna/aktuelno.291.html:380208-Albanski-t…

(9) Petras J.  The Washington – “Moderate Islam” Alliance: ContainingRebellion Defending Empire // The Law Projects Center New York City Area Offices. 12.16.2011.

(10) http://www.kurir-info.rs/ubijajte-civile-clanak-23588

(11) McAllester Matt, Martinovic Jovo Kosovo’s Mafia: A hotbed of human trafficking // Globalpost, March 27, 2011

(12) pressonline.rs

(13) NATO protiv Srbije. Transkripti razgovora stranih obaveštajaca u Srbiji i inostranstvu

(6) NATO protiv Srbije. Transkripti razgovora stranih obaveštajaca u Srbiji i inostranstvu

(7) vesti-online.com

(8) blic.rs

(9) http://www.novosti.rs/dodatni_sadrzaj/clanci.119.html:390530-Vampiri-zute-kuce

(10) http://www.novosti.rs/dodatni_sadrzaj/clanci.119.html:391694-Biznis-brace-Berisa

(11) blic.rs

(12) http://www.novosti.rs/dodatni_sadrzaj/clanci.119.html:390675-Dokazi-protiv-Tacija

(13) NATO protiv Srbije. Transkripti razgovora stranih obaveštajaca u Srbiji i inostranstvu


2012-09-20

By Anna Filimonova

Source: The Lord Byron Foundation for Balkan Studies

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Kosovo: The US “psyche”, US culture and US foreign policy



Ridvani

Michigan-based filmmaker Michael Moore makes the connection between Kosovo and the Columbine shooting in his Academy Award-winning documentary Bowling for Columbine (2002). Moore puts Kosovo in the context of a broader U.S. foreign policy agenda and a domestic culture of violence. Moore asks: “Are we a nation of gun nuts or are we just nuts?”

In the first scene, Moore walks into the North Country Bank in Michigan to open an account. He saw an ad in the newspaper that the bank would give out free guns to those who open accounts there. Moore walks into the bank and tells the teller that he wants to open an account there. The teller asks him what type of account he wants. Moore answers:

“I want the account where I can (pause) get the free gun.”

The bank functions as a bank and as a licensed fire-arms dealer. Moore fills out an application and is given his free gun, a rifle. Moore asks the bank employee:

“Do you think it’s a little dangerous handing out guns in a bank?”

Moore is shown leaving the bank with the rifle slung over his shoulder. Fact is stranger than fiction. Moore understands this perfectly. You don’t have to invent anything, merely observe. His analysis and satire work perfectly to show the absurdity of the American obsession with violence and guns. Guns and violence do not make us more secure, but only feed our paranoia and feelings of panic and fear and insecurity.

Moore analyzes the “gun culture” and obsession with violence and fear and paranoia in America. To understood the Kosovo conflict, you have to understand the US “psyche” and US culture and US foreign policy. The Kosovo conflict is Made in the U.S.A. You cannot comprehend the conflict without an understanding of the US culture of violence, the American “psyche” or national character.

Moore uses the Kosovo conflict and the illegal US and NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 to show the connection between a society and culture of violence and the implications for US foreign policy. The bombing of Serbia by the US is central to the plot of the Oscar-winning movie Bowling for Columbine. Kosovo is central to the movie.

In the key scene of the movie, the date “April 20, 1999” flashes on the screen. This was the day of the Columbine shooting in Littleton, Colorado. This was also the “largest one day bombing by the U.S. in the Kosovo war.” Moore plays news footage for that day. The announcer notes that “22 NATO missiles fell on the village of Bogutovac near Kraljevo. Deadly cargo was dropped on the residential part of the village.” This village is in lower central Serbia, not Kosovo, located in southern Serbia. The mutilated and contorted corpses of several Serbian civilians were shown. Then a news conference with US President Bill Clinton was shown. Clinton rationalized the civilian killings and the massive destruction to civilian buildings. Clinton said that the US wanted to “minimize harm to innocent people.” The announcer reported: “On the hit list were a local hospital and primary school.”

Here is a link to photos from the US bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999.

Then Moore segues into the Columbine shooting. On the screen flash the words: “One Hour Later.” One hour after Clinton tried to explain away the murder of innocent Serbian civilians, Clinton again appeared on US national TV to explain the Columbine shootings. Clinton announces: “We all know there has been a terrible shooting at a high school in Littleton, Colorado.”

Moore’s central thesis is that there is a direct link between the US murders of Serbian civilians and the murders at Columbine high school. To understand the former you have to understand the latter. And to explain both, you have to understand US foreign policy during the Cold War and the American culture of violence, a gun culture rooted in racial paranoia and fear. “Happiness is a warm gun.”

The movie opens with Moore describing April 20, 1999 as a typical day in the US. The farmer did his chores. Moore shows a scene of James Nichols, the brother of convicted Oklahoma bomber Terry Nichols, working on his tofu farm in Decker, Michigan. Moore then shows bombing damage from US air strikes in Serbia. Moore says: “The President bombed another country whose name we couldn’t pronounce.”

Moore then sets out to explore why the Columbine shooting happened. Why did the kids do that? Why did they murder their fellow students and a teacher in cold blood that day? How do you explain such mindless and senseless violence?

Lockheed Martin, the largest weapons and arms manufacturer in the world, is located outside of Littleton. Moore seeks to find a connection between Lockheed and the manufacture of weapons and the Columbine shooting. The US is the largest weapons and arms exporter in the world. The US has the largest military budget in the world. Lockheed is also the largest employer in Littleton. NORAD is located outside Littleton, as is a closed-down plutonium plant. Moore also showed the B-52 bomber monument with a plaque that honored the killing of Vietnamese civilians. Does Littleton’s proximity to this military and arms nexus have anything to do with a culture of violence?

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Moore interviewed Evan McCollum, the public relations spokesperson for Lockheed. Moore asked him whether he saw a connection between the “mass destruction” that Lockheed creates in the world and the “mass destruction” that occurred in Columbine. Isn’t it the same? Doesn’t Lockheed make weapons of mass destruction that kill innocent people around the globe so that Americans can earn their living and corporations can earn their profits? When in doubt, we bomb. We bomb early and often. Bombs or ballots? What good are bombs if you don’t use them? What good are ballots if the opposition wins? McCollum denied the connection. The US does not export violence and does not murder and kill innocent civilians around the world. We don’t bomb other countries just because they don’t kiss our asses and buy our Big Macs and Whoppers. We bomb for all the right reasons.

Moore then had a satirical refutation of McCollum’s rhetorical claims. With a recording of Louis Armstrong’s 1968 non-hit “What a Wonderful World” playing in the background, Moore then showed footage of the 1953 US ouster of Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq in Iran, who was democratically elected. Mossadeq sought to help the Iranian population exploited by foreign oil interests. The US instigated a “regime change” of this democratically elected reform leader and put in his place the Shah as dictator, who would protect US and British oil interests at the expense of the Iranian people. Could this have anything to do with the 1979 Iran hostage crisis and Iranian rage against the United States? In 1954, the democratically elected Jacobo Arbenz government in Guatemala was overthrown by the CIA and a military junta under US-installed dictator, Colonel Carlos Armas, was imposed, who subsequently murdered thousands of civilians. Arbenz initiated land reforms that would help the Guatemalan poor but which threatened the property holdings of the US company United Fruit. United Fruit, closely linked with the CIA, compelled the CIA to organize a regime change. The US-installed junta murdered 200,000 Guatemalans.

During the Vietnam War, US forces killed four million Vietnamese civilians in order to maintain in power a US-installed dictator, Ngo Diem. The US had initially installed Diem to prevent democratic elections that would express the majority will of the Vietnamese population. On November 2, 1963, US President John F. Kennedy approved the assassination of Diem, who was murdered by a more subservient dictator. Diem’s wife, Madame Nhu, blamed the US government for the assassination: “Whoever has the Americans as allies does not need enemies.” Twenty days later, Kennedy would himself be assassinated.

In 1973, the democratically elected Salvador Allende regime was overthrown by the US after a three year regime change campaign by the CIA that began in 1970 when the US tried unsuccessfully to prevent his assuming his elected office of President of Chile. The US put in the genocidal dictator Augusto Pinochet. The US right-wing puppet Pinochet then murdered 5,000 Chilean civilians, the “disappeared”. In 1977, the US backed the El Salvadoran military forces and death squads who murdered 70,000 civilians and four US nuns.

Nothing shows the true American national character better than US support of Saddam Hussein, the Ayatollah Khomeini regime in Iran, and Ossama bin Laden in the 1980s. In 1982, Moore alleged that the US gave Saddam Hussein “billions in aid” so he could continue the war against Iran. Donald Rumsfeld even flew to Baghdad to personally meet and greet our staunchest ally, Saddam Hussein. In 1983, the US sought to provide Iran arms and weapons to kill Iraqis, the Iran-Contra operation spearheaded by Oliver North under the Ronald Reagan administration. The US was supporting both sides in the Iraq-Iran conflict. The US just wanted Muslims killing Muslims. There was nothing about “freedom” and “democracy” and “genocide”. It was just about getting Muslims to kill other Muslims. It was a quite simple game back then. In 1991, the US returned to power the dictator Emir Jaber Al-Sabah in Kuwait, a country where only 15% of the population could vote and where women were not allowed to vote. Kuwait was of vital strategic importance to the US because of US reliance on Gulf oil.

Moore explained how the Clinton administration bombed an aspirin factory in Sudan in 1998 which it mistook for a terrorist base. Indiscriminate bombing substitutes as a band-aid solution for a failed foreign policy. Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the US had killed what the UN had estimated as “500,000 Iraqi children” through sanctions and non-stop bombings in the no-fly zones.

A remarkable revelation is that Clinton gave the Taliban government in Afghanistan $245 in aid during 2000-2001, just before the 9/11 attack, which was planned and organized in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, the home base for Al-Qaeda. Finally, Moore alleges that Ossama bin Laden used his CIA training as a US-backed and US-funded mujahedeen “freedom fighter” in Afghanistan to plan the 9/11 attacks. Moore alleges that the US gave the mujahedeen $3 billion in aid during the 1980s. The US training by the CIA came in mighty handy for 9/11, as did the $245 million in aid from the Clinton administration.

Are guns the problem then? Do we just get rid of all the guns? Cruise missiles and guns and air strikes are just the outer manifestations of a deeply-ingrained American culture of violence and insecurity and fear. Moore explained it this way. Even if we got rid of all the Tomahawk cruise missiles and guns, “we would still have the psyche problem—the problem that says we have a right to resolve our disputes through violence. That’s what separates us from other countries.”

This is something that has to be understood if anyone wants to grasp the Kosovo conflict. This is a movie everyone should see. Here is a link to the Bowling for Columbine site.

This is a link to the War Crimes Complaint against William J. Clinton et al.


2006-09-26

By Carl K. Savich

Source: Serbianna

Serbs fighting ISIS

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Basic introduction to the Kosovo problem



 Siptarska stoka

Figure 1. Ethnic Albanian refugees at the Lion airport, April 18, 1999

A French magazine published a couple of photos from the Lion airport on April 18th, 1999, at the time when NATO bombers were pouring their lethal burden over Serbia (and partly over Montenegro), in the course of their “preventing humanitarian catastrophe” at Kosovo. One picture showed the French weaponry ready to be transported to Kosovo, the other presented an ethnic-Albanian family from Kosovo, refugees just arrived to France. The photo deserves well our attention, for it speaks very much indeed; it exposes vividly the very crux of the matter. Let us analyze this picture, presenting the unfortunate family of Kosovars (as the ethnic Albanians call themselves).

First of all, it is a single family, consisting of three generations. On the left we see grandmother (with scarf), on the right father and mother of the children posing around. Evidently, it is the peasant family. Tough the children appear well dressed (probably by a humanitarian agency), the adults reveal their modest wellbeing. We notice first three daughters, the eldest (somewhat hidden behind the boy in the centre) and two twin girls next to her. Then we see two daughters in the front and two boys beside as well.

The central figure appears the young girl, of about 8, who shows the V sign in a Churchill-like gesture. What is she trying to tell us? The family is hardly in a “victorious position”. Who is going to defeat whom? Who instructed her to pose before the cameras in that manner? These are the questions which come to mind when looking at this scene at the Lion airport. We shall come back to this photo many times later on, but here we need just to bear it in mind.

 Kosovo in Serbia

Kosovo is a part of the region on the south-west of Serbia, called Kosovo and Metohia, which was an autonomous region of Serbia from 1945 to 1989, designated by the postwar Serbian state-republic by KosMet, as the short name for Kosovo and Metohia. The very name Kosovo is a short name of Kosovo Polje, meaning in Serb language Field of blackbirds (kðs – blackbird in the Serb language).[1] To avoid confusion we adopt the standard rule for the terms we are going to use here and in the following: Serb(s) will designate the ethnicity and adverb Serb too, like Serb language. Serbians will mean citizens of Serbia (regardless of their ethnicity), and adverb Serbian also, like Serbian state etc. Albanians will designate ethnicity (regardless of their citizenship), and Albanian the adverb, like Albanian language. Ethnic Albanians who are citizens of Serbia will be designated by Shqiptars (Shqiptare, “sons of eagles”),[2] as they call themselves and were called in Yugoslavia until recently. Another interpretation of the term has been as stemming from shqipoj, “one who understands. This interpretation appears in accordance with similar case of Slav – “one who speaks (slovi)”, as different from Nemac (German), “one who is mute (nem)”.  We must mention, however, that most Serbian Albanians consider now the term pejorative, if used by Serbs, for historical reasons.[3] The principal reason is that many designations of the present-day Albanians throughout the history were, to many Balkan people eponymous to wild people, including Turks. In particular, the name Arnaut, widely used during the Turkish occupation of the Balkans, was synonymous to robber, highwayman, belligerent savage etc.[4] The name Shqiptar was in many respect similarly used by Slavic population. Modern equivalent to Shqiptar in our usage, Kosovo ethnic Albanians, is Kosovars, used by Albanians and some foreigners alike. The term appears misleading, however, for it implies “inhabitants of Kosovo”, what includes other ethnicities in the region, at least in Slavic ears. It is with regret that we will have to use this term, nevertheless, for the technical clarity and economy, without any pejorative overtones implied. We just mention that Shqiperia is the internal official name of the present-day Albania. Likewise, Metohia is a corrupt of Greek μετóχι, which designates a dependency of a monastery, usually allotted by the local ruler or the king. The name refers to the monasteries complex of the southwestern part of the region, bordering the Albania, which is crowded by the medieval Serbian monasteries. The same region is called by Albanians Dukagjin, Land of Duke.[5] We mention here that it designates generally a border region, which used to be under the military rule of a duke. The northern Serbian region, which was an autonomous province in the same period as KosMet was (1945−1989) is called Vojvodina (the land of duke), for the same reason, since it was situated between the Habsburg Monarchy (Austria-Hungary from 1867) and the Ottoman Empire for centuries and big part of it was under the military rule as such. (We emphasize here that kos is a purely Serb name, as duka is corrupted Italian one).

It must be stressed here that these details are not merely of linguistic nature, but bear a heavy weight when dealing with the essence of the issue, as we shall elaborate later on. Toponyms appear the most reliable identification of a region and at the same time evidence of the fact as to whom the region belongs. We shall devote some more space to this point here.

We start with Kosovo again.[6] It is a pan-Slavic and pra-Slavic name of the kind of birds, which has about 300 subspecies, from the family Turdidae, derived from the Greek kopsihos. Kosovo field, where a number of important battles were fought, is situated northwest from the regional capital Priština.

 cropped-Balkan-geographic-map.jpg

 Figure 2. Map of the Balkans: Kosovo-Metochia is a central part of it 

Topography

 Metohia (Metochia) is derived from Greek metohi as mentioned above, from meteho – to take part. It denotes a monastery estate.

Priština, pan-Slavic and pra-Slavic term, derived from prysk, derived in its turn from the Indo-European (s)per, to become the verb prisnoti, meaning to spurt, to gush. In modern Serb prisht designates decease, boil (anthrax). An important trade and mine medieval centre, with a Dubrovnik colony. Serbian King Stefan Dečanski (1321−1331) used to stay at Priština, while Tsar Stephan Dushan (1331−1355) had his court here for some time.[7] After Stephan Dushan Priština became the capital of Vuk Branković feud, and retained that position even after Kosovo battle. His wife Mara lived there with her sons, Grgur (Gregorie) and Đurđe (Georgie), as well as Prince Lazar’s widow Eugenia (Тsarica Milica). Turks took Priština in 1439, but Dubrovnik colony remains there. Priština had its flori in 17th c., as one of the most prominent towns in present-day Serbia. In 1660 a Roman-Catholic missionary mentions it as an important post between Novi Pazar and Constantinople (Carigrad). During Austrian-Turkish war (1683−1699) the former had a small garrison there in 1689.[8] According to their records  there were about 360 villages around, some of which were sat to fire by Turks and Tatars and inhabitants slaughtered. At the beginning of 19th century Priština appears an important trade town, with a famous fair, with 12.000 inhabitants. France established her consulate there in 1812. According to some reports, Priština had at the time about 7.000−9.000 inhabitants, mainly Orthodox Serbs, but Arnauts and semi-Islamized Serbs too. In 1852 reports count 12.000−15.000 inhabitants, one third Serbs and Cincars, the rest Arnauts. After two big fires, 1859 and 1863 Priština suffered a considerable decline.

Prizren, pan-Slavic and pra-Slavic name, from zreti, to see. Derived from the Indo-European gher, to flash, participle perfect  zren. Prefix pri is the common pan-Slavic and pra-Slavic for besides, at. “Carigrad of Serbian Тsars”, as it used to be called, was mentioned in the Roman time as Teraida. Turks used to call it Terserin and Perserin.. First mentioned as the episcopate in 1019, subordinated to Ohrid archiepiscopate. The first Serbian archiepiscop St Sava (1219−1236) subordinated it to his new Serbian archiepiscopate.[9] Prizren was developed as a trade town in 13th and 14th centuries, especially during King Milutin (1282−1321) and Tsars Stephan Dushan and Stephan Urosh (1355−1371), who  had their courts there. Stephan Dushan built a monastery with the memorial church St Archangels (Michael and Gavril). After falling into Turkish hands monastery was demolished and no trace of the grave of Dushan has remained. It was an important colony of Dubrovnik, with two Roman-Catholic churches. Turks took Prizren in 1455. During Turkish occupation Prizren lost most of its trade role. Nevertheless, we have reports of a wealthy Turk Mehmed Hajredin Kukli-beg and his 117 shops (dućans), and 6 watermills and caravanserai. Arnauts appear there late, in the second half of 17th century. only. In 17th century trade receives a new impetus at Prizren, with some 8.600 (1610) and 12.000 (1655) homes. Town was renowned for his fountains, watermills (600), nice houses and pleasant gardens. Craftsmanship was very developed, especially guns and sabers productions. Prizren was the largest Serb town in the region, second only to Skopje. The overwhelming majority of population was Serb Orthodox. Though there was a Roman-Catholic episcope chair, there were 30−40 Roman-Catholic homes only. In both 16th and 17th centuries Prizren was victim of ethnic-Albanian highlanders, mainly Mirdites tribe. Turkish taxes were sometimes extraordinary large and devastating, as a victim complained. At the end of 18th century many towns were devastated by Arnauts, including Prizren, mainly by krdžalije and other highwaymen. Father Sava reports  how in 1795 Mahmud-pasha Bushatlija  and his Arnauts devastated Prizren that only 7.000−8.000 homes remained, much less than there were in 17th century. In 1805 Pukvilj  records that Prizren  experienced a revival. Inhabitants were partly Muslims partly Orthodox, but both Serbs, as their (Slavic) language revealed. 19th century witnessed further development of Prizren. According to J. Miller (1844) the following statistics was offered; 6.000 homes, with 18.600 Orthodox citizens, 2.150 Roman-Catholics, 4.000 Muslims (4/5 Serbs), 600 Tsigans (Roma/Gypsis). Trade was mainly in hands of Serbs. Town had many mosques (12 big, 42 altogether), many clock towers, one Orthodox and one Roman-Catholic Church. Trade was  done mainly with Thessaloniki, since the trade road to Skadar (Scodra/Scutari) was  insecure due to Arnaut highwaymen (kachaks).

Mitrovica, after the Greek saint Demetrios, Serb Dimitrije. Demetrios itself means son of Demetre, goddess of fertility and agriculture.[10] When King Milutin donated (14th century) to the St Stephan monastery at Banjska the church “St Dimitrije under Zvečan”, the new town founded in the vicinity obtained the name D(i)mitrovica, or Mitrovica. Renown Turkish traveler Evlia Čelebija mentions Mitrovica “on the border of Bosnian vilayet”, with the castle (probably Zvečan) abandoned but the town flourishing. Father Jukić mentions (1852) 300 Muslim and 50 Orthodox houses. Unimpressive until 1871 Mitrovica experiences a fast development with railway.

Zvečan was a Serbian castle set up  in 11th century during fighting Byzantin Empire. The castle served as a prison (something like London Tower), where many noblemen finished their lifes, including King Stephan Dečanski brother, Constantine, and the King himself. Turkish rule was imposed already  at the end of 14th century. Certain “Feriz ćefalija (Z)večanski”[11] arranges an agreement with Dubrovnik in 1399 and the latter donated 50 ducats to him in return. Zvečan used to be left empty for many periods. It suffered the most in  1884 when the wall material was used for building casern and the bridge across Ibar in Mitrovica.

As mentioned before, nearby Banjska was a village, which had a nice monastery, but was ruined after Kosovo battle.[12] But the place won it celebrity after the beautiful folk poem Strahinjić Bane, an epic Serb hero from the place. Turks seems to have founded a small town over the ruins of Banjska, with a mosque and sahat-kula (clock tower). At the hill foot there was a bath,[13] in use long time afterwards. At the beginning of 20th century one could still see a remnant of minaret on the ruins of the old Serb church, converted into mosque  in 15th century.

Đakovica, from Greek diakonos, servant, pupil. The earliest record about the place came from 17th century. Original name Gjakova was given by Turks and Arnauts, and Serbs turned it into present-day Đakovica.[14] It was a small town, which started to be populated by Albanians after the Serb migration into Austria (i.e, southern Hungary) in 1689−1690.[15] It was probably on that account that Serbs used to call it Arnaut-Pazar. According to Miller (in 1844 there were 1.900 houses, 11 mosques, 640−650 shops. 18.000 were Muslims, 2.600 Orthodox, 450 Roman-Catholics. As for the ethnical partition the same record provides: 17.000 Arnauts, 3.800 Slavs (Serbs), 180 Turks, and finally some Cincars and Tsigans. However, statistics greatly differ from author to author and may be taken as a rough estimate only.  Christians were engaged mainly in craftsmanship, with Roman-Catholics as goldsmiths and Orthodox saddle-makers and painters.

Peć, pan-Slavic and pra-Slavic from pekti, to roast. Pekt-peć means furnace. Cult place of Serbian people, the seat of Patriarchate of Peć, in the nearby church, established under King Milutin (1282−1321). Besides spiritual importance Peć was  the town with a lively trade, with Dubrovnik colony. Turks abolished Patriarchate after 1459, to be re-established in 1557 and ultimately abolished  1766 and subordinated to Patriarchate of Constantinople.[16] In 19th c. there was 2.000 houses with 7.000−8.000 inhabitants. Mainly Orthodox (Serbs). Town had 900 shops (dućans). Principal occupation was silk production and agriculture (fruit and tobacco). Despite its size, Peć was not able to develop trade,  due to insecurity ”from (local) Arnauts”, who were “public highwaymen”.

Uroševac, pra-Church-Slavic from Uroš, derived from ur, master, from Hungarian ursu for lord. Originally Turkish Ferizović, was a small Gypsy village. The railway made it  a town and a trade centre of the region. Albanians called it Ferizaj, and Serbs ultimately named it Uroševac.

Lipljan, old-Serbian, probably from the Roman name for the nearby Roman-Byzantine castrum Ulpiana.

Orahovac, pan-Slavic and pra-Slavic name oreh for nut (orah in the contemporary Serb), derived from Indo-European ar and reks (to smash), something one eats skinned.

Drenica, derived from pan-Slavic and pra-Slavic dren, dogwood, from the Indo-European root dher(e)ghno.

Vučitrn, derived from Serb vuk, pan-Slavic and pra-Slavic vlk, for wolf, Indo-European ulkuos[17] and trn, Teutonic-pra-Slavic term for thorn  (Indo-European (s)ter, for thorny plants). Built probably over the ancient Vicianum, is mentioned for the first time in 14th century as a place belonging to Serbian feudal lord Vuk Branković, who had his palace there too. Town was renowned for his trade activities, with Dubrovnik colony. Serbian despot Đurađ Branković (1427−1456) used it as his seat too. In the vicinity there was a well known trade and mine town Trepča. Vučitrn fell to Turks in 1439 (or 1440) for the first time, then definitely in 1455. Some travelers mention it as an important trade centre. Evlija Čelebija  counts 2.000 houses, then tekija,[18] schools, Orthodox school (bogoslovija), hamam, vineyards, orchards. In 18th century Vučitrn appears an insignificant place, but becomes the seat of a sandžak (sanjak was Ottoman smaller administrative-territorial unit a part of bigger pashalik). In 1894 one counts about 7.000−8.000 inhabitants. The main occupation was blacksmith and leather craftsmanship.

Glogovac, pan-Slavic and pra-Slavic name from glog for hawthorn (from Greek glohiis – top of blade).

Istok, from tok, pra-Slavic noun for flow (from Indo-European teq – to run (away), and iz as the perfective prefix for the verb teći – to flow, from Indo-European eghs.

Gračanica, pan-Slavic and pra-Slavic diminutive of gord, initially any fenced settlement, later town, and castle, from Indo-European gherdh, to fence.[19]

Kačanik. Turkish name, from kaçak, highwayman. Kachanik was notorious for its highwaymanship from the beginning of known history, which dates from 16th century. Situated at the entrance of the gorge Kačanik, made by the river Lepenac, it controled the passage through the gorge, the only possible between Macedonia and Kosovo. Report from 1573 warns people to guard themselves well in passing the gorge, for the denger from the local Arnauts. It was for this denger that Sinan-pasha built the small fortress at the gorge entrance, which was intended to protect travellers, mainly trademen, from the robbery and slaughter.  Austrians under General Piccolomini took the fortress in 1689, but after their retreat in 1690 Turks captured the fortress and slaughered the Ausrian garrison. It was not until 1807, when Reshid-pasha cleared Kačanik from highwaymen that  the trafic through the gorge was resumed. Around the middle of 19th century the town consisted of about „hundred miserable Arnaut houses“, situated beside the ruined fortress. Before the Balkan wars (1912−1913) town was renamed by Turks as Orhanije and at that time had about 250 houses.

Serbia proper

Names of rivers, mountains and other geographical entities are likewise Slavic. They are easily recognized by suffixes, like –va for river, -ica for rivers or settlements. We mention rivers Sitnica, Studenica, etc. Suffix  -or for mountains is considered to be of Celtic origin, but mountains with this ending are scattered all around the Western Balkan. Some toponyms bear Turkish names, as expected after centuries of the Ottoman rule of this part of the Balkans.[20] We emphasize here that since the KosMet used to be separated from modern Serbia for two centuries, its development was considerably retarded concerning the language and folklore generally. It appears today as a sort of reservation in this respect, as a relict of the ancient times, from the medieval Serbian state and Serb population in general. This is the case with other mountainous regions of the Balkans, in particular Northern Albania, Montenegro and Herzegovina, who were on the margin of European civilization and culture for centuries.[21] We shall come to this point again, later on.

As for the toponyms in Albania, many appear corrupted from the original Greek or Roman, whereas some bear purely Slavic names. This applies particularly to the plane regions, which were settled by ethnic-Albanian montagnars only relatively recently.

As pointed out above these details are not merely of linguistic nature, but reveal the essence of the issue, as we shall elaborate later on. Unfortunately we have to dwell on the linguistic matters more. It concerns the  question of “negative designation”. Ancient Greeks (and Romans as well) used to call other nations “barbarians”, meaning “non-Greeks”, “neither Romans nor Greeks”. It had somewhat pejorative overtones, which one could appreciate regarding their superiority over the surrounding nations, in particular those much less civilized, like Skits.[22]  The same point appears with Israelites, who designate non-Jews as goyim, meaning (other, non-Jewish) nations.[23] Though no Jew would admit it, it has a pejorative meaning whatsoever, and this overtone can not be ignored.

As we shall see later on, the Albanian issue (question) involves all nationalities in which ethnic Albanians are in close contact at the Balkan Peninsula. Thus one faces the conflict of Albanians versus  non-Albanians, which places inevitably ethnic Albanians at a privileged position. This will sounds cynical when we compare civilization levels of both sides in conflict, as we shall see soon. Unfortunately, term “non-Albanians” has been widely accepted by the international community, that even an eventual neologism which would substitute the unfortunate term “non-Albanian” would not do. In a sense this terminology would correspond to “non-sick” man (as compared to sick one), meaning “healthy man”. “Non-Albanian” implies inevitably the feeling of “something wrong” with those singled out so.

Unfortunately, the story does not end here. Serbia used to have, during her recent history, two regions, which had privileged positions relative to the rest of the state. One was the autonomous province of Vojvodina, the other the autonomous region (later to become province, too) of Kosovo and Metohia (KosMet, KosMet).  The problem is “rest of Serbia”. Some call it as “Serbia proper”, some “Central Serbia”. The first designation appears particularly unsuitable, for it implies that KosMet is not ”proper Serbia”, thus concealing in the very name a political message.

Endnotes:

[1] Amselfeld as Germans call it, after Amsel for blackbird.

[2] Derived from shqipojnë, which designates eagle, possibly totem of a tribe.

[3] We note that Shiptar political leaders at the federal level, used to use this term freely, during Tito’s era.

[4] By contemporary Balkan population Arnauts used to be experienced in a similar sense as North-American Indians by European population in 19-th century.

[5] Another interpretation of this toponym from Albanian side is that it was the land of the medieval family Dukagjini, but the latter, if ever existed, comprised much larger area than Metohia.

[6] In this paragraph we are making use of the linguistic elaboration by Vladan Đorđević, published in the daily “Politika”, and geographical study by K. N. Kostić, Our New Towns on the South (Naši Novi Gradovi na Jugu, Beograd: Srpska književna zadruga, 1922).

[7] About the Empire of Stephan Dushan see: Миладин Стевановић, Душаново Царство, Београд: Књига-Комерц, 2001.

[8]  About this war and KosMet see: Радован Самарџић и други, Косово и Метохија у српској историји, Београд: Српска књижевна задруга, 1989, 127−141.

[9]  About St Sava see: Драган Антић, Љиљана Цвекић, Венац Светога Саве, Шабац: Глас цркве, 1988.

[10] According to Robert Graves, Demetre means mother of barley.

[11] It was probably after him that town of Ferizović (later Uroševac) got his name.

[12] As we shall see, Slobodan Milošević’s family claims to have the origin from Banjska.

[13] Banja in Serb means bath, spa.

[14] Other variants are known, like Jakova, or Giacovo.

[15] About this First Great Serbian Migration see: Стефан Чакић, Велика сеоба Срба 1689/90 и патријарх Арсеније III Црнојевић, Нови Сад: Добра вест, 1990.

[16] About historical role of the Patriarchate in preservation of Serbian national and cultural identity see: Vladislav B. Sotirović, “The Historical Role of the Patriarchate of Peć in Preservation of Serbian National and Cultural Identity”, Актуальнье проблемы науки в контексте православных традиций, Сборник материалов международной научно-практической конференции, 28−29 февраля 2008 года, Армавир, Россия, 2008, 22−25.

[17] Ulk has been preserved in contemporary Albanian, as a common name, with the same meaning – wolf. In modern Serb Vuk appears a common name, too, in particular among Dinaroids.

[18] Dervish house, after Turkish tekke (Arab täkyä).

[19] Some toponyms Shiptars still call by Albanian names, like Ferizaj for Uroševac.

[20] About Ottoman rule in the region see: Peter F. Sugar, Southeastern Europe under Ottoman Rule, 1354−1804, Seattle−London: University of Washington Press, 1977.

[21] See the book by Maria Todorova, Imagining the Balkans, New York−Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[22] The anecdote on dispute between a bully Greek and philosopher Abaris, of Scythian origin, who exclaimed “My homeland is shame for me, but you are the shame of your homeland!”  illustrates well the issue.

[23] In modern parlance it renders gentiles.


By Prof. Petar V. Grujic

Corrections & arrangement by Prof. Vladislav B. Sotirovic

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Kosovo and Columbine: Are we a nation of gun nuts or are we just nuts?



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In Bowling for Columbine (2002), Michael Moore analyzed the culture of violence in the US and examined its relationship to the illegal US and NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999. Following the bombing, US and NATO forces occupied Kosovo-Metohija militarily. The US and its allies acted unilaterally in bombing and occupying Yugoslav territory. There was no UN approval for this criminal aggression by the US and its allies. The illegal bombing did not represent “the international community”, but was the illegal action of the US government. The US goal was not to prevent “genocide” or human rights violations but to establish by military force and illegally under international law a second Albanian nation, “Kosova”. This is blatantly illegal and criminal. But the US was able to achieve this criminal act through force and violence, by means of guns, bombs, and missiles. Deceptions and outright lies were also employed. The entire US rationale for Kosovo, like for Iraq, was totally “fictitious”.

Why weren’t diplomacy and negotiation used to resolve the Kosovo secessionist/separatist conflict? Why did the US government say the Albanian KLA separatists were terrorists in 1998 and later exploit them as proxies and allies? Why weren’t compromise and discussion used in an unbiased and evenhanded way to resolve the dispute? Why was there a state of denial about the real reasons for the Kosovo conflict?

To understand US behavior on Kosovo, we need to examine what motivates the US government. The US foreign policy posture on Kosovo is a reflection of the US culture of violence. A culture of violence rejects compromise, negotiations, and discussion. In foreign affairs, diplomacy is rejected in favor of military force. The US culture of violence can be seen in US society itself, where it is reflected.

In Bowling for Columbine, Moore shows the connections between an American society of violence and its impact on US foreign policy. Kosovo and Columbine are connected.

Are we a nation of gun nuts? Are we just nuts? To a casual observer, there is a psychopathology to American foreign policy and domestic society. It all starts will the web of government and media lies and deceptions and untruths. There was no “genocide” or “human rights violations” in Kosovo. There were no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. There was no connection between Saddam Hussein and Ossama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. There was no Niger uranium meant for Iraq. They were all a bunch of conscious, pre-meditated, pre-planned, and intentional lies. They were manufactured and concocted by the US government and media so we could kill other people and invade other countries. We needed some phony pretext to kill and bomb other people. Bombing isn’t as much fun without some bogus pretext or lie. We live in a democracy. How could this happen? More people need to ask questions. We need to get out of this appalling lethargy and apathy. We need to hold people accountable and responsible. Why were we so arrogantly and shamelessly lied to and deceived? Why did our own democratic government lie to us and deceive us like some ignorant rabble or herd of cattle? Are we being treated like human beings or like a pack of dogs? Doesn’t this demonstrate a psychopathology? Aren’t we, in fact, treated like swine and mindless cattle by our government? How do you explain it? Is it self-delusion and self-denial? Is it a “state of denial”?

On February 29, 2000, there was a school shooting at Theo J. Buell Elementary School in Mount Morris Township in Genesee County, Michigan, which is outside of Flint, Michael Moore’s hometown. The victim was a 6 year girl, Kayla Rolland, who was shot by another 6 years old, Dedrick Owens. Kayla Rolland was the youngest school shooting victim in the US. This shooting introduced two salient factors usually censored by the mainstream media: Race and poverty. Kayla Rolland was white. Dedrick Owens was black. They both came from the impoverished Flint area.

Moore focused on the media attention given to the Flint shooting. He noted how race and poverty were ignored and censored as causal factors in the shooting. Instead, the media was only concerned about a mindless sensationalistic story, focusing on red herrings such as video games, the NRA, gun control, and violence on television. “If it bleeds, it leads.” Profits and greed motivate the “news” business in the US. You sell the news like you sell any other product or commodity. The mainstream media wanted to instill panic and fear without looking at the real factors behind the shooting, racism and abject poverty. Yes, there was racism and poverty in the US, even in the US.

Moore examined what the mainstream media censored, the economy of the Flint area as a causal factor in the shooting. The Flint area is an impoverished region, ironically, the hometown of the largest automobile manufacturer in the world, GM. GM closed down its plant in Flint leaving the area in blight and poverty. The local funeral home funded community projects now. In the Flint area, 87% were below the poverty line. Flint dispelled the media myth of the “invincible economy” in the US. The US media shun showing the poverty-stricken parts of the city because they want to perpetuate a fallacy and a myth. Like the Soviet and Communist media did before, the US media just focuses on the incredible affluent lifestyle of the American citizen. It is a view of America through rose-colored glasses. They are in a state of denial. How did Dedrick Owens get the gun to kill Kayla? His brother stole it from an uncle. Dedrick’s mother was not home because she was part of the “welfare-to-work” program for indigent parents. Flint is a slum, a poverty-stricken backwater abandoned by GM to slowly die and to rot. This is a picture of the US economy the mainstream media will not show.

Moore focused his camera on a reporter, Jeff Rossen, for Fox 2 News. He highlighted the faux sympathy and staged compassion of the facile media reporters. They were more corncerned about their appearance and ratings than they were about reporting accurately and truthfully about the school shooting. Rossen commented on his appearance: “I need a haircut. I’m a pig.” The reporters were concerned about their salaries and garnering ratings. We got a very superficial understanding of the tragedy. The real issues behind the shooting were ignored and censored. The incident was dehumanized.

Detroit, just south of Flint, is the most racially polarized urban community in the world. Eight Mile Road separates the white from the black communities. Detroit is a product of the racist past of the US. There were race riots in Detroit in 1943 and 1967. Has the US solved the issue of racism? This racial dynamic is censored in the mainstream media. There is a state of denial on this issue as well. The mainstream media act as if there is no racial issue or racism in the US. The reason the issue of racism is censored is because it undermines the US foreign policy that relies on the fallacy that the US can export and teach other nations about ethnic relations and about how to solve the issues of racism. The implications for Kosovo are obvious. Is the US going to solve the ethnic conflict in Kosovo the way it solved the ethnic conflict in Detroit and south-central L.A.?

The Flint shooting is one where a black student shot and killed a white student. Race is an issue. The mainstream media, however, censored the racial dimension of the shooting. Racism is a taboo topic in the US. In order to understand US history, the history of racism must be analyzed. The US went to Africa and by means of superior weapons was able to enslave blacks who were brought back to this country. The black slaves were exploited economically by means of guns, by means of force. The Native American Indians were similarly dispossessed of their land by means of force and violence, by the gun. The culture of violence is ingrained in American history. Moore showed a scene from the 1915 silent movie The Birth of a Nation by D.W. Griffith which exemplified this racial history and racial parania.

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Poverty and racism are issues that need to be addressed in US society. But they are carefully censored and covered-up. Moore noted how after 9/11, the Bush Administration censored and neglected these issues even more. The new emphasis was on establishing “fear, panic, and a new set of priorities.” Poverty and racism remain as causal factors for violence. Moreover, the gun culture and the culture of violence in US society has only been reinforced and reinvigorated by the “war on terrorism”. Two days after the 9/11 attack, syndicated columnist Ann Coulter, an alumnus of the University of Michigan, wrote: “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity…. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That’s war. ” Coulter advocated that Muslims and Arabs be killed and carpet-bombed. Just kill the lot of them indiscriminately. We should blow those Muslims and Arabs away with our weapons. Coulter reflects the American mindset perfectly. Of course, Coulter doesn’t care who we kill or roast up alive. Today it is Arabs and Muslims, yesterday it was Serbs. Earlier it was Germans and before that it was blacks and Native American Indians, depicted as “savages”. The names of the victims change but the US culture of violence and the US mindset does not change. Kill and roast civilians. Carpet-bomb them. In 1999, the Serbian population was on the other end of the barrel. After 9/11, Muslims and Arabs became the new targets. The targets change, but the mindset or worldview does not.

Here are accounts of how the US resolves ethnic, religious, national, and territorial disputes:

The Long Death: The Last Days of the Plains Indians

The 1943 Detroit race riots

Riots 1967

The psychopathology and dementia of the US mindset on violence is best shown by Ann Coulter. Ann Coulter even advocated that we attack France, a predominantly Christian nation that has been the longest and staunchest ally of the US. France bankrolled the US War for Independence in 1775-1783 and went bankrupt in the process. The French naval and military aid were crucial to American victory over Great Britain. Without France, we would arguably not even be an independent nation today but a colony of England. The symbol of America, the Statue of Liberty, was created in France by sculptor Frederic Bartholdi and engineer Alexandre Eiffel and given to America as a gift by the people of France in 1885. In a December 20, 2001 article, “Attack France!”, five days before Christmas, Ann Coulter argued that the US should attack France, one of the closest US allies throughout our history: “We’ve got to attack France…. The Great Satan is wearying of this reverse hegemony, in which little pipsqueak nations try to impose their pipsqueak values on us. Aren’t we the ones who should be arrogantly oppressing countries…? …We must attack France.” Coulter also argued that every country should have a death penalty, resolve all problems with the gun, by killing. Violence takes precedence over every other consideration, whether it is morality, religion, or international or domestic law. Violence or force become the only legitimizing factors in US society. Morality and religious conviction become bankrupt, empty, and hollow.

The point is that this is the US mindset on Kosovo. The only distinction is that Kosovo is prettified with politically correct words couched in “human rights”, the Holocaust, and “genocide”. But take away the propaganda and infowar glittering terms and pretty words, take away the mindless claptrap, and you have the US mindset on Kosovo that Coulter enunciated so eloquently and unabashedly with regard to Arabs and Muslims. Replace the words “Arabs” and “Muslims” with “Serbs” and you have the US policy on Kosovo. Coulter reflects this mindset perfectly, but only in a demented and extreme psychopathological form. Take away the window dressing and you have the US foreign policy position on Kosovo. Aren’t we the ones who should be arrogantly oppressing little pipsqueak countries like Serbia? Violence and force determine everything.

American citizens are taught to resolve all issues by violence and force, by means of missiles, bombs, and guns. We need to kill all of our “enemies”. We must resolve all of our issues by guns and by violence. The reason that the US government and media are in a “state of denial” is because there is a self-repression or self-delusional denial of this salient fact. This culture of violence needs to be addressed.

Instead, the culture of violence has been deflected and reflected and enshrined in US foreign policy. US foreign policy has rejected diplomacy, compromise, and negotiations in favor of force and violence, in favor of massive bombing, missile and air strikes, and military occupation. This is the result in Kosovo. This is also the result in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The culture of violence is also reflected in the high homicide rate in the US and the resort to violence and force to solve any and all problems and disputes. The school shootings in the US are a reflection or mirror of this culture or mindset of violence. The Kosovo conflict must be seen within this conceptual context.


2006-10-06

By Carl K. Savich

Source: Serbianna

Kosovostan passeport

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Kosovo: Honoring Nazis and the SS




1. Siptarska regrutacija za SS Skenderbeg diviziju na Kosovu april 1944
UN negotiator on Kosovo Martti Ahtisaari wanted to honor and commemorate Finnish Nazi SS troops in 1999 when he was the President of Finland. He wanted to have the Finnish taxpayers and the Finnish government fund and finance the construction of a plaque in the Ukraine to commemorate the deaths of Finnish Nazi SS troops killed during Operation Barbarossa. Ahtisaari is not, alone, however, in seeking to honor and celebrate the legacy of Nazis and the SS.

Kosovo Albanians have similarly honored and commemorated the legacy of Nazis and the SS. Kosovo Albanians have named a high school in Pec and a street in Prishtina after Nazi Albanian ultra-nationalist Bedri Pejani. The Pec high school or secondary school, known as Gymnasium “Bedri Pejani”, consisted of 58 classes, 1,766 students, and 115 teachers. In Prishtina, a street has been renamed “Bedri Pejani Street”. In the Kosovo town of Vucitrn, a street has been named “Rr. Bedri Pejani”. “Rr.” is the abbreviation for “Rruga”, Albanian or Shqip for “street”. This is outrageous because it is right under the noses of the “international community”. Indeed, the Kosovo Albanians are thumbing their noses at the international community. Hypocritically using a Holocaust propaganda paradigm against Serbs while openly honoring and celebrating Nazis who helped kill Jews during the Holocaust. The moral hypocrisy is appalling.

Who was Bedri Pejani?

Bedri Pejani was the Kosovo Albanian president of the Albanian Second League of Prizren, set up by Nazi Germany in 1943, whose goal was to create a Greater Albania under Nazi German sponsorship. Pejani was a Nazi collaborator under the Nazi regime established by Germany in 1943. Pejani wrote Reichsfuehrer SS Heinrich Himmler, the “architect of genocide”, a letter on March 19, 1944, in which he requested that Himmler organize Albanian military formations as part of the Nazi Waffen SS. In his letter to Himmler, Pejani wrote:

Excellency,

the central committee of the Second Albanian League of Prizren has authorized me to inform you that only your excellency is united with the Second Albanian League, that you should form this army, which will be able to safeguard the borders of Kosovo and liberate the surrounding regions. …

…. Bedri Pejani

Hans Lammers sent Bedri Pejani’s letter to Himmler. Himmler received the letter and wrote Lammers back about the planned formation of two Kosovar Albanian Muslim SS Divisions:

Most respected party friend Lammers! I received your letter of  April 29 together with the letter of the president of the central committee of the Second Albanian League of Prizren. At this time one Albanian division is being formed. As things now stand, I plan to form a second division, and afterwards an Albanian corps will be formed. …

Heil Hitler!

Yours very faithfully,
H. Himmler

Himmler would form the Albanian Kosovar Muslim 21st Armed Mountain Division of the SS “Skanderbeg”, Albanische No. 1. The war ended before Himmler could form a second Kosovo Albanian Muslim Waffen SS Division. The first task of Bedri Pejani’s Skanderbeg Nazi SS Division, made up primarily of Kosovo Albanian Muslims, was to round up the Jews of Kosovo, who were subsequently transported to the Nazi concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen, where they were gassed.

It takes unprecedented gall and arrogance to honor Nazis and the SS while simultaneously accusing the very people you plan to exterminate and dispossess of their territory as Nazis themselves. What Kosovo Albanians rely upon to achieve this deception is the ignorance and stupidity of “the international community”.

Appendix 1

Komiteti_Mbrojtja_Kombetare_Kosoves

PHOTO 1: A rare photo of Kosovo Albanian Muslim Bedri Pejani wearing Ottoman Turkish fez, second row from the top, seated seventh on the right. This photo shows the Albanian Committee of Kosovo in 1919-1920 in front of an Albanian national flag. Pejani and the Kosovo Committee sought to annex Kosovo to a Greater Albania. When Germany occupied Kosovo-Metohija in 1943, Pejani became a major Nazi collaborator. Pejani personally requested from Heinrich Himmler that Kosovo Albanian Muslims be allowed to join the Nazi Waffen SS.

Appendix 2

Kosovska Mitrovica

PHOTO 2: A Kosovo Albanian teacher gives the Nazi “Heil Hitler!” salute as she escorts Kosovo Albanian schoolchildren before the Nazi German occupation forces in Kosovska Mitrovica, 1942.


2006-11-10

By Carl K. Savich

Source: Serbianna

3. regrutacija za SS Skenderbeg diviziju Kosovo april 1944

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Kosovo and the noble lie




Former President Bill Clinton talks to voters about Hillary Clinton in Concord, N.H., on Wedneday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

During the Kosovo conflict in 1999, military intervention by the US and NATO was precipitated by the use of outright lies and deceptions. The conflict was “ostensibly about preventing “genocide” on the scale of the Holocaust. This was the Big Lie. This was the Noble Lie. In fact, the conflict was about secession and separatism and the creation of a US-sponsored Greater Albania. Why was the Noble Lie needed? A deception was needed because US policy was supporting an illegal land grab, a forceful take-over of territory from a sovereign nation, Yugoslavia.

Why and how could such lies and deceptions occur in a so-called democracy? How do you explain it? The Noble Lie goes back to at least Plato in Western history.

In The Republic, Part III, Plato, described “the noble lie” which rulers told their citizens. For Plato, it was the elites who could tell “the noble lie”, to maintain societal stability and to ensure a contented and satisfied population. In Plato’s ideal Republic, or city-state, there were three hierarchical classes: The Guardians, the Soldiers, and the Workers. The Rulers were selectetd from the Guardians class, the “philosophers”. Next were the Auxiliaries class, or Soldiers. The third class was made up of Workers, the laborers, craftsmen, and the farmers.

For Plato, a “noble lie” or a “noble myth” was needed to maintain the hierarchical structure, to maintain the moral order, and to keep the society functioning in a productive manner.

Plato begins by stating that the “truth” should be valued, but that “lies” are sometimes necessary or required. He restricts their use to special persons only who represent the community, society, or the state or government:

“Again, truth should be highly valued; if, as we were saying , a lie is useless to the gods, and useful only as a medicine to men, then the use of such medicines should be restricted to physicians; private individuals have no business with them.”

For Plato, ideally, only the government could tell the “noble lie”, not private individuals. The government could tell the “noble lie” if it was “for the public good”:

“Then if anyone at all is to have the privilege of lying, the rulers of the State should be the persons; and they, in their dealings either with enemies or with their own citizens, may be allowed to lie for the public good. But nobody else should meddle with anything of the kind; and although the rulers have this privilege, for a private man to lie to them in return is to be deemed a more heinous fault”

What is an example of a “noble lie” in Plato’s Republic?:

“How then may we devise one of those needful falsehoods of which we lately spoke—just one royal lie which may deceive the rulers, if that be possible, and at any rate the rest of the city?”

Plato then relates the “fiction” or “tale” or “necessary falsehoods” of how mankind is divided into gold, silver, brass, and iron, a hierarchical system that mirrored classes in society. For Plato, this “noble lie”, or metaphor, is necessary because “the fostering of such a belief will make them care more for the city and for one another.” A noble lie will make the citizens of the polis, of The Republic, more civic-minded and patriotic and will ensure communal bonding and cohesiveness and a sense of community. In short, the metaphor is necessary to rationalize and to justify the rigid hierarchy. Ultimately, the noble lie fosters the public good.

The noble lie is similar to Reinhold Niebuhr’s “necessary illusion”, a fiction that an individual needed to function effectively and productively in a modern society. For Niebuhr, “rationality belongs to the cool observers”, experts and elites who are detached and learned on a particular issue. “Democracy”, for Niebuhr, “is finding proximate solutions to insoluble problems.” The elites and the experts have to decide the difficult and complex issues.

What role does the noble lie have in democracy? Walter Lippmann, in Public Opinion (1922), argued that a “governing class”, similar to Plato’s “guardian class”, must emerge in a democracy that would give order and direction out of the “chaos of local opinions.” For Lippmann, “a specialized class whose interests reach beyond the locality” must inform democratic society. This was a specialized class of “elites” made up of experts, specialists and bureaucrats. Today, this specialized class of elites includes members of think tanks, professors, analysts, “senior diplomats”, and commentators. These were “intellectual elites” who would, in essence, tell the crowd, the herd, the mob, in a democracy, what to think, and how to think. Intellectual elites are needed because in a democracy there is no such thing as an “omnicompetent citizen”. Citizens in a democracy are ignorant. They only have knowledge on some issues, but not on others. This is why elites and experts are necessary to walk people through the complexities and ambiguities of the issues.

The people in a democracy do not act or think rationally, and therefore, cannot know the public good, what is best for themselves or for others, or for their nation. As Alexander Hamilton noted: “Your people, sir, is nothing but a great beast”. For Hamilton, the masses in a democracy do not know what is in their best interest or what is in the national interest: “The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right. ” The people do not know what is the “public good”. In other words, no single individual could ever know everything about the many issues in a democracy. What they do know is shallow in depth, primitive, crude, and unsophisticated. For this reason, the intellectual elites are needed to aid and to assist the primitive, unsophisticated, and ignorant individual in a democracy.

What guides the masses, the people, in a democracy? According to Lippmann, it is images, images we have in our heads: “We are all captives of the picture in our head—our belief that the world we have experienced is the world that really exists.” The image, not the actual reality, is everything. Manipulate the image and you change the perception of reality.

Lippmann explained that when telling the people “truths” in a democracy, there is a necessary degradation that occurs. Intellectual elites are needed to explain the issues to the crude and primitive and unsophisticated masses: “When distant and unfamiliar and complex things are communicated to great masses of people, the truth suffers a considerable and often a radical distortion. The complex is made over into the simple, the hypothetical into the dogmatic, and the relative into an absolute.”

This is the dominant “narrative” or paradigm in “manufacturing consent” in a democracy. Indeed, this is the way it actually works in practice.

Lippmann’s theoretical groundwork was taken a step further by Edward L. Bernays, regarded as a pioneer in public relations in the US. For Bernays, “manufacturing consent” or “engineering consent” was crucial in a democracy: “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society.”

Bernays described how there was an “engineering of consent” in the US by intellectual elites: “We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized.” For Bernays, this manipulation is necessary in democracy. Indeed, it is fundamental to American democracy.

These “enlightened” elites control the “public mind” or the “group mind”: “It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”

The ultimate object is to control the masses in a democracy, to manipulate them through the noble lie to do what they otherwise would not do: “If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it?”

Bernays argued that the organized manipulation of the masses by elites was fundamental to a democracy. Democracy is juxtaposed to totalitarianism. Joseph Goebbels and Nazi propaganda are always cited as if they are unique to Nazism and to totalitarianism. What is suppressed, however, is the fact that Joseph Goebbels derives many of his propaganda techniques from Bermays and Lippmann. The techniques of Nazi propaganda were based on American democratic models of engineering and manufacturing consent. Bernays’ seminal book Crystallizing Public Opinion (1923) was a source for much of Goebbels’ Nazi propaganda techniques. Bernays himself admitted this in his book Biography of an Idea: “Goebbels, said [Karl von] Weigand, was using my book Crystallizing Public Opinion as a basis for his destructive campaign against the Jews of Germany.” Remarkably, Bernays regarded this as vindication of the effectiveness and soundness of his techniques. His techniques continue to be the guides on how consent is manufactured and engineered in the US.

To understand how and why we were manipulated and lied to on Kosovo, Bosnia, Krajina, and Iraq in 2003, you have to know about how public opinion is “manufactured” and “engineered” in a democracy.


2006-12-14

By Carl K. Savich

Source: Serbianna

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Anne Frank of Kosovo propaganda hoax: Where are they now?



Kosovostan passeport

One of the biggest and most outlandish US infowar and propaganda whoppers of the 1999 Kosovo conflict was the infamous NPR story of the ethnic Albanian Anne Frank. This seems like a mindless, unethical, immoral, and vicious, racist propaganda hoax today, using propaganda to destroy an entire people, Serbian Orthodox Christians. The Anne Frank infowar campaign was manufactured to support an illegal land grab in Kosovo, in support of a Muslim Albanian separatist and secessionist terrorist war against Serbian Christians. But at the time it was very popular and helped sell the US bombing of Yugoslavia in support of Albanian Muslim separatists who wanted to create an ethnic Albanian statelet, “Kosova”. The Anne Frank of Kosovo whopper was a classic of propaganda and brainwashing, how people screw other people’s minds. But unfortunately this propaganda hoax is forgotten today and is deleted from any accounts of Kosovo.

How did the US government and media concoct the outrageous and laughable Anne Frank of Kosovo hoax? Who was behind it? Where are the people who pulled it off now?

The two key players in the Anne Frank propaganda hoax were Finnegan Hamill, “Finney”, and the mysterious Albanian Muslim (i.e., the oxymoronic “Kosovar”, a Serbian term, “field of blackbirds”, to describe Albanians, or Shqiptars) “Adona”, Kujtesa Bejtullahu. Hamill was a junior at Berkeley High School in California while Kujtesa was the Albanian Muslim Anne Frank in Pristina who “miraculously” had a personal computer with a scanner. The real Anne Frank would have envied the Albanian one. Was this just all by accident and chance, a case where an American do-gooder was able to bring “democracy” and “freedom” to a helpless Albanian Muslim “victim” facing “genocide”? Hardly. Cui bono? Who benefits? What is propaganda? What is brainwashing? Who is behind propaganda? Ultimately, the US government benefits along with the corporate and media and industrial and military interests which it sponsors. US President Bill Clinton even cited the Adona-Hamill e mails as proof that the US was preventing a Holocaust in Kosovo.

The Anne Frank of Kosovo case is an important example of how in the US, a capitalist democracy, propaganda and brainwashing can be more efficient and more effective than in a totalitarian state. Nobody sees the strings in a capitalist democracy. Almost everyone is fooled or brainwashed. But we never know who the puppet master is. We never know who is pulling the strings or even that there are strings. We do not know how to distinguish between the “medium” and the “message”. In a democracy, the propaganda works like gang busters because everyone assumes the myth of a “free press”, no one questions or analyzes the medium. In short, in a capitalist democracy, the propaganda is effective. Everyone buys it.

In the Muslim “Anne Frank of Kosova” hoax we know who was pulling the strings. NPR and CNN were the media conglomerates that were sponsoring and orchestrating this hoax. Hamill worked for Youth Radio which was affiliated with NPR. NPR is a government-funded, i.e., government-run or state-run radio. CNN had Pentagon infowar psyops personnel orchestrating and organizing the media coverage of the Kosovo conflict. US Army psyops specialists using infowar techniques were running the media operations at CNN, the largest US media outlet. Is this state-run media? Is it a military-run media? CNN’s Pentagon “commentators”, “analysts”, and “advisers”, even concocted an outrageous hoax about Serbian “human blood banks”. Hamill himself admitted that a US “peace worker” from Kosovo had suggested that he do an Anne Frank propaganda story. Hamill also admitted that many had accused him of working for the CIA. It is just semantics.

What is a “peace worker”? The “peace worker” who suggested that Hamill engage in e mail correspondence with Adona was Marek Zelazkiewicz, a “social scientist” from Poland who had earlier been involved with Solidarnosc and was then a researcher at UC Berkeley. He had managed to travel to Kosovo as part of the San Francisco-based Peaceworkers group.

Peaceworkers (USA) is a non-profit organisation created in 1958 “to promote international peace and conflict resolution work.” It seeks to create “a Global Nonviolent Peace Force”. The Peaceworkers is an NGO, like ICG and the Soros Foundation, which acts as a front for the US government, military, and corporate interests and advances the globalist agenda. It was from this NGO where the idea for the Anne Frank of Kosovo propaganda campaign originated. They claimed that they are “peace workers” and engage in “conflict resolution”. The only thing they engineered with the Adona hoax was an illegal bombing and occupation of Serbian territory. The hoax resulted in an illegal war to support an illegal terrorist separatist movement. The Peaceworkers achieved the opposite of what they claimed.

The Anne Frank of Kosovo infowar blitz was modeled on an earlier Anne Frank hoax, Zlata’s Diary, by Zlata Filipovic, a Bosnian Muslim from Sarajevo who was the Bosnian Muslim Anne Frank. Unlike the real Anne Frank, who died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp from typhus, Adona and Zlata lived the good life and in relative luxury. Adona had a personal computer with a scanner. Zlata went to live in a luxurious villa in Paris during the “siege” of Sarajevo. Obviously the US propaganda technique or infowar strategy here was pretty inane and mindless and simplistic to the point of absurdity and stupidity. Propaganda never has to make sense. Just go with the flow. Turn off your brain. Let yourself be brainwashed or “sold”. It feels good. The US Holocaust and genocide propaganda strategy worked in Bosnia. Why not replicate it in Kosovo? You go with what works. If it worked with the Bosnian Muslim Anne Frank, why couldn’t it work for an Albanian Muslim Anne Frank? Who said propaganda had to be original? Indeed, propaganda is based on unchanging Jungian universal archetypes.

What was the Anne Frank of Kosovo hoax all about? The case was very simple. Like in Bosnia, the US was searching for an Albanian Muslim Anne Frank to peddle the Holocaust propaganda strategy. Subliminal message: “Kosova” is like the Holocaust. “Kosova” is Poland in 1939 and Adona is a Jewish girl facing genocide from the Serb Nazis (even though, in fact, they were more accurately “socialist” or “Communist”). “Adona” is the “Anne Frank of Kosova”, the Albanian Muslim Anne Frank. Got that? Of course today it sounds preposterous and outrageous and utterly stupid and displays just how ignorant and arrogant the American public is. It displays the dehumanization and racism that is endemic in American society and how dehumanized and degraded American society has become.

Adona was an Albanian Muslim girl who was to play a role in a propaganda stage play choreographed by the US puppet masters. Adona was going to play the role of Anne Frank, but she was to be the Albanian Muslim version. She sent e mails from Pristina in Kosovo to Hamill who read them on his NPR radio program, i.e., US government-run radio show. CNN then used the NPR broadcasts to hype up the Holocaust propaganda angle. Then the real puppet master, the US government, used the CNN accounts to bolster the bombing of Yugoslavia. It was as simple, or simplistic, as pie.

The Adona case shows us the dangers we face in a so-called capitalist democracy. It shows the symbiotic relationship between the media, corporate interests, and the government. Brainwashing and manipulation in a capitalist democracy are much more sophisticated and complex than in totalitarian societies. The end result, however, is the same. The government controls what you think and how you think.

Where are they now? What happened to Finney, “Kosovo Boy”, Finnegan Hamill? He teaches women’s self-defense classes in Portland, Oregon today. Earlier he worked in a pizzeria and a pet food store. He claimed the Anne Frank propaganda hoax got him into Harvard, where he majored in Government. He never got to be a journalist like he planned.

What happened to Adona, the Albanian Muslim Anne Frank of Kosovo? Did she die in a “Serb concentration camp”? Was she raped by Serbian soldiers? Kujtesa Bejtullahu, the Albanian Muslim Anne Frank, a Muslim, was sponsored by a Christian Church, First Congregational Church of Berkeley, California and brought to the US to study at a Roman Catholic high school.

Absurdly, we had an American Christian Church helping an illegal Muslim separatist and terrorist campaign, an illegal land grab, to create a Muslim statelet in Europe, “Kosova”. A US Christian Church was helping, supporting, funding, and sponsoring Muslim terrorists and Islamic terrorism. This is shocking but true. It should shock everyone. Invariably, Serbian Christians would be exterminated and their Christian Churches would be destroyed, as in fact happened. Over 150 Christian Churches were destroyed by ethnic Albanian Muslims. The UN reported that 230,000 Kosovo Serbs, Roma, Ashkali, Jews, Turks, and Gorani were forcefully driven out of Kosovo after NATO occupied the Serbian province. Kosovo Jews fled to Belgrade. There are no more Jews in Kosovo. Where is the morality and justice in that?

How can an American Christian Church support the genocide of Christians and Jews? It makes no sense at all. This was a perverse case showing the absurd and immoral policy of the American Christian community. Is this what Christianity is about, being shills for the Pentagon and US Army and corporate interests? Moreover, it violated the constitutional separation of church and state. The US government and US war machine were in collusion and in a symbiotic relationship with a Christian Church.

Zelazkiewicz created the Kosovar Refugee Student Support Project (KRSSP) to bring ethnic Albanian Muslims from Kosovo to study in the US at a Roman Catholic high school. Cui bono? His motivation was to expand Roman Catholic influence in the Balkans, which he saw as controlled by Communist regimes that had to be destroyed and replaced by Roman Catholicism. There is an ulterior motive to his “humanitarianism” and unabashed goodness. There always is. That he was engineering the extermination of Orthodox Christians was not of much concern. And while Adona was from a Muslim cultural heritage, he argued that she was not a “practicing Muslim”. So bringing her to Berkeley to study at a Roman Catholic high school would revive her dedication and commitment to Islam and make her a practicing Muslim?

The Anne Frank hoax raises moral and ethical issues. Why is the suffering and the memory of Anne Frank being cynically exploited and manipulated by corporate interests and the military? Cui bono? Who benefited? The US Camp Bondsteel military base in occupied Kosovo is one of the largest and most expensive US military bases ever constructed.

There is irony in the Adona hoax in that during World War II, Albanian Muslims formed a Nazi SS Division and rounded up the Jews of Kosovo who were killed at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Ironically, Bergen-Belsen was the same concentration camp where the real Anne Frank died.

What was also missed by the Western propaganda juggernaut was the fact that Adolf Hitler was the sponsor of a Greater Albania during World War II and actually created a Greater Albanian state which included Kosovo. The irony was missed by the US propaganda machine. The Anne Frank hoax showed the dehumanized and morally debased and degraded nature of American society.

The First Congregational Church of Berkeley, a Protestant Church, eventually brought the Albanian “Anne Frank with a Laptop” to the US where she finished high school at St. Mary’s, a Roman Catholic school, and attended Stanford University. She received her BA in 2004 in International Relations. She helped organize the 2001 Kosovo Youth Congress. In June, 2006, she graduated with a Masters Degree in Public Administration and International Development. Currently, the Albanian Muslim Anne Frank of Kosovo is based in London with Deutsche Bank’s leveraged finance team. No, Anne Frank of Kosovo did not die in a “Serb concentration camp”. She ended up working for Deutsche Bank.

What are the lessons from the Adona propaganda hoax? This racist infowar hoax shows us the dangers in a capitalist democracy where we are constantly brainwashed and manipulated and dehumanized. Yes, Virginia, even in a so-called democracy the government manipulates and controls what you think and how you think. The government likes to screw with your mind.


2007-06-27

By Carl Cavich

Source: Serbianna

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Why Albanians fled Kosovo during the 1999 NATO bombing



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Interview with Čedomir Prlinčević

Formerly the Chief Archivist of Kosovo and President of the Jewish Community of Priština; driven from Kosovo by KLA terrorists in 1999

Interviewer: Jared Israel
Translator: Petar Makara

[Posted 3, December 2000 * New introduction, 4 April 2006]

========================================

Introduction

This is the second Emperor’s Clothes interview with Čedomir Prlinčević (pronounced Ched-o-meer Pra-linch-eh-vich).

Mr. Prlinčević, an historian, was chief archivist in Priština, capital of Kosovo, and head of the Jewish community there until, as he explained in his first Emperor’s Clothes interview, the terrorist KLA drove him and his family and thousands of others from their homes. Heavily armed British NATO forces stood by, watching the terror, ignoring the Yugoslavs’ pleas for help. You can read that interview at
http://emperors-clothes.com/interviews/cedda.htm

In his second interview, Mr. Prlinčević gave an in-depth answer to my question, “Why did Albanians flee Kosovo in large numbers at the start of NATO bombing?”

The media claimed the Albanians were fleeing Serbian terror. NATO bombing was portrayed as a reaction to supposed Serb terror.

Some anti-Serb leftists, notably Noam Chomsky, made a fake criticism of NATO, saying that the Albanians had indeed fled Serbian terror, but this was NATO’s fault because the Serbs instituted their anti-Albanian reign of terror in response to the NATO bombing, as NATO knew they would. I say this was a fake criticism of NATO because Chomsky endorsed the NATO/media attack on the Serbs while posing as their defender. As in, “Yes! He beat his wife! But you drove him to it!” I argued with Chomsky about this. Our email exchange is published at
http://emperors-clothes.com/yr/chomsky.htm

I and others in the antiwar movement thought the Albanians must have fled for the same reason many Serbs fled – to escape the bombs.

But Mr. Prlinčević says all these explanations were wrong. Something else was at work here: the manipulation by Western military and intelligence organizations of certain aspects of Albanian culture, both to create the terrorist apparatus known as the KLA and to stage public dramas, especially the mass Albanian flight in April 1999, which dramas were then used by the media to smear the Serbs as war criminals.

There’s a lot in this interview. As you will see, at first I had trouble understanding what Mr. Prlinčević was getting at. This was for two reasons: because I held onto the fixed idea that Albanian flight was a response to NATO bombing; and because Mr. Prlinčević was hesitant to speak frankly about Albanian culture, lest he appear culturally insensitive. But we cannot afford to ignore the features of clan-based cultures, whether in Kosovo or in the Middle East, that make them susceptible to manipulation by unscrupulous forces for nightmarish geopolitical goals. The points Mr. Prlinčević finally explained, and explained clearly, can help us understand, by extension, how  military/intelligence forces can manipulate such groups around the world.

Jared Israel
Editor, Emperor’s Clothes

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Why Albanians Fled Kosovo During the 1999 NATO Bombing

Interview with Čedomir Prlinčević

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Jared Israel:  Why did so many Albanians leave Kosovo a few days after NATO began bombing? Was the Yugoslav Army attacking them?

Čedomir Prlinčević: No, not attacking them. In some areas the Army did relocate people, but not out of Kosovo. The idea was to move them further into Serbia. You must understand, the Army was presented with a most difficult situation. A major clash was expected between NATO and Yugoslav troops. This kind of NATO ground attack was a special threat in the area [of Kosovo] bordering Albania.

Under those circumstances, with the KLA [Kosovo Liberation Army] attacking inside Kosovo and from Albania and with NATO poised to invade and about to start bombing from airplanes, how could the Yugoslav Army hope to protect that border population?

You should understand, the Army had had an experience like this in Vukovar. That was in 1991. Civilians were trapped in a battlefield between the Army and the Croatian Ustaše [neo-fascist] secessionists. To avoid making the same mistake again, the Army wanted to empty a space 40 kilometers deep so people wouldn’t be trapped between the Army, NATO and the KLA.

At the same time there was a big increase in the number of KLA terrorists illegally crossing the Albanian border into Kosovo. In that situation there were bound to be some unhappy events. It was a most difficult situation, you see.

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Albanians Assassinated

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Israel: Was this at the beginning of the bombing?

Prlinčević: Yes, and earlier too. During this period, the Yugoslav government tried to organize local Albanian Crisis Centers to distribute humanitarian aid, and also a Headquarters to work with the Yugoslav Army, organizing ethnic Albanians who lived in the danger zone to move deeper into Serbia, away from potential fighting. But those ethnic Albanians who did cooperate with the Army became a target for the KLA. Many were assassinated.

Israel: Were these Crisis Centers located all over Kosovo or just near the Albanian border?

Prlinčević: Mostly near the border. The Crisis Centers distributed humanitarian help from all over Serbia. For example there was food and building materials to repair homes from the North, from Vojvodina. People sent blankets, food, clothing, everything.

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Ordinary Western citizens misunderstand Albanian culture

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Israel: Getting back to the Albanian exodus during the bombing, here’s the question: if the Yugoslav Army didn’t throw the Albanians out, why did so many leave? It’s true we don’t know the exact number. The Western media has given all sorts of figures, from 150,000 to over a million, which is slightly ridiculous – but certainly many thousands did leave. Why? To escape the bombs?

Prlinčević: Not exactly.

Israel: Not exactly?

Prlinčević: No. The reason they left and went out of Serbia, to Albania or Macedonia, is rooted in the cultural history of Albanian people living in Kosovo. Because of their mindset, which I think people in the West thoroughly misunderstand, the KLA had a big impact when it attacked and executed Albanians who cooperated with the government.

Israel: I would have thought such attacks would turn them against the KLA.

Prlinčević: No, no. They led the ethnic Albanian population to stop cooperating with the Yugoslav government and start cooperating with the KLA.

Israel: Doesn’t a guerilla movement need to treat ordinary people decently to get support?

Prlinčević: Yes, but the KLA was never what you mean by a guerilla movement. It was a foreign-organized group of terrorists delivering a message. The so-called ‘International Community,’ that is, NATO, had trumpeted that they had plans for the Albanians, that they would give them independence and a Greater Albania, make them a major power in southern Europe. So there was this intense propaganda from the West for ten years and at the same time the crisis in the Albanian community was quite pronounced. Even before the bombing, some Albanian representatives asked the Yugoslav government to allow their people to form convoys and go toward Macedonia, basically to save themselves from this crisis.

Israel: What crisis? The fighting between the Yugoslav Army and the KLA?

Prlinčević: Not exactly, although this fighting did have a big effect. So did the bombing, which started a bit later; it had a critical psychological effect. But this was related to the KLA. You see the KLA was trying to fulfill their own overall goals. To achieve these goals, which involved proving to the West they could deliver, they told the ethnic Albanians to leave. And this was not a polite request. It was an order. Do you see? At the same time the KLA, their special units, and then a bit later NATO bombers, were attacking traffic on important roads that led to inner Serbia.

Israel: And this influenced the Albanians?

Prlinčević: Yes. It dissuaded them from going further into Serbia and it also told them: Yugoslavia can’t help you. Meanwhile the United States was training their KLA proxies in Albania including in how to wage this sort of psychological warfare, to deliver the message that Albanians should temporarily vacate Serbia.

Israel: So you’re saying that this culture, this Kosovo Albanian culture, had a strong tendency to respond to carrots and sticks?

Prlinčević: That’s it. Now you’re beginning to understand.

Israel: And the U.S. was telling Albanians, “We’ll help you secede; we’ll make you a star. But if you reject our help we’ll kill you.” Is that it?

Prlinčević: Your question is complex. I’ll have to give a long answer.

Israel: OK.

Prlinčević: Historically, the Kosovo Albanians were never involved in frontal battles. Instead, they had groups of warriors called kachatzi, small bands of fighters that used hit and run tactics. But they never kept large scale weapons to use in frontline war. Part of the purpose of the Western training was to get the KLA to surpass small group combat and become an army able to carry out NATO’s commands throughout Kosovo. NATO’s foot soldiers.

To this end, one KLA group left Kosovo and went to Albania where they were trained by the Americans, and by the way, they became the core of what is now called the Kosovo Protection Corps. They marched back into Kosovo with NATO in June 1999 and seized government offices and facilities and drove out hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Roma [‘Gypsies’], Jews, pro-Yugoslav Albanians and others.

Israel: You’re saying that after NATO took over Kosovo these KLA types were under orders to drive out those people?

Prlinčević: Yes. We can see the results of the action of exactly those forces today. NATO planned the expulsion of 350,000 people. Without NATO’s approval and instructions, these KLA, whom NATO had trained and brought back to Kosovo, would never have attempted this mass expulsion. Impossible. NATO was eliminating a potentially rebellious population.

And remember, they didn’t expel only non-Albanians. Perhaps the most important group was Albanians who in any official capacity had helped the Yugoslav government. They had to go. NATO wanted the ethnic Albanians who stayed in Kosovo to be without a Yugoslav alternative.

Israel: So this first wave of Albanians who marched across the border with the KFOR [i.e., NATO in Kosovo] troops – they were hardcore KLA? Not simply gangsters?

Prlinčević: Well some were KLA gangsters and others were ordinary gangsters from Albania. They carried out and allowed others to carry out all kinds of crimes. Some wanted revenge; some wanted to steal; some wanted to do this; some wanted to do that, to achieve whatever political goals. And no one was interrupting the others. They were doing it altogether in concert and not interfering with each other.

Israel: They were all KLA? There were no mysterious elements here? KFOR claims mysterious elements carried out (and still carry out) these crimes.

Prlinčević: KFOR knows exactly who organized the expulsions, but of course, as it became clear to ethnic Albanians that KFOR would tolerate criminal actions carried out by the KLA, KLA crime became a mass phenomenon. Whoever was doing criminal stuff would use the KLA label. If someone would steal some Serb’s car, he would say: “I’m KLA.” It got to be a joke among Albanians to call themselves ‘KLA’, to cover up. If someone wanted to rob someone else’s house, they would say – “We’re KLA.”

Israel: Because they knew that KFOR wouldn’t touch them if they were KLA?

Prlinčević: Yes, they became untouchable.

Israel: Getting back to the period up to the bombing: You were saying that in this area along the border two things were going on: The army was trying to get those people out of the potential fire zone plus they were organizing local Albanians for self-defense. But at the same time a section of Albanians had been organized by the other side, by the KLA. So they were having a contest for the hearts of the ethnic Albanians?

Prlinčević: Yes. At first the Yugoslav government felt confident that they’d succeed in getting the Albanian population to organize to defend itself from the KLA. The attempt to do this started during the Rambouillet talks, in the winter of 1999, before the bombing.

Israel: My impression is that the KLA had a weak base during this period. Is that true?

Prlinčević: Yes, but remember there was a continuous influx of their people from Albania. So they had weak popular support but they were getting reinforcements from Albania, trying to turn the tide.

Israel: Which is why there were constant border clashes with Yugoslav troops fighting these intruders.

Prlinčević: Right.

Israel: So the KLA’s solid base was in northern Albania?

Prlinčević: At that time, yes. But the Yugoslav Government program of self defense failed in the border area and then gradually throughout Kosovo people switched to the KLA side.

Israel: During the bombing was the KLA used as spotters for NATO air attacks?

Prlinčević: Yes. Definitely.

Israel: Was the bombing used to drive Albanians out of Kosovo?

Prlinčević: Not mainly on its own, but yes, insofar as it reinforced the KLA’s attempt to destabilize the area. Mr. Walker was the one who was organizing the KLA. Mr. Walker of the Verification Mission that came into Kosovo, under the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] umbrella, in the fall of 1998.

You see, this is a complex thing and I wanted to give a long answer. Even this international corps of monitors, this Verification Mission, they were also involved in organizing the KLA. Before the bombing started we had this forced diplomacy. The European Community and the U.S. insisted that their forces come into Kosovo as peace monitors. At the head of these peace Verifiers was Mr. Walker.

The Verifiers organized the KLA. That’s why terrorist attacks by the KLA increased after they arrived. During that period there was no major shift of population, whether Albanian or Serbian, though this international monitor group was laying the basis for migration. They needed migration to create the impression of a crisis for international public opinion.

Israel: How did they lay the basis for migration?

Prlinčević: They did it by having the KLA kill some Albanians who were cooperating with the government.

Israel: The Verifiers, the OSCE Monitors, did all this?

Prlinčević: Yes, they organized the KLA into a more cohesive force so it could influence events. And they prepared for the bombing. The Yugoslav government caught some Albanians and some Serbs who were positioning bombing markers. Those are radio devices that emit signals to identify targets. We were confused when the OSCE monitors left Kosovo. It should have been obvious why they left. Their job was done.

Israel: OK, I’m confused right now. I’m not sure about our focus. Are we talking about the Verifiers being responsible for positioning bombing markers?

Prlinčević: Yes! That is one thing they organized. I say this in full responsibility. Yes, OSCE monitors prepared the NATO attack. The KLA is only a proxy for what NATO wanted to achieve in this geographical area. All the current political turmoil points to NATO, whether in Kosovo or Montenegro or the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Israel: Explain what you mean, please.

Prlinčević: I mean, Kosovo is just one of the points of destabilization of Yugoslavia. It is manipulated from the US and Europe. And this is not just what I think. It is obvious.

Israel: I apologize for these picky questions. People are starved for clarification on these points. Nobody has made things clear.

Prlinčević: I’m grateful for the questions. And again: I am answering with full consciousness of my responsibility to be accurate.

Israel: I understand. You’re an historian of Kosovo.

Prlinčević: Yes, I am, and I want people to know the truth about what happened here. So getting back to the period before the bombing: the OSCE was taking steps to produce a migration of Albanians towards Macedonia and Albania. The idea was to break down the physical barrier of the border existing between Yugoslavia on the one hand and Macedonia and Albania on the other. The OSCE wanted to create for the international community the impression of a humanitarian catastrophe.

Israel: Even before the bombing?

Prlinčević: Yes. The OSCE was actually organizing the complete scenario for the crisis in Kosovo. Once again, they were trying to push the ethnic Albanian population to Albania and Macedonia to present the impression of a humanitarian nightmare. We were surprised that right before the bombing significant numbers of Albanians began moving toward the border. We were surprised. But of course, it was planned.

Israel: But there were no bombs yet.

Prlinčević: At that time the KLA had a big influx of reinforcements from Albania. They attacked road crossings and so on with the intention of producing total chaos and the collapse of the situation in Kosovo. This was intended to make a point to all Albanians.

Israel: But in terms of the population movement, why were the ethnic Albanians leaving? I wish you could just give me some idea.

Prlinčević: That is exactly why I started answering your question by talking about the culture of the Albanian people. Because they have a strong clan structure and as part of that tradition, if the leader of the village says, “Let’s vote for this candidate!” they tend to vote for this candidate, and if the leaders say, “Let’s all go!” – they go

Israel: But why would the clan leaders say, “Let’s all go!”?

Prlinčević: First of all, a large part of the ethnic Albanians wanted to return to the situation that existed a hundred years ago, under the Ottoman Empire, and again during World War II, when Kosovo was under Nazi- Albanian control. Most of the Albanian population had been won to this goal by the secessionist movement.

26803330702_bcece6c686_b

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Promises from the USA

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Prlinčević: When I speak of secession you might think of the Basques in Spain or the Irish in Northern Ireland, but this is very different. In Kosovo, a foreign Superpower supported the secessionists for well over a decade. Because of this support, the Albanians were psychologically prepared to achieve – no, not to achieve, to be given – secession. As a gift. The secessionist leaders, starting with Ibrahim Rugova, had promised them, “Do this, do that and the US will intervene and we will get Kosovo.” They had been promising this for years. “Sacrifice your children by boycotting the schools; sacrifice your health by boycotting the hospitals; use your suffering to show foreign public opinion how we suffer under the Serbs, and the U.S. will come to our rescue.”

By March 1999 this political theater had been going on ten years. “The US will set us free.” And of course, many Albanians believed that during World War II the German Nazis had set Albanians free.

The Yugoslav constitution of 1974 didn’t help. It weakened the central government and thus encouraged those in Kosovo who wanted to return to the W.W. II regime when Albanian nationalists ruled Kosovo under the German Nazis and terrorized Serbs, Roma [‘Gypsies’] and Jews. After 1974 the abuses against Serbs and Roma increased. This was openly manifested during the ethnic Albanian riots in 1981.

These were race riots, with Serbs as the targets, both the Serbian clergy and ordinary Serbian citizens. After that the Americans entered the picture and magnified the secessionists’ political strength ten times over.

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U.S. Openly Encouraged Secessionists in 1990

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Prlinčević: For example, when US Ambassador Warren Zimmerman arrived in Yugoslavia in 1990 [before the outbreak of the Yugoslav wars of secession] one of his first acts was to go to Kosovo and open an Exhibition of architectural works from Chicago. He used this exhibition to boost the Albanian secessionists.

Israel: How?

Prlinčević: He didn’t invite anyone from the Federal Yugoslav Government or the Serbian Government. But he did invite Ibrahim Rugova [the main secessionist leader at that time] and the like.

By snubbing the Federal Government, which represented multiethnic society, and snubbing those Albanian leaders who opposed secession, Zimmerman’s action had a profound psychological effect

Israel: I can imagine. Everyone notices who doesn’t get invited to a party.

Prlinčević: Yes, and especially in this period, when there was much ultra-nationalist agitation in Kosovo, to break Kosovo away from Serbia and to take parts of Macedonia and Bulgaria and link it all up with Albania. And these were the leaders whom Zimmerman invited. How could Albanians argue against secession when Rugova could say, “See? We have the support of the most powerful nation on earth!”

Israel: People often present Mr. Rugova as the good guy, by way of contrast to the KLA.

Prlinčević: They have the same goal: secession. The difference is over methods. Rugova always wears a scarf to illustrate the entrapment, or whatever, of Albanians in Yugoslavia. He says he’ll take it off when Kosovo secedes from Serbia.

The United States, for its own geopolitical reasons, deliberately encouraged the secessionist tendency among Albanians, used them against the Yugoslav government in order to destabilize the Balkans.

The fact is that Serbs and Albanians had been living together with some degree of tolerance for centuries, whenever there was peace. The United States disrupted this status quo.

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Serbs and Albanians Worked Together During the Bombing, Until…

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Israel: In Priština, during the bombardment, was there any effort to have unity between the Albanians, the Serbs and other minorities?

Prlinčević: We, as loyal citizens of Yugoslavia, whether Serbs or Albanians, tried to cooperate and live together, to help each other.

Israel: But what about the majority of the people in Priština? Did the majority try to help each other?

Prlinčević: Yes. It was the town of intellectuals. We all had flats next to each other. The children went to the same schools. We lived in the same apartment buildings.

Israel: So the secessionists weren’t strong there?

Prlinčević: Not at first, but then later even in Priština the Albanians were sucked into the secessionist camp. This could happen because of certain cultural traits, deeply rooted in their history. During the bombing, suddenly they started leaving. And when we asked them, “Why are you doing this?” they replied, “We have to!”

Israel: Whom are you talking about?

Prlinčević: Professors, managers at stores, retired people, even retired Yugoslav Army officers who were ethnic Albanian.

==============================

“Sorry, I have to go…”

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Prlinčević: I’ll give you an example. My Albanian neighbor was a Professor. He seemed very much integrated into Yugoslav life. Our children played together; we were friends, you see. And then, without warning he packed up and started to leave his flat, to leave Kosovo. So I said: “Why are you leaving, neighbor?” He said: “Sorry. I have to.” And I said, “Why? We’re safe here. Nobody’s bothering you. The housing complex hasn’t been bombed. We’re all working together.” And he said, “I was ordered to leave.” He gave me the keys so I could watch his flat. Ironically, after NATO took over he returned and then I was forced out by the KLA gangsters. I gave him my key, so he could watch my flat.

Israel: But who ordered him to leave?

Prlinčević: The leader of his clan.

Israel: Why?

Prlinčević: To prove obedience to the KLA. This was the KLA’s national plan. All loyal Albanians were to leave during the bombing and go to Albania or Macedonia to show the world how terrible the Serbs were; this exodus was staged; it was a performance, Hollywood in Kosovo. What is Hollywood without actors? A large number of Albanians had to perform, had to actually leave Kosovo. This was not so different from what they had been doing for ten years, you see, pretending they had been locked out of the schools when actually it was an organized boycott, and so on.

Moreover, once they were in the refugee camps, the Albanians would be under the direct leadership of the KLA, which could intensively indoctrinate them, which it did.

Israel: But why would his clan leader agree to this crazy plan?

Prlinčević: You think it was crazy? This gets us to the heart of the matter. Between the attacks from the KLA on Albanians who cooperated with the Yugoslav government and the continuous bombing by NATO, especially of Albanians who disobeyed the KLA, the KLA had gotten their message across to the clan leaders. So now the clan leaders ordered their people to pack up and leave.

Israel: You know, during the bombing, NATO said the Albanians were fleeing atrocities. We Western opponents of NATO said they were fleeing the NATO bombing. But you’re saying we were both wrong, that the Albanians weren’t fleeing the Serbs or the bombing.

Prlinčević: Let’s just say the bombing isn’t a sufficient explanation. If they were just fleeing bombs, why did they have to go to Albania and Macedonia? Why not to inner Serbia? And what about people like my friend, who just packed up, seemingly for no reason, and left? The rest of us, Serbs, Jews, Roma, we were in Priština too. Why didn’t we leave? Did we value our lives less than they valued theirs? No, it wasn’t the bombs. They were afraid to disobey their clan leaders.

But the bombing did play an important role. The KLA served as spotters; they could direct NATO attacks against hostile Albanians, and this confirmed for the clan leaders that the KLA had serious power.

It was psychological warfare, intended to reinforce the psychological crisis among Albanians, a crisis rooted in fear.

The KLA and NATO were telling Albanians: NATO supports the KLA. After NATO takes over, the KLA will be in charge and if you don’t leave now you will be in big trouble later. There will be no safe refuge.

That’s what I meant when I said you need to know something about Albanian culture in order to understand why Albanians left.

You have to know about blood feud.

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Blood feud and the Canon of Leke

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Prlinčević: One book has a great hold over Kosovo Albanians. It’s called the Canon of Lekë Dukagjini. It’s a 15th century text that spells out codes of behavior. It goes into great detail on how to carry out blood feuds, when and whom it is proper to kill. It lays out the proper methods to use when killing, rules and regulations, and so on.

And this Canon is alive among Albanians today, especially since the fall of communism. This is an intensely tradition-oriented culture. Blood feud is a constant threat for Albanians. Thousands of people in Albania and Kosovo cannot leave their houses because they are being hunted; even a child in the cradle might be marked for death as part of a feud. It is for this reason that Kosovo Albanian houses are often built surrounded by high walls and with gun slits instead of windows.

By methodically killing those who refused to support them, the KLA was striking a deep fear among Albanians: the refusal of one clan member to obey could lead to revenge against his entire clan. And now the KLA had NATO bombers to enforce blood feud.

What took me by surprise was how much this affected Albanians, even intellectuals. It’s amazing. Here is a Professor in Priština, very sophisticated, but when the order comes from his clan leader, who is perhaps a farmer 100 miles away, the Professor immediately packs up and leaves for Albania without even considering saying no.

Israel: We didn’t understand the KLA. We thought their terror tactics were counter-productive.

Prlinčević: Well, they knew their own people, their fears, their traditions. They knew that if they could prove they were deadly, the clan leaders would fall in line.

Now they live in a society dominated by gangsters. None of this would have happened were it not for years of effort by the United States.

[End of interview]

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Further reading

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1) On the involvement of the OSCE Verification Monitors in organizing the KLA see, ”The Cat is Out of the Bag” at
http://emperors-clothes.com/news/ciaaided.htm

2) “The roots of Kosovo fascism” by George Thompson deals mainly with World War II. It can be read at
http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/thompson/rootsof.htm

3) On the normalization of crime in politics, economics and everyday life in Kosovo since the June 1999 NATO takeover see the following:

* “Crime and Terror in the New Kosovo” at http://emperors-clothes.com/news/u.htm
[Documents the charge that criminal violence has been de facto legalized in the new Kosovo]

* “How will you plead at the trial, Mr. Annan?” at http://emperors-clothes.com/news/howwill.htm
[The (London) Observer quotes an internal UN report documenting the criminal nature of the Kosovo Protection Corps, set up by the UN]

* “Gracko survivors blame NATO” at
http://emperors-clothes.com/misc/grack.htm
[A terrible crime reveals the enormity of NATO’s opening of the border between Serbia and Albania.]

Note: United States planners were fully aware of the destabilizing potential of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo as far back as 1982. Here is a quote from Yugoslavia, a country study, a 1982 book, which is part of the U.S. Army’s “Area handbook series.”

In the foreword, Dr. William Evans-Smith, Director of Foreign Area Studies for American University in Washington, D.C., writes:

“The study focuses on historical antecedents and on the cultural, political and socioeconomic characteristics that contribute to cohesion and cleavage within the society.”

Here are two quotes from the book:

“Yugoslavia’s largest national minority was its Albanian community, in 1981 numbering some 1.6 million, nearly 7 percent of the population. Most Albanians were concentrated in Kosovo where they constituted roughly 80 percent of the population; another quarter million resided in neighboring Macedonia and Montenegro. All told, an estimated one-third to one-half of all Albanians lived in Yugoslavia – making them one of the largest potentially irredentist communities in the world.” (p. 75)

“Moreover some demonstrators [in the 1981 Albanian riots] suggested that the proposed Kosovo republic ought to include Albanians in Macedonia and Montenegro too. Some extremists even voiced secessionist sentiments calling for a ‘Greater Albania.'” (p. 77)

The book is available at libraries. Here is the bibliographical information:  Yugoslavia, a country study, Foreign Area Studies, The American university, edited by Richard F. Nyrop, “Area handbook series,” Department of the Army Pamphlet (DA Pam) 550-99, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 2nd ed. 1982.


Posted, 3 December 2000

New introduction, 4 April 2006

Source: TENC

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(Quasi)Academic foundations of a racist Greater Albania



Muslims Kosovo

The topic to be addressed in this text is the basic misconception on the question of the Balkan Albanian ethnogenesis and national identity that was framed by extremely geo-politically coloured the German-based “Illyrian” theory of the Albanian ethnic and cultural origin. This (quasi)theory, unfortunately, has very deep and negative regional political-security consequences during the last century.

The implementation of the “Illyrian” (quasi)theory of the Albanian ethnogenesis was accepted firstly by the Rilindja, (the renaissance) – the Albanian nationalistic and chauvinistic political movement in 1878–1913 for the sake to create the ethnically pure Greater Albania as a national state of all Balkan Albanians composed by self-interpreted all ethnographic and (quasi)historical “Albanian” territories at the expense of historical truth, justice as well as the Slavic and the Greek national interest.

iliri

The Illyrian tribes at the Balkans before the 1 century AD

The “Ilyrian” (Quasi)Theory on the Albanian Balkan Origin

The so-called “Illyrian” (quasi)theory of the ethnic origin of the Albanians (created by the German and the Austrian scholars) became purposely the most popular theory of the Albanian nation’s derivation among the majority of the Albanian scholars, politicians and intellectuals (see, for example [Marmullaku R., Albania and Albanians, London, 1975, pp. 5–9; Miridita Z., Istorija Albanaca (“Iliri i etnogeneza Albanaca”), Beograd, 1969, pp. 6–13; Historia e popullit Shqiptar, I, Prishtinë, 1969, pp. 155–161]). The crucial and concluding point of this (quasi)theory (in fact, it is actually a very highly politicized and above all non-provable hypothesis) is that the present-day Albanians are an authentic nation (ethnolinguistic group) of the Balkans, the oldest, aboriginal and autochthonous ethnolinguistic group in this part of Europe. As a result, the Albanians’ South Slavic neighbours (the Serbs, Montenegrins, and Macedonian Slavs) in contrast to the “indigenous” Albanians are just “newcomers” to the Balkans (who arrived at this peninsula “only” at the turn of the 7th century AD) [Malcolm N., Kosovo: A Short History, New York, 1999, pp. 22−40]. Therefore, their ethnicity and nationality are allegedly much more recent than that of the Albanians. Subsequently, “historic rights” of the Balkan (quasi)autochthonous Albanian population on certain disputed Balkan territories (primarily between the Albanians and the South Slavs but also and between the Albanians and the Greeks) are stronger, more justifiable and historically more deeply rooted in comparison to the “historic rights” of the Serbs, Montenegrins or Macedonian Slavs. For that reason, it is expected that a “democratic” West will support the “justifiable” Albanian imperialistic territorial claims framed by the nationalistic and racist idea of a united Greater Albania (about the problem of relations between national identification and border identities, see [Wilson Th., Donnan H. (eds.), Border Identities. Nation and state at international frontiers, Cambridge, 1998]).

However, the Albanian national identity was created by the Austro-Hungarian authorities at the late 19th century and the very beginning of the 20th century. A Bulgarian scholar Teodora Todorova Toleva in her recent book on the creation of Albanian national identity published in 2012, cites unpublished documents from the Austrian State Archives (Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv) in Vienna that demonstrate that the Austro-Hungarian authorities had a crucial influence on the creation of Albanian nationality in the years of 1896−1908 [Тодорова Толева Т., Влиянието на АвстроУнгария за създаването на албанската нация, 1896−1908, София, 2012]. This book is based on her Ph.D. dissertation defended at Barcelona University on September 16th, 2008 (see also [Schanderl D. H., Die Albanienpolitik Österreich-Ungarns und Italiens 1877−1908, Albanische Forschungen № 9, Wiesbaden: Otto Harassovitz, 1971]). It became today clear that such Austro-Hungarian policy of creation of the Albanian national identity, nationalism and finally independent state of Albania in 1912 was fundamentally pointed out against the Serbian, the Montenegrin and the Greek national interests in the region.

Here, we have to make a short note of clarification that the “Montenegrins” should be considered from a cultural, religious and ethnolinguistic point of view as the Serbs from Montenegro (Glomazić M., Etničko i nacionalno biće Crnogoraca, Beograd, 1988). Historical, political, religious, economic and cultural relations between the Serbs from Montenegro (the Montenegrins) and the Serbs from Serbia are similar to those of the Germans from Austria (the Austrians) and the Germans from Germany. However, today 60% of the citizens of Montenegro claim, as a direct consequence of anti-Serb propaganda and policy of the Yugoslav communist government after the WWII, that they are ethnolinguistic “Montenegrins” different from the Serbs (on this problem see more in [Lazarević D., “Inventing Balkan Identities: Finding the Founding Fathers and Myths of Origin – The Montenegrin Case”, Serbian Studies: Journal of the North American Society for Serbian Studies, Vol. 25, No. 2, 2011 (2014), pp. 171−197]).

Nevertheless, shortly, according to the (quasi)theory of the Illyrian-Albanian (quasi)ethnolinguistic continuity, the Albanians are descendants of the ancient Balkan population – the Illyrians. The national name of the Albanians has to come from the name of one Illyrian tribe – the Albanoi. Furthermore, the tribal name, Albanoi, was the designation applied to the entire number of the Illyrian tribes around the Ionian Sea. However, for instance, contemporary German historiography does not mention the Illyrian tribal name Albanoi at all. The territory of Albania in the Greco-Roman time was populated only by one Illyrian tribe, the Taulantii. In addition, neighboring present-day Greek territories were settled by the Illyrian tribe Dassaretii, the ancient Macedonia by the Paeones and Dardanes, and Kosovo-Metochia by the Scirtones [Westermann Großer Atlas zur Weltgeschichte, Braunschweig, 1985, pp. 38–39].

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A grave place of a member of the Kosovo Liberation Army with a clear political message what they were fighting for during the Kosovo War of 1998−1999. That was a Greater Albania

A Linguistic Speculation

However, the proponents of the “Illyrian” (quasi)theory of the Albanian ethnographic origin built their scientifically unproved hypothesis mostly on the pure speculation that the modern Albanian language is directly descended from the ancient Illyrian one as well as that both of them belong to the same Indo-European language-group. Nevertheless, this claim is extremely disputed by the contemporary linguistic science. The fact is that the Albanian language as a spoken language of the inhabitants of the present-day Albania was not mentioned in any historical source until 1285 when it was for the first time recorded under this name in the manuscripts from Dubrovnik in which the language was referred to as lingua albanesesca. The name for the land – Albanon (the territory on which the Albanian language speakers live) is derived from the name of the language. This term for Albania, according to the supporters of this (quasi)theory, appears in several 13th century Latin dictionaries, as well as in some of the Byzantine historical sources. The mediaeval sources referred to the region between Mache river on the north and Schumbe river on the south (both in the present-day Albania) as Arbanon (or Arber) but without any connection with the Albanian ethnic name. The Serbs who were living there before the Albanians occupied this territory coming from Sicily in the year of 1043 called this region as Raban. According to the 2nd century Greek geographer Ptolemy, this territory was settled by the Albanoi tribe which was of the Illyrian origin. However, the name of the Balkan Albania and subsequently of the ethnic Albanians is not derived from Albanoi or Arbanon but rather from the town-name of Albanopolis or Albanum (Whitetown or Belgrade) [Деретић И. Ј. Антић П. Д., Јарчевић М. С., Измишљено досељавање Срба, Београд, 2009, p. 266].

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A map of a Greater Albania as unofficial political task to be realized by the Islamic fundamentalists of the Kosovo Liberation Army

As a matter of fact, before the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans, the population of Albania called themselves Arbërësh/Arbënesh and their country as Arbën/Arbër. The South Slavonic name for the people from Albania was the Arbanas. The Arnauts (Арнауташи) were Islamized and later on Albanized ethnolinguistic Serbs in Kosovo-Metochia, who still did not forget their original ethnicity [Цвијић Ј., Основе за географију и геологију Македоније и Старе Србије, III, Београд, 1911, pp. 1162−1166]. However, during the period of the Albanian national revival movement in the late 19th century the Albanians called themselves as Shqipëtarë and the country as Shqipëtaria. The name is most probably derived from the word shqipe what means “eagle” referring to the mountainous settlers of the highlands of Albania. However, this word probably comes from the ancient Dacian-Moesian language adopted by the Bulgarians who settled the Roman province of Moesia Inferior in 680/681. In the Bulgarian language “Shqiptars” means the “highlanders”. The popular nickname for the Albanians is the “Sons of the Eagle” and for Albania the “Land of the Eagle”. Two of the most important and powerful Albanian tribal units around 1900 (like today as well) were the Ghegs in the North Albania and the Tosks in the South Albania. The Albanian population was (and is) divided with respect to the religion. They are the Muslims (overwhelming majority of all Albanians), the Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox (the later are in fact Albanized ethnic Greeks). The last group occupies the South-East Albania around the cities of Korçë and Gjirokastër (Argyrus) (for more details see [Hobhouse J. C. (Lord Broughton), Travels in Albania and other provinces of Turkey in 1808 and 1810, I, II, London, 1858; Skendi S., “Religion in Albania during the Ottoman rule”, Südost Forscungen, № 15, Münich, 1956; Hobsbawm E. J., Nations and Nationalism since 1789. Programme, Myth, Reality, Cambridge, 2000, p. 70]). A majority of the Christian Orthodox “Albanians” fought on the side of the Greeks against the Ottoman authorities and the Muslim Albanians in 1821−1829 for the Greek independence that was finally achieved in 1830. In fact, the real Albanians even today are only those of the Islamic denomination and only those Muslim Albanians fought for the independent state of Albania and today for a Greater Albania [Јевтић М., „Исламска суштина албанског сецесионизма и културно наслеђе Срба“, Национални интерес, 17/2, Београд, 2013, pp. 231−252].

It is interesting to notice that the “Illyrian” linguistic (quasi)theories of the Albanian and the South Slavic ethnogenesis have certain similarities with the “Thracian” linguistic theory of the ethnic origin of the Lithuanian nation that was championed by the 19th century Lithuanian linguist and national worker Jonas Basanavičius. The theory was the result of Basanavičius’ linguistic research of ethnogenesis of the 19th century Lithuanian nation. In his book Lietuviškai trakiškos studijos he developed the theory that part of the ancient Tracians emigrated from their Balkan homeland and ultimately settled in the eastern littoral of the Baltic Sea. Basanavičius claimed that these Thracian migrants from the Balkans were the predecessors of the modern Lithuanian nation. This theory was based on the fact that the ancient Thracian language was similar to the 19th century Lithuanian language. Both of these languages belong to the family of the Indo-European languages. Basanavičius was working for years in Bulgaria and in order to prove his theory collected documents with the Thracian personal names, toponyms and names for different kinds of drinks and then compared them to those of the Lithuanians. He claimed, for example, that the Lithuanian name Getas comes from the Thracian tribal name Getai [Basanavičius J., Lietuviškai trakiškos studijos, Shenandoah, PA, 1898, pp. 8–15; Seen A. E., Jonas Basanavičius: The patriarch of the Lithuanian national renaissance, Newtonville, MA, 1980]. According to Basanavičius, the name for the mediaeval Lithuanian capital Trakai was derived from the Greek name for the ancient Thracians, while some of the “Polish” names for the settlements (for instance, Kalisz in the region of Poznan) were not originally Polish: they were of the Lithuanian-Thracian origin. Basanavičius concluded that the ancient Thracians were of the same ethnicity as the Lithuanians [Basanavičius J., Lietuviškai trakiškos studijos, Shenandoah, PA, 1898, pp. 21−74].

The partisans of the “Illyrian” (quasi)theory of the Albanian origin speak in support of the school of thought on the origin and evolution of the Illyrians, which claims that the ancient Illyrians did not migrate to the Balkans. Instead, they were an autochthonous people in this part of Europe and even one of the oldest settlers in Europe. It has been suggested that the Albanians, as allegedly direct ethnic, political and cultural offsprings of the ancient Illyrians, are the original and indigenous inhabitants of the Balkans, even more aboriginal than the ancient Greeks since the ancient Greeks migrated to the Balkans in two great migration waves: first, around 2000 BC, and secondly (Dorians), around 1200 BC [Oxford Dictionary of World History. The world’s most trusted reference books, New York, p. 253]. Therefore, the Albanian “historic” rights had to be much stronger, justifiable and historically deeper in comparison to the South Slavic and Greek rights with respect to several Balkan territories of doubtful authenticity. In other words, the Albanians are seen as the “hosts” while their all neighbors are the “guests” in the Balkan Peninsula (for instance, see [Marmullaku R., Albania and Albanians, London, 1975, p. 6; Miridita Z., Istorija Albanaca (“Iliri i etnogneza Albanaca”), Beograd, 1969, p. 9]). The American mediaevalist John V. A. Fine simplified the crucial point of the (quasi)theory of the Illyrian-Albanian ethnical-cultural-political continuity, writing that: “…if the Illyrians were the ancestors of the Albanians, then the Albanians, as original inhabitants, have some historic right to that region and possibly rights to other regions which had been settled by Illyrians. And their Illyrian ancestry has been very important in Albanian nation-building myths” [Fine J., The Early Medieval Balkans, Ann Arbor, 1994, p. 10].

A Speculation on “Historical Rights”  

The pivotal aspect (from a historical-political point of view) of the “Illyrian” (quasi)theory is the claim that the Illyrian-Albanian tribes withdrew from the vast areas of the Balkans settling in the Balkan coastal towns and in the mountains of the present-day Albania, Epirus, Macedonia and Montenegro during the alleged Slavic invasion and occupation of the Balkans in the 6th and 7th centuries. However, according to this (quasi)theory, Kosovo-Metochia was the only fertile lowlands in the entire Balkan Peninsula, which was somehow not abandoned by the Romanized Illyrians-Albanians. As a result, the Albanians of the (quasi)Illyrian ethnic origin were and are considered as an autochthonous population of Kosovo-Metochia (in fact, Ancient Serbia) while the Slavonic Serbs-Montenegrins were looked upon as newcomers and occupiers in the region of Kosovo-Metochia. Shortly, the Illyrian-Albanian (quasi)historical and ethnic rights to Kosovo-Metochia – the land claimed by both the Albanians and their Serb neighbors – had to be some 15 centuries older than the Slavonic Serbian-Montenegrin historical and ethnic claims to the same territories, according to the (quasi)theory of the Illyrian-Albanian ethnogenesis (see, for instance [Noel M., Kosovo: A Short History, New York, 1999, pp. 22−40]).

This (quasi)theory emphasizes that in the present-day North Albania an extensive settlement of old inhabitants emerged after the occupation of the Balkans by the more powerful South Slavonic tribes. This opinion is also shared by some Serbian scholars but who were or are the parts of the rulling anti-Serbian communist establishment in Serbia (for instance [Ferjančić B., Istorija Albanaca (“Albanija do XII veka”), Beograd, 1969, p. 29]. The champions of the “Illyrian” (quasi)theory frequently cited the words of Milovan Đilas, one of the leading Yugoslav communists after the WWII (and a war criminal) from Montenegro who wrote: “The Albanians are the most ancient Balkan people – older than the Slavs, and even the ancient Greeks” (cited from: [Costa N., Albania: A European Enigma, New York, 1995, p. 1]), or a French scholar Andre Malraux who wrote that “Athens was, alas no more than an Albanian village” [Malraux A., Anti-Memoirs, New York, 1968, p. 33].

There is particular emphasis on this part of the “Illyrian” (quasi)theory during the Balkan Wars of 1912–1913 as a way of refuting Serbia’s claims on the territory of the North Albania – a territory populated by the Serbs before 1043 when the Albanians became a Balkan people (as arrived from Sicily at that year). Furthermore, it is claimed that the Illyrian-Albanian population from the lowland of Kosovo-Metochia began to come under the Slavonic political-cultural influence, while the Illyrian-Albanian mountainous tribes from the Albanian highlands, who had less contacts with the Slavs, succeeded in maintaining their social system and cultural inheritance without alteration. The defenders of this (quasi)theory claim that the Byzantine province of Theme Dyrrhachium (which was established around 809 and covered the entire present-day Albania’s territory, part of the North Epirus, the West Macedonia and the main part of the Montenegrin littoral with the area of Scodra lake) was inhabited by the Albanians who “caused the region to develop a special (Albanian) character” [Marmullaku R., Albania and Albanians, London, 1975, p. 8; Ferluga J, “Sur la date de la création du thème de Dyrrhachium”, Extrait des Actes du XII Congrès International des Etudes Byzantines, vol. 2, Beograd, 1964, pp. 83−92] (regarding the borders of the Byzantine Theme Dyrrhachium see [Engel J. (ed.), Groβer Historischer Weltatlas. Mittelalter, München, 1979, p. 14]).

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A Greater Albania created by B. Mussolini and A. Hitler in 1941−1944 as a direct political inspiration for the present-day nationalistic projects on (re)establishment of a Greater Albania. It has to be paid a special attention that the northern part of Kosovo-Metochia was not included into a Greater Albania as exclusively populated by the Serbs

Charles I of Naples (1227–1285) established his own feudal domain under the name of the Regnum Albanai, which is tendentiously considered in the Albanian historiography as the first Albanian national state, located on the territory of the Byzantine Theme Dyrrhachium. Its capital became the city of Dyrrhachium (Durazo in the Italian, Durës in the Albanian or Drač in the Serbian). Therefore, the Albanian historiographic forgers claim that their nation has statehood rights even from the mid-13th century. However, it is known that the first national state of the Albanians was proclaimed only on November 28th, 1912 in Valona and became internationally recognized with the fixed borders after the WWI.

According to the “Illyrian” (quasi)theory, the Albanians as one of the oldest European peoples, who had lived on the same territory since the early period of the Antiquity, deserved to be taken into account as one of the original inhabitants of Europe. They had to be descended from the Illyrians, i.e. from a special branch of the Indo-European peoples, just like the Greeks or the Armenians. Moreover, the Albanians were considered to have a language which reflects the quality, intensity and period of important pre-Indo-European and Mediterranean (i.e., Pelasgian) influences. Their culture is different from neighboring ones in terms of religious tolerance, a common history of permanent resistance against any foreign power and subjugation, a partial (mediaeval) experience in independent statehood, a culture which is an amalgamation of the Illyrian-Balkan origins and the East-West European elements, a very old and distinctive folk culture, and ultimately  a certain kind of “individualist toughness which, all together, singles the Albanians out of their immediate surroundings…” [Ismajly R., “Albanians and South-Eastern Europe (Aspects of Identity)”, Conflict or Dialogue. Serbian-Albanian relations and integration of the Balkans. Studies and Essays, Subotica, 1994, p. 269].

In accordance with this theory, the following territories in the South-East Europe were and are inhabited by the Balkan Illyro-Albanians and as such they should be defined as the territory of a united (Greater) Albania, as the national state of all Albanians, in the future: it would extend from the area of Scodra lake in Montenegro on the north, to the Bay of Ambrazio in Greece on the south, and from the Adriatic Sea on the west, to the Treska river in Macedonia and Preševo, Medveđa, Bujanovac and Lebane districts in Serbia on the east (for example [Protest of the Population of Shkodra, Podgorica, Shpuza, Zhabjak, Tivar, Ulqin, Gruda, Kelmend, Hot and Kastrat addressed to the Ambassador of France in Istanbul against the annexation of Albanian lands by Montenegro (Shkodra, May 8th, 1878), Archives du Ministère des Affaires étrangères, Paris, Fund of the French Embassy at the Sublime Porte, Turkey, vol. 417, pp. 51–54, supplement to the report № 96. Original in French. English translation in Pollo S., Pulaha S. (eds.), Pages of the Albanian National Renaissance, 1878–1912, Tirana, 1978, pp. 12–13; Contents of the coded telegram sent by Dervish Pasha from Shkodra (December 27th, 1880), Basbakanllik Arsive, Istanbul, Fund of Jilldiz esas evraki, 14 88/16 88 12. Original in Turkish. See figure 2.]). For the Albanian scholars, of course, any project of creation of a Greater Albania is only the myth and anti-Albanian propaganda by the Serbs and the Greeks [Kola P., The Myth of Greater Albania, New York, 2003]. Nevertheless, that was and is, in the eyes of supporters of the Illyrian (quasi)theory of the Albanian ethnogenesis, the exact territory of the Illyro-Albanians who have a 2000 year-old and continuous history and culture.

An Original Homeland of the Balkan Albanians

However, several written historical sources from different cultural environments (Byzantine, Arab…) clearly say that the Albanians arrived in the Balkans in 1043 from the East Sicily and that their original homeland was in the Caucasus Albania which is mentioned in several ancient sources as an independent state with its own rulers. The Caucasus Albania was neighbouring the Caspian Sea, Media, Iberia, Armenia and Sarmatia Asiatica. The most important source which mentions that the Balkan Albanians came from the East Sicily in 1043 is the Byzantine historian Michael Ataliota [Ataliota M., Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantine, Bonn: Weber, 1853, p. 18]. This very historical fact is even recognized and by some Albanian historians like Stefang Pollo and Arben Puto [Pollo S., Puto A., The History of Albania, London-Boston-Hebley, 1981, p. 37].

Caucasus Albania

The Ancient Caucasus Albania as the original homeland of the present-day Balkan Albanians

The First League of Prizren (1878−1881) and a Greater Albania

A real aim of the Albanian national movement Rilindja (1878–1913), as the foundation of all later and up today Albanian geo-political and megalomanic territorial claims was not, as it is officially presented by both the German and the Albanian historiographies, the Albanian liberation from the Ottoman rule and the creation of a national Albanian state whose borders would encompass all self-proclaimed „Albanian“ territories. However, the political aim of the movement was to preserve the existence of the Islamic Ottoman Sultanate as the movement itself had extremely strong Islamic connotation but to create within the Sultanate an autonomous province of the Islamic Greater Albania. Subsequently, any later project up today on united Albanian national state is based on the Islamic framework that is, for instance, the foundation of the present day „independent“ Republic of Kosovo (better to say the Islamic Kosovostan Caliphate) which is in fact nothing else but just a province of a Greater Albania with the capital in Tirana.

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A map of a megalomanic project of a Greater Albania in a form of the United States of Albania

The political and military arm of the movement became the First League of Prizren (1878−1881) which established its own organizational structure in all of the territories considered to be parts of a united ethnic state of all Albanians (see, for example [The Activity of the Albanian League of Prizren in the vilayet of Kosova (1880), Consul-General Blunt to the Marquis of Salisbury, Public Record Office, Foreign Affairs, London, № 195/1323; The British Museum, London, Fund of Accounts and Papers (43), 1880, LXXXII, 82, 77–78]. The document is published in [Rizaj S., The Albanian League of Prizren in British Documents, 1878–1881, Prishtina, 1978, pp. 279–280]). The League launched the motto: “Feja e shqyptarit asht shqyptaria” (“The Religion of the Albanians is Albanianism”) for the very sake of overcoming the Albanian religious diversity and separation. This movement has been the crucial political force of the Albanians and the pivotal point for defining the national identity and development of the Albanians but based on the domination of the Muslim Albanian corpus, the Albanisation of non-Albanians in controlled areas and ethnic cleansing of the Slavs and the Greeks within the territories framed to be the parts of a Greater Albania.

The First League of Prizren (Lidhja e Prizrenit) was established in the town of Prizren in Metochia for the very political purpose: to claim that this old Serbian town is in fact an Albanian one. However, Prizren was at that time consisted of 70% Serbs and 30% Albanians. The town was a capital of Serbia in the 14th century (called by the Serbs as Tsarigrad that is “Imperial Town”). A Serbia’s royal and later on imperial court and the Serb Christian Orthodox cathedral (саборна црква), built in 1307, were located in Prizren. However, today, only several Serbian houses remain in the town of Prizren. It has to be noticed that Metochia is a term of a Greek origin (μετόχι) and it refers to the land owned by the Orthodox church. As the Serbian medieval rulers granted huge portions of the land between the towns of Peć, Prizren, Mitrovica and Priština to the Serbian Orthodox Church, the western part of Kosovo came to be called Metochia [Батаковић Т. Д., Косово и Метохија у српско-арбанашким односима. Друго допуњено издање, Београд, 2006, p. 10]. This province, in general, is called by the Serbs, Kosovo-Metochia, while the Albanians purposely refer to it only as Kosova/Kosovë. However, the word Kosovo/Kosova/Kosovë is of a Slavic origin (kos = type of eagle), but not of the Albanian, what means that the Albanians even do not have their own (the Albanian) name for Kosovo. The Albanians, of course, do not mention Metochia at all as the term from historical perspective is in direct connection only with the Serbs, their church and the state.

The Islamic Kosovostan Caliphate and a Greater Albania

A present day brutal policy of barbaric extermination of the Christian Orthodox Serbs from Kosovo-Metochia, that is transformed into the Islamic Kosovostan Caliphate from June 1999 onward, followed by a systematic destruction of their Christian cultural heritage committed by the Sunni Muslim Albanians (who are of the same Islamic denomination as the Islamic State’s Jihadists in the Middle East) is just a part of such historical project established in 1878 with a direct sponsorship by at that time the Ottoman government. The German-established false theory of the Illyrian-Balkan origins of the Albanians is just serving as the formal academic basis for the geo-political realization of the racist project of a Greater Albania.

9 Samodreza

A Serbian Orthodox church of Samodrezha in Kosovo-Metochia destroyed by the Albanian Islamic fundamentalists and Jihad soldiers of the Kosovo Liberation Army in March 2004

Nevertheless, an objective historiography based on various historical sources knows well that the Balkan Albanians are originating in the South Caucasian Albania that was both a region and the state at the time of Antique and the early Middle Ages covering the present day territories of Azerbaijan and Dagestan. The Caucasus Albanians were even not the Indo-Europeans as the Balkan Illyrians were and linguistically have nothing to do with any Balkan indegineous ethnic group. The sources, moreover, are calling the Slavs as the Illyrians including primarily the Serbs but not the Albanians who became re-settled by the Arabs in the 8th century from the Caucasus to Arabia and Syria and further to Sicily where from they arrived to the territory of the present-day Central Albania in 1043 as a part of the Byzantine rebellious army commanded by the Sicilian strateg George Maniac. Subsequently, the Balkan Albanians are in fact the youngest but not the oldest present day ethnonation in the region.

Surely, a territory of Kosovo-Metochia or the Ancient Serbia (from the Italian mediaeval sources a Vecchia Servia) became the first (quasi)”Albanian” land incorporated into the framework of a Greater Albania – a project based on both a racist ideology of (quasi)”Illyrian” origin of the Balkan Albanians and ideology of the Islamic fundamentalism practiced today by the Islamic State in the Middle East. Moreover, Kosovo-Metochia became transformed into the first Europe’s Islamic fundamentalist “stan” state that was and is directly sponsored by Washington and its NATO’s and EU’s quislings. The Kosovo War in 1998−1999 was primarily the NATO’s prototype for the next wars of globalization [Collon M., Media Lies and the Conquest of Kosovo. NATO’s Prototype for the Next Wars of Globalization, New York, 2007] used by the terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army to separate Ancient Serbia from its historical roots and to include it as a Kosovostan into an Islamic Greater Albania.

In conclusion, the so-called “Illyrian” theory of the Albanian ethnogenesis, that claims that the present-day Balkan Albanians originate in the ancient Balkan Illyrians who are therefore their ancestors, is purely based on unscientific speculations as up today there is simply no a single direct material, archival or linguistic proof to support this (quasi)theory which is (mis)used as such for the realization of geo-political anti-Slavic, anti-Greek and anti-Christian Orthodox geo-political aims in the region.

Note:

This text is a critical contribution to the next updated and revised edition of the book:

Malcolm N., Kosovo: A Short History, New York, 1999.


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Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic

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The NGO „Kosovo-Metochia“

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Michel Collon, “Media Lies and the Conquest of Kosovo. NATO’s Prototype for the Next Wars of Globalization”, New York: Unwritten History, 2007 (book review)



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Michel Collon, Media Lies and the Conquest of Kosovo. NATO’s Prototype for the Next Wars of Globalization, New York: Unwritten History, 2007

Why can we expect to see more wars? What countries have been singled out to be the next targets? Are Russia and China being threatened? Is the world running the risk of a major conflict? Michel Collon correctly predicted the war against Yugoslavia in his previous book, Liar s Poker (1998). His latest book, Media Lies and the Conquest of Kosovo, examines the Kosovo War as a for-profit venture instead of a humanitarian war.

51rwLHmYjxLMedia Lies and the Conquest of Kosovo is an anti-Globalist handbook, an anti-manipulation manual. Each war begins with media lies. Public opinion must support the troops. Isn’t that so? Are we condemned to always learn the truth too late? No, says Collon, who exposes the principles and devices employed in the Kosovo propaganda war. Massacres, mass graves, ethnic cleansing: how can one disentangle truth from falsehood in these shocking images? And what is being concealed from us by the terms blunders and collateral damage? In Yugoslavia, did NATO really bomb the Chinese Embassy, two refugee columns, an international train, the market and the hospital in Nis, and numerous other civilian targets by accident?

These questions must be answered in order to understand the true objectives of the Great Powers. And in order to avoid being deceived by the media into supporting the next illegal war of aggression.

For the past twelve years, Michel Collon has been studying the Global War that the U.S. has been conducting in order to dominate and recolonize the planet. His books and films have unmasked the clandestine rivalry between the US and the EU, specifically, their battle to control black gold, a strategic raw material that must not fall into the hands of rivals: Whosoever wishes to rule the world must control the oil. All the oil. No matter where it is.


Source: Amazon

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Kosovostan – A European trafficking point



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In this Talking Point Dr Marcus Papadopoulos says that ordinary people in the West were not told that after Serbia lost control of Kosovo, following the Nato bombing campaign against Belgrade and other Serbian cities in 1999, the region became a centre-point in Europe for the trafficking of people, drugs and organs. When Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, Western politicians hailed the event.

The United States, which engineered the disputed act of independence, led the way in recognising the new Balkan state, with its allies quickly following suit.

Many of the leading figures in today’s Kosovan government are from the former Kosovo Liberation Army, which was backed by Nato during its bombing campaign against Serbia.

The KLA (or UCK as it is known in Albanian) was once categorised by the US government as a terrorist organisation. As the American special envoy to Bosnia Robert Gelbard said prior to the Kosovo war: “We condemn very strongly terrorist actions in Kosovo. The UCK is without any question a terrorist group.”

NATO intervention

Citing ‘humanitarianism’, the US, together with its allies, argued that as Serb forces were ‘slaughtering’ thousands of Kosovan Albanians, Nato had a moral duty to intervene to stop the ‘ethnic cleansing’. Western officials, together with Western journalists, cited the figure of 100,000 Kosovan Albanians murdered by the Serbs.

And so, Nato intervened and bombed civilian and military installations across Serbia.

Following the successful Nato campaign to drive Serb forces out of Kosovo and deliver the region to its proxy, the KLA, Spanish forensic experts, acting on behalf of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, exhumed 2,788 bodies in Kosovo, believed to be both Albanians and Serbs, who had died of various causes, including through combat.

Fabrications with current parallels

KosovoIslamAs in the case of Iraq and Libya, the West fabricated a story in Kosovo in order to achieve geo-strategic objectives.

And the parallel between how the West portrayed the fighting in Kosovo and how it is currently portraying the fighting in Syria should not be lost on anyone.

Today, Kosovo is an independent state (recognised by 105 countries) and has been “brought into the family of Europe”, as EU officials state.

However, by having torn Kosovo away from Serbia, and by having teamed up with the KLA, the West played an instrumental role in allowing Kosovo to be at the forefront in human, drug and organ trafficking in Europe today.

UK sex trade

According to a British Home Office report from a few years ago, 70 percent of the sex trade in London alone is run by Kosovan Albanians.

And British narcotics police have referred to Kosovo as the ‘Republic of Heroin”’.

Concerning the latter, it is reported that drugs from Afghanistan make their way through Turkey where they end up in the former KLA stronghold of the Drenica valley in Kosovo, from where they are smuggled to Western Europe.

Commenting on Kosovo’s status within the drug world, the head of the crime section of Serbia’s border police, Milenko Vukadinović,referred to Kosovo as the ‘biggest black hole’ for drug smuggling.

Further to that, this May, police in Kosovo arrested Naser Kelmendi, a Kosovan Albanian drug lord who is suspected of masterminding organised crime in the Balkans.

Organ trafficking

Coupled together with drug and human trafficking is the disturbing revelation that Kosovo is involved in organ trafficking.

Today, there are reports that impoverished people from Eastern Europe have been trafficked into Kosovo where they are paid a small amount of money for one of their organs.

However, the first case of organ trafficking in Kosovo actually occurred during the fighting between Serb forces and the KLA from 1998-1999.

According to the former chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Carla Del Ponte, evidence suggests that Serbs were systematically abducted by the KLA and transported to camps in northern Albania where they were killed for their organs.

Organised crime

What makes the issue of organised crime in Kosovo all the more potent is that senior Kosovan Albanian politicians have been implicated in it.

The main party in the ruling coalition in Kosovo today is the Democratic Party of Kosovo, which was the political wing of the KLA and is headed by Kosovan Prime Minister Hashim Thaci.

According to Michael Levine, a former official of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the KLA was “linked with every known narco-cartel in the Middle East and the Far East.” And The Observer newspaper in Britain reported that: “The PDK [Democratic Party of Kosovo] took control of many municipalities after the war [in Kosovo]. The party has close links with organised crime in the province.”

Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, whose nickname as a KLA commander was “The Snake”, and who is embraced by Western leaders, founded the infamous Drenica Group in the early 1990s, which continues to be one of the most powerful criminal organisations in the Balkans dealing in drug and human trafficking. A report by the Council of Europe corroborated Thaci’s links to the Drenica Group.

And recently, EU prosecutors announced that they are investigating eight senior government officials in Kosovo in connection to organ trafficking including, according to reports, Shaip Muja, a member of parliament and former health adviser to Prime Minister Thaci, and Alush Gashi, a former Minister of Health.

The geo-strategic objectives of Western policy-makers has created a situation where in Europe lies a country which is being run by politicians who have links to organised crime.

And judging by reports, it would seem that those links are still intact.

As ever, ordinary people are paying the price for the selfish folly of politicians who chose power and influence over protecting their publics from the scourge of organised crime.


2013-08-09

About the author:
Dr Marcus Papadopoulos is Editor of Politics First magazine. He writes here in a personal capacity.

Source: Serbianna

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Balkan Islamist galaxy in a nutshell



Ridvani

The Balkan political environment is shaped-amongst other- by the existence of two political strains of Islam, the Wahhabis, related to the Saudis & Gulf states and the Muslim Brotherhood ones, related to the Turkish-Qatar axis.

In both cases networking developed under a series of upturns since the 1990’s and is inexorably related to wider events of interest such as the ongoing wars in the Middle East and the culminations in countries such as Turkey, Egypt but also EU , Western European ones; including direct security affairs.

Nowadays we are witnessing a massive buyout of land and corporations by mostly UAE, Kuwait and Saudi nationals in Bosnia proper, with around 45,000 people from the former countries on the move to re-allocate to the Western Balkans.

In the meantime in Sarajevo, there are tens of villages where training camps Wahhabis who go for jihad in Syria and Iraq, are located. Such include:Zaklopača, a village near the international airport in the streets around Hajrudin Šabanije, Briješće Hill, Briješće Hill two, Dobroševići, Bare at Pillar, Kasindolska, and Záuličí.

In Kosovo a wide array of Imams and community figures who have in the past been accused as conduits for Jihadism in the region are still active and influential such as: Imam of the Great Mosque, Sefket Krasniqi, professor at Faculty of Islamic studies in Pristina; Sabahudin Selimi, Hodja from Vitina; Enes Goga, chief imam of the Islamic Community in Pec; Eroll Nesimi, Hodja and editor at www.perkujtimi.net, ; Idriz Bilibani, Hodja of the Bosnian Muslim Islamic community ; Leonard Ruli, Hodja from Prizren; Dardan Gjuka, Imam from Pec ; Shefki Koraqi, Imam from Kacanik, Mazllam Mazllami, Imam in Prizren; Bedri Robaj, Imam of Dardania Mosque in Pristina (that mosque is not under the jurisdiction of the Islamic Community of Kosovo) ; Ekrem Avdiu, Imam from Mitrovica, Enis Rama, Imam of a mosque in Mitrovica.

All the above groupings have evolved over time via a subversion process which inevitably will result in the non-secularization of Bosnia and/or a possible violent break up of that state, along with possible enlargement of the radicalization process inside Kosovo which will lead to destabilization also in FYROM and Sanjak-Raska.

Below is a transcript of a 2013 report dealing with the evolving networking that led us to the current era of challenges:

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2016-10-23

By Ioannis Michaletos

Source: Serbianna

Kosovostan passeport

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Kosovo Albanian Muslims in the Nazi SS




SS Reichsfuehrer Heinrich Himmler formed a Kosovo Albanian Muslim Nazi SS Division during World War II, the Skanderbeg SS Division, 21st Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Skanderbeg (1st Albanian), in 1944. He planned to form a second Kosovo Albanian Muslim SS Division but was not able to because the war ended before he could do so. The history of the Skanderbeg division has been documented and analyzed. What has rarely been analyzed, however, is the role of the Kosovo Albanian Muslim members in the Bosnian Muslim Nazi SS Division Handzar or Handschar. This is an untold story of World War II.

Kosovo Albanian Muslims had their own battalion in the Handzar Division, I Battalion of Regiment 28, I/28. The Albanian recruits were from Kosovo and the Sandzak or Rashka region of Serbia, initially in Battalion I/2, later I/28. The battalion had an imam and was modeled on the Austro-Hungarian Albanian Muslim Legion of 1916-1918. SS-Unterscharfuehrer Rudi Sommerer was an NCO in the Albanian Battalion which had at least 300 Albanian Muslim members. Sommerer was from Company 6, I Battalion, Waffen-Gebirgs-Jaeger-Regiment 28, of the 13th Waffen SS Handzar Division. SS-Sturmmann Nazir Hodic was an Albanian Muslim squad commander with I Battalion. Another Albanian Muslim member of Handzar was Ajdin Mahmutovic, who was 17 years old when he was recruited for the SS.

Rudi Sommerer, left, and Albanian Muslim Nazir Hodic as members of the Albanian Battalion in the Handzar SS Division, both wearing the SS Albanerfez or skullcap

Albanian Muslims were recruited for the Bosnian Muslim Handzar Division because not enough Bosnian Muslim recruits were conscripted. By July, 1943, there were 15,000 members in the division. In order to increase the size of the division, SS-Standartenfuehrer Herbert von Obwurzer, who oversaw the initial formation of the division, began recruiting Albanian Muslims from Kosovo and the Sandzak or Rashka region of Serbia. In 1943, Kosovo was part of a Nazi and fascist Greater Albania, “independent” from Serbia. In the fall of 1943 the SS sought to recruit Albanian Muslims from this Greater Albanian state. The SS recruiting campaign in Albania was opposed, however, by Austrian-born Plenipotentiary in Albania Hermann Neubacher, a special emissary of the Foreign Office whose specialty was economic affairs. Because the Albanian Muslims would serve in a foreign country, Croatia, Neubacher maintained that the SS recruiting “jeopardized Albanian sovereignty.”

Neubacher explained his refusal and the status of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija:

“When I took over my Albania mission, there were applicants in Kosovo for the Muslim Waffen SS Division, Handschar, that was set up in Bosnia. With [Obergruppenfuehrer und General der Polizei und Waffen-SS Ernst] Kaltenbrunner’s support, I managed to get Himmler to stop recruitment for the division because it did not accord with our policy of neutrality. But the Reichsführer SS, who had heard much of the famous elite regiments of Bosnia and Hercegovina in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, finally achieved his aim. He got authorization from Hitler in 1944 to set up a Waffen SS Mountain Division called Skanderbeg for the local partisan war within the country’s borders. It suffered very heavy casualties in a badly led advance into partisan territory at an early stage of training. I was not at all happy with the setting up of this division, but the Albanian Government did not mind because it hoped that it would serve as the core for a well-trained national army and police force. The division had its headquarters in Prizren. I prevented its deployment in the area of Kosovska Mitrovica that remained with Serbia because I was afraid it would commit excesses against the Serb population. …

“After the fall of Yugoslavia in July 1941, the Kosovo and Metohia region … joined the Italian Kingdom of Albania set up in 1939. The Albanians lost no time in driving as many Serbs out of the country as they could. Those who were expelled were often forced by local potentates to pay a fee in gold to be permitted to leave the country. They were simply following the example set by the German Reich with its emigration tax. … I recommended urgently that the Albanian Government put an end to the expulsion of the Serbs.”

Neubacher also sent a telegram to the Auswartiges Amt or the Foreign Office on January 31, 1944. The German Foreign Office for Southeastern Europe similarly was opposed to the recruiting of Albanian citizens outside of Albania. Gottlob Berger, the head of the SS Main Office, assured them in a February 5, 1944 letter, “Einsatz der Albanen der muselmanischen Division” (“The use of the Albanians of the Muslim Division”), to Legationsrat SS-Stubaf. Reichel that the Albanian troops would be used temporarily in Croatia and that “when the division returned to Croatia, additional volunteers would be recruited, and the Albanians would be returned to their homeland, where they would form the cadre for an Albanian division.” The division Berger planned was the Skanderbeg SS Division made up primarily of Kosovo Albanian Muslims. The Albanian recruits were put into an Albanian Battalion of the Handzar Division, initially Battalion I, I/2, later redesignated as Battalion I of Regiment 28, I/28.

The Albanian Muslims were issued gray skullcaps made by the SS Main Office. The cap is known as a plis in the Gheg dialect or as a qeleshe. The traditional Albanian caps made from woolen felt are white but the SS created gray caps to match the darker uniforms. The Albanian Muslim recruits received military training at the Strans training camp near the Neuhammer training camp in lower Silesia where the Bosnian Muslims received their training. Albanian Muslim recruit Ajdin Mahmutovic of company 2 of Regiment 28 recalled: “I found the physical training to be quite easy.” SS-Ostuf. Carl Rachor wrote in a September 14, 1943 letter that “the enlisted men, particularly the Albanians, shall become outstanding soldiers.”

Heinrich Himmler visited the division on two occasions: Novermber 21, 1943, and January 11-12, 1944. Himmler inspected the units of Handzar on his second visit. The Albanian Battalion, I/28, conducted a special field exercise or maneuver for Himmler that demonstrated “the attack of a reinforced battalion from the assembly area.” The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el Husseini, also visited the division twice during the training period in Neuhammer. The Mufti was accompanied by Muslim officials from Albania and Bosnia during these highly publicized visits. Husseini had himself been an artillery officer in the Ottoman Turkish Army during World War I which had fought on the German side. Husseini arrived in Europe in 1941 through Albania after passing through Iran, Afghanistan, and Turkey. The Mufti retained contacts with Muslim religious and political leaders in Albania. When Husseini came to Sarajevo in 1943 to promote the Handzar Division, Muslim leaders from Albania came to meet him.

SS-Uscha. Rudolf Sommerer, an NCO of the Albanian Battalion in the Bosnian Muslim Handzar SS Division

The Albanian Battalion participated in the offensives of the Handzar division in northeast Bosnia in the spring of 1944. The units of the Handzar division arrived in the Srem-Slavonia area of Croatia in 93 freight trains from Neuhammer, Germany in lower Silesia in February, 1944. Neuhammer had been a German Army training base since the late 19th century. It functioned as a prison camp in World War I and II. After the war, it became a part of Poland, under the name Swietoszow in the administrative district of Gmina Osiecznica. It was a training base during World War II as well. It was where the Handzar Division underwent training. The equipment base for the division was set up at Zemun. The headquarters for the division was in Vinkovci. The Albanian Battalion, I/28. was headquartered in Zupanje. The division was subordinated to the Second Panzer Army of Army Group F. Second Panzer Army was commanded by Lothar Rendulic while Army Group F was commanded by Field Marshal Maximilian Freiherr von Weichs. There was parallel authority betwen the Waffen SS and the Wehrmacht. Himmler required permission before the army could issue orders to the division. Himmler wanted the division to operate in the sector between the Sava, Spreca, Drina, and Bosna rivers. This was an important agricultural region. To the north were Volksdeutsche or ethnic German areas. The Handzar Division was sent largely into Bosnian Serb Orthodox regions of Croatia and northeastern Bosnia.

Walter Schaumuller, right, the commander of company 5 in Regiment 28, the Albanian Battalion, wearing the Albanian skullcap, with Erich Braun, during Operation Easter Egg, south of Mitrovici, Bosnia, April 12, 1944

Before offensive operations began, on March 7, the Muslim holiday of Mevlud was celebrated by the members of the Handzar division. Mevlud, or “mawlid(u) (n-)nabiyyi(i)” in Qur’anic Arabic, meaning literally “the birth of the Prophet” in Arabic, “mawlid an-nabi”, is the Islamic religious observance of the birth of the Prophet Mohammed, celebrated in Rabi’ al-awwal, the third month of the Islamic calendar. The Bosnian Muslim and Albanian Muslim observance is based on the Turkish Sunni Muslim custom. Charity and food is distributed, and stories about the life of Mohammed are told and poetry is recited. Mosques and homes are decorated and there are street processions. Karl-Gustav Sauberzweig, the commander of the division, ordered that the imams and commanders in the units organize large-scale celebrations of the Mevlud holiday. Lectures were held along with religious ceremonies and special rations were given to the men. Each regiment of the Handzar division had an imam. The imam for Regiment 28 was Bosnian Muslim Husejin Dzozo, later replaced by Ahmed Skaka.

From December 1, 1943 to June 6, 1944, Regiment 28 was commanded by SS Ostubaf. Hellmuth Raithel, who would later command the second Bosnian Muslim SS Division “Kama”. SS-Hstuf. Walter Bormann commanded the Albanian Battalion, Battalion I of the 28th Regiment from August 1, 1943 to April 13, 1944. SS-Ostuf. Heinz Driesner replaced him on April 13, 1944 and remained the commander until June 10, 1944 when he was killed in action.

Алија Изетбеговић 1941 и 1991

Alija Izetbegovic in 1943 (member of Bosnian SS Handzar Division) and in 1993 (President of Islamic fundamentalist SDA party and President of Bosnia-Herzegovina)

The first offensive operation for the division was Unternehmen Save or Operation Sava. Before the operation could occur, however, the Bosut region had to be cleared of Communist Partisan guerrillas. The Bosut was heavily wooded forest which was ideal for guerrilla activity.

Unternehmen Wegweiser or Operation Signpost began with an assault by the diviion along with Wehrmacht and police units against a Communist Partisan brigade and elements of a second brigade in the Bosut. The Handzar division consisted of approximately 20,000 men while the Partisans had up to 2,500 men in the region led by Sava Stefanovic. The Partisan guerrillas were greatly outnumbered and outgunned. Handzar possessed heavy artillery, containing an artillery regiment.

The Albanian Battalion was part of Regiment 28, which attacked on March 10, dividing into four spearheads, taking Strasinci, Soljani, Vrbanja, and Domuskela. By March 12, the operation was finished and the crossing of the Sava into Bosnia could begin. Before the division crossed into Bosnia, Sauberzweig read a message appealing to the Albanian Muslims that one of the goals was “the liberation of Muslim Albania” creating a Greater Albania:

“As we cross this river we commemorate the great historic task that the leader of the new Europe, Adolf Hitler, has set for us—to liberate the long-suffering Bosnian homeland and through this to form the bridge for the liberation of Muslim Albania. To our Fuehrer, Adolf Hitler, who seeks the dawn of a just and free Europe—Sieg Heil!”

The Albanian Battalion crossed the Sava at Brcko. NCO Rudolf Sommerer of company 6 in Battalion I in Regiment 28 recalled: “Our company crossed the Sava at dawn. We were the first unit in our sector to cross, and made enemy contact immediately.” Regiment 28 took Pukis and Celic and Koraj.

The Handzar division set up headquarters in Brcko where the division was “heralded by the Muslim population”. To celebrate the success of the offensive, a Mevlud ceremony was held at the Brcko mosque on March 20 attended by prominent Bosnian Muslim leaders.

The next offensive for Handzar was Operation Easter Egg or Unternehmen Osterei which began on April 12. Regiment 27 captured Janja, Donja Trnova, and the Ugljevik mines. Regiment 28 captured Mackovac and Priboj. The Albanian Battalion, I/28, “suffered considerable casualties in the fighting” in battles to take the strategic Majevica heights. SS-Sturmmann Nazir Hodic, an Albanian Muslim in the division, was involved in the assault on Majevica. SS-Uscha. Rudi Sommerer described the assault:

“My Albanian squad leader, Nazir Hodic, took five of his men and stormed a Partisan position in the hills. They overran the knoll, killing several of the enemy without incurring any friendly losses.”

The division continued advancing, taking Bukvik, Srebrenik, and Gradacac. The Albanian Battalion, I/28, however, was detached and transported by train to Pristina in Kosovo. There it would be the core of a new Nazi SS Division which Heinrich Himmler had ordered formed on April 17. The Kosovo Albanian Muslim Nazi SS Division would be called the 21. Waffen-Gebirgs Division der SS “Skanderbeg” (albanische Nr. 1).

SS-Brigadefuehrer Karl-Gustav Sauberzweig, the commander of the Handzar SS Division, wearing the SS Albanerfez or skullcap of the Albanian Battalion, I/28, Bosnia, 1944

Madeleine Albright, Richard Holbrooke, Bill Clinton, and Hillary Clinton were not the first to sponsor a Greater Muslim Bosnia and a Greater Muslim Kosovo. Heinrich Himmler exploited this policy before them. To be sure, there was a “mutuality of interest” in doing so. Support for a Greater Bosnia and a Greater Albania advanced U.S. geopolitical, military, and economic interests that were beneficial to both parties. Similarly, the Bosnian Muslims provided manpower, the warm bodies, for Himmler’s Waffen SS. What was the tradeoff? The Bosnian Muslims would achieve “autonomy”, their own statelet, sponsored by Heinrich Himmler. Of course, it was done at the expense of the Bosnian Serbs. Northeastern Bosnia was a majority Serbian region of Bosnia. This was where the Handzar Division chiefly engaged in combat, to take control of Serbian cities, towns, and villages. This was the objective of the Handzar division. The goal was to take over a Serbian majority region of Bosnia. Of course, the concepts of “majority” and “minority” had absolutely no meaning or relevance whatsoever in Islam or Nazism. The only question or issue was power and control. The tradeoff was similar with regard to the creation of a Greater Albania. If Albanian Muslims supported the Third Reich and provided Himmler with manpower for the Waffen SS, he, in turn, would support the creation of a Greater Albania, which would include Kosovo and Metohija and western Macedonia.

Based on the 1931 Yugoslav census, Bosnian Orthodox Serbs were the largest ethnic group in Bosnia with a plurality population of 40.92%, while Bosnian Sunni Muslims were 36.64% and Bosnian Roman Catholic Croats were 22.44%. After the genocide committed against the Bosnian Orthodox Serbs by Croat Roman Catholics and Bosnian Sunni Muslims, the Bosnian Orthodox Serb population would be decimated and they would lose their plurality. While all three groups suffered losses in a three-way civil war, the Bosnian Serb population was the only one targeted for genocide.

Bibliography:

Bender, Roger James, and Hugh Page Taylor. Uniforms, Organization and History of the Waffen-SS. Mountain View, CA: Bender Publishing, 1969.

Hilberg, Raul. The Destruction of the European Jews. Chicago: Quadrangle Books, Inc., 1961.

Lepre, George. Himmler’s Bosnian Division: The Waffen-SS Handschar Division 1943-1945. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Military History, 1997.

Michaelis, Rolf. Die Gebirgs Divisionen der Waffen SS. (The Mountain Divisions of the Waffen SS). Erlangen, Germany: Michaelis Verlag, 1994.

Neubacher, Hermann. Sonderauftrag Sudost 1940-1945: Bericht eines Fliegenden Diplomaten. (Special Mission Southeast 1940-1945: Report of a Flying Diplomat). Berlin: Musterschmidt, 1957.


2010-12-30

By Carl Savich

Source: Serbianna

3. regrutacija za SS Skenderbeg diviziju Kosovo april 1944

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Media literacy 101: Kosovo and Libya



Јужна Косовска Митровица 2015 новембар

The media never merely report the news. They manipulate and distort the news. They want to tell you what and how to think. Pursuant to this role, they routinely rewrite history. A striking instance of media rewriting of history is in the reporting on Kosovo. In the AP article “US Prosecutor to Probe Kosovo Organ Trafficking”, it is reported that the alleged atrocity occurred “during Kosovo’s war for independence from Serbia” in 1999.

Everyone remembers that war as one to prevent genocide and ethnic cleansing, that it was “a humanitarian intervention”. But here it is now characterized and defined as a war of independence. So we have history being rewritten. This is in an Associated Press article by AP reporter Nebi Qena.

Moreover, a standard brainwashing paragraph must appear in every news account from Kosovo. The new brainwashing paragraph is: Kosovo is recognized by such and such number of countries including the US. Is this something out of George Orwell’s 1984 (1949)? It is much more subtle and sophisticated than anything in 1984.

The media is not merely changing the wording or engaging in semantics. InLibya, a humanitarian no-fly zone ostensibly to protect civilians becomes a military overthrow of a legal and legitimate government, a regime change. In Yugoslaviain 1999, a humanitarian intervention to prevent genocide and ethnic cleansing becomes a war of independence. This is not just changing the wording. This is a total and complete rewriting of history. Like in psychology, in journalism there are no accidents or mistakes. These accidents are systematic, planned, and organized. The media are not incompetent. They are well-paid, well-organized, and knowledgeable.

The way this systemic pattern of spin or manipulation evades analysis is because the assumption is that in Western democracies, there is a “free press”, there is a neutral, independent, unbiased media. Propaganda and state-run and state-controlled media, however, have always been a hallmark of Western journalism. In 1984, George Orwell wrote a satire and parody of the British Ministry of Information (MOI) in 1948 based on his experiences as a broadcaster working for the BBC during World War II. The Ministry of Information became the Ministry of Truth in 1984. Most people think he was writing about the future or about the USSR but he was writing about British propaganda and the British government’s control of the media during World War II. To be sure Orwell was satirizing the Soviet system, but what most miss is that he was also satirizing British or Western media. British propaganda is similar to American or Western propaganda in general.

On December 12, 2010, a report by Dick Marty to the Council of Europe was released to the media that accused Hacim Thaci of being the leader of a group that harvested the organs from Serbian prisoners during the Albanian secessionist war in 1999. The report made headlines across the world but was suppressed and censored in the United States. The report received scant if any attention in the U.S. But if the media role in the U.S. and the West is to report on vital and major news, why was this major story suppressed and ignored? This presented a vital humanitarian issue. Serbian civilians were abducted, held captive, and then murdered for their organs, which were harvested and sent to customers in Istanbul, Turkey. This is a bombshell. This is a major story. But it was suppressed in the U.S. Why?

The media in the U.S. reports what the U.S. government tells it to report, or allows it to report. This is especially true with regard to foreign policy issues. In foreign policy matters, the U.S. media only reports what the U.S. government tells it to report. With regard to Kosovo, any news reporting is meticulously controlled and filtered by the U.S. government. The media did not report on the organ harvesting story because the U.S. government did not want them to. The U.S. media, and so-called Western media in general, is not very different from state-controlled or state-run media that the U.S. government always rails against. The U.S. State Department tells the media what to report and when and how often. It is as simple as that. Even bombshells and major news stories that shatter our perceptions and assumptions are reported only if the U.S. government wants them to be covered. And the Kosovo organ harvesting story was one the U.S. government wanted suppressed and not given any media coverage. That is the end of the story.

The biggest fallacy is that the media are incompetent and that they make mistakes and cannot understand the news. The opposite is true. One need only analyze the US and Western media coverage of Kosovo. It is easy to notice that a brainwashing paragraph occurs in every news account from Kosovo. Such and such number of countries have recognized Kosovo. That is hardly an accident or factual mistake or incompetence. And, moreover, the whole conceptual framework of the 1999 Kosovo conflict is changed. Now it is merely a war of independence, a secessionist conflict. Far from being accidental, the media goal here is to control how and what you think.

Libya is about “regime change”, overthrowing the government of a sovereign country. The issue here is international law and sovereignty. Britain, France, and the US are violating international law and the sovereignty of a UN member state. These are acts of war. Libya is not about humanitarianism or human rights. Libya is about overthrowing a legal government and installing a new one by force, by military means, by war. That is called “regime change” in the US foreign policy lexicon.

The US and Western media, however, will not reveal that Libya is not about “humanitarian intervention” but about “regime change”. Why are Britain, France, and the US violating international law and Libyan sovereignty?

There is a cost or price. One casualty is the US economy. Another casualty is societal, the dehumanization and desensitization of the American people, who become mindless, amoral, robotic autobots watching the mass murder of civilians as video game entertainment. The media will not show what is happening. There is a self-imposed censorship. We are basically choosing to delude ourselves and brainwash ourselves. No one is forcing us. We acquiesce. We agree to be self-deluded and brainwashed. Assassinating foreign leaders becomes a form of entertainment. Overthrowing legal governments becomes a sport.

Muammar Gaddafi has been the legitimate and legal leader of Libya for 41 years, since 1969. Gaddafi overthrew and abolished a monarchy in 1969 and established a secular republic. The new Libyan rebel regime, by contrast, seeks to establish an Islamic state under Sharia law. Many of the Libyan rebel leaders are linked to Al-Qaeda and other radical Islamic terrorist groups. Why overthrow him now, in 2011? Why do “regime change” now? Did Gaddafi not guarantee certain rights for his people only now? Or did the US and NATO see an opportunity for regime change now?

Every government has the inherent right to prevent its overthrow and to punish treason. The Libyan conflict is about overthrowing Gaddafi because the US wants a more pliant and servile regime. NATO and US bombing has killed more Libyan civilians than Gaddafi did. This is classic US “regime change”. It is the overthrow of a legal and legitimate government based on a bogus humanitarian rationale.

In media reporting on the Serbian majority area of Kosovska Mitrovica, the media avoid the obvious term Serbian “majority”. They have to come up with rather awkward and tortured terminology such as “Serb-populated” and “Serb-dominated” northern Kosovo. Why not just use the more obvious and more natural terms here? Why not say that northern Kosovo is a Serbian “majority” region or district?

In the “free world”, the media and the press are all corporate actors. In other words, they are businesses. The objective is not to be objective and balanced and factual, but to make money. They look to a profit margin. The bottom line is: The media is in it to make money. They report the “news” in a way that ensures that they maximize their profits. It makes perfect business sense.

Who controls the media? There are many news agencies and services in the world. But the “Big Four” news agencies—United Press International, Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France Presse—provide over 90 per cent of foreign news printed by the world’s newspapers. AFP is French and based in Paris. Reuters is British and based in London. AP and UPI are American and based in New York. What is remarkable is that each has areas that they cover that correspond to spheres of influence, regions that were former imperial or colonial spheres of domination. AFP is dominant throughout French speaking Africain former colonial possessions. Likewise, British Reuters is dominant in the English-speaking Commonwealth countries, countries which were colonies of Great Britain. US agencies AP and UPI dominate in Latin America and in Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines, former US colonies and occupied areas of Asia under US control in the post World War II period.

What are some of the ways in which news agencies control the news? Embeds are editorial sentences or paragraphs that appear in every news account during a conflict. Embeds are brainwashing editorials that tell the reader how they must think about an issue. Embeds are a technique of mind-control, thought-control, government-control of public perception, a subtle form of persuasion or spin. Embed “messages” appeared gratuitously, consistently, systematically, and uniformly in all news accounts during the Kosovo conflict and after. Embeds are the government watching over your shoulder to see that you are thinking the correct thoughts, that you think like everyone else does or should in the Western democracies, the “free world”.

Who is the hidden persuader behind the embeds? Embeds are created by governments: In the Kosovo scenario, the US government, the British and French governments, and the other NATO governments. But how do they get in the media?

News is a business. A news agency is an organization that gathers and disseminates information or news for clients, subscribers, news networks, banks, governments, newspapers, and magazines. There are hundreds of news agencies in the world, but over 90% of all the news is by the Big Four. This is why there is no diversity of views in the news, why there is no marketplace of ideas, no debate. There is monopolistic control of the media.

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The governments, economic and financial institutions, media outlets, political institutions of the three countries where the agencies are based, are intertwined and overlap in a symbiotic relationship. All are members of NATO. All are members of the same international economic, political, military, social organizations, groups, and alliances. For all practical purposes, their interests are the same.

Moreover, AFP is essentially government-run and government-controlled media, state-run media. The French government subsidizes AFP and representatives of the French government make policy decisions in the agency. AFP functions exactly like TASS, the former Soviet news agency, both being state-run media. The only difference is that very few people who read AFP realize this fact. AFP is part of the “free world” or the “West” so the automatic assumption is that it is independent.

Similarly, US media can function as state-run or government-controlled media. During the Kosovo conflict in 1999, for example, Pentagon psyop specialists routinely worked on the staffs of major news outlets, such as CNN. The AP and Reuters are publicly owned corporate conglomerates with a monopoly on information dissemination. AP and Reuters are part of the capitalist or globalist economy and “free” market system, they are corporate actors in the marketplace themselves. There is a conflict of interest. This is, however, never revealed.

AP and Reuters thus have an economic or financial stake in the information being disseminated. They will always spin doctor or manipulate the news to advance their own economic or financial interests. How is this done?

AFP, AP, and Reuters invariably manipulate information to benefit their respective parent governments. This fact is essential in understanding the media role in Kosovo, Bosnia, Krajina, Iraq, Afghanistan, and now in Libya, and potentially new conflicts in the future. Their subsidiary role is to maintain and foster information favorable to capitalist or globalist corporate interests, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), “humanitarian” and “human rights” front groups for the respective governments, the Open Society Institutes of George Soros, Human Rights Watch (HRW), and other Western corporate conglomerates, organizations, and groups. But the primary role of the news agencies, AFP, Reuters, AP, UPI, is to support and foster the foreign policies and interventionist agendas of their respective governments. For all intents and purposes, the Western news media are government-run and government-controlled. The interests of the media and their governments are the same, the relationship is a symbiotic one, where each benefits from the other.

The Big Four are a monopoly. This explains why the news is uniform, monolithic, consistent, presenting a single propaganda or Party line not much different than Soviet-style media. The four major news agencies are market actors, part of the economic, financial, and political framework of globalist or capitalist free market systems. They have an interest and stake in the market. They cannot be unbiased and neutral actors. This would amount to economic suicide and bankruptcy. This is why news reports contain embeds, planting, oversimplification techniques, and inclusion/exclusion techniques of condensation/abridgement. This is why there is systematic and planned bias, advocacy journalism, and handout journalism. The news agencies are businesses, corporate actors that have a stake in the market and symbiotic relationships with their respective governments.


2011-09-13

By Carl Savich

Source: Serbianna

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Kosovo under Nazi Germany: Nazi-created Albanian security forces in Kosovo during the World War II



3. regrutacija za SS Skenderbeg diviziju Kosovo april 1944

Greater Albania under Nazi Germany

During World War II, 35,000 to 40,000 Kosovo Albanians were recruited by Nazi Germany as part of the German occupation forces and security formations in Greater Albania, a state created by Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini that included Kosovo-Metohija, western Macedonia, and territory from Serbia and Montenegro. In Albania, there were 30,000 Albanians who were in the German occupation forces. In 1941, the German occupation forces created a Kosovo Albanian Gendarmerie with headquarters in Kosovska Mitrovica. In 1944, these forces were incorporated into the Skanderbeg Nazi SS Division. In 1942, Balli Kombetar organization battalions were established by the German forces, which existed until 1945. In 1943, a Kosovo Regiment was created in Kosovska Mitrovica made up of Kosovo Albanians by German forces. In 1944, these troops were also incorporated into the Skanderbeg SS Division. The German forces also established the Pec and Pristina Territorial Police Regiments from 1944 to 1945. The Albanian Macedonian Militia was created in Macedonia in 1943-1945.

Most of the Albanian Nazi collaborationist forces were made up of Albanian Muslims from Kosovo-Metohija. The Nazi-created Gendarmerie, the special police, the paramilitary formations, the militias, and the Ushtars, Albanian security forces, were mostly from Kosovo-Metohija. It was only the Albanian Army that was made up of Albanians from Albania.

After the Italian surrender on September 8, 1943, the construction of a Nazi German Greater Albania began. This effort was led by Hermann Neubacher, and Franz von Scheiger and Martin Shliep of the German Foreign Ministry in Albania. Abwehr II or German Military Intelligence agents were also sent into Albania at this time. Three German divisions in the XXI Corps under General Hubert Lanz occupied Greater Albania. The 297th Infantry Division occupied Pristina and Prizren in Kosovo. The 100th Jaeger Division occupied Elbasan and Struga in western Macedonia. The 118th Jaeger Division advanced from Niksic and occupied the Albanian coastal areas.

Kosovo Albanian Muslim hodzas or Islamic clerics pray for Nazi occupation forces with Nazi swastika flags and Nazi-fascist officers, 1942.

The German plan to secure the occupation was based on Hermann Neubacher’s initiative to achieve “national mobilization”. Neubacher, who was from Austria, acted as the envoy of the German foreign ministry and was German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop’s representative in Albania.  This Nazi plan was to be realized by creating an Albanian Army that was led and organized by German forces. The Germans also sought to create an Albanian gendarmerie corps. They planned to arm and use certain Greater Albanian ultra-nationalist groups such as the Balli Kombetar. A Nazi Waffen SS Division in Kosovo made up of “Kosovar” Muslims was also created by Nazi Germany.

Neubacher’s military adjutant attached to Abwehr II, Captain Lange, sought to create an Albanian national militia of 30,000 which would be a reserve force. The Germans were able to find collaborators with the Roman Catholic Albanians in the Mirdita region of northern Albania. They had been collaborators with the fascist Italian forces and with the Austro-Hungarian forces in World War I. They were able to open the Prizren to Shkodra road for German forces. Gjon Marka Gjoni, the leader of the Roman Catholic Albanian Ghegs in the Mirdita, stated that: “The Germans have been my friends. To betray my friends is immoral.” They remained Nazi Germany’s closest allies. The Germans provided them with weapons and paid them for this collaboration.

Armed Albanian gendarmes or police under fascist-Nazi control walk in front of Nazi swastikas on walls above the fascist “V” symbol with a mosque in the background.

Another group the Germans collaborated with were the opportunistic Greater Albania ultra-nationalist Balli Kombetar (National Front), “Balisti” or “Balists”. The BK group was founded by Midhat Frasheri with the single objective of annexing Kosovo to a Greater or Ethnic Albania. The BK was the key collaborationist group with the Nazis in Kosovo. Bernd Fischer noted that “the Germans did win the cooperation of many BK cetas”. This disproves the pro-Albanian propagandistic historiography which seeks to portray the BK as anti-Nazi and anti-fascist. The key to the German occupation was making Kosovo-Metohija a part of Greater Albania. That was the linchpin of Nazi policy. As long as Nazi Germany supported Kosovo as a part of Greater Albania, they would have Albanian support.

The head of the Gestapo in Kosovska Mitrovica in northern Kosovo was Gunther Hausding. The Germans established Kosovo Albanian Gestapo agents who were part of the fascist Albanian Committee. Perijuc Mamut, Ramiz Mulic, and Osman Ibrahimovic were Kosovo Albanian agents of the Gestapo who seized and looted Jewish property and businesses in Kosovska Mitrovica. This followed an order by Dzafer Deva, the president of the Kosovska Mitrovica district, that Jewish property be seized and that commissioners be appointed by the Albanian Committee to oversee Jewish businesses. Ibrahimovic ordered the destruction of the Jewish synagogue.

Jewish survivors of the Holocaust in Kosovo-Metohija place responsibility for the genocide against Jews in Kosovo on the fascist Kosovo Albanian Committee. The members were Rushid Mehmet, Sahsivar Alic, Husen Pristina, Tahir Kaldziu, Malus Kosova, and Sadik Galimuci. They incited the first and second waves of arrests of Jews in Kosovo-Metohija. Miljus Kosova was the president of the Albanian Kosovo Committee.  Dzemal-beg Ismail Kanli was the chief of police. Rashid Mehmed Ali was the president of the district. Rifat Sukri Ranadan, Jahnja Asan, and Mahmud Saban Pasic were also members of the Committee.

An Albanian fascist-Nazi Ushtar or gendarme escorting a group of Albanian Muslim hodzas or clerics. He is wearing the goat’s head Skanderbeg symbol on his cap, the emblem of the fascist-Nazi security forces in Greater Albania.

There were several internment or prison camps set up in the Albanian cities of Preza, Berat, Kavaja, Burrel, Lakosnik, Shijak, Elbasan, and Kruja, where Kosovo Serbs and Jews were sent. In April, 1942, 100 Jews from Pristina were transferred to the prison camp at Berat, while 79 were transferred to Preza. In July, 1942, 88 Jews were transferred from Pristina to the prison camps at Burrel, Kruja, and Kavaja in Albania. There were also prisons in Pristina and Kosovska Mitrovica. According to Fischer, of the 400 Kosovo Jews sent to Bergen-Belsen, about 100 survived.

Josip Josifovic, a Kosovo Jew, recalled the Albanian role in the Holocaust in Kosovo. He stated that “Albanians brought us more harm than the Germans did as occupiers.” He recalled that the Albanians interned the Kosovo Jews and sent them to the Berat prison in Albania in 1942. On their work documents the word “Jude” was stamped and they had to wear a yellow card.

An Albanian member of the Nazi German occupation militia forces in 1943, wearing fascist Italian uniform.

There is overwhelming evidence that proves the Balli Kombetar collaborated with the German forces. Based on NARS Microfilm T-501, Roll 258, Frame 000628, the Balli Kombetar “would be courted by the Germans and…they would throw their support on the German side.” The new Nazi-created government for Greater Albania gained the support of the BK. Steve Kane noted that “the remnants of the Balli Kombetar entered into open collaboration with the new government.”

All of the officers in the Albanian Fascist battalions were Italians while the NCOs were a mixture of Albanians and Italians. The 1st Legion was stationed in Tirana while the 2nd Legion was at Korce, the 3rd at Valona, and the 4th at Scutari. They were dissolved in 1943. They were battalion strength in size. Many of them were later incorporated in the German occupation forces. They wore Italian blouses, Italian helmets, and a collar tab described as a flame or Fiamme which showed a goat’s head. This was the goat’s head symbol of Skanderbeg. In the fascist Albanian Militia forces, members wore helmets with the goat’s head symbol over the “V” symbol, which was the emblem for fascism. Italian M33 helmets and captured French helmets were also used.

Gunther Hausding, the Gestapo chief in Kosovska Mitrovica.

The Albanian Gendarmerie and the civil administration welcomed the Nazi German occupation in 1943. Albanian Muslim hodzas or clerics were photographed in Islamic prayer services for the Nazi forces. They supported the Nazis because they would put them in control of Kosovo.

In September, 1943, the Germans sent the 100th Jaeger Division to occupy Tirana. This was the beginning of the German military occupation of Albania. The 92nd Independent Motorized Grenadier regiment was also sent. In September, 1943, the 181st Infantry Division, the 297th Infantry Division, and the 21st SS Division Skanderbeg were meant to garrison Albania.

In October, 1943, the Germans sent three Feldkommandanturen numbered 1030, 1039, and 1040. This was the beginning of the German attempt to create an Albanian Gendarmerie or police or security apparatus. These were sent to Tirana, the capital of Greater Albania, Prizren in Kosovo, and Struga in Macedonia. A German Plenipotentiary in Albania or DGA was created.  The post was given to Oberst Dr. Westphal, whose duty it was to coordinate German military moves in the country with those of the Albanian collaborationist civil and military authorities. The members of Albanian Gendarmerie were known as Ushtars and they wore collar tabs that were red while the uniform was green. The emblem on their caps was the goat’s head symbol of Skanderbeg which was worn in metallic.

General Gustav von Myrdacz, on right, the Austrian-born commander of the fascist-Nazi Albanian Army wearing a goat’s head Skanderbeg symbol on his cap walking in front of a fascist Albanian militia member. U.S. National Archives

An Albanian militia formation, wearing Italian uniforms, consisting of a battalion of 600-700 Albanian volunteers from Kosovo, was formed by Nazi Germany under Hermann Neubacher. Neubacher sought to use them to safeguard German lines of communication in Kosovo and Albania. The battalion was under the command of Albanian Lieutenant Colonel Adem Boletini. The Germans trained the battalion in Zemun, then part of the Nazi-created Ustasha NDH. Neubacher even contemplated having the battalion occupy Tirana. In September, 1943, the Germans redeployed the battalion to Tirana.

Dzafer Deva, the Kosovar Albanian Muslim Interior Minister of Greater Albania, redeployed 1,200 Albanian Gendarmes from Kosovska Mitrovica to Tirana in December, 1943. The SS Leader in Albania Josef Fitzthum was in control of the Albanian security forces, which were described as “a thoroughly undisciplined version of storm troopers.” These Nazi Kosovar storm troopers “ravaged the countryside”. It was an example of “Kosovar brutality”. The Germans provided 14,000 rifles and 425 machine guns and funds and supplies to the Kosovo Albanian security forces.

The Germans sought to create a Nazi-led Albanian gendarmerie force and an Albanian Army. General Gustav Fehn, the commander of the German XXIst Corps and SS Leader Fitzthum organized the formation of the Albanian Army. Heinrich Himmler had initially sent Fitzthum to Albania to provide expertise on security and police matters. Fitzthum had been born in Loiersdorf, Austria on September 14, 1896. He died in an auto accident on January 10, 1945 in Vienna. He had joined the SS in April, 1932. He had earlier commanded the SS Volunteer Legions “Flandern” and Niederlande”. In 1945, he was the commander of the 18th Volunteer Panzergrenadier SS Division “Horst Wessel”.

Inmates in the Preza internment camp in Albania where Kosovo Jews were interned, 1942.

Josef Fitzthum was the Higher SS and Police Leader in Albania, Hoherer SS und Polizei Fuehrer “Albanien”, with a headquarters in Tirana from August 1, 1944 to January 1, 1945. He had originally been the SS und Polizei Fuehrer “Albanien” from October, 1943 to August 1, 1944. He was also the Beauftragter des Reichsfuehrer SS fur Albanien, Heinrich Himmler’s representative in Albania, from October, 1943 to January 1, 1945.

The German plan was to create an Albanian Army consisting of 8,250 men. The Gendarmerie was to consist of 2,400 men.

Fitzthum, who had been an oberleutnant in the Habsburg Austro-Hungarian Army during World War I, planned to create an Albanian Waffen SS Division. This would be based on the Albanian Legion formed during World War I as part of the Austro-Hungarian Army. Himmler wanted to revive the Austro-Hungarian recruitment of Balkan Muslims from World War I. Bosnian Muslims, Albanian Muslims, and Sandzak Muslims had been part of the Austro-Hungarian Army during World War I. Himmler, thus, strongly backed the creation of an Albanian SS Division. SS General Ernst Kaltenbrunner, the head of the SD, Neubacher, and the German Foreign Ministry in Albania, opposed the plan.

SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Talbot von Pistor, the supply officer of the Skanderbeg Nazi SS Division.

In February, 1944, Adolf Hitler approved the formation of the Skanderbeg Division “because the Albanian government itself favored the plan” and because German occupation forces in Greater Albania needed more manpower. Bedri Pejani had even written Himmler personally to request that an Albanian Nazi SS Division be formed. According to Fischer, the “’Skanderbeg’ Division was to serve only in Kosova and was to protect ethnic Albania.” This is incorrect. The Skanderbeg Division was deployed to Kosovo, but also in Montenegro and Macedonia. The division became notorious for massacres of Kosovo Serbs. Fischer noted: “Units of the division gained an unenviable reputation, apparently preferring rape, pillage, and murder to fighting, primarily in Serbian areas.” According to Fischer, the Germans arrested Albanian officers in the SS Division at Pec and Prizren due to war crimes against Kosovo Serbs. Those arrested were sent to the Pristina prison and to incarceration in Germany. The Skanderbeg Division thus engaged in the genocide of Kosovo Serbs.

Troops in the Skanderbeg Nazi SS Division.

The Final Solution in Kosovo

The Skanderbeg Division also contributed to the Final Solution, playing an important role in the genocide of Kosovo Jews. There was a Jewish presence in Kosovo. Based on 1931 population statistics for Yugoslavia, there were a total of 488 Jews in Kosovo-Metohija: 373 in Pristina, 109 in Kosovska Mitrovica, and 6 in Djakovica. In Pristina, the Beth Israel synagogue had been built in 1897. In Kosovo, the Skanderbeg Division rounded up the 281 Jews who were sent to the camp at Pristina and later to Bergen Belsen where they were killed.

The first operation of the Skanderbeg Nazi SS Division was to round-up 400 Kosovo Jews in Pristina on May 14, 1944. From May to June, 1944, Skanderbeg rounded-up 519 Kosovo Serbs and Jews. Haim Solomon, a Kosovo Jew from Lipljan, described how he was apprehended by the Skanderbeg SS Division:

I was captured on May 14, 1944 by troops of the SS division “Skanderbeg” which was made up of Albanian soldiers, but whose officers were German. All of us in Lipljan were captured only after a few hours after the Jews of Pristina were rounded up. From Pristina we were transported to the prison in Kosovska Mitrovica where we stayed for three weeks.

August Schmidhuber, on left, the commander of the Skanderbeg Nazi SS Division, leaving a hospital for wounded Waffen SS troops.

Solomon was sent to the Bergen Belsen concentration camp. On April 23, 1945 he was freed by advancing Soviet troops when prisoners from the camp were transported by rail to Czechoslovakia.

Josip Levi, a Kosovo Jew from Pristina, recalled how he was captured by the Skanderbeg division:

They captured us on the night between May 13 and 14. The round-up of us Jews in 1944 in Pristina began in the night, exactly at midnight, and lasted until eight the next day…Our round-up was conducted by the SS division “Skanderbeg” which consisted of Albanians from Kosovo and Metohija, particularly from Drenica, but the officers were German. We were captured based on addresses which the Germans had received from the Albanian fascist civil administration. In Pristina we were put in a “G” wagon, a cattle wagon, and sent to the “Sajmisate” prison in Zemun, which was under the control of “SD” police, but where the Ustasha was in charge of the administration and security.

Levi was sent to Bergen Belsen. He survived and was able return to Pristina.

Genocide against Kosovo Serbs

The ethnic cleansing and genocide committed against the Kosovo Serbs is described by Bernd Fischer as follows:

The wholesale expulsion of Serbs by the Albanians created special problems for the occupation, however, since the Serbs had performed important functions in Kosova. The Serbs had run most of the businesses, the mills, the tanneries, and the public utilities. Once the Serbs had gone, there were no pharmacists in Kosova. Serbian peasants, somewhat more technologically progressive than their Albanian counterparts, were responsible for much of the surplus agricultural production for which Kosova was so useful.

Fascist Albanian Ushtar or gendarme wearing the goat’s heat Skanderbeg insignia of fascist-Nazi Greater Albania on cap.

Bedri Pejani, the president of the Nazi-created Second League of Prizren, a revival of the ideology of Greater Albania, wanted 150,000 weapons from the German forces to be used to kill and drive out the remaining Serbian population in Kosovo-Metohija. The expulsion of Serbs is described as follows by Fischer:

By April 1944, German documents tell us, 40,000 Serbs had been forced to leave, and Neubacher anticipated that the Germans might have to deal with as many as 150,000 Serbs leaving Kosovo.

The policy of genocide against the Kosovo Serbian population had been officially announced in June, 1942, by Albanian Muslim Mustafa Kruja, the fascist Prime Minister of Greater Albania:

The Serbian population of Kosovo should be removed as soon as possible. Serbian settlers should be killed.

Albanian Gendarmerie under Nazi Germany

In August, the DGA office and its command were integrated into the Higher SS and Police Leader “Albania” under the command of SS Gruppenfuehrer und Generalleutnant der Waffen SS Josef Fitzhum or Fitzthum. SS Oberfuehrer Karl Gstottenbauer of the German Consular Office in Tirana was also to be attached to the HSSPF command. Fitzthum reorganized the Albanian Gendarmerie and the Army. By April, 1944, the total Albanian forces raised were two Jaeger light infantry regiments and four militia battalions.

The Albanian Order of Battle was as follows:

1. Albanian Jaeger Regiment 1
2. Albanian Jaeger Regiment 4
3. Albanian Militia Battalion “Pec”
4. Albanian Militia Battalion “Pristina”
5. Albanian Militia Battalion “Prizren”
6. Albanian Militia Battalion “Tetovo”

Three of the battalions were set up in Kosovo-Metohija, while the fourth was set up in Macedonia, known as Illirida in the Greater Albania ideology. According to German military sources, these formations were under the German Order Police or Orpo and were fighting the guerrillas. These four militia battalions were made up of 2,000 men and were under the command of Hauptmann der Schutzpolizei Spruny.

The leaders of the Nazi-fascist collaborationist Balli Kombetar (BK): From left, Ekrem Peshkopi, Vasil Andoni, Midhat Frasheri, Ali Klissura, Koco Muca.

The Skanderbeg Waffen SS Division was also being formed with recruits from Kosovo and central and northern Albania. The Balli Kombetar (Shqip, National Front) also provided men for this Nazi SS Division. Between July 14 and 30, 1944, the 1st and 2nd Battalion/1st Regiment and its 1st battalion/ 2nd Regiment performed field maneuvers south of Berane in Montenegro and near Gusinje. The four militia battalions also participated in these maneuvers as did the 14th Mountain Regiment of the Prinz Eugen Division.

General Gustav von Myrdacz (1874-1945), a former Austrian officer who commanded the pre-World War II Albanian Army under Zog, was put in charge of the reorganized Albanian security police, but was captured by Communist guerrillas. Myrdacz was the liaison officer between the Albanian Army and the XXI Army Corps. He joined the Albanian Army in 1921 and became chief of staff by 1925. He had been an engineer-officer on the staff of the Austrian Army. He was a highly decorated military officer. He was awarded four Austrian orders, one Turkish war decoration, and a Grand Cordon of Skanderbeg Order from the Albanian government. During World War I, he had been the chief of staff of the XIVth division and had commanded a regiment at Tonale. He had been the chief of staff of the military commander in Sarajevo. He was involved in the engagements at Isonzo and Piave in 1917. After Myrdacz was captured, Albanian General Prenk Previsi was put in his place.

Once it became clear that Nazi Germany would lose the war, the Albanian Gendarmerie and militia battalions began deserting and switching sides.

The German occupation forces were better able to use the Albanian security and military forces than the Italians. German occupation forces were able to integrate Albanian forces into their security and military forces. Moreover, German policy was able to fully exploit the Albanian nationalist and political objective to achieve a Greater or Ethnic Albania first envisioned and enunciated by the 1878 League of Prizren. Nazi Germany revived the League of Prizren in 1943. The key to the Nazi occupation was to maintain the collaboration of the Balli Kombetar and the Albanian population by advocating a Greater Albania that would include Kosovo-Metohija. This was the crux to Nazi policy. Kosovo was the key.

An Albanian member of Nazi-fascist Albanian occupation forces armed by fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.

Greater Albania Realized

There was widespread Albanian popular support for the Nazi occupation regime. Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler allowed Albanian nationalists to create a Greater or Ethnic Albania. This had been an unrealized goal of Albanian nationalism since the League of Prizren in 1878. Greater Albania was realized by Nazi Germany. Kosovo was thus crucial in Nazi policy. Making Kosovo a part of Greater Albania was crucial to maintain the Nazi German occupation.

The Nazi realization of Greater Albania had implications and political repercussions for the future status of Kosovo. Albanian ultra-nationalists had a precedent and a model for Greater Albania. Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler showed them how to realize a Greater Albania. The history of a Greater Albania from 1941 to 1945 under Nazi Germany is covered-up and censored in the US and the so-called West. Consequently, it is not known that Kosovo was “independent” under Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler. Kosovo was annexed to a Greater Albania from 1941 to 1945.

Albanian popular support for fascism and Nazism was widespread. Nazi Germany exploited the Greater Albania nationalist ideology to gain popular support for the Nazi German occupation of Kosovo. Bernd Fischer noted that “numerous Allied sources give evidence of widespread support for the Germans and their government. In the north and northeast support was widespread.” The Nazi creation of a Greater Albania that incorporated Kosovo-Metohija would have future political repercussions and implications.

Bibliography

Fischer, Bernd Jurgen. Albania at War, 1939-1945. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 1999.

Ivanov, Pavle Dzeletovic. Jevreji Kosova i Metohije. Beograd: Panpublik, 1988.

Kane, Steve. “The 21st SS Mountain Division”. Siegrunen. Volume 36. October-December 1984.

Munoz, Antonio, ed. The East Came West. NY: Axis Europa Books, 2001.

Trye, Rex. Mussolini’s Soldiers. Shrewsbury, UK: Airlife, 1995.


By Carl Savich

Source: Serbianna

1. Siptarska regrutacija za SS Skenderbeg diviziju na Kosovu april 1944

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Noel Malcolm: “Kosovo – A Short History”, 1999. A history written with an attempt to support Albanian territorial claims in the Balkans (Second part)




pecka_patrijarsija

Noel Malcolm – Kosovo – A Short History

A history written with an attempt to support Albanian territorial claims in the Balkans

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Historical Institute of the Serbian Academy of
Sciences and Art
Belgrade, 2000

Response to the Book of Noel Malcolm
Kosovo – A Short History

Milorad Ekmecic, Academician
Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Belgrade

Historiography By the Garb Only

Reading, from necessity, the books by some Western, particularly American scholars, dealing with the past of the Serbs and the Balkans, I recall the impressions that are in my memory, for some reason, related to the socially committed painter Georg Grosz. Today the flashes of those recollections of my college days bring back a melancholy feeling that this is not a thing remote or unknown. One of those prints shows two horsemen armed with guns, a Nazi and a Bolshevik one, distributing from their saddlebags books to Polish peasants, I believe history books. Reading the two volumes by Noel Malcolm, one dealing with the history of Bosnia and the other with the history of Kosovo, now I feel miserable and humiliated like those Polish peasants on the eve of 1939 whose soul was catered to by their powerful armed neighbours who care about their souls and write voluminous and expensive books for that purpose. At present it is being done in Russia, too.

This is classic war propaganda literature, as it was called once. It is written to serve definite purposes of those countries and political organizations paying for it. And I am trying to recollect what has survived in my memory of my college Latin. Because the author of these two books about which I write by necessity is an intellectual mercenary, salarius, mercennarius scribae, the ancient “Epigonos, a philosopher only by his garb”, as Amian Marcelin calls him. The toga is speaking, not knowledge and conviction. To publish, one after another, within the short span of four years, two voluminous books, in order to prove, on the basis of history, that the Serbs have invaded somebody else’s territories in Bosnia and in Kosovo, that can be accomplished only by a man paid for his craft. Some people are paid for their skill in handling arms, some for their skill in writing. The first lesson learnt by historical methodology students is Droysen’s rule that scholarship is only what is written with scholarly intentions. If one in advance defines as his aim to prove the political responsibility for claiming as one’s own what belongs to someone else, then that science lacks the main ground on which it must stand. The books by Noel Malcolm are a subject more fitting for international police to investigate than for scholarly criticism, because it is the duty of that police to investigate the phenomenon of hired labour.

In my review of Malcolm’s first book, dealing with the history of Bosnia, my initial point of departure was my doubts about the scholarly credibility of the text. All the conclusions, the comments on sources as well as the bibliography in this book are characteristic of Croatian political emigrant writings, as well as of those by ideologists of the new Muslim nation in Bosnia. The latter phenomenon reached its clearest expression in the writings and authors identifying themselves, after 1990, as the followers of the “Muslim Bosniac Organization” of Adil Zulfikarpasic and Muhamed Filipovic. Zulfikarpasic became immensely rich through arms reexport and trade, but he has founded, for the sake of his homeland and people, a grand “Institute for Bosnian Studies” in Zurich. In my review of that short history of Bosnia, which a former American ambassador and the person responsible for the demolition of the state of Yugoslavia, called “a pavanne for Bosnia”, I proceeded from the assumption that there are striking coincidences between the views of the author and those of the people around Zulfikarpasic’s Institute. In the introduction to his new book, “Kosovo. A Short History” Noel Malcolm acknowledges his debt to his “generous and ever-resourceful friend” Ahmed Zilic. This lawyer from Sarajevo might have something to do with history studies, only because he was a member of the central committee of Filipovic’s and Zulfikarpasic’s “Muslim Bosniac Organization”. What kind of superior knowledge of Kosovo could this political agitator possess which could be helpful to a British researcher?

In a book which, relying on someone else’s, perhaps God’s help, he has put together in two years, Noel Malcolm has set himself the touching task to arbitrarily turn upside down an entire picture so far established by sober historical studies. The book can be understood only if, as in reading the Quran, one reads its last sentence first: “When ordinary Serbs learn to think more rationally and humanely about Kosovo, and more critically about some of their national myths, all the people of Kosovo and Serbia will benefit – not least the Serbs themselves.” Let us not invoke Droysen any longer, to spare his tortured bones from upsetting in that other, better world, on account of Serb history, of which he had known less than of any other.

While in his short history of Bosnia (1994) Malcolm borrowed its thematic matrix, argumentation, literature and thought pattern from Croatia-oriented intellectuals, in this, short history of Kosovo, he placed the entire structure of the book upon the foundations which had already been formulated by Albanian nationalist ideology even before the book was conceived. Hence his tendency to echo the naive literature which Albanizes the entire ancient period of the history of the Balkans. The general summary of the scholarly foundations of Albanian nationalist ideology formulated by Muharem Cerabregu in 1996 (Distortionism in Historiography. 19th Century Falsifications. A Contribution to the Historical Geography of Kosovo, New York, 1996) anticipated the entire structure of Noel Malcolm’s book. Cerabregu defined the framework of that structure in six points: Kosovo cannot be the historical cradle of Serbia because it used to be the ancient Roman province of Dardania where the core of the Albanian people was formed; Emperor Dusan’s was not a Serbian empire; the claim, on the basis of medieval churches as proof, that the Kosovo Battle in 1389 was fought by the Serbs, is a fake, bearing in mind that the majority of their army consisted of the Dacians, Poles and Hungarians, as well as that it was the Albanians that were defending the Christian West, whereas the Serbs were siding with the Ottoman Turks; Serb scholars have no right whatsoever to assign to the Serbs the uprising of the Albanian population of 1683-1690, after which the Serbs along with the Albanians began to migrate to Austria. Cerabregu says that the majority of ancient population of Macedonia was Albanian, that at present three out of four million of Orthodox Albanians live in Greece, that it is an established fact that the words “Apollo” and “Aristotle” are Albanian words, the latter meaning in Albanian “rocky waterflow”. “Kosovo”, according to Cerabregu, derives from the Albanian word for “high” and “wide” (“a high plateau”).

There is a clear disproportion between the scanty knowledge, miserable competence of the Albanian scholars and the grandiloquent theories that they propose. The scantier knowledge, the more grandiloquent theories. Cerabregu is of the opinion that world’s scientific circles make a serious mistake in not calling the Balkan Peninsula the Illyrian Peninsula. According to this author, the latter is a compound word made up of the concepts “Il” for “high” and “Ir” for “hilly”. The region, he claims, has been the homeland of the Albanian people since times immemorial. The Serbs are a more recent population in the region. They should not be allowed to think that Kosovo represents their historical centre, “when it is known that they have such a short history, without permanent dwelling territory? They did not have adequate time to develop their own original culture there.” They (the Serbs) have usurped their present lands from the neighbouring peoples, beginning from 1804, when they burnt Belgrade down, razing it to the ground. All the Serb churches and monasteries have been erected on the foundations of an earlier date places of worship which were not theirs. In the manner in which it is attempted to bring up the issue of who lived in Judea two thousand years ago and who has a right to it, the Albanian ideology is trying, through this mythological scietific works, to transplant this claim into Europe. “One must know”, says Cerabregu, “who is who in the Illyrian Peninsula. Who is the native, and who is alien.” Behind this philosophy of life “Either we or they”, a future is showing so horrible that it is too benign to call it mythological. That philosophy of life represents opening up the gates of ideology to the triumphal march of collective death.

Malcolm does not refer to this book by Cerabregu but he does dwell upon Cerabregu’s work dealing with Kosovo’s historical geography. He does not hesitate to build Cerabregu’s entire list summarizing the Albanian nationalist ideology into the structure of his own book. Malcolm made sure not to reiterate the original claims of Albanian nationalist ideology, which turns that entire literature into a part of modern entertainment culture, so he sought some more convincing solutions to provide him with proofs. His roots have, however, remained identical, and also the entire Albanian moralizing on Serb mythological scietific works. Cerabregu has written this book catering to the needs of Albanian politicians.

It is difficult to enter into a rational polemic with Noel Malcolm, because his initial approach is not rational at all. His handling of the history of Bosnia and the history of Kosovo, raises the essential issue of his views of the

Bosnian and Albanian people, the demonstration of their existence being his permanent concern. A people must always have the attributes of a people, its members have to share some characteristics identifying them as an entity. It need not be a state, though each and every nation has tended to establish its own independent state. Malcolm sees the Albanians, as he does the Bosnians, as a homogeneous population, as a demographic group bearing the respective name. The felicitous thing about it all is that his elementary interpretations regarding the origin of individual peoples and ethnic groups (such as the Serbs, Croats, Vlachs, Albanians and, in his interpretation, certain – mythical – Bosniacs) in the two books do not go hand in hand.

In his former book – Bosnia. A Short History, published in 1994, Malcolm claims that the Croats settled in the Balkans within north-western Croatia, which they inhabit even at present, but that they “probably settled even in a major part of Bosnia itself, except for the eastern strip of the Drina Valley”. Malcolm took over from the Bosnian historians, especially from Muhamed Filipovic, a distorted translation of the record of Constantin Porphyrogenitus describing the settling of the Serbs and the Croats, separated in Bosnia by the rivers Pliva, Imota and Cetina. Malcolm also took over, with the same, entertaining effect, the translation by Cynamos saying that Bosniacs are a people different from the Serbs. In this, his new history book, dealing with Kosovo, Malcolm flatly states that the Croats originally settled in western Bosnia. He does not mention the shame he incurred with his translations of Constantin Porphyrogenitus and Cynamos, though in the meantime he must have read the originals and he failed to disclose the truth. The Serbs settled in Rascia, the north-western areas of Kosovo, and in Montenegro. Later, the Serbs from Dalmatia Bosnia and northern parts of Serbia moved to Kosovo. In any case, Malcolm does his best to prove that Kosovo is not the historical cradle of the Serbs. Several parts of Malcolm’s two books seem to have been written by two different authors.

As for Malcolm’s first book, the one dealing with the history of Bosnia, explaining the origin and nature of the Vlachs, the author drew heavily on Dominik Mandic’s theory but he toned down the fact that the Vlachs are descendants of Roman legions in Pannonia that were interspersed with African blacks. Malcolm is now complying with the standard theory of Albanian nationalists that the Vlachs are survivors of a population living in the Roman Empire, that they spoke a Latin language and are, in origin, Albanians! The “Albanian-Vlach Symbiosis” has probably been effected to the west of Kosovo. In view of the fact that there were no Serbs there before the twelvth century, it is important because there a Proto-Albanian population emerged deriving from the Dardanians! So that stage – of the early medieval Kosovo – is relevant because it was during that period that the “survival of the Albanians” was secured. Next, according to Malcolm, Kosovo was the cradle of the Vlachs. In the end, he concludes that “this is more a speculation than a conclusion.” It is useful, because “the idea that the Illyrian Dardanians were ancestors of the Albanians may be of some sentimental interest to Kosovo Albanians today”. Malcolm does not agree with Albanian historians that the Albanians represented the majority of the population of Kosovo in the Middle Ages, but that before the coming of the Turks it couldn’t be known because by the Orthodox Church they used to be registered as Serbs. His conclusion is that the Albanian population has lived in Kosovo continuously throuth the history, but as a minority.

Malcolm does not explain in what ways the Albanians are to be legitimized as a people, and not as a demographic group which counts because in history it has existed along with others. The “Kanun of Lek Dukagjin” emerged at a time when the Albanians were, under Turkish pressure, broken into clans. The “Kanun” remained unchanged from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries, then the Albanians tried to publish it. Similar to the history of Scotland, clans and zadrugas (stem families), emerging among the Albanians after the collapse of the central power, as institutions organizing the society on the basis of common law under the circumstances of survival. The idea of a homogeneous Albanian people was revived during the rebellions caused by the Berlin Congress, when the “Prizren League” was founded. The true historical root of the “League” was completely autochthonous, emerging in the early seventeenth century. The interclan councils (kuvends) played a major role in it. So the clans, emerging in the history because of the disintegration of the whole state, and later became again an instrument for the formation of the nation and once again and in the some time of the state as a whole. Malcolm uses the term “national renaissance”, but he knows about it as much as they knew about it three centuries ago. After which state did the clans emerge?

Malcolm’s book is not a history of a nation, and it is even less a study of its historical making. This is a political treatise trying to prove the presence of the Albanian population in Kosovo from its very beginnings. Though they do not have their state, or some higher form of social organization, the Albanians represent a special political factor everywhere. The Kosovo Battle was not fought by the Serbs only, Malcolm says, so he meticulously challenges that Serb myth which has become a historic symbol and trademark of the Serb nation. Though Malcolm does not accept the current theory of the Albanians that “the Albanians played a marked role” in the Battle of Kosovo, his overall endeavour is calculated to consistently demonstrate that it was a multiethnic clash with the Turks, including even the Vlachs from Wallachia.

The participation of the Hungarians in the Battle of Kosovo is very important because even some outstanding Serb knights whowere Hungarian noblemen took part in it.

Milos Obilic is most probably a Hungarian, Malcolm goes on to say, though his very family name “had a Vlach-Albanian background”. Its original form was “Kobilic”, a derivation from the Hungarian word “koborlovag” – “knight errant”. If it owes its origin to the Albanian or Vlach languages, then it is derived from the word “kopile” (a bastard), which exists in both languages but has different meanings. The existence of this word in the Serb language is ignored. The nine Jugovic brothers are, of course, of Hungarian origin, which is “evident” from the possibility that the “ugarovici” was somehow turned into “Ugovici”, which finally obtained the Serb form.

The Albanians, in the same manner, played a very important role in the Great Migration of the Serbs headed by Arsenije Carnojevic, as they did generally throughout the war. Malcolm challenges the Serb mythology related to the intended migration and the privileges promised by the Habsburg emperor to the Serbs. The Serb historians have made up a mythology of that migration following the example of Christ. They argue that the Serbs, like Christ, appeared in three stages – that they died in 1690, were buried, and were resurrected in 1912. The chapter dealing with this Austrian-Turkish war offers much evidence found by Malcolm in various archives, so that one has the impression that he might have really become a serious scholar, had he already not radically compromised himself as an intellectual mercenary and warmonger. All that snooping around archives ended up with the conclusion that the Habsburg Emperor did not recognize the Serbs as a people, that he invited them to move out and granted them privileges.

Albanians-and-Serbs-a-common-epic

He says, that the Serbs fabricated the key document (Inviatorium), because the Austrian Emperor invited them to proceed with their rebellions on the Turkish side of the border which had not yet been taken by the Turks.

Malcolm did his best to explain the concept of the “Rasciani”. He painstakingly searched for details concerning the differences between Raska (Rascia) and Serbia, between the Orthodox and Catholic Rascians and Serbs, only to end up by quoting the conciliatory definition given by Lazaro Soranzo, in 1598, that the Rascians are “a people from Serbia and Rascia who now live north of the Danube”. The finale of this entire analysis is the conclusion that the Serbs were not the key agents in the rebellions of the Christian population, but the Albanians.

Noel Malcolm frequently points out, as he does here, that the popular revolts against Turkish rule did not have a political, but exclusively a resistance to the tax policy of the Turkish state.

This is an outcome of his joining the currently flourishing historiography claiming that the Ottoman state was a just society, equally good for the Muslims, Christians and Jews.

All those conclusions were generated by the estimate of contemporary American geo-strategists – that the Western security was far better than the existence of a stable Turkish and Habsburg state, during by the sufferings of the independent nations of South-East Europe today.

To me, this strenuous attempt of Malcolm to shatter the Serb mythology surrounding some of great Serb deeds (such as the Kosovo Battle, the Great Migration, the Eastern crisis of 1875 is tantamount to saying that last week football game between the Italian “Milan” and German “Bayern” should be considered a game played by an Italian one team versus a German team because the Italian team had a British player in it.

The central issue, that of the birth of modern Albanian movement for a unified nation and an independent state should have been explained where the emergence and nature of the “1878 Prizren League” had been discussed. Though he views it as a purely Albanian political enterprize having nothing to do with the previously established Istanbul Committee controlled by the Turkish government, Malcolm, nevertheless, unconsciously describes the “Prizren League” as a purely Muslim, conservative movement for the preservation of the old order of the Ottoman state. They rejected the idea of the Latin alphabet, decreeing the reintroduction of the Muslim law (seriat) and prohibited European clothing. Malcolm over-emphasizes the responsibility of the Serbian government in Belgrade for the ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Serbia during the 1877-1878 war, yet he is expected to know that before the Berlin Congress in 1878 no European country except Russia pursued the policy of the protection of Muslim population. If they want to stay in a Christian state, their religion does not enjoy civil protection. As a rule, during all wars prior to the Berlin Congress in 1878, when an army of Christian states was approaching, Muslim population was not to expect anything good. The Serb historian of today has no moral right to justify the attempt of his 1878 government to displace the Muslim population, but it is his obligation to say that the international law was responsible for it, as well as that Muslim population remained only in the areas where it was not predominantly urban, the latter resorting to migration as soon as an army which was not their own was within sight. Where the Muslims were farmers, e.g. in Montenegro, Bulgaria and Bosnia, the laws and regulations made it possible for them to stay in place. The Serb historian cannot ignore the fact that all migrations have a moral and humane aspect, but it is not his duty to abuse it by turning it into political propaganda and promote the idea of the “twisted” character of his own nation.

The main weakness of Noel Malcolm’s books is their author’s strikingly arbitrary way in which he interprets the formation of a national consciousness and the processes leading to the establishment of an independent state. The entire existing scholarly literature dealing with the Albanians defines, as the crucial issue, the relationship of Islamic and secular motives in what is called a “Nation’s Building Process”. I believe that it was so far interpreted in a most satisfactory way in Stavro Skendi’s book The Albanian National Awakening 1878/1912 (1967). World historiography generally has been tormented by the question why national revivals, viewed as historical processes leading to independent national states, had a delayed emergence in all Islamic societies. For the idea of independence to be victorious, a new social structure must appear in a society because the feudal order in of a community cannot generate an independent nation.

Instead of summing up the existing historiographic works dealing with the relationship of Islam and the nation, Noel Malcolm starts by stating that the Albanians have always been a separate nation because they have had their “Kanun of Lek Dukagjin”, and have always shielded themselves from other Balkan peoples proclaiming during their great rebellions the Islamic law (seriat). I doubt that Malcolm has read the “Kanun of Lek Dukagjin”, which was recently published in our translation (1986). The others, too, who use that law as a proof, had better respect a demarcation line which is to be strictly respected by any serious scientist, namely the fact that the history of nations has known great laws and not that they have won their independent states thanks to the re-institution of those ancient laws while fighting for independence. An identical case would be had the Serbs, after the Congress of Berlin, reinstituted “Emperor Dusan’s Code”, or the “Vasojevicis Code in Twelve Points”, which correspond to the Albanian kanun. Noel Malcolm, however, explains the establishment of modern Albanian national state in precisely that way. He says that the proclamation of the seriat law and the “Kanun of Lek Dukagjin” before and following the foundation of the Prizren League (1878) represented the project that would result in the establishment of a new state independent from the Turkish Empire.

The case is just the opposite. Contemporaries of these events have always stressed that the Albanian nationalist movement was burdened with Islamic goals and that for that reason it was not recognized in time as a nationalist movement. The scholar and political emissary Baldacci Antonio wrote as early as 1899 that the Albanians were “almost incapable of the national idea but were on the other hand fanatically religious”, and so split their national movement into three wings. The conclusion to be derived is that the reinstitution of a common law code rather represented an obstacle to the winning of national independence than vice versa. The question is still unsettled of what in the “Kanun of Lek Dukagjin” is authentically from the fifteenth century, and what are later amendments and additions. The version translated into our language says that the suitors going to negotiate the purchase of a bride are obliged to bring with them coffee, sugar and edible oil. The prices for more beautiful girls were fixed in Austrian early twentieth century currency. In addition, Malcolm believes that “Kanun” proposes a philosophical definition of the nation. In the “Kanun” there are quite detailed specifications of the roads to be used by individual clans, but also of the importation roads to be used by the people as a whole. By his conclusion that this law remained unchanged from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries, Malcolm has contributed an epoch-making discovery to world civilization – that coffee was not introduced into Europe by seventeenth century Turkish tradesmen, but that it was used by the Malesors two hundred years before that. Following that line of thinking, he would have to conclude that the definition of the nation within the rationalistic philosophy was contained in the code of the Albanian clans, which prescribed blood send and bese in the 15th century. Here in the Balkans there is enough local nonsense, so I don’t see any need to import it from a more civilized country such as Britain.

Modern Albanian nation emerged from the bases of that people which were a result of historical development. It is both an advantage and tragedy of the Albanian people that one or another of the great world powers has always played an important role in its striving for independence. Mr. Malcolm is expectably ignorant on the role of Austro-Hungarian administration in stirring up the initial steps in the Albanian nation-building process. In Sarajevo and Dubrovnik existed centres in which the projects of language standardisation, national alphabet and the first history handbooks were elaborated. They worked under the supervision of distinguished historian Leopold Thallocy from Vienna. He organized the design of the national insignia, such as the coat of arms and the flag. A red banner with the doubleheaded black eagle was selected. In the Sarajevo “State Archive” is preserved even the bill by which a painter in Vienna in 1897 was paid 15 florins “fur Ausfuhrung des Wappens sammst Fahne”. Contemporary Albanian historians (Luan Maltezi) are wrong in believing that the flag and coat of arms are stemming from mediaeval times. Thallocy himself wrote in German a Populare Geschichte der Albanesen. It was translated in Turkish and published “in geheim” in Alexandria (Egypt). The book had to “help awakening the national feeling and the sense of common dependence of Albanians with no difference in language and religion”. A natural nation-building process in the European type missing, people in Vienna attempted an artificial and virtual one. Only after the institution of communism, after 1945, the Albanian people, following the Russian model of rapid urbanization, tried on its own to shape its future on realistic foundations. Only then a society was created that served as a weak but anyway sufficiently firm basis for industrialization. By that time the social leadership of Muslim owners of large estates had been steering the development of Albania towards the building of an Islamic, not European nation.

Noel Malcolm tried to prove that modern Great Albania was being created according to the geographic distribution of that people from prehistory. He reduced the entire problem of the creation of the nation to the permanent ability of the Albanian people to restore that totality of theirs. He quotes the words uttered by a Skopje bishop towards the end of the eighteenth century to the effect that the Albanians are a “people increasing in number in a most rapid manner”, that they massively move to Kosovo, and that he demanded that the prayer “Ab albanesibus libera nos Domine” should be introduced into Catholic churches, because that settling “has taken over and crammed the entire Serbia”. The bishop goes on to say that this was accompanied by anarchy and Islamization of the immigrant Catholics. However, Malcolm rejects the theories that in that way, due to these processes after 1690, Kosovo lost its character of a Serb ethnic region. He is hanging on to his thesis that Kosovo is not the cradle of the Serb people, that there the Serbs were newcomers and that there the Albanian-Vlach symbiosis functioned as a solid foundation on which to develop to this very day.

If Noel Malcolm did contribute anything to the elucidation of the genesis and character of the Vlachs, it is only his absurd success in linking this issue with allegedly inferior and superior civilizations in the Balkans. The literature dealing with the issue of the Vlachs belongs to two categories. One category presents archival research and derives conclusions from the findings of that research. Serbian scholarship had a good beginning, it has attained enviable results, but its mission has not been completed the way it was began. The evident fact that the Serb people in the Balkans is not that same people that migrated from the north in the early Middle Ages has been used by some authors to fabricate it into the ideological issue about the inferiority of Byzantine civilization. This ideological alternative is legalized in current world scholarship by Noel Malcolm. He too proceeds from the assumption that the Vlachs were an ethnic group once, that in the seventeenth century there are traces of their language, and that this process continues down to modern times.

It is still questionable whether the Slav appellation “Vlah” was applied to all persons speaking Latin or a Latinate language really referred to a homogeneous ethnic group. In Slovenia and Poland even today the Italians are called Vlachs, and that name is even today applied to the citizens of the Rumanian province Wallacchia, of Valois and Wales. It is obviously not a Slav word as it is held to be. Did the entire Illyrian population during the disintegration of the Roman Empire use the same Latinized variant, and is the assertion justified that they all constituted a homogeneous ethnic group? The most absurd thing is that Malcolm does not specify the sources from which he quotes trying to explain these specific issues. He quoted the words of Lazaro Soranzo from 1598 discussing the differences between the Rascians and Serbs, but why doesn’t he also use the data by the same author pertaining to the Vlachs and geographical distribution of the Albanian population? Soranzo was a native of the province of Veneto, inhabited by the Veneti, an official in the Roman Curia, and his descriptions of the Balkans were written on the ground of possible plans to stir up the Christians to rebel and expand the union. His description is rather a testimony that the population under discussion was not a separate ethnic group but a nomadic community of cattlebreeders which in its turn was not an ethnic group, that its language was Slavicized, that its retaining of the original name was a social phenomenon. In his book of 1598 (“L’Ottomano. Dove si da pieno ragguaglio, non solamente della potenza del Signor de Turchi… ma ancora di varii popoli, siti, citta, e viaggi con altri particolari di stato, necessarii a sapersi”), Soranzo says about the Morlachi and Vlachs: “But having mentioned the Morlachi, I would not like to leave them without saying who they are. In those areas all Christian inhabitans of the mountains are called Morlachi, in particular those living in the mountain in Lika being situated between Novigrad and Senj. In principle, the Slav word ‘Morlakija’ has emerged since the Barbarians came to Italy, because when passing through Wallacchia, they gave that name even to peoples living at the Adriatic Sea, seeming to mean that they lived at the sea coast. Because by the names ‘Vulachi’, or ‘Vuloschi’ – the way the Turks use the name ‘Franks’ for the French – pass all Italians.” The opinion that there we deal with a mountain, cattle-breeding population is almost identical to that of Stojan Novakovic voiced early in this century. We could only add that there is no evidence that they were united through ties characterizing an individual ethnic group, but that to them the Serb language furnished, earlier than it is believed, that internal integration instrument. Even Noel Malcolm states that no traces of that Vlach language have survived except for personal names and toponyms, though he asserts, giving no evidence, that this language did exist in the 17th century. The language, not mixed marriages, integrates numerous clans and vernaculars.

The Albanians as a people were integrated into one whole late in history. The strengthening of the clan structure and common law after the coming of the Turks delayed that process. The name “Albanians” itself emerged late. The first great Albanian historian Wassa Effendi thought in 1879 that the word “Albania” was coined by foreign travellers as late as the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries; that their real name was ‘shqiptar’; that this word, on the other hand, was not in use but, for the sake of identification, always religious affiliation of the person was given. Prior to the institution of communism in 1945 a general feeling of community did not prevail, and religion always was an obstacle in its way.

The question of the historical boundary lines between the Albanian people and the Serbs is not settled yet. Soranzo says that the Rascians and the Serbs are one entity, that at the Council of Constance they “sono ditti Sirfi”. Soranzo then goes to explain that they are “the people living from the Albanian mountains all the way up to the Danube”. Of them, those living in Dardania and those living near those mountains are capable of making various stirrings (i. e. rebellions: “possono far molti moti”). Those are the Piperi, Kuci, Clementi, Bjelopavlici and others in the lands of Plave. Among them there are many Albanians living as Catholics”. As for the Albanians, or their part which he calls the “Dukagjins”, he says that they “live in the Sar mountains (Scardo) bordering with Prizren or Prizderma as it is called by the Slavs, or Perenopolis as it was called in ancient times, and it is situated in Dardania near the borders of Albania, and is inhabited by more Albanians than Serbs. From the Adriatic Sea, Albania is divided by highest mountains.” Soranzo states that the Albanians cannot be expected to take part in any rebellions, because they are all siding with the Turkish state.

The Croatian historian Milan Suflaj outlined, in 1925, the origin of the Albanian people, which was first mentioned by Byzantine authors in the eleventh century. They were descendants of the ancient Illyrians and re-established themselves “with a powerful nucleus around Kruja”. Both Byzantine and Latin sources used for this people the name Arbanasi (Arbanenses)”, and after 1271 “almost exclusively” Albanians. In the second century, Ptolemy mentions them as “Arben”, whereas Albanopolis is his name for Kruja. North of this centre, they had flexible borders, and in the south their borders were fixed. Towards the end of the twelvth century their northern boundary lines approached the road Skadar – Prizren, whereas in the fifteenth century they spread out to include Bar and reach as far as Kotor and Podgorica. In the fourteenth century they expand, encompassing “the quadrangle Bar-Avlona-Ohrid-Prizren”. In the Middle Ages, in the quadrangle from Ulcinj, Dubrovnik and Prizren, up the Drim river and as far as the Prokletije and Ljuma, a symbiosis of the Albanian-Vlach cattlebreeding population with the Slav agricultural population is accomplished. Due to Turkish raids, the next three centuries witnessed migrations by the Serbs and Croats towards the Danube and Drave, whereas Albanian migrations northwards followed in a slow succession.

Scientific circles have always paid due attention to wars and violence as factors changing the demographic structure of these regions, but the largest depopulation was brought about by the “modernization of agriculture and institution of ciftliks in the seventeenth century… Here as elsewhere, the price for progress was social oppression.” Yet, the great wave of Islamization among the Albanians was already under way between 1620 and 1650. In that period more than 300.000 Albanians adopted Islam, and as early as 1610 a papal legate emphasized the propaganda carried out by fanaticized hojas and mullahs. Waves of a massive migration took place in the following century, after the 1690 migration.

The question remains to be settled how just the estimate of Noel Malcolm in this book is that “the Albanians of Kosovo today are in many ways a politically mobilized people, but religion has played almost no role at all in that mobilization”. Religion is a political factor on the Orthodox side only. This view is not confirmed by other researchers of the role of Islamic religion in current Albanian nationalistic movement. Their general point of departure is that the Muslim factor represents the pivotal pillar of the society, whereas Islam as religion represents an instrument in the building of a national identity.

Noel Malcolm’s book has a very important function in the escalation of the Kosovo crisis. Like other books produced about the history of Bosnia, this is a text designed to justify the policy of interference and military intervention. In December 1992 the American President Bush warned Serbia’s President that the American army was going to intervene in Kosovo and in Serbia should any conflict take place in Kosovo as a consequence of Serbia’s actions. The American President Clinton repeated that warning in 1993. Prior to the stationing of 500 hundred American soldiers to Macedonia in 1998, the political literature was designed to “enlighten” that part of the public opinion in Western countries supported by their governments. Quite in accordance with this, Noel Malcolm, beginning the story of his book says that after the disintegration of Yugoslavia, “the wars themselves were launched not by ordinary civilians but by armed forces directed from above”. In the history of Bosnia and Croatia, he says, there had been no ethnic wars, except for some conflicts caused by political leaders, and the target of all of his argumentation are the Serbs and their political and cultural leadership. Like the works of Marc Wealer and Robert Donia, this book is a source of the accusation that the Serbs are responsible for the Yugoslav crisis in 1992.

Among the many meanings that future historical studies will be uncovering in the Kosovo crisis and the war started on March 24th 1999, the most significant one raises the question of what the western countries expect from it. Do they expect that, on the ruins of the order established in 1918 and then restored in 1945, they will ley the foundations for better societies and make it possible for those peoples to join more easily the community of more developed European countries? Judging by their workings so far, the western countries do not seem to have set the foundations for future democratic societies in that area. One would rather say that Malcolm’s book and similar literature are failures in that respect.

The most dependable analysis of the consequences of the destruction of the communist state in Albania was given by the Italian scholar Morozzo della Rocca (1998). A naturally vital nation, the Albanians represent the youngest population in Europe. Its 35% are aged under 15, and only 7% are older than 60. A poll conducted in East European countries in 1995 found that only 32% of the population in Hungary were convinced that capitalism was better than the crumbled communism, in Russia 35%, in Bulgaria 46%, in the Czech Republic 62%, and in Albania 81%. However, it was these most devoted believers in capitalism who possessed the economy, which an analyst likened it “to a retired person living on international aid and cheques sent by emigrants”. Among all East European countries, in Albania the transition towards capitalist economy of the free market was effected most rapidly. In the market, the only home products are onion and garlic. The new government designed plans for the reconstruction of economy based on trade. While in times of communism a university diploma was viewed as social privilege, after the collapse of communism the educational system was affected more deeply than any other domain. Shunning the school has been increasing, the number of college students has been decreasing. Worst of all, the idea that the nation and state do represent the main refuge of political security collapsed. Though they are devoted nationalists, the Albanians during the new crisis do not seek support in their own nation but in their one-time clan, to their communal family (zadruga) and to the common law (the “Kanun”). Instead of the democratic laws, which are improvised when the need arises, the individual there places his trust in the provisions of the common law buried long ago. Beyond one’s own family and clan nothing is respected. National unity is supported by the Orthodox part of the population, whereas the Muslim minority keeps resisting it. In the five years after the crumbling of communism, the population of their capital was doubled. The reasons for this are in the simple fact that in the thriving of “small scale” trade, at booths and in open market places, around a thousand dollars are annually made – seven times as much as in highland towns. The peace-loving politics of their government and their “pacifism were not a result of choice, but of necessity” because there was no longer the army. The industry, built with difficulty by the communists, has collapsed. Some textile goods and shoes are still manufactured, mainly by women. Men hawk about. In Albania there are more Mercedes-Benz cars than in Italy. The society is being feudalized. Under the circumstances of the collapse of all central state institutions, men are constantly armed. The majority of the male population plans to emigrate to Italy and western countries, but even for that bypassing the law is a must.

Bearing all this in mind, one cannot but conclude that the only historical project to lay the foundations of a European type of society came from the dethroned communism which, in spite of its overall political tyranny, was laying solid foundations for urbanization and an industrial community. At present that part is played by foreign governments, particularly by the Italian government. All their efforts end up in Tirana and Drac and the only vent affecting the society in a positive way is the readiness of the Italian government to have the Albanians as seasonal workers. Former communists of the Orthodox south have put an end to the general collapse brought about by the earlier Muslim government.

This gloomy picture of the future is not an Albanian exception. The situation in presentday Yugoslavia is similar, especially in its Montenegrin part, where feudalization has the upper hand, falling back on one’s clan and the common law, the black market thriving – the only sign that something is changing.

The messages of Noel Malcolm’s book dealing with Kosovo open the gates to historical hopelessness, not to the prosperity of emancipated nations. To me, the meaning of his books dealing with the history of Bosnia and Kosovo, including the dubious background of financial and research support making them possible, is revealed to me by the American bombers whose distant droning I can hear through my window. If something in this contribution of mine remains inappropriately said, it is accounted for by circumastances – I gathered material for it during several spells in February 1999, and I started writing it on March 24th, when the American bombers started rending the quietness of our sky. Both this book and the war for which the literature of its kind have supplied the requisite ideological foundations, throw all these nations back, at least temporarily, into the past when common law was the basis of social and state organization.

FOOTNOTES:

1. Milorad Ekmecic: Shorter History (Noel Malcolm, Bosnia. A Short History), “Dialogue”, 15, Paris 1995; “Istorijski casopis”, 1993-1994, 323. – The critical review was written for the London “Times Literary Supplement”, but it it was returned saying that they had already published a review of the book.
2. Warren Zimmermann: A Pavanne for Bosnia, in “The National Interest”, No. 37, Fall 1994, 75. “Pavanne” or “Pavana” is a court dance originally from South Europe. After 1535 it spread into Europe from Pavia, after which it was named.
3. The book “Bosnia. A Short History” 1994, is dedicated to “Ahmed and Zoran”. The identity of the two persons becomes clear only from the preface to “Kosovo. A Short History” 1998, from this reference to Ahmed Zilic. “Zoran” is Zoran Pajic”, professor at the Sarajevo Law Faculty, who at the time of the publication of the book was staying in Great Britain. He is Enver Redzic’s son-in-law. During the entire civil war in Bosnia he sided with the Muslims.
4. Noel Malcolm: Bosnia. A Short History, 8.
5. Noel Malcolm: A Short History, London, 1998, 11.
6. Ibid, p. 24. – On the settlement of the Serbs in Kosovo, p. 11.
7. Ibid, 40.
8. Ibid, 115.
9. Ibid, 221.
10. Ibid, 72, 74.
11. Ibid, 145.
12. Ibid, 225, 226.
13. Stjefan Konstantin Djacovi: Kanon Leke Dukadina, Zagreb, 1986.
14. Antonio Baldacci: L’Italia e la questione albanese, 1899, 2.
15. See the analysis in Milorad Ekmecic: Stvaranje Jugoslavije 1790-1918. II. Belgrade 1989, 118, 119.
16. Noel Malcolm: Kosovo. A Short History, 173.
17. Soranzo’s book contains a thorough list not only of the powers of the ruling Turk, of his dealings with various princes, of his actions against Christianity, of what we could have been done on our part to suppress those actions. In addition, it offers information concerning various peoples, places, towns and roads, as well as other details about the state worthy of attention. (Milano, 1598). – My quotation is from the Italian translation from Latin (Ferrara, 1607, 103).
18. Wassa Effendi: Etudes sur l’Albanie et les Albanais, Constantinople, 1879, 19, 20.
19. Lazaro Soranzo: L’Ottomano, 167. About the Council of Constance see the Introduction, LXXXVIII.
20. For the quotations from Lazar Soranzo, cf. Ibid, 174-175; Dr. Milan Sufflay: Srbi i Arbanasi. (Njihova simbioza u srednjem vijeku), Beograd, 1925, 27-28 – on the homeland of the Albanians after Ptolemy’s reference in the second century in Macedonia and around Kruja. – On the quadrangle from Dubrovnik and Ulcinj as far as Prokletije and Luma, 75; on the withdrawal of the Serbs and Croats under Turkish pressure and coming of the Albanians to their areas, 79. Sufflay quotes from Stavrou: Etudes sur l’Albanie, Paris, 1922; Thalloczy: Die albanische Diaspora. Illirisch-albanesischen Forshungen, 1; other literature. In the foreword for that book, Stanoje Stanojevic (1922) shared Sufflay’s opinion that on the Slav-Albanian borderlines “two worlds, the Eastern and the Western, have been facing each other, sometimes in a friendly, but mainly hostile way for thousands of years “, III.
21. George Joffe: Muslims in the Balkans, in the collection F. Wgarter and H. T. Norris (eds): The Changing Shape of the Balkans, UCLA Press, London, 1996, 83. Joffe quotes from F. Braudel: The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Time of the Reign of Philip II, London, 1975, 725.
22. Ataullah Bogdan Kopanski: Islamization of Albanians in the Middle Ages. The Primary Sorces and Predicament of the Modern Historiography, in Islamic Studies”, Vol. 36, No. 2/3, Islamabad 1997, 196.
23. Noel Malcolm, o. c., Introduction, XXVIII.
24. Nathalie Clayer, Mohhamad Khalid Masud: National and Religious Identity among Albanian Muslims after the Political Upheaval from 1990, “Islamic Studies”. Vol. 36, No. 2-3, 407, 411.
25. Hugh Miall: Kosovo in Crisis – Conflict Prevention and Intervention in the Southern Balkans, published by “Peace and Security, the International Institute for Peace Research Qurterly”, Vienna, Vol. XXX, June 1998, 7. The extent of the coincidence between the historical picture of Bosnia and Hercegovina arising from Noel Malcolm’s book and the political measures taken by a high-ranking international official implementing them in practice can be seen from a report of the SRNA News-Agency (by Branka Novakovic) from Amsterdam, dated November 3, 1998. The Bulletin of the paper Inter, published by non-governmental associations close to OESCD and the Office of a high-ranking international official, is quoted there. It advocates the establishment of a “civil society in Bosnia and Hercegovina, where there will be no national traits or identity, in order to create a specific Bosnian environment”. It is asserted that it is in the interest of the European Community and NATO to be stationed there until 2000: “Immediately after the establishment of mixed population municipalities in the Republic of Srpska and weakening of the national block power, the second stage of unification is to follow which should include a reform of the media and school system, i.e. the establishment of a neutral and impersonal system… We will try to exert our influence so that maximal shared elements are introduced in the educational system in both entities – says the project report aaccepted by the World Bank, which allotted 17 million DEM for its implementation, the Republic of Srpska obtaining only 5% of the sum. Additional funds will go to the Republic of Srpska if it complies with the media and school system reform, including changes in the interpretation of history, especially of the Turkish occupation period, a different treatment of Serbian epic poems, disavowal of Serbia’s school curricula and turning religious instruction into an elective course. The Latin alphabat and the jekavian dialect are particularly emphasized, because they are used in the larger part of Bosnia and Hercegovina.” It is concluded that “the Muslim party too participated, with several persons, in the composition of the educational system reform referred to.”
26. Noel Malcolm: Kosovo, XXVII, XXVIII. On page 340 he discusses the “Declaration 216” signed by Serbian intellectuals and the “Memorandum of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts” of the same year. He does not quote from the official edition by the Academy but from a French translation of an earlier version, in Grmek, Didara, Simac: “Le nethoyage etnic. Documents historiques sur une ideologie serbe”, Paris 1993. In contrast to Samuel Huntington – Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, New York, 1996, 260-261 – that this protest was a natural reaction of Serbian national elite against the changes in the ethnic structure of Kosovo effected through demographic expansion, Noel Malcolm doggedly blames the breaking out of the civil war on the “Memorandum” of 1986. However, he toned down that conclusion a lot.
27. Roberto Morozzo della Rocca: Socio-Cultural Aspects of the Albanian Crisis”, in “The International Spectator. A Quarterly Journal” of the “Instituto per affari internationali”. Vol. XXXIII, No. 2, Roma 1998.
28. Ibid, 71.
29. Ibid, 74.
30. Similar conclusions are drawn by Giuseppe Milunco: Albania nella storia, Lecce 1997, and by Patrizia Resta: Un popolo in cammino. La migrazione albanese in Italia, Lecce 1996. A comprehensive overview of the problem is given by Maria Teresa Ianitto, in “Italia contemporanea”, 212, settembre 1998, 699. The migration of the Albanians to Italy has been going on since the 15th century. In central Italy the areas of the “Arberesh” immigrants have emerged who use their old dialect, differing from both variants of the modern Albanian language, Geg and Tosk. The clans and bajraks were crushed as late as the days of communism, which established “la famiglia nucleare”. After the fall of communism migration continued, mainly to Italy, where the migrants first concentrate around the remaining “Arbersh” communities. Maria T. Ianitto challenges the theories that the myth of ethnic unity existed throughout the past. In March of 1991 28000 fugitives from Albania migrated to Puglia. Europe first received them anti-communist heroes, but when in three days in the same year new 28000 escaped, the authorities sent them back noiselessly from the border. The emigrants do not tend to form an “ethnic or national group”: “Dal canto loro gli albanesi in terra straniera non tendono a formare un gruppo etnico o nazionale: si raccogliono in piccoli gruppi familiari di tipo prarilineare” (p. 700). This is a process similar to that characteristic of some southern Serbian areas.


Source: www.kosovo.net

Albanians

ISIS and the Kosovar Albanians



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U.S. air strikes continue against the terrorists of the so-called “Islamic State” — formerly the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” or ISIS — in the borderlands of Iraqi Kurdistan. American military action has been impelled by the genocidal ISIS threat to Christians and various small Kurdish and other religious minorities, including Yazidis, whose faith is linked to Zoroastrianism, and the ancient monotheistic community of Mandaeans. Meanwhile, questions about the extremist movement and its foreign recruits have spread throughout the Muslim lands and the Muslim minority communities in the West, from Belgium to Australia.

On Monday, August 11, authorities in the Kosovo Republic — among the most pro-Western Muslim-majority states in the world — announced the detention of 40 Kosovar citizens suspected of participation in terrorism in Iraq and Syria. The arrests came after raids at 60 locations in the Balkan country, and were carried out under procedures established by the Kosovo Penal Code protecting “constitutional order and security in the Republic.”

The individuals jailed were identified only by initials and ages, and comprised eight in the Kosovo capital, Prishtina; seven in the eastern town of Gjilan, near the Serbian border; 11 from Ferizaj in the southeast; five from Prizren in the south; four from Peja in the northwest, and five from Mitrovica in the extreme north. The latter city is divided between Albanians and Serbs. Dates of birth ranged from 1962 to 1994.

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Evidence seized included explosives, weapons and ammunition. Kosovo police noted that 16 Kosovar Albanians have been reported killed in fighting in Syria.

According to the Kosovar newspaper of record, Koha Ditore (Daily Times), police said the sweep followed a two-year investigation, which is ongoing. Koha Ditore quoted Sevdije Morina, Kosovo’s acting chief special prosecutor, who declared that several local Muslim clerics are also under scrutiny. The same newspaper cited Blerim Isufaj, the prosecutor of the case, saying the majority of the suspects were affiliated with ISIS or Jabhat Al-Nusra, rival splinter groups from al Qaeda.

In Western Europe, alarm over ISIS and its appeal to the local Muslim diaspora emerged after the Brussels attack on the city’s Jewish Museum on May 24. Four people were killed in that incident, allegedly by Mehdi Nemmouche, a French Muslim who had fought in Syria. French interior minister Manuel Valls had warned in January that the return of jihadists from distant combat zones to Europe is “the greatest danger that we must face in the coming years.” Valls referred to ISIS influence in Muslim minorities as “a phenomenon of unprecedented size.”

On August 11, Australia was shocked as its media reported that Khaled Sharrouf, a convicted terror conspirator in that country, who went to Syria last year, had posted an image on his Twitter account of a child believed to be Sharrouf’s son holding the severed head of a Syrian soldier.

In between, both in time and space, Albanians were repelled when, on July 31, a Kosovar in the ranks of ISIS, Lavdrim Muhaxheri, posted photographs on his Facebook page of himself decapitating a Syrian soldier.

Muhaxheri has a history in Kosovo of supporting extremists in Syria. On May 12, the Kosovo daily web-portal Express, in a reportage signed by its intrepid investigator of radical Islam, Visar Duriqi, said that Muhaxheri had worked in the official Kosovo Islamic Community apparatus in Kacanik, a city near the southern Kosovo border with Macedonia. In Facebook posts before his atrocity photo was posted, Muhaxheri claimed he controlled the appointment of the imam at the Central Mosque in Kacanik, which has become a center of conflict between Islamist radicals and local traditional Muslims.

Muhaxheri threatened to kill Kacanik clerics as well as politicians and public figures in Kosovo who denounced incitement of young Albanian Muslims to fight in Syria.

As described by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) on its portal, Balkan Insight, for July 31, Kosovo president Atifete Jahjaga summoned a meeting with security officials of the Balkan republic the day Muhaxheri’s Facebook images appeared. She called for “treating this threat to the security of Kosovo as a priority.” Jahjaga said, “It is our responsibility as institutions and as a society to condemn these ugly phenomena. We must distance ourselves from these brutal acts of criminals, and we must denounce and treat them as such.”

Kosovo justice minister Bajram Rexhepi stated that an international arrest warrant had been issued for Muhaxheri.

The involvement of Albanians in ISIS has not escaped the attention of more influential global commentators. On August 7, David Gardner, a Middle East expert and reporter for the London Financial Times, pointed out that when, at the beginning of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, corresponding with the end of June, the “Islamic State” proclaimed its authority over all the Sunni Muslim believers in the world, the text was “translated into English, French, German, Turkish, Russian – and Albanian.” Gardner asked, “Why… take the trouble?”

Gardner attributed the appeal of the “Islamic State” for Albanian Muslims to penetration of the Muslim communities in the Western Balkans by Wahhabism, the fundamentalist doctrine originating in Saudi Arabia.

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Radio Free Europe reported on August 8 that Naim Maloku, a prominent veteran of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in the 1998-99 war for the territory, and now a military and security expert, said that Kosovo legal institutions must prevent local citizens from fighting abroad and that the official Islamic Community must be more involved in countering jihadist propaganda. “In their preaching, [Muslim] religious leaders should be more active in their statements,” Maloku said.

During the fighting in Gaza, radical voices were heard in Kosovo demanding that Albanians support Hamas. On August 1, the “Islamic Movement to Unite,” also known as “Join!,” and by its Albanian initials as LISBA, was supported by fewer than 100 people in a pro-Gaza protest held in Prishtina.

Kosovar Albanians are sympathetic, within limits, to the Palestinians. Many Kosovars are bitter about close relations between Serbia and Palestine. Muhammad Nabhan, ambassador of the Palestinian Authority in Belgrade, the Serbian capital, since 1974, has stated repeatedly that Palestinians support Serbian claims to rule in Kosovo and has even denied that Serbia – which invaded and annexed Kosovo in 1912 — ever “occupied” Kosovo. In 1999, the Palestinian Authority invited the late Slobodan Milosevic to visit Bethlehem for Orthodox Christian Christmas in January 2000. Israel then warned that if the Serbian dictator attempted to cross its borders, he would be arrested and sent to the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia at The Hague. The visit never took place.


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Prof. Dr. Petar V. Grujić: Twenty principal misconceptions about the Kosovo issue (2014)



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TWENTY PRINCIPAL MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT THE KOSOVO ISSUE

 1. Kosovo issue is a conflict between ethnic Albanians and ethnic Serbs over the territory

Wrong: It is a part of the conflict between Balkan Albanians and the surrounding populations, in Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia and Greece (ex. clashes between Albanians and Macedonians in Macedonia from 1991 onward including and open rebellion in 2001

  1. The issue is a fight of Albanians for their political rights

Wrong: The crux of the matter lies at the biological level. The real rationale is a demographic explosion which is going on within the Albanian population for a century or so (rate of growth by Albanians four to five time faster than the average rate in other European countries) and the ensuing expansion for Lebensraum

  1. The southern Serbian province is called Kosovo

Wrong. It is Kosovo and Metohia, abbreviated KosMet. Kosovo itself is an abbreviation of Kosovo Polje, what in Serbian language means Blackbird Field (in German Amselfeld). Metohia is a corrupted Greek name for Metohi, meaning dependency to monastery, referring to the land bestowed by Serbian kings and other rulers to the monasteries and churches in KosMet like of Pecka Patrijarshija, Dechani, Grachanica etc. (the 13-14 century).

  1. Ethnic Albanians at KosMet (Shqipetars in the following, as they call themselves) constitute a majority of 90% out of total KosMet’s population

Wrong. In the last reliable census carried out at KosMet in 1961, Shqipetars constituted 67% of the overall population, with (predominantly) Serbs and others sharing the rest. As for the subsequent censuses (1971, 1981, 1991) Shqipetars refused to take part in them. All figures quoted for the period after 1961 are estimates only

  1. Shqipetars are autochthonous population at KosMet

Wrong. In the Middle Age KosMet was the central part of Serbian state, culture and civilization. Shqipetars were tiny minority (about 2%, according to the Ottoman census in 1455), nomadic herdsmen mostly. They came to KosMet from North and Central Albania mainly after the First Great Serb Migration in 1690 from KosMet to Vojvodina (then in Habsburg Empire), after an abortive uprising against the Ottoman rule in 1689. When KosMet was liberated from Ottoman rule in 1912, by Serbia, Serbs and Shqipetars shared equally the overall population there (50% versus 50%). All toponyms (place names) at Kosmet are Slavonic-Serb, except for a few of them (as opposite to the state in Albania)

  1. KosMet is an undeveloped, poor region

Wrong. It is the most fertile land in Serbia (apart from Vojvodina). The average DNP per family is the same as in the rest of Serbia. It is low only if counted per head, since the Shqipetars’ family has six times more children than Serbian family (and former Yugoslavia’s one, for that matter. We are referring to a proper family here, not to the so-called fis, extended Shqipetar family, which may comprise hundreds members). In fact, accounting for the fact that proportionally more Shqipetars are working in the Western Europe, their income are not accounted for when estimating family earnings and KosMet appears better off than the rest of Serbia. That KosMet is a prosperous region can be verified by direct inspection at the spot. KosMet is the biggest coal reservoir in Europe

7.The aim of Shqipetars is an independent Kosova

Wrong. It is a common goal of all Albanians to live in a single (united) national state of (a Greater) Albania. The political program of a Greater Albania is designed in 1878 by the Albanian First Prizren League (1878-1881). This aim has been practically already achieved. KosMet has been practically annexed by Albania as there is no border between KosMet and Albania. As for the West Macedonia, it is a matter of the near future. The next step is Cameria, as the Southern Epirus (today in Greece) is called by Albanians and the East Montenegro

  1. The expulsion of Serbs from KosMet after June 1999 is an act of retaliation

Wrong. The process of Shqipetar committed ethnic cleansing of KosMet goes on for the last century and refers to all non-Shqipetars (Roma, Turks, Croats, etc). It is a clear case of well planned ethnic cleansing, whose rationale is an extreme xenophobia. As a matter of fact, Albania appears the most pure ethnic state in Europe, 98%, with Greeks, Slavs, Jews, Roma, etc. banished in one or other way. After the NATO occupation of KosMet in 1999 the ethnic “purity” has reached the figure of 97%.

  1. Kosmet used to be economically supported by the rest of former Yugoslavia

Wrong. Since the Serbia’s contribution to the Yugoslav Federal Fund for the undeveloped regions matched exactly the amount donated by the Fund to KosMet, it was Serbia which helped KosMet to construct the infrastructure, schools, the Prishtina University, hospitals, factories, mines, etc. Further, since the Shqipetar population consists mainly of children and teenagers, who used to get children allowance, it was another source of enormous income from the rest of Serbia, which had on average less than 1.5 children per family (as compared with 8 with Shqipetars)

  1. There is no such an entity as a Greater Albania

Wrong. Although there not publicized, the maps of that projected united national state of all Albanians do appear occasionally in the Western press, either explicitly, or as the region with predominant Albanian population. The point with the latter is that these regions exceed the (semi) official maps of the future united Albanian state, and even include regions without Albanian population at all!

9 Samodreza

  1. Albanians are autochthonous Balkan population descending from the ancient Balkan llyrian tribes

Wrong. They appear in the mid-11th century in the Balkan history and their origin appears uncertain (most probably they came to the Balkans from the Caucasus Albania via Sicily, according to the Byzantine sources, in 1043). As for the claims of Illyrian heritage (which is more a political wishful thinking than a very historical fact), distinguished English linguist Potter wrote “Some would associate it with extinct Illyrian, but with so doing they proceed from little known to the unknown”

  1. The rebellion in Southeast Serbia at Preshevo valley is due to the Belgrade repression on the Shqipetar population there

Wrong. This region was not included into the KosMet (autonomous) region after the WWII, for the simple reason that Shqipetars were a tiny minority at that time there. Now, many villages, which were purely Serb, are inhabited exclusively by Shqipetars. The influx from KosMet, plus the enormous natural birth rate, made this population to be majority in two of three rebellious counties. Due to this fast change in the ethnic structure, and due to the large percentage of young people not eligible for voting, Shqipetars’ representatives there are not proportional to the overall share of the population in the region. In fact Preshevo issue is a paradigm of the Albanian syndrome, as conspicuous at KosMet, and at Macedonia. First comes land occupation, then fight for the “political rights” and finally secession. It is the system which Henry Kissinger called “Domino Game” (referring to the Communist tactics in spreading over the borders). What Slobodan Miloshevic did at Kosmet in 1998 was much the same as J. B. Tito did in 1944-1945, after the Albanian rebellion of the Kosovo Liberation Army (the KLA) at Drenica (February 1998), when the military rule had to be imposed in the Province

  1. Shqipetars used to be friendly with their neighbors. They were protecting Orthodox monasteries there

Wrong. After the World War II more than 250.000 non-Shqipetars moved from KosMet due to the “demographic pressure”, not to mention violence. After NATO’s “humanitarian intervention” in 1999 at least 200.000 (according to some claims up to 300.000) non-Shqipetars fled away from massacres (including and Muslim Turks, Muslim Gorani, Muslim Roma population, etc.). At the same time, more than 200.000 Albanians moved to KosMet after the WWII (most probably even more than 300.000), and about 300.000 after the expulsion of non-Shqipetars in 1999. As for the shrines, they are protected in the same manner as the synagogues in Germany by the NSDAP party members. Only from 1999 to 2001 about 100 monasteries and churches have been leveled to the ground at KosMet. The peak of KosMet Albanian organized ethnic cleansing and destruction of Serb Orthodox shrines came in March 2004 (the „March Pogrom“, March 17-19th, 2004)

  1. The „blood feud“ has been extinguished among Albanians

Wrong. It was much reduced during the communist regimes in the area (Albania, Montenegro, KosMet), but has been revived after the “democratic governments” have taken power in Albania. It is widely spread at KosMet, despite the opposite claims by the local politicians. In fact, the persecution and expulsion of non-Shqipetar population in 1999 was experienced by Shqipetars as a collective blood feud as it is, for instance, recognized by Shqipetar girl Rajmonda from KosMet in the British Channel 4 documentary movie „Why Rajmonda Lied“ (June 1999)

  1. The KFOR holds control at KosMet and helps the region reestablish the order and law

Wrong. It has no control whatsoever over the local population, in particular the irregulars of the KLA, turned into mock police forces. The whole region, y compris North Albania (and Montenegro for that matter) is the European center for drug traffic and smuggling of arms, tobacco etc. There are no proper juridical system, no effective police, prisons, etc. What KFOR/EUFOR can do the most is to protect itself, but it is well aware that when Shqipetars conclude the UN/EU presence is a nuisance for them, international forces will be expelled easily. A single step from “protection force” to hostages would be sufficient, and everybody at the spot is aware of that

  1. Americans are siding with Albanians in the current Balkan affairs

Wrong. They are directly involved, at all levels, from financing, organizing, training, arms supplies, diplomatic supports, etc. Training camps at the North Albania, KosMet, and Macedonia are lead by American instructors, who are engaged even at the front line, as the case with Arachinovo near Skopje illustrates, for instance

  1. The rationale for the American interference into the Albanian issue is a humanitarian concern for human rights in the area

Wrong. All events that lead to the violation of human rights and massacres were induced by Americans and (to a lesser extent) by Germans. Nothing of those would have happened had not the NATO (sic) intervened in the region. The USA is interested in the peace, not in justice. Since Albanians do not appear convenient interlocutors for political discourse, Americans insist to the rest to submit to the Albanian demands, who have made their political goals their political rights! As a “collateral gain” the USA have got an important stronghold in the region (like the  military base Bondsteel at KosMet), a secure (sic) passage for the oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea, via Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania, to the Adriatic cost, etc. Another “collateral gain” is, of course, a free traffic of heroin from Afghanistan (occupied and controlled by the USA in 2001) through the area, right to the USA schools, colleges, etc (among other destinations). It is a claim that even 90% of the West European drug market is controlled by Albanian narco-dealers

  1. It was Slobodan Miloshevic who was to blame for the NATO ‘s intervention in 1999

Wrong. It was the Belgrade government responsibility to protect interest of the state of Yugoslavia, in face of a violent rebellion. The manners this state affairs have been conducted, including all eventual misdeeds committed over civilians is a matter of humanitarian concern and should be cleared up at the Hague Tribunal (or other international tribunal for the war crimes). But it does not justify bombing of Yugoslavia nor deprivation of a state to conduct its internal affairs. KosMet issue is much older than Slobodan Miloshevic and much deeper than disputes over political rights and state borders. Macedonia 2001 affairs clearly demonstrate this

  1. Former Yugoslavia disintegrated because of Slobodan Miloshevic

Wrong. His political (sic) manners only provided an excuse to Slovenia and Croatia for leaving Yugoslavia. The real rationale for this understandable decision was to leave the state that was burdened with the time bomb called KosMet, which the Federal Police hardly dismantled in 1981. And, of course, Slovenia and Croatia decided to leave Yugoslavia, a country in which they could not enjoy any more a privileged economic and political position as they used to have after the WWII. The same applies, mutatis mutandis, to the dispute between Montenegro and Serbia from 1999 to 2006

  1. It is the duty of the international community to help the Albanian issue settled down

Wrong. The international community does not comprehend the nature of the problem, for good reason, since it is not a political one, but a clash between a Middle Age (tribal) mentality and a (quasi) modern European standard of civilization. The only reasonable way towards a permanent and rational solution would be an a agreement between Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Greece and Albania, on mutual responsibilities and a civilized settling down of this Balkan affair, without interference from the outside, certainly not from the USA. If the USA want to compete for a role of an arbiter, they should first qualify by helping a permanent settling down of the Palestinian issue in the Middle East


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Author: Prof. Petar V. Grujic

2. Sotirovic 2013

Corrector: Assoc. Prof. Vladislav B. Sotirovic

29-11-2014

© Petar V. Grujic & Vladislav B. Sotirovic 2014

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Inside Kacanik, Kosovo’s jihadist capital



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Nestling in a wooded valley that its citizens laid their lives down to defend, the town of Kacanik in southern Kosovo is fiercely proud of its war dead.

Well-kept cemeteries include nearly 100 victims of Serb-led ethnic cleansing in 1999, while in the town centre, a statue clutching an RPG honours fallen members of Brigade 162 of the Kosovan Liberation Army.

But a decade and a half on from the war that brought about Kosovo’s independence, there is rather less pride in Kacanik’s new crop of warriors.

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Infamous son: Lavdrim Muhaxheri, from Kacanik, in Syria 

In the last three years, some 24 local menfolk have gone to fight for jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq, giving the town of just 30,000 people an unwanted reputation as the jihadist capital of the Balkans.

To add to the sense of shame, one of them, a 25-year-old recruiter named Lavdrim Muhaxheri, has committed atrocities as gruesome as any of those carried out in Kacanik in 1999, when British troops unearthed a mass grave containing 81 bodies.

Last summer, in an act that sent shockwaves across Kosovo, Muhaxheri posted Facebook pictures of himself apparently beheading another man suspected of spying against the Islamic State. Another shows him executing a Syrian man using an RPG.

“Muhaxheri has given Kacanic a name as the most radical city in Kosovo, if not the whole Balkans,” said Musli Verbani, a local imam, who claims that hardliners forced him from Kacanik’s Islamic Association four years ago. “I warned that this kind of thing was coming, but no-one listened.”

Kosovo, of course, is not alone among European nations in acquiring its own equivalent to Britain’s Jihadi John. But for a nation of just 1.8 million people, it now punches well above its weight in terms of the number of citizens joining Isil.

The interior ministry estimates that some 300 Kosovans have followed in Muhaxheri’s’ footsteps, making Kosovo Europe’s biggest contributor per capita. Along with neighbouring Albania, which has fielded around 200, and nearby Bosnia, which around 160, it is now seen as a potential launch pad for Isil in its bid to establish a new front against Europe in the Balkans.

What also alarms Western security officials, though, is why any Kosovans would join Isil’s fanatics at all.

After all, back in 1999, it was the West that rescued Kosovo’s mainly Muslim population, with Nato bombing raids that halted the campaign of ethnic cleansing by Serb extremists.

Since then it has been staunchly pro-Western, with the capital, Pristina, boasting both a statue of Bill Clinton and a road named after George W Bush, who was president when Kosovo formally gained independence in 2008. There are even young Kosovans named “Tony” in honour of Tony Blair.

Most Kosovans also follow moderate Islam that allows bars on the same street as mosques, and which is enshrined in a new constitution promoting the diversity suppressed during Communism.

Yet those same liberal values have also allowed less tolerant voices to flourish, including hardline Islamic charities that arrived during the chaotic post-civil war years.

Such is the foothold of radicalism in towns like Kacanik that last week, its modest town hall received a personal visit from Kosovo’s interior minister, Skender Hyseni.

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Kacaniku in southern Kosovo where some residents have left to fight in Syria. To the left is the mosque where Imam Musli Verbani was forced from by extremists  Photo: Will Wintercross

“Kosovo is a multi-cultural state, not a terrorist one,” he told assembled officials, speaking at a conference table decked out with the American and Kosovan flags. “Those going overseas are joining groups that spread violence and terror.”

In its defence, the Kosovan government argues that other European nations actually have higher rates of radicalisation if it is counted per head of Muslim population.

But since Muhaxheri’s shocking Facebook post last summer, Mr Hyseni has backed words with action, arresting around 100 suspected extremists, including the grand mufti of the main central mosque in Pristina.

Prosecutions are already pending of various recruiting networks, including one that passed messages via go-betweens at a kebab shop near the Bill Clinton statue.

It is, however, already too late, according to Mr Verbani, the Kacanik imam.

A former KLA fighter, he personifies the moderate face of Kosovan Islam. He studied in Cairo and speaks fluent Arabic, yet looked just like another drinker in the cafe bar where he met The Telegraph, wearing neither a beard nor robes.

It was precisely that secular outlook that he found himself having to defend as far back as 2006, when a confrontation with a young local radical named Jeton Raka turned violent.

“At first Jeton was just another good Kacanik kid, but he became more extremist by the day,” said Mr Verbani. “He said the government of Kosovo was against faith, and that school taught children to be unbelievers. I told him he couldn’t speak like that at my mosque, and eventually he came to my house, saying ‘I will burn you and your family’, and petrol bombed my car. Even then, though, the municipality and the police didn’t help me.”

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Kacaniku in southern Kosovo where some residents have left to fight in Syria  Photo: Will Wintercross

Raka is now believed to be in Syria along with Muhaxheri, while the government crackdown has largely driven the rest of Kacanik’s radical fringe out of town. Even so, locals remain reluctant to talk about the town’s most infamous son, although in such a small community, most know someone now fighting abroad.

Among them is Sadek Dema whose nextdoor neighbour, Hetem Dema, 41, was killed in January after apparently going to fight with Isil’s rival al-Qaeda faction Jabat al-Nusra.

“He fought in the KLA and was always a good and religious man, although he never showed signs of being radical,” said Mr Dema, as Hetem’s five year-old son, Harith, cycled past on his bicycle.

“Nobody is my father now,” Harith shouted out, before Mr Dema could usher him out of earshot. “Now my uncles look after me.”

Quite why Kacanik in particular has become such a hotbed of radicalism is unclear. Some cite its closeness to the border with Macedonia, where they say hardline preachers remain unchecked. Others blame the same lack of prospects that blight everywhere in Kosovo, where the annual GDP is only £2,500 and where youth unemployment is up to 60 per cent.

That same poverty, they also point out, has made Kosovo fertile ground for Islamic charities from the likes of Saudi Arabia, which offer education and welfare programs but also peddle a hardline vision.

Arbana Xharra, a Kosovan journalist who has investigated their activities, says that anyone who speaks ill of them can find themselves denounced and threatened as “Islamophobic”.

“I’ve had to change my kids’ school after I got messages online from people saying they would cut my children’s throats – they even knew what time they went to class,” she said.

Like many moderate Kosovans, she also points the finger at Turkey, whose Islamist government has funded networks of mosques across its Ottoman-era provinces of Kosovo, Bosnia and Albania. And while the Turkish government has denied recent claims that has offered tacit support for Isil in Syria, Kosovans are not the only ones to voice concerns.

One senior diplomat from a moderate Arab regime recently told The Telegraph that radicalism would foster in the Balkans as long as Turkey’s influence remained unchecked. “The EU’s best chance s to get countries Kosovo and Albania into its club,” he warned.

That is a view echoed by Ramadan Ilazi, Kosovo’s 30-year-old deputy minister for EU integration, who says the EU is being too slow in accepting Kosovo’s membership bid. Kosovo’s constitution, he says, is everything that a liberal EU bureaucrat could want, complete with a national anthem that has only music rather than words so “as not to offend anyone”.

Yet to this day, Kosovans cannot even travel to Europe without visa, giving small town youth in places like Kacanik little chance to broaden their horizons.

“Kosovo was built as an antidote to nationalism and the causes of the war,” said Mr Ilazi, who has a picture on his office wall of him shaking President Clinton’s hand as a 14-year-old boy. “But when people don’t see tangible results of their desire to become part of Europe, that allows radicals to suggest that Europe doesn’t want us.”

Still, with Kosovo still also suffering problems with corruption and organised crime, and with Brussels suffering enlargement fatigue, most estimates are that it may be another decade before Pristina enters the Brussels club. That, gives the radicals plenty more time to urge men in towns like Kacanik to head East rather than West.


2015-08-23

By , Chief Foreign Correspondent

Source: The Telegraph

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The killing of Serbian children in Kosovo: The story of a survivor



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At the age of 15 on a riverbank he was shot eight times just for being Serbian. He survived and a few days later during the religious holiday of Transfiguration he was out of his coma. But until now he has not received an answer to his question: who shot the children bathing in the river near the Kosovo village of Gorazdevac on August 13, 2003? In his interview to the Voice of Russia Bogdan Bukumiric tells a wonderful story of his rescue.

“It is not so scary to die as to be buried alive” – this is the inscription on the monument to the victims of Albanian terrorists and the NATO aggression in the small town of Gorazdevac, an oasis and at the same time a ghetto for the Serbian population in Metohija. There are portraits of two boys on the monument – Panto Dakic and Ivan Jovovic. They died on August 13, 2003 on the bank of the Bistrica River when unknown persons opened fire at the people resting there. Four more teenagers were wounded at that moment. Concerning one of them, Bogdan Bukumiric, 15 years of age, the doctors gave the following forecast: 96% chance of death and 4% chance of survival. He survived. He is 24 now, he lives in Belgrade, and when he read the story about the recent acts of vandalism in Kosovo (the monument in Gorazdevac was shot at) published by the Voice of Russia web site, he agreed to share with our journalists his memories of that horrible crime that nobody has been held responsible for.

Bogdan was born in Gorazdevac, where according to him after 1999 people turned immune to the sounds of shooting. After the war and the NATO aggression, which ended in the withdrawal of Serbian troops, the life there was difficult. The village had a population of 1000 and was surrounded by only Albanian settlements. The closest large city is Pec. They had to go there to buy food escorted by KFOR. There was no end to the Albanian provocations: Bogdan’s aunt, Milica Bukumiric, was killed at the doors to her house as somebody threw a grenade into her yard. The youth was isolated from the world – there was no entertainment, no chance to travel from the village; all they had left was only the community at school and around it. There was not even a swimming pool. Why “even”? Perhaps that fact played the lethal role in the whole story…

“My house was the closest to the river. On August 13 all my friends who passed by my house called upon me to go for a swim. I asked my father if I could go. My dad had something like a premonition. He said that I should not go, that the water was still cold. But then I asked again, and as a result went along with my friends. There were a lot of kids at the Bistrica River, as well as lots of youth and parents. I entered the water, it was really cold, and so I went to the fire. Less than ten minutes later I heard machine gun fire. My friends and me stood closest to the terrorists. Three bullets hit me in the left side. The guys and I knew that forest they were shooting from pretty well. I realized that if they came out of the bushes, I would see them. I sharply turned in that direction they were firing from – a few more bullets hit me in the breast and stomach. My legs gave in, I began to fall down, and at that moment a bullet hit me in the head. And the eighth bullet hit my left leg”.

Bogdan cried for help and still tried to get up. The villagers brought the boy to the hospital at the KFOR military base, but the doctor was not there. The wounded boy received the first aid at the local clinic; primarily they tried to stop the bleeding. Bogdan was conscious and kept asking the doctors to take his brother away from the room, as he did not want him to see him in such a state. The local resident demanded that the KFOR personnel take the boy to the hospital in Pec, but they found millions of excuses not to do it. As a result, Bogdan’s brother and his neighbor at their own risk drove him in a car to the completely Albanian town of Pec. “Bogdan, hold on, you are a hero, you will live”, – they kept saying. “I will not surrender”, – was Bogdan’s answer.

“Unfortunately, near the farmers’ market in Pec our car engine stopped. Our license plates were Serbian, so the Albanians attacked us. They destroyed the car, crushed the windows and wanted to drag us out of the car. They hit my neighbor who was trying to start the engine with their fists on the head; my brother was hit with a stone. There was neither mercy nor pity, although they saw a person who was hardly alive. If they dragged us out, we would have not survived. But fortunately, two KFOR patrol cars appeared and started shooting into the air. Up until that moment I was still conscious, but then I was in coma. What happened next I know from the stories of those who were with me”.

Bogdan Bukumiric was first admitted to the local hospital. Another victim of the shooting, Panto Dakic, was there as well.

“Panto was in a bed next to mine. Both the medical personnel and the patients had fun: “You wanted Kosovo, here you go!”, “Whoever did this, he is a good guy!”. Panto’s father would hold his son’s hand in one hand and mine in the other. An Albanian doctor came, but Panto’s father did not let him examine us, since he did not trust him. At that moment my friend died. The doctors believed that I died as well. However, a doctor who came from our village established that I was still alive. She insisted that they transport me by helicopter to the Northern part of Mitrovica. KFOR people said that they needed to get permission. She tried to convince them for three hours, and finally, a helicopter brought in another wounded, Marco Bogicevic to Prizren, and then they took me to the hospital of the French KFOR troops in the Southern part of Kosovska Mitrovica”.

Milenka Cvetkovic, a doctor from the Northern part of Mitrovica played the most important role in saving Bogdan’s life. When she found out about what had happened, despite the risk she went to the Southern, Albanian, part of the city where the French KFOR doctors operated on Bogdan’s spleen (the bullet passes in two millimeters from his left kidney). But when there was a delay in getting a neurosurgeon, the doctor insisted that the boy was taken to Belgrade. Naturally, a Serbian helicopter could not be allowed to land on the territory of Kosovo, but first that information was not openly stated. So in a car Bogdan was taken to central Serbia and from there – to the Military Medical Academy in the capital. Bogdan’s blood pressure went down to 40, but the doctor took all the necessary measures and it was stabilized. Due to the endless bureaucratic delays of KFOR, the entire process of transporting half-alive boy took 11 hours.

“When the doctors at the Military Medical Academy found out that in my body there was only 1.4 liters of blood instead of the normal 5-5.5 liters, they decided not to do the surgery right away. I was given a blood transfusion and the surgery was planned for the next morning. They forecast was the following: 4% chance for survival, 96% chance to die. On August 19, at Transfiguration I was out of coma. My neurosurgeon said that he did not believe that I would regain consciousness, it all depended on my organism”.

But it was only the beginning: Bogdan had a high fever and it turned out that the splinters of the bone damaged the cortex. Bogdan survived through four surgeries, had meningitis, and was motionless for four months – only the right side of his body functioned. But thanks to the exercises and of course, his perseverance he got back on his feet. Many high-ranking officials visited him at the hospital, including Harri Holkeri, who at that time was the UNMIK chief.

“He hurried to catch a plane; he asked me about my health and wished me a fast recovery and return to my home village, where everything was peaceful and under control. I asked him: Mr. Holkeri, can I ask you a question? Have you arrested the criminals? He clearly did not expect such a question from a 15-year old boy. He was at a loss and said that they were working on it, but had not collected sufficient evidence”.

For many years has Bogdan corresponded with various international organizations in Kosovo. They promised to «leave no stone unturned » in order to find the murderers: between 2003 and 2007 nothing much was done, then a new group started the investigation from scratch. They wrote to him that if new evidence came up, the investigation would be continued. But all the same, – says Bogdan, – justice will eventually take over.

“Monsters did that. To shoot at children who are having fun at the river… The youngest kids were about five years old. And it was a specifically developed plan – to scare us. They could not drive us away from the village and decided to strike at the most sensitive place for every person – the children”.

Bogdan has gone through many recovery courses, but even now he cannot fully control his left arm. Maybe in Russia there are doctors that can help me, because after all that I have gone through, I deserve to have everything right, – he says. However, the fate has another «surprise» in store for Bogdan Bukumiric. In 2003 he received an apartment in the Serbian capital as a long-term use with the right to buy it out. Then the decision was changed, and now every year he has no sign an agreement to extend the lease. Bogdan is afraid that one day they would come to remind him of such a thing as market driven terms and would tell him to move out.

“The publication “Vecernje novosti” has launched a campaign to collect funds to buy out the apartment. They estimated its value to be 59 thousand euro; I do not have that much money. Thus, I am forced to ask others for help, as it appears that the state is not interested in my problem. Right now about 6 thousand has been raised. I don’t know where to get the remaining sum. This problem needs to be resolved within a month or two”.

Bogdan lives with his brother and father. His mother died when the boy was five. He is currently not working, although he graduated from a school for electricians. He is completely dedicated to staying healthy. Bogdan Bukumiric cannot go back to Gorazdevac as he has to constantly be under the observation of the best available doctors in the capital. But the other children wounded on August 13, 2003, continue to live in the village of Gorazdevac. The families of the killed Panto and Ivan are also there.

“At the Gorazdevac cemetery there is a church that is the oldest in the Balkans. It was built without a single nail eight centuries ago. And I believe it protects my homeland. Gorazdevac was not burned down during World War I, it was not abandoned in World War II, or in the 1999 war or during all the events that followed; my village lived through all that”.

Irina Antanasijevic, the teacher of the Russian language and literature, who has lived in Kosovo for any years wrote in her memoires about the early 2000s: “The disarmament of Kosovo was the disarmament of the Serbian peasants, the shooting of who then turned into a sport of some sort. It was not even an extreme kind of sport. There was no danger. Go… shoot… leave, and then soldiers would arrive who would deal with the evacuation of the dead bodies and turning the stones…”


2013-02-13

By Timur Blokhin

Source: American Council for Kosovo

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Book: Prof. Petar V. Grujic, KOSOVO KNOT, Pittsburg, PA: Rosedog Books, 2014, pp. 450 (available on amazon.com)



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Kosovo has been a troublesome region of West Balkan for the last half millennium. The latest events, which have resulted in NATO occupation of the southern province of Serbia, marked the culmination of the violence that includes both domestic and international agencies.

p_grujicMany authors have dealt with the Kosovo affair, but none of them endeavored to present a complete picture of the case. This book attempts to provide a broad and objective analysis of the problem from the historical, anthropological, political and sociological points of view. The emphasis is on the sociological side of the conflicts.

Only by understanding the differences of the mental structures and civilizations of the populations involved can one hope to achieve a just and sustainable solution. It is shown that the Kosovo affair is a part of the perennial issue of montagnards versus plane people.

This forms the background of the conflicts West Balkan has witnessed in the last decades. The Kosovo case cannot be considered isolated from the global political situation and this book provides bold, even provocative, examinations of the principal players from outside.

It provides also a detailed account of the political situation in Serbia for the last half century, with a detailed account of the struggle to overthrow Milosevic’s regime.

From the book review

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The “Illyrian” theory of Albanian ethnic origin as the foundation of the ideology of the Albanian ethnic racism at the Balkans



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The topic to be addressed in this article is Albanian ethnogenesis and national identity framed by the “Illyrian” theory of Albanian ethnic and cultural origin and the regional political-security consequences of the implementation of the “Illyrian” theory of Albanian ethnogenesis, which was accepted by the Rilindja, (the renaissance) – the Albanian national awakening movement in 1878–1913.

The so-called “Illyrian” theory of the ethnic origin of the Albanians (created by German and Austrian scholars) is the most popular theory of  the Albanian nation’s derivation among the majority of 19th and 20th century Albanian scholars, politicians and intellectuals.[1] The crucial and concluding point of this theory (in fact, it is actually a non-provable hypothesis) is that the Albanians are an authentic nation (ethnolinguistic group) of the Balkans, the oldest, aboriginal and autochthonous one in this part of Europe. As a result, the Albanians’ South Slavic neighbours  (the Serbs, Montenegrins,[2] and Macedonian Slavs) in contrast to the “indigenous” Albanians are just “newcomers” to the Balkans. Their ethnicity and nationality are much more recent than that of the Albanians.[3] Subsequently, “historical rights” of the Balkan autochthonous Albanian population on certain disputed Balkan territories (between the Albanians and the South Slavs) are stronger, more justifiable and historically more deeply rooted than the “historical rights” of the Serbs, Montenegrins or Macedonian Slavs.[4]

According to the theory of Illyrian-Albanian ethnolinguistic continuity, the Albanians are descendants of the ancient Balkan population – the Illyrians. The national name of the Albanians comes from the name of one Illyrian tribe – the Albanoi. Furthermore, the tribal name, Albanoi, was the designation applied to the entire number of Illyrian tribes around the Ionian Sea.[5] The proponents of the Illyrian theory of Albanian origin build their hypothesis mostly on the speculation that the modern Albanian language is directly descended from the ancient Illyrian one. Both of them belong to the same Indo-European language-group.[6] Nevertheless, this claim is disputed by contemporary linguistic science. The fact is that Albanian language as a spoken language of the inhabitants of present-day Albania was not mentioned in historical sources until 1285 in the manuscripts from Dubrovnik in which the language was referred to as lingua albanesesca. The name for the land – Albanon (the territory in which Albanian language speakers live) is derived from the name of the language. This term for Albania, according to the supporters of this theory, appears in several 13th century Latin dictionaries, as well in some of the Byzantine historical sources. The same Byzantine sources referred to the region between the Lake of Scodra and the Drim river as Arbanon (or Arber). According to the 2nd century Greek geographer Ptolemy, this territory was settled by the Albanoi tribe which was Illyrian in origin.[7]

The partisans of the Illyrian theory of the Albanian origin speak in support of the school of thought on the origin and evolution of the Illyrians, which claims that the ancient Illyrians did not migrate to the Balkans. Instead, they were an autochthonous people in this part of Europe and even one of the oldest settlers in Europe. It has been suggested that the Albanians, as the direct ethnic, political and cultural offsprings of the ancient Illyrians, are the original and indigenous inhabitants of the Balkans, even more aboriginal than the ancient Greeks since the ancient Greeks migrated to the Balkans in two great migration waves: first, around 2000 B.C., and secondly (Dorians), around 1200 B.C.[8] Clearly, Albanian “historical” rights are much stronger, justifiable and historically deeper based in comparison to Serbian, Montenegrin, Greek or Macedonian Slavs’ and Bulgarian rights with respect to several Balkan territories of doubtful authenticity. In other words, the Albanians are the “hosts” while their all neighbors are the “guests” in the Balkan Peninsula.[9] American medievalist John V. A. Fine simplified the crucial point of the theory of the Illyrian-Albanian ethnical-cultural-political continuity, nothing that: “…if the Illyrians were the ancestors of the Albanians, then the Albanians, as original inhabitants, have some historic right to that region and possibly rights to other regions which had been settled by Illyrians. And their Illyrian ancestry has been very important in Albanian nation-building myths”.[10]

The pivotal aspect (from a historical-political point of view) of the Illyrian theory is the claim that the Illyrian-Albanian tribes withdrew from the vast areas of the Balkans settling  in Balkan coastal towns and in the mountains of present-day Albania, Epirus, Macedonia and Montenegro during the Slavic invasion and occupation of the Balkans in the 6th and 7th centuries. However, according to this theory, Kosovo and Metohija were the only fertile lowlands in the entire Balkan Peninsula, which were somehow not abandoned by Romanized Illyrians-Albanians. As a result, the Albanians of the Illyrian ethnic origin were considered as an autochthonous population of Kosovo and Metohija while the Slavonic Serbs and Montenegrins were looked upon as newcomers and occupiers in the region of Kosovo and Metohija. Shortly, the Illyrian-Albanian historical and ethnic rights to Kosovo and Metohija – the land claimed by both the Albanians and their neighbors – are 15 centuries older than the Slavonic Serbian-Montenegrin historical and ethnic claims to the same territories, according to the theory of Illyrian-Albanian ethnogenesis.[11]

This theory emphasizes that in present-day Northern Albania an extensive settlement of old inhabitants emerged after the occupation of the Balkans by the more powerful South Slavonic tribes.[12] There was particular emphasis on this part of the Illyrian theory during the Balkan Wars of 1912–1913 as a way of refuting Serbia’s claims on the territory of North Albania. Furthermore, the Illyrian-Albanian population from the lowlands of Kosovo and Metohija began to come under Slavonic political-cultural influence, while the Illyrian-Albanian mountainous tribes from the Albanian highlands, who had less contacts with the Slavs, succeeded in maintaining their social system and cultural inheritance without alteration. The defenders of this theory claim that the Byzantine province of Theme Dyrrhachium (which was established around 809 and covered the entire Albania’s territory, part of Northern Epirus, Western Macedonia and the main part of the Montenegrin littoral with the area of the Lake of Scutari) was inhabited by Albanians who “caused the region to develop a special (Albanian) character”.[13] Charles I of Naples  (1227–1285) established his own feudal domain under the name of the Regnum Albanai, which is considered in Albanian historiography as the first Albanian national state, located on the territory of the Byzantine Theme Dyrrhachium. Its capital became the city of Dyrrhachium (Durazo/Durës/Drač).

According to the Illyrian theory, the Albanians as one of the oldest European peoples, who had lived on the same territory since the early period of Antiquity, deserved to be taken into account as one of the original inhabitants of Europe. They were descended from the Illyrians, i.e. from a special branch of Indo-European peoples, just like the Greeks or Armenians. Moreover, the Albanians have a language which reflects the quality, intensity and period of important pre-Indo-European and Mediterranean (i.e., Pelasgian) influences. Their culture is different from neighboring ones in terms of religious tolerance, a common history of permanent resistance against any foreign power and subjugation, a partial (medieval) experience in independent statehood, a culture which is an amalgamation of Illyrian-Balkan origins and East-West European elements, a very old and distinctive folk culture, and ultimately  a certain kind of “individualist toughness which, all together, singles the Albanians out of their immediate surroundings…”[14]

In accordance with this theory, since in historical and ethnic terms, the following territories in South-Eastern Europe were inhabited by the Balkan Illyro-Albanians they should be defined as the territory of a united (Greater) Albania, as the national state of all Albanians, in the future: it would extend from the area of the Lake of Scodra in Montenegro on the north, to the Bay of Ambrazio in Greece on the south, and from the Adriatic Sea on the west, to the Treska river in Macedonia and Preševo, Medveđa, Bujanovac and Lebane districts in Serbia on the east.[15] That was and is, in the eyes of supporters of the Illyrian theory of Albaian ethnogenesis, the exact territory of the Illyro-Albanians who have a 2.000 year-old history and culture.[16] The aim of the Albanian national movement Rilindja (1878–1913) was Albanian liberation from Ottoman rule and the creation of a national Albanian state whose borders would encompass all of the territories cited above. The political arm of the movement, the First League of Prizren (1878−1881),[17] established its own organizational structure in all of the territories considered to be parts of a united ethnic state of all Albanians.[18] The League launched the motto: “feja e shqyptarit asht shqyptaria” (“The Religion of the Albanians is Albanianism”) for the sake of ovecoming Albanian religious diversity and separation. This movement has been the crucial united force of the Albanians and the pivotal point for defining the national identity and development of the Albanians.

The Illyrians – autochthonous Balkan people and nothing to do with the Albanians who are originally the people from the Caucasus

It is true that every story about the Balkan Peninsula begins with the ancient Illyrians.[19] Historians believe that this Indo-European people were one of the largest European populations to inhabit the western portion of the Balkans from the coasts of the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic Sea to the Alps about 1000 B.C. Their eastern neighbors were also Indo-European peoples – the Thracians. The demarcation line between their settlements and their cultural and political influence was the Morava river in present-day Serbia (in Latin, the Margus located in the Roman province of Moesia Superior) and the Vardar river in present-day Macedonia. On the north, on the shores of the Sava and the Danube rivers, their neighbors were the Celts, while on the south the Pindus Mountains separated the Illyrians from the ancient Macedonians and the Greeks.[20] The Illyrians lived on the eastern littoral of the Adriatic Sea around 500 B.C. according to Greek geographer Hecatei (Hecateus) from the city of Miletus in Asia Minor. According to the early Byzantine historian Pseudo-Scilac, who lived 150 years later, the Illyrian settlements in the Balkans in the south extended to the southern Albanian port of Valona (Vlorë).[21] Among the ancient and early medieval historians and geographers the most reliable information on the geographic dispersion of the Illyrians and  the demography of the Illyrian territory appears in the writings of Herodotus, Livy, Pliny, Ptolemy, Appianus, Strabo, Procopius of Caesarea, Synecdemos of Hierocles, Isidorus Hispaniensis, and Euagrius.

When the Celts came to the Balkans in the 3rd century B.C. some of the Illyrian tribes mixed with them. In the same century, the Illyrian King Agron from the Ardaei tribe organized the first Illyrian state. At the time of greatest expansion its borders extended to the Neretva river in Dalmatia, to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Vjosë river in the Southern Albania and Lake Ohrid in Macedonia. Some of the 20th century Albanian historians and national workers claimed that a proclamation of independent state of Albania on November 28th, 1912 was based on the Albanian political-state inheritance which dated back to King Agron’s Illyrian Kingdom. Nevertheless, the Romans succeeded in defeating the Illyrians and abolishing their state organization during the three Illyrian-Roman Wars between 229 and 168 B.C.

The administratively-political concept of “Illyria”, or “Illyricum”, was used in subsequent centuries by the Romans who after the new conquests in the Balkans established first the Province of Illyricum, and in the 4th century the Praefectura of Illyricum.[22] It stretched from the Istrian Peninsula in the north-west to Northern Albania on the south-east, and from the Adriatic littoral in the south to the Drava river in the north. However, the main portion of present-day Albania was not included in this “Illyrian” province and became part of the Roman Province of Macedonia. This was the result of the Roman conclusion that only the territory of Northern Albania had been settled by the Illyrian tribes, but not the Central and Southern Albania. The proponents of the Illyrian theory of the origins of the Albanians did not provide an answer to the question of why all of Albania was not absorbed into the Roman Province of Illyricum if it was entirely settled by the ancient Illyrians? The Romans finally brought under control all of the Illyrian tribes during a new war of 6−9 A.D.[23]

From that time the overwhelming and very successful process of Romanization of the whole Balkan Peninsula began.[24] Some protagonists of the Illyrian theory of Albanian origin developed the hypothesis that the Roman Emperors Aurelian, Diocletian and Probus, who were from the western part of the Balkans, which was settled by the Illyrian tribes, were the predecessors of the modern Albanian nation.[25] During the reign of Diocletian (284–305), who was of Illyrian origin, the whole Balkan Peninsula, except its eastern part, was administratively organized as the Praefectura Illyricum. Mainly due to such Roman administrative organization of the Balkans the names Illyria and the Illyrians were preserved for a very long period of time as common names for the peoples who lived in the western and central parts of the Balkans, i.e. for the South Slavs[26] and the Albanians.[27] However, according to  19th−21st century official sciences of history, ethnology and philology (but not according to many relevant sources), the Illyrians and Slavs were not synonymous as the later came to the Balkans 1.500 years after the Illyrians.[28]

Clearly, the name Illyrians disappeared in the 7th century at the time of the Slavic migrations to the Balkans. After the 6th century, however, Byzantine texts do not record any accounts of Illyrians abandoning Balkan territories from the Dalmatian Alps to the Danube. The new Illyrian political and cultural center became the region of Arbanum (in Greek, Αρβανον or Αλβανον, in Serbian, Рабан) in the Southern Albania. The name “Albani” appeared in historical sources no earlier than the 9th century. Byzantine historians employed the name “Albani” for the Slavic inhabitants living around the sea-port of Durazzo (ancient Dyrrhachium) in Northern Albania. From the 11th century the name “Albani” (in Latin, Arbanensis, or Albanenses, in Greek, Αλβανοι or Αρβανιται) was associated with all Albanian tribes.[29]

In the Middle Ages the “Albanoi” lived in the area between the cities of Skadar (Scodra), Prizren, Ohrid and Valona. According to the champions of the Illyrian theory of Albanian ethnogenesis, the Slavic raids and migrations to the Balkans in the early Middle Ages did not affect the native inhabitants of the territory of present-day Albania. They continued to live there, preserving their own culture, habits and social organization. The southern Illyrian provinces retained their earlier ethnic composition. And of course, this ethnic composition was identified, although without supporting evidence in the sources, as the Albanian regardless on historical evidences and facts that the original homeland of the present-day Balkan Albanians is the ancient Caucasian Albania.

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ENDNOTES:

[1] See, for example [Marmullaku R., Albania and Albanians, London, 1975, pp. 5–9; Miridita Z., Istorija Albanaca (“Iliri i etnogeneza Albanaca”), Beograd, 1969, pp. 6–13; Historia e popullit Shqiptar, I, Prishtinë, 1969, pp. 155–161].

[2] The “Montenegrins” should be considered from a cultural, religious and ethnolinguistic point of view as the Serbs from Montenegro [Glomazić M., Etničko i nacionalno biće Crnogoraca, Beograd: TRZ „PANPUBLIK“, 1988]. Historical, political, religious, economic and cultural relations between the Serbs from Montenegro (the Montenegrins) and the Serbs from Serbia are similar to those of the Germans from Austria (the Austrians) and the Germans from Germany. However, today 60% of the citizens of Montenegro claim that they are ethnolinguistic “Montenegrins” different from the Serbs. On this problem see more in [Lazarević D., “Inventing Balkan Identities: Finding the Founding Fathers and Myths of Origin – The Montenegrin Case”, Serbian Studies: Journal of the North American Society for Serbian Studies, Vol. 25, No. 2, 2011 (2014), pp. 171−197].

[3] However, the Albanian national identity was created by Austro-Hungarian authorities at the late 19th century and the very beginning of the 20th century. Bulgarian scholar Teodora Todorova Toleva in her book on the creation of Albanian national identity published in 2012, cites unpublished documents from the Austrian State Archives (Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv) in Vienna that demonstrate that the Austro-Hungarian authorities had a crucial influence on the creation of Albanian nationality in the years of 1896−1908 [Тодорова Толева Т., Влиянието на АвстроУнгария за създаването на албанската нация, 1896−1908, София: CIELA, 2012]. This book is based on her Ph.D. dissertation defended at Barcelona University on September 16th, 2008. See also: Schanderl D. H., Die Albanienpolitik Österreich-Ungarns und Italiens 1877−1908, Albanische Forschungen № 9, Wiesbaden: Otto Harassovitz, 1971.

[4] About the problem of relations between national identification and border identities, see [Wilson Th., Donnan H. (eds.), Border Identities. Nation and state at international frontiers, Cambridge, 1998].

[5] However, contemporary German historiography does not mention the Illyrian tribal name Albanoi. The territory of Albania in Greco-Roman times was populated only by one Illyrian tribe, the Taulantii. In addition, neighboring present-day Greek territories were settled by the Illyrian tribe Dassaretii, while in ancient Macedonia by the Paeones and Dardanes, and in Kosovo and Metohija by the Scirtones (Westermann Großer Atlas zur Weltgeschichte, Braunschweig, 1985, pp. 38–39).

[6] The “Illyrian” linguistic theories of Albanian and South Slavic ethnogenesis have certain similarities with the “Thracian” linguistic theory of the ethnic origin of the Lithuanian nation that was championed by the 19th century Lithuanian linguist and national worker Jonas Basanavičius. The theory was the result of Basanavičius’ linguistic research of ethnogenesis of the 19th century Lithuanian nation. In his book Lietuviškai trakiškos studijos he developed the theory that part of the ancient Tracians emigrated from their Balkan homeland and ultimately settled in the eastern littoral of the Baltic Sea. Basanavičius claimed that these Thracian migrants from the Balkans were the predecessors of the modern Litvanian nation. This theory was based on the fact that the ancient Thracian language was similar to the 19th century Lithuanian language. Both of these languages belong to the family of Indo-European languages. Basanavičius was working for years in Bulgaria and in order to prove his theory collected documents with the Thracian personal names, toponyms and names for different kinds of drinks and then compared them to those of the Lithuanians. He claimed, for example, that Lithuanian name Getas comes from the Thracian tribal name Getai [Basanavičius J., Lietuviškai trakiškos studijos, Shenandoah, PA, 1898, pp. 8–15; Seen A. E., Jonas Basanavičius: The patriarch of the Lithuanian national renaissance, Newtonville, MA, 1980]. According to Basanavičius, the name for the mediaeval Lithuanian capital Trakai was derived from the Greek name for the ancient Thracians, while some of the “Polish” names for the settlements (for instance, Kalisz in the region of Poznan) were not originally Polish: they were of Lithuanian-Thracian origin. Basanavičius concluded that the ancient Thracians were of the same ethnicity as the Lithuanians [Basanavičius J., Lietuviškai trakiškos studijos, Shenandoah, PA, 1898, pp. 21−74].

[7] Before the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans, the  population of Albania called themselves Arbërësh/Arbënesh and their country Arbën/Arbër. The South Slavonic name for the people from Albania was Arbanas. The Arnauts (Арнауташи) were Islamized and later Albanized Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija who still did not forget their original ethnicity [Цвијић Ј., Основе за географију и геологију Македоније и Старе Србије, III, Београд, 1911, pp. 1162−1166]. However, during the period of the Albanian national revival movement in the late 19th century the Albanians called themselves Shqipëtarë and the country Shqipëtaria. The name is most probably derived from the word shqipe what means “eagle” referring to the mountainous settlers of the highlands of Albania. However, this word probably comes from the ancient Dacian-Moesian language adopted by the Bulgarians who settled the Roman province of Moesia Inferior in 680/681. In the Bulgarian language “Shqiptars” means the “highlanders”. The popular nickname for the Albanians is the “Sons of the Eagle” and for Albania the “Land of the Eagle”. Two of the most important and powerful Albanian tribal units around 1900 were the Ghegs (the Roman Catholics) in Northern Albania and the Tosks in Southern Albania. The Albanian population was (and is) divided with respect to religion. They are Muslims (the majority of the Albanians), Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox (the minority of the Albanians). The last group occupies South-Eastern Albania around the cities of Korçë and Gjirokastër (Argyrus). For more details see [Hobhouse J. C. (Lord Broughton), Travels in Albania and other provinces of Turkey in 1808 and 1810, I, II, London, 1858; Skendi S., “Religion in Albania during the Ottoman rule”, Südost Forscungen, № 15, Münich, 1956; Hobsbawm E. J., Nations and Nationalism since 1789. Programme, Myth, Reality, Cambridge, 2000, p. 70].

[8] Oxford Dictionary of World History. The world’s most trusted reference books, New York: Oxford University Press, 2001, p. 253.

[9] For instance, see: Marmullaku R., Albania and Albanians, London, 1975, p. 6; Miridita Z., Istorija Albanaca (“Iliri i etnogneza Albanaca”), Beograd, 1969, p. 9.

[10] Fine J., The Early Medieval Balkans, Ann Arbor, 1994, p. 10.

[11] See, for instance [Noel M., Kosovo: A Short History, New York: New York University Press, 1999, pp. 22−40].

[12] This opinion is also shared by some Serbian scholars. For instance, Ferjančić B., Istorija Albanaca (“Albanija do XII veka”), Beograd, 1969, p. 29. The champions of the Illyrian theory frequently cited the words of Milovan Đilas, one of the leading Yugoslav communists after the Second World War (and a war criminal) from Montenegro who wrote: “The Albanians are the most ancient Balkan people – older than the Slavs, and even the ancient Greeks” (cited from: [Costa N., Albania: A European Enigma, New York, 1995, p. 1]), or French scholar Andre Malraux who wrote that “Athens was, alas no more than an Albanian village” [Malraux A., Anti-Memoirs, New York, 1968, p. 33].

[13] Marmullaku R., Albania and Albanians, London, 1975, p. 8; Ferluga J, “Sur la date de la création du thème de Dyrrhachium”, Extrait des Actes du XII Congrès International des Etudes Byzantines, vol. 2, Beograd, 1964, pp. 83−92. Regarding the borders of the Byzantine Theme Dyrrhachium see: Engel J. (ed.), Groβer Historischer Weltatlas. Mittelalter, München, 1979, p. 14.

[14] Ismajly R., “Albanians and South-Eastern Europe (Aspects of Identity)”, Conflict or Dialogue. Serbian-Albanian relations and integration of the Balkans. Studies and Essays, Subotica, 1994, p. 269.

[15] For example, Protest of the Population of Shkodra, Podgorica, Shpuza, Zhabjak, Tivar, Ulqin, Gruda, Kelmend, Hot and Kastrat addressed to the Ambassador of France in Istanbul against the annexation of Albanian lands by Montenegro (Shkodra, May 8th, 1878), Archives du Ministère des Affaires étrangères, Paris, Fund of the French Embassy at the Sublime Porte, Turkey, vol. 417, pp. 51–54, supplement to the report № 96. Original in French. English translation in Pollo S., Pulaha S. (eds.), Pages of the Albanian National Renaissance, 1878–1912, Tirana, 1978, pp. 12–13; Contents of the coded telegram sent by Dervish Pasha from Shkodra (December 27th, 1880), Basbakanllik Arsive, Istanbul, Fund of Jilldiz esas evraki, 14 88/16 88 12. Original in Turkish. See figure 2. For the Albanian scholars, of course, any project of creation of a Greater Albania is only the myth [Kola P., The Myth of Greater Albania, New York: New York University Press, 2003].

[16] However, several written historical sources from different cultural environments (Byzantine, Arab…) clearly say that the Albanians arrived in the Balkans in 1043 from the Eastern Sicily and that their  original home was in Caucasus Albania which is mentioned in several ancient sources as an independent state with its own rulers. The Caucasus Albania was neigboring the Caspian Sea, Media, Iberia, Armenia and Sarmatia Asiatica (see figure 4). The most important source which mentions that the Balkan Albanians came from Eastern Sicily in 1043 is the Byzantine historian Michael Ataliota [Ataliota M., Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantine, Bonn: Weber, 1853, p. 18]. This historical fact is recognized and by some of Albanian historians like Stefang Pollo and Arben Puto [Pollo S., Puto A., The History of Albania, London-Boston-Hebley: Routledge & Kegan, 1981, p. 37].

[17] The League (Lidhja e Prizrenit) was established in the town of Prizren in Metohija for the very political purpose: to claim that this old Serbian town is in fact an Albanian one. However, Prizren was at that time consisted of 70% Serbs and 30% Albanians. The town was a capital of Serbia in the 14th century (called by Serbs as “Imperial City”). It was the location of the royal-imperial court and the Orthodox cathedral (саборна црква) built in 1307. Today, only several Serbian houses remain in the town of Prizren. Metohija is a term of the Greek origin (μετόχι). It refers to the land owned by the Orthodox church. As the Serbian medieval rulers granted huge portions of land between the towns of Peć, Prizren, Mitrovica and Priština to the Serbian Orthodox Church the western part of Kosovo came to be called Metohija [Батаковић Т. Д., Косово и Метохија у српско-арбанашким односима. Друго допуњено издање, Београд, Чигоја штампа, 2006, p. 10]. This province is called by the Serbs, Kosovo and Metohija, while the Albanians purposely refer to it only as Kosova/Kosovë. However, the word Kosovo/Kosova/Kosovë is of Slavic origin (kos = type of eagle), but not of Albanian, what means that Albanians even do not have their own (Albanian) name for Kosovo. The Albanians, of course, do not mention Metohija at all.

[18] For example [The Activity of the Albanian League of Prizren in the vilayet of Kosova (1880), Consul-General Blunt to the Marquis of Salisbury, Public Record Office, Foreign Affairs, London, № 195/1323; The British Museum, London, Fund of Accounts and Papers (43), 1880, LXXXII, 82, 77–78]. The document is published in [Rizaj S., The Albanian League of Prizren in British Documents, 1878–1881, Prishtina, 1978, pp. 279–280].

[19] Stipčević A., Every Story About the Balkans Begins with the Illyrians, Priština, 1985; Buda A., “The Southern Illyrians as a Problem of Historiography”, Historical Writings, vol. 1, pp. 13–15. During the last decades many scholars have claimed that the Balkan Illyrians (and Thracians) were nothing else but ethnolinguistic Serbs [Бајић Ј., Блажени Јероним, Солинска црква и Србо-Далмати, Шабац, 2003; Деретић И. Ј., Антић П. Д., Јарчевић М. С., Измишљено досељавање Срба, Београд: Сардонија, 2009; Милановић М., Историјско порекло Срба, Београд: Admiral Books, 2011; Земљанички Б., Срби староседеоци Балкана и Паноније у војним и цивилним догађајима са Римљанима и Хеленима од I до X века, Београд: Стручна књига, 1999]. In other words, they claim, that the Serbs, but not the Albanians, are the only autochthonous people (nation) on the Balkan Peninsula, according to the historical sources of the time.

[20] Islami S., Anamali S., Korkuti M, Prendi F., Les Illyriens, Tirana, 1985, p. 5; Anamali S., “The Illyrians and the Albanians”, Prifti K., Nasi L., Omari L., Xhufi P., Pulaha S., Pollo S., Shtylla Z. (eds.), The Truth on Kosova, Tirana, 1993, p. 5; Cabanes P., Les Illyriens de Bardylis à Genthios, IV–II siècles avant J.C, Paris, 1988, p. 17. The borders of geographical distribution of the Illyrian population in Antique Balkans are primarily reconstructed according to the writings of the Greek historians Herodotus who lived in the 5th century B.C. and wrote Historiae and Appianus who lived in the 2nd century A.D. and wrote Illyrica.

[21] The most outstanding Illyrian tribes were: Iapudes, Dalmatae, Autariatae, Docletae and Taulantii.

[22] The Praefectura of Illyricum was subdivided into the following Provinces: Dacia Ripensis, Dacia Mediterranea, Moesia Superior Margensis, Dardania, Praevalis, Macedonia Prima, Macedonia Secunda, Epirus Nova, Epirus Vetus, Thessalia, Achaia and Creta.

[23] Ростовцев М., Историја старога света: Грчка и Рим, Нови Сад: Матица српска, 1990, pp. 383−384.

[24] Regardless of the fact that the Latin language did not replace the Illyrian one in the territory of Albania during Roman rule, Latin did not become the language of the common people. The Illyrian language was Romanized to a certain degree and the Latin alphabet was later chosen by the Albanian national leaders as the national script of the Albanians (one of the reasons for such a decision was purely political). For sure, the Roman culture and Latin language participated in the process of the ethnogenesis of the Albanians. However, the proponents of the Illyrian theory of Albanian ethnogenesis refute this opinion emphasizing that the number of Latin inscriptions found in Albania is small when compared with the number found in the other provinces of the Roman Empire. Their total number is 293. Half of these inscriptions are found in and around the Roman colony located in the ancient city of Dyrrhachium. Theodore Mommsen thought that people used exclusively the Illyrian language in the interior of Albania during the Roman occupation [Mommsen T., The Provinces of the Roman Empire, vol. 1, Chicago, MCMLXXIV, pp. 202–203]. Dardania was one of the least Romanized Balkan regions  and its native population preserved its ethnic individuality and consciousness. Subsequently, the Dardanians, who escaped Romanization and survived the South Slavic migrations to the Balkans, emerged in the Middle Ages with the name of the Albanians. Nevertheless, Latin terminology in modern Albanian and the place-names in Albania are evidence of the Illyrian-Albanian Romanization/Latinization.

[25] However, the proponents of the theory of Serbian Balkan origin claim that all Balkan-born Roman emperors (arround 20) were ethnic Serbs. Diocletian and Constantine the Great are the most important among them.

[26] Among the South Slavs, and in part among the Poles and Russians, the Illyrian theory of Slavic origin was widespread from the early 16th century to the early 19th century. According to this theory, the South Slavs were the autochthonous population in the Balkans originating from the ancient Illyrians. Furthermore, all Slavs formerly lived in the Balkans and were known by the ancient authors as the Illyrians. At the beginning of the Middle Ages they split into three groups: one group migrated to Central Europe (the Western Slavs), another group went to Eastern Europe (the Eastern Slavs) while the last group remained in the Balkans (the South Slavs). According to several medieval chronicles, the South Slavic ascendants were the ancient Illyrians, Thracians and Macedonians. Thus, Alexander the Great, Constantine the Great, Diocletian and St. Hieronymus were of South Slavic origin. In the time of Humanism, Renaissance, Reformation and the Counter-Reformation, a number of Dubrovnik (Ragusian) writers became the most prominent champions of this theory. They included Vinko Pribojević (On Origin and History of the Slavs, published in Venice in 1532), Mavro Orbini (De Regno Sclavorum, published in Pesaro in 1601) and Bartol Kašić (Institutiones Linguae Illyricae, published in 1604). Pribojević claimed that all Slavs spoke one common language, which originated in the Balkans. For him, the Russians spoke a Dalmatian dialect of the common Slavic language. This common Slavic language was named by Dubrovnik writers as “Our”, “Illyrian” or “Slavic” one. Subsequently, all Slavs who spoke “Our” language belonged to “Our” people. The influence of the Illyrian theory of (the South) Slavic origin can be seen in: 1) the work of Serbian noblemen from Transylvania, Count Đorđe Branković (1645–1711) who in 1688 wrote the first political program of the South Slavic unification into a free and independent state which he called the “Illyrian Kingdom”; in 2) the fact that Orbini’s De Regno Sclavorum was translated into Russian in 1722; and in 3) that the Croatian movement of national renewal from the time of the first half of the 19th century was officially called as the “Illyrian Movement”.

[27] Miridita Z., Istorija Albanaca (“Iliri i etnogeneza Albanaca”), Beograd, 1969, pp. 9−10; Qabej W., Hyrje në historinë e gjuhës shipe, Prishtinë, 1970, pp. 29–32; Prifti K., Nasi L., Omari L., Xhufi P., Pulaha S., Pollo S., Shtylla Z. (eds.), The Truth on Kosova, Tirana, 1993, pp. 5–73; Dobruna E., “On some ancient toponyms in Kosova”, Onomastika e Kosoves, Prishtina, 1979; Anamali S., “The problem of the formation of the Albanian people in the light of archaeological information”, The National Conference on the formation of the Albanian people, their language and culture, Tirana, 1988; Çabej E., “The problem of the autochthony of Albanians in the light of place-names”, Buletini i Universitetit Shteteror te Tiranes, № 2, 1958, pp. 54–62.  

[28] For instance, see [Ћоровић В., Историја Срба, Београд: БИГЗ, 1993, pp. 3−66; Ферјанчић Б., Византија и Јужни Словени, Београд: Завод за издавање уџбеника Социјалистичке Републике Србије, 1966, pp. 20−26; Kont F., Sloveni. Nastanak i razvoj slovenskih civilizacija u Evropi (VI−XIII vek), Beograd: Zavod za izdavačku delatnost „Filip Višnjić“, 1989, pp. 14−43; Пипер П., Увод у славистику, 1, Београд: Завод за уџбенике и наставна средства Београд, 1998, pp. 81−96].

[29] The name for the Albanians – “Арбанаси” is derived from the Latin name for the Albanians as the “Arbanenses”.


2. Sotirovic 2013

Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirović

www.global-politics.eu/sotirovic

globalpol@global-politics.eu

© Vladislav B. Sotirović 2017

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Noel Malcolm: “Kosovo – A Short History”, 1999. A history written with an attempt to support Albanian territorial claims in the Balkans (First part)



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Noel Malcolm – Kosovo – A Short History

A history written with an attempt to support Albanian territorial claims in the Balkans

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A Short History of Kosovo by Noel Malcolm is usually considered as one of the prime historical sources on the history of the province. In fact, this book is an example of the History with a political attitude because it is not by chance that Malcolm who attacks the “myths” of Serbian history is at the same time a president of the Anglo-Albanian Association and one of the strongest supporters of independence of Kosovo. Being far from an objective scientific work Malcolm’s History of Kosovo can be better classified as a kind of historical pamphlet which will not easily outlive the present political moment for which it was written.

Similarly, like his Shorter History of Bosnia, in which he idealizes the Ottoman rule beyond any measure, the Short History of Kosovo will find eager readers only among those who seek instant, black and white histories and do not have much time and intellectual eagerness to delve more deeply into the history of the Balkans.

With a boldness of an experienced historian, although he has written very few historical books, Malcolm in his rather journalist style very subjectively draws conclusions out of his carefully filtered bibliography in which Serb sources hardly find any place at all. But, more than anything, it is very strange that Malcolm almost completely ignores Serbian Orthodox archives and libraries although more than 90% of all cultural and historical monuments in Kosovo belong to this Church. Furthermore, although Malcolm consulted 16 different archives in six countries, none of them were in Serbia. It is a puzzling gap indeed, because so many other sources have been explored. This fact, most persuasively reveals that this is in fact a book intended to falsify the history rather than to approach it in an evenhanded and scientific way.

INSTITUTE OF HISTORY
of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Collection of Works
Volume 18

Response to Noel Malcolm’s Book
KOSOVO. A SHORT HISTORY

Scientific Discussion on Noel Malcolm`s book “Kosovo. A Short History”
(Macmillan, London 1998, 492)
8th October 1999

This book contains eight historical studies with the criticism of Noel Malcolm’s book: Kosovo A Short History. The texts were read at the Discussion organized by the Historical Institute of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Art in Belgrade on October 8, 1999.

“Needless to say, the motifs for this Discussion are scientific. It was not organized because the book in question is worthy of it as a scientific work, but because it deals with a phenomenon deserving to be thoroughly discussed. Noel Malcolm’s book Kosovo. A Short History is not a scientific work, yet the general public, and even some professional circles, have accepted it as an objective presentation of the past, notably the past of Kosovo. The publicity it has received in many media in the West as well as its eager inclusion in the holdings of many libraries bear witness to that”.

From the Foreword of the Editor-in-Chief
Prof. Slavenko Terzic

Foreword

About This Scientific Discussion
October 8, 1999

By Slavenko Terzic

The Discussion on Noel Malcolm’s book Kosovo. A Short History was scheduled for early April 1999, but it had to be postponed owing to the NATO aggression. We invited some thirty colleagues to take part in the Discussion, notably historians but also art historians, archaeologists, Orientalists and political scientists. As a matter of course, we also invited the author of the book Noel Malcolm. We have recently received his letter (fax) telling us that he was not able to attend the Discussion.

Our historiography does not pride itself on a very rich tradition of scientific discussions. Many books have been published here (in Pristina and other Yugoslav centres), but also abroad, calling for impartial scientific appraisal. As a rule, these books used to be passed over in silence, or even met with a kind of haughtiness, and in the course of time such unscientific attitudes became an accepted system of knowledge which it was very difficult to counteract, and today it is even more difficult to do so.

Needless to say, the motifs for this Discussion are scientific. It was not organized because the book in question is worthy of it as a scientific work, but because it deals with a phenomenon deserving to be thoroughly discussed. Noel Malcolm’s book Kosovo. A Short History is not a scientific work, yet the general public, and even some professional circles, have accepted it as an objective presentation of the past, notably the past of Kosovo. The publicity it has received in many media in the West as well as its eager inclusion in the holdings of many libraries bear witness to that.

Noel Malcolm’s book is undoubtedly a phenomenon. In other words, it demonstrates the extent of the betrayal of the historical truth and the manipulation of the past of nations, regions or states for the sake of the political ends of the day. It was a commonplace view that such books are possible only in totalitarian societies. But we can see that the appearance of such books is also possible in a milieu which, until recently at least, could not be called totalitarian, and that it is possible within a historiography excelling in great authors and trustworthy works.

The colleagues about to talk about this book will throw light on various aspects of this work ranging from its basic methodological and theoretical approach, its research conception, to its documentary reliability and interpretation characteristics.

Noel Malcolm has begun his studies of South-East Europe recently, at the time when the process of disintegration of the Yugoslav state was beginning. So he very rapidly became an expert in the history of the “regions going through a crisis” and of “unstable regions”. He has produced a short history of Bosnia, to be followed by this one of Kosovo, so that he can be expected to manufacture “a short history” of Dagestan or Chechnya tomorrow. He resembles a little, in everything, a “holy warrior” brandishing a pen in his hand. With his “history” of the regions with which he deals he caters to the demands of the political moment. In this particular case, to the demands of the Great Albanian project and NATO political plans in South-Eastern Europe.


Source: www.kosovo.net

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Albanology and political claims of the Albanians



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The interest of European scholars, primarily German and Austrian, in research on Albanian ethnical origin rose gradually during the second half of the 19th century.[1] Their interest in Albanian and Balkan studies came later in comparison with the study of other ethnic groups and regions in Europe. The reason was that Euro-centrism of the late 19th century and the early 20th century defined the Balkans and its nations as the territory and peoples of obscure identity. In contrast to the  “real Europe”, the Balkans was seen as the “Orient”, not part of Europe at all, and above all it was considered as an “uncivilized” part of the world.[2]

Nonetheless, when the studies of the Albanians began the research was focused on the relationships of  the Albanian language to other European languages. However, the first hypothesis with respect to Albanian ethnic origins was quite indistinct and very soon discarded by the majority of scholars. According to a nebulous hypothesis proposed by A. Schleicher, the Albanians originated from the Pelasgians who were supposed to be the most indigenous Balkan population, settled not only on the entire territory of the Balkan Peninsula, but also inhabited a major portion of the Mediterranean basin in pre-historic times.[3] Moreover, it was erroneously believed that Indo-European languages such as Greek, Latin and “ancient” Albanian (i.e., the Illyrian language) were derived from the ancient Pelasgian language. However, some of Albanian scholars at present still believe that this hypothesis has real scientific foundations regardless of the fact that later 19th century linguists and researchers in comparative philology undermined the “Pelasgian” hypothesis and finally at the beginning of the 20th century overturned it.[4]

The German linguist Franz Bopp was first to claim (in 1854) that the Albanian language had to be considered as separate branch of the Indo-European family of languages. The scientific foundation of the hypothesis that the Albanians derive their ethnic origin from the Balkan Illyrians based on language criteria was laid out by the late 19th century Austrian philologists Gustav Meyer. He claimed that  the contemporary Albanian language was a dialect of the ancient Illyrian language. His claims initially were based on the results of the analysis of a few hundred basic Albanian words, tracable to their Indo-European origin. Later, Albanian national workers transformed Meyer’s hypothesis into the “Illyrian” theory of the Albanian ethnic background. Meyer’s hypothesis was based on the results of his linguistic investigations and comparisons of ancient Illyrian language to contemporary Albanian. Meyer argued that the modern Albanian language had to be considered as the last phase of the evolution of the old Illyrian language. Specifically, according to him, the 19th century Albanian language was a dialect of the ancient Illyrian language.[5] However, the critical problem with Mayer’s methodology was the fact that we do not have any evidence of the ancient Illyrian language as the Illyrians were illiterate. The reconstruction of this ancient language is a matter of the science of fantasy. Nevertheless, G. Meyer, a professor at Graz University from 1880 to 1896 wrote several works in which he opposed A. Schleicher’s Pelasgian theory of Albanian origin. Mayer claimed in his works (Albanesischen Studien, Albanesische Grammatik, Etymologische Wörterbuch der Albanesischen Schprache) that Albanian language was nothing more than a dialect of the ancient Illyrian language.[6]

Meyer’s hypothetical claims were taken up by a majority of Albanian authors, primarily from Italy, who made use of them for the propaganda directed to the realization of Albanian territorial claims, especially by the Albanian nationalist movement in the coming decades. The final aim of this propaganda work was to prove, using the evidence derived from scholarly research, that the Albanians were not members of ethnic Turk, Greek or South Slavic populations, but rather members of a totally different ethnic group, which had its own language. In other words, they fought for international recognition of the existence of separate Albanian nationhood which had certain national rights, including the basic right to create their own national independent (Albanian) state. Such a national state of the Albanians would embrace all Albanian populations of the Balkan Peninsula. For instance, on May 30th, 1878 the Albanian Constantinople Committee proclaimed their desire for  peaceful coexistence between the Albanians and their Slavonic and Greek neighbors, but only under the  condition that the Albanian ethnographic lands would be included into a unified Albanian national state.

The so-called Italo-Albanians, or Arbereshi, whose predecessors emigrated from Albania after the death of Scanderbeg in 1468 to the southern Italian provinces of Puglia, Calabria and Sicily, formulated this political program for the  unification of  Albanians into a united or Greater Albania. The program underlined that the achievement of national unity and the liberation of the Albanians required their territorial unification, joint economy, joint standardized language and a pervasive spirit of patriotism and mutual solidarity. The Albanian national leader from the end of the 19th century, Naïm Frashëri (1846–1900), described what it meant to be Albanian: “All of us are only single tribe, a single family; we are of one blood and one language”.[7] It is obvious that on the question of national unification at the turn of the 20th century Albanian workers would seek an Albanian ethnic and cultural identity primarily in common language since in Albanian case religion was a divisive rather than unifying factor. Additionally, and for the same purpose of national unification, they demanded that Albanian language be written in the Latin alphabet in order to distinguish themselves from the neighboring Greeks, Serbs, Montenegrins and Ottoman lords. This was totally irrelevant to the overwhelming majority of Albanians who could read neither the script.[8] However, the national unification of Albanian people on the basis of language was not completely successful, and even today it is still difficult for the Gheg Albanians to fully understand the Tosk Albanian dialect.[9]

Endnotes:

[1] The question of Albanian ethnogenesis was first examined by Johan Thunmann (1746−1778) in 1774 (Research on history of the East European peoples, Leipzig) and Johan Georg von Hahn (1811−1869) in 1854 (Albanian studies, Jena). Both were of the opinion, but not based on any source, that the Albanians lived in the territories of the ancient Illyrians and they were natives and Illyrian in essence. Hahn thought that ancient names like Dalmatia, Ulcinium, Dardania, etc. were of Illyrian-Albanian origin. This hypothesis is fully accepted by modern Albanian linguists. For example, “The name of Ragusium (present-day Dubrovnik), which in the mouth of the Albanians was Rush Rush, shows that the Adriatic coast was part of the territory inhabited by the ancestors of the Albanians beyond the present ethnic borders. The adoption of this name by the Albanians belongs to the time since 614 B.C… I conclude that there is a continuity of the Albanians in their present territories since ancient times. The old place-names in their present form indicate that this population has continuously inhabited the coasts of the Adriatic from that time until today” [Çabej E., “The problem of the autochthony of Albanians in the light of place-names”,Buletini i Universitetit Shteteror te Tiranes, № 2, 1958, pp. 54–62]. This standpoint is usually unquestionably recognized as truth by Albanian and German researchers like Peter Bartl in his book: Albanian. Vom Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart, Regensburg, Verlag Friedrich Pustet, 1995 [Serb language edition: Бартл П., Албанци од средњег века до данас, Београд: CLIO, 2001, p. 15]. However, the Illyrian theory of  Albanian origin (the Albanians were considered even as the oldest European people) was created by German and Austrian scholars for the very political purpose: to unite all ethnic Albanians around the central political ideology and national consciousness [Батаковић Т. Б., Косово и Метохија. Историја и идеологија, Друго допуњено издање, Београд: Чигоја штампа, 2007, pp. 66−67; Екмечић Е., Стварање Југославије 1790−1918, II, Београд, 1989, pp. 450−455]. At that time, like today, the ethnic Albanians were divided into three antagonistic confessions (Islam, Roman-Catholicism and Orthodoxy) and many hostile clans based on the tribal origin. In fact, the German scholars invented for the Albanians both artificial tradition and artificial “imagined community” in order to be more scientifically stronger in their territorial claims against the Serbs, Montenegrins and Greeks. In this context, we cannot forget that the first Albanian state was created and supported exactly by Austria-Hungary and Germany in 1912−1913. In the other words, the Albanians have been the Balkan clients of German political expansionism in the region.   

[2] Mishkova D., “Symbolic Geographies and Visions of Identity: A Balkan Perspective”, European Journal of Social Theory, Vol. 11, No. 2, 2008, pp. 237−256.

[3] On ancient Balkan Pelasgians as the Greek tribes, see [Zorzos G., Greek Pelasgian Tribes Textbook, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2009 (in Greek)].

[4] However, even today there are many non-Albanian scholars who believe in a theory of Albanian Balkan origin as one of the oldest European nations. See, for instance [Jacques E. E., The Albanians: An Ethnic History from Prehistoric Times to the Present, Jefferson, N. Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc. Publishers, 2009].

[5] Regarding the contemporary scientific results on this question, see [Hamp E. P., “The Position of Albanian”, Proceedings of Conference on Indo-European Linguistics, Los Angeles, 1963].

[6] Батаковић Т. Д., Косово и Метохија. Историја и идеологија, Друго допуњено издање, Београд: Чигоја штампа, 2007, p. 66.

[7] Gut Ch., “Groupe de Travail sur l’Europe Centrale et Orientale”, Bulletin d’Information, № 2, June 1878, Paris, p. 40.

[8] The international political aspect of the Albanian struggle for a pan-Albanian national unification into a Greater Albania is evidenced by the fact that Albanian national workers tried to obtain the support of Western Europeans by claiming that Greater Albania would be the crucial bulwark against Russian penetration to the Balkans via Russian client (Orthodox) nations and states – the Serbs, Montenegrins and Greeks. For instance, Montenegro was presented by the Albanians as “the Russian outpost at the Adriatic Sea”. The Albanian Sami Frashëri published an article in Istanbul newspapers Tercüman-i şark on September 27th, 1878 in which the borders of Greater Albania were defined by the borders of four “Albanian” provinces (vilayets) of the Ottoman Empire – Scodra, Bitola, Ioanina and Kosovo. These four provinces would be united into the so-called “Albanian Vilayet” (see figure 1). The First Prizren League, as the first organized Albanian political organization, accepted this concept in autumn of 1879 as the programe of the organization [Бартл П., Албанци од средњег века до данас, Београд: CLIO, 2001, pp. 96, 100−101].

[9] Hobsbawm E. J., Nations and Nationalism since 1789. Programme, Myth, Reality, Cambridge, 2000, pp. 52, 115. About the language basis of (non)identification among the Albanians from the beginning of the 20th century see: Durham E., High Albania, London, 1909, p. 17. On Albanian modern history, see [Vickers M., The Albanians: A Modern History, London−New York: I. B. Tauris, 2006].


2. Sotirovic 2013

Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirović

www.global-politics.eu/sotirovic

globalpol@global-politics.eu

© Vladislav B. Sotirović 2017

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Refuting a Greater Albania’s mythomania: The ancient Balkan Dardanians – The Illyro-Albanians, the Daco-Moesians or the Thracians?



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One of the claims of Albanian historiography is that the Central Balkan tribe – Dardanians, who settled in the southern portion of the territory of the Roman Province of Moesia Superior and northwestern part of the Roman Province of Macedonia, should be considered as one of the Illyrian tribes and an ancestor of the Albanians. With respect to this point, Albanian historians refer to the German linguist Norbert Jokl who wrote, according to the research of historical toponomastics, that the ancient cradle of the Albanians was Dardania, from where they moved westward to their present territories in late Roman times.[1] Consequently, the northwestern territory of the present-day Republic of Macedonia (the FYROM), Kosovo and Metohija and present-day Southern Serbia (settled by the Dardanians in Antiquity as well as the northeastern portion of the present-day Republic of Albania) are considered as Albanian historical lands and thus had to be included into a united Albanian national state in the future. For Albanian proponents of the theory of the Illyrian-Albanian symbiosis, the most valuable information and evidence that the ancient Dardanians were the Illyrians (and thus Albanian ancestors) comes from the archaeological excavations in the Kukës region in Northeastern Albania which belonged to the western portion of the Dardanian state.[2] What is of extreme importance according to them, is that the traditional Illyrian names like Andinus, Annius, Dassius, Epicadus, Genthiana, Rhedon, Surus, Tata, Tridus can be found in the inscriptions in Dardania. The Yugoslav specialist in Illyrology, Henrik Barić from Sarajevo, also championed the idea that “the Balkan homeland of the Albanian people must have been Dardania-Paeonia, provinces which, judging from the known names of persons, were the Illyrian and not Tracian in Antiquity… Therefore, it can be said that Dardania and Paeonia were the provinces in which the early Albanian-Illyrian symbiosis took place in the interior of the Balkan Peninsula”.[3] Barić, in fact, disagreed with the theory of the Romanian linguist Mateescu who, in his detailed analysis of the epigraphic material, dated the Thracian infiltration into  the province of Dardania  to the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D.[4]

The Albanian exponents of the theory of the Illyrian-Albanian continuity and ethnic symbiosis repeatedly quote Arthur Evans that the same coins, pottery and other handcraft products from ancient Dyrrhachium and Apollonia (located on the Albanian littoral) are found in Kosovo and Metohija (in the regions of Peć, Đakovica and Prizren).[5] This fact is, however, only evidence of the Hellenization of the Illyrians as the coins were of the Greek origin. Greek was evidently the language of official inscriptions among the educated class of Illyrian society.[6] The Yugoslav historian Fanula Papazoglu discovered a Dacian-Moesian or Phrygian stratum in the formation of the Dardanians. For that reason, the Dardanians cannot be identified with the Illyrians and thus cannot provide support for the development of Illyrian-Albanian ethnic self-awareness.[7] Finally, modern European ethnographic and historical sciences suggest that the homeland of the Albanian nation lies in what is today Central Albania. The German Illyrologist-Albanologist, Georg Stadtmüller, stresses that the original Albanian native region includes the valley of the Shkumba river, both sides of the Mat river, Kruja, and some neighboring areas.[8]

The highlanders from Albania, however, began to migrate from their mountains in mid-14th century towards the more fertile lowlands of Thessaly, Boeotia, Attica, Euboea and Peloponnese, while from the end of the 17th century they migrated towards the north-east occupying the territories of Kosovo and Metohija (“Old Serbia” or Serbia proper) and the territories of present-day Serbia around the cities of Novi Pazar, Vranje and Niš.[9] Certainly, it was not until the 18th century that throngs of Albanian herdsmen came down from their native country’s highlands to the fertile areas of Kosovo and Metohija, which up to that time were populated almost exclusively by the Eastern Orthodox Serbs, and to the regions of today’s Western Macedonia (from Skopje to Bitola) whose population consisted of a majority of Macedonian Slavs and a minority of Serbs.[10] Practically, most of the territory of the former Roman province of Dardania mainly settled by Dardanian tribe was not affected by the Illyrian-Albanian elements before the migrations of the Albanian tribes from the highlands of Albania at the end of the 17th century.

The supporters of the theory of Illyrian-Albanian ethnic continuity and symbiosis, however, assert that at the time of the Slavic incursions into the Balkans there was no large-scale settling of the Slavs in the territory of Kosovo, Metohija and Montenegro, i.e. in the former Roman Provinces of Dardania and Praevalis. According to E. Dobruna, an Albanian archaeologist from Kosovo, who investigated ancient toponyms in this region, “we find the continuous presence of native Albanians as successors of the Illyrians in the same territory where they live today since ancient times”.[11] “From the banks of the Bojana river, as far as Ioanina, a unified and homogeneous people live. From Ioanina to Bay of Ambrazio, lies the territory denied by the Greek religious and other propaganda to the Albanians, who are predominant there – if not in number, than at least in strength and capacity to resist”.[12] Consequently, the Illyrian-Albanian historical rights to these territories are longer and stronger than Slavic-Serbian-Montenegrin-Macedonian and even Greek ones.[13]

A Question of the “Koman Culture”

The majority of Albanian archaeologists have claimed that the Koman Culture that existed in the 7th and 8th centuries, represents an historical-ethnic continuity of the Illyrian-Albanian ethnogenesis. The Koman Culture, according to them, included an extensive territory from Lake Skadar on the north to Lake Ohrid on the southeast. For them, the Illyrian-Albanian ethnic roots of the Koman Culture are more than obvious (although not scientifically proven).

The importance of this culture for the Albanian albanologists is of an extreme value as they are trying to prove that the Koman Culture is the direct continuation of the local Illyrian-Albanian culture of late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. In other words, according to them, the Koman Culture shows that at the time of Slavic migration to the Balkans the native Illyrian-Albanian territories were characterized by stability and vitality. They further claim that the material evidences of the Koman Culture, which lasted during the period of transition from the late Antiquity to the early Middle Ages, share a commonality with all Illyrian-Albanian regions including those of Kosovo and Metohija, Eastern Montenegro and Western Macedonia.

Albanian archaeologists disagree with the views of their Yugoslav colleagues on the Slavic or Roman-Byzantine character of the Koman Culture.[14] Thus, for Albanian scientists, the data archaeologists have discovered in many localities from the 7th and 8th centuries, clearly fill the gap of the Illyrian-Albanian cultural-ethnic continuity, the gap which could not be filled completely from written historical (primarily Byzantine) sources.  Thus, for the Albanian albanology, the Koman Culture is the crucial link in the chain of the unbroken Illyrian-Albanian ethnogenesis from the early Antique to the present. For them, it must serve as the pivotal proof of allegedly Albanian origins on the Balkan Peninsula.

However, it is  a matter of fact, that large Slavic settlements and toponyms existed in the area that came to be known as present-day Albania. After the first Albanian state was created in 1912, and especially during the rule of the Albanian communist dictator, Enver Hoxha (1945–1985), however, a great part of the non-Albanian (especially Slavic) population and toponyms were Albanized.[15] Simultaneously, “Albanian national soil” was (and continues to be) gradually cleansed of both the Slavs and the Greeks[16] and their national-cultural traces. In this respect, the province of Kosovo and Metohija experienced the most serious ethnic and cultural cleansing in the post-1945 Europe (together with the territory of former Republic of Serbian Krayina in present-day Croatia which was ethnically cleansed by the Croat military and police forces in August 1995).[17] This southern Serbia’s province, known (for the Serbs) as “Old/Ancient Serbia”, or “Serbia proper”, became almost totally ethnically and culturally cleansed by the local ethnic Albanians after the province was occupied by NATO troops in June 1999. Today, there is less than 3% non-Albanian population in the province (compared to 13% in 1998), the Slavic-Serb toponyms have been renamed to Albanian ones, the Serb cultural property, as the physical proof of Serbian national existence in the province from a historical perspective, has been largely destroyed (see figure 3) or officially called as the “Byzantine” one and the rest of the non-Albanian population (together with the local Serbs) has been expelled from the province which proclaimed its state independence in February 2008.[18]

It is in this way that Kosovo and Metohija have become an exclusively Albanian populated and culturally inherited land – a part of a united national state of ethnic Illyro-Albanians in the form of the Greater Albania. Nevertheless, from the perspective of relevant historical sources (the first Ottoman census in Kosovo and Metohija done in 1455), there was only a 2% Albanian population in the province in the mid-15th century.[19] One of the most famous South Slavic philologists in the 20th century, Pavle Ivić came to the conclusion after an in depth investigation of the case-study of Kosovo and Metohija that “the factual material clearly shows that there was no linguistic continuity between the ancient population of the present province of Kosovo’s population, and those who now inhabit the area”.[20] This is one of the most serious scientific refutations of the Albanian hypothesis of the Illyrian-Albanian ethnogenesis. In addition, even today, an overwhelming majority (if not all) of the toponyms in Kosovo and Metohija are of Slavic (Serb) origin.[21] The present-day Albanian practice of Albanizing them is quite understandable from the perspective of the political aims of the proponents of the hypothesis of the Illyrian-Albanian ethnogenesis.

Endnotes:

[1] Jokl N., Eberts Reallexicon der Vorgeschichte, I, 1924, p. 91.

[2] Anamali S., “The Illyrians and the Albanians”, Prifti K., Nasi L., Omari L., Xhufi P., Pulaha S., Pollo S., Shtylla Z. (eds.), The Truth on Kosova, Tirana, 1993, p. 7; Jubani B., “Features of Illyrian Culture in the Territory of Dardania”, Illyria, 2, 1985, pp. 211−220; Islami S., The Illyrian State – Its Place and Role in the Mediterranean World, I, Tirana, 1974, pp. 85–105.

[3] Taken from [Hymje ne historine e gjuhes shqipe, Prishtinë, 1955, pp. 49–50].

[4] Mateescu N., “Granita de apur a Tracilor”, Annuarul Institutului de Istoria nationale, III, Cluj, 1923, pp. 377–492.

[5] Evans A., “Antiquarian Researches in Illyricum”, Archeologia, XLIX, Westminster, 1883, p. 62.

[6] Papazoglu F., “Les royaumes d’Illyrie et de Dardanie, Origines et development, structures, hellenisation et romanization”, Iliri i Albanci, Beograd, 1988, p. 194; Ceka N., “Survay of the Development of Urban Life Among Southern Illyrians”, Illyria, 2, 1985, pp. 119–136. Compare with [Toçi V., “New Data About the Illyrian Onomastics in Durrhachium”, Illyria, 1, 1986, pp. 123–135].

[7] Regarding the problem of the Illyrian origin of the very important Central Balkan tribe Dardanians, see in [Garašanin M., “Considerations finales”, Iliri i Albanci, Beograd, 1988, pp. 370–372; Garašanin M., “Razmatranja o makedonskom halštatu-Materijalna kultura, hronologija, etnički problem”, Starinar, V−VI, 1954–1955, pp. 37–40; Garašanin M., “Istočna granica Ilira prema arheološkim spomenicima”, Simpozijum o teritorijalnom i hronološkom razgraničenju Ilira u praistorijsko doba, Sarajevo, 1964, pp. 138–141; Mack R., Grenzmarken und Nachbarn Makedonien in Norden und Western, Gottingen, 1951, pp. 170–173; Vulpe R., Gli Illiri dell’Italia Imperiale Romana, III, 1925, p. 163; Cerskov E., Rimljani na Kosovu i Metohiji, Beograd, 1969, p. 106; Mirdita Z., “Dardanian Studies”, Rilindja, Prishtina, 1979, p. 49; Papazoglu F., Srednjobalkanska plemena u predrimsko doba, Sarajevo, 1969, p. 402; Papazoglu F., “Dardanska onomastika”, Zbornik Filozofskog fakulteta, 8–1, Beograd, 1964; Papazoglu F., “Les royaumes d’Illyrie et de Dardanie, Origines et development, structures, hellenisation et romanization”, Iliri i Albanci, Beograd, 1988, p. 174; Jubani B., “Features of Illyrian Culture in the Territory of Dardania”, Illyria, 2, 1985, pp. 211−222; Вулић Н., “Дарданци, Илири и Далмати“, Глас Српске Академије Наука, CLV, Београд, 1933]. While the Yugoslav historian Novak claimed that the Dardanians were not of the Illyrian origin his compatriot Budimir claimed that they were one of the Illyrian tribes [Новак Г., “La nazionalità dei Dardani”, Архив за арбанашку старину, IV, Београд, pp. 72–89; Будимир М., “O etničkom odnosu Dardanaca prema Ilirima”, Jugoslovenski istorijski časopis, III, Beograd, 1937, pp. 1–29; Будимир М., Грци и Пеласти, Београд, 1950].

[8] Stadtmüller G., “Forschungen zur albanischen fruhgeschichte, zweite erweiterte auflage”, Albanische Forschungen, 2, Wiesbaden, 1966, pp. 167, 173.

[9] Оболенски Д., Византијски Комонвелт, Београд, 1996, p. 12, p. 245; Острогорски Г., Историја Византије, Београд, 1959, p. 464, p. 505; Lemerle P., “Invasions et migrations dans les Balkans depuis la fin de l’époque Romaine jusqu’au VIIIe siècle”, Revue historique, 78, 1954, p. 294; Lemerle P., Les plus anciens recueils des miracles de Saint Demétrius, II, Paris, 1981, p. 67; Јиречек К., Историја Срба. Политичка историја до 1537. gод., Књига I, Београд, 1978 (original written in German and published in Wien, 1911), pp. 85–86, 216; Јиречек К., Радонић Ј., Историја Срба. Културна историја, Књига II, Bеоград, 1978 (unfinished original by K. Jirechek in German, printed in Wien, 1911. Completed by J. Radonjić), pp. 33, 34, 101, 105, 145, 153. On the Albanian residents in South-East Serbia in the districts of Niš, Leskovac, Prokupjle and Kuršumlija in 1878, see [Protest of 6200 Albanian emigrants… (Priština, June 26, 1878), Politisches Archiv des Auswartigen Amtes, Bonn, Fund of the Acts of the Congress of Brlin, 2, 1878, doc. № 110 (telegram)].

[10] The Roman Catholic bishop in Skopje, Matija Masarek wrote in 1764 a report to Vatican in which he noted brand-new colonies of the Albanians who had just abandoned high Albania and settled themselves in the lowland of Metohija around the city of Đakovica [Radonić J., Rimska kurija i južnoslovenske zemlje od XVI do XIX veka, Beograd, 1950, p. 654]. On religious and ethnic situation in Albania, Kosovo and Metohija in the mid-17th century, see [Jačov M., Le Missioni cattoliche nel Balcani durante la guerra di Candia (1645–1669), vol. I–II, Città del Vaticana, 1992], in the mid-19th century in [Müller J., Albanien, Rumelien und die österreichisch-montenegrinische Granze, Prag, 1844], and in the years from 1804 to 1912 in [Стојанчевић В., Срби и Албанци 1804–1912, Нови Сад, 1994].  According to the Serbian historian Jevrem Damnjanović, the members of the following Albanian tribes (fisses) settled Kosovo and Metohija during the Ottoman rule: Kriezi, Tsaci, Shop, Dukadjini, Berisha, Bitiqi, Krasniqi, Gashi, Shkrele, Kastrati, Gruda, Shala, Hoti, and Kelmendi [Дамњановић Ј., “Мучеништво Косова”, Интервју, специјално издање, октобар, Београд, 1988, p. 5].

[11] Dobruna E., “On some ancient toponyms in Kosova”, Onomastika e Kosoves”, Prishtina, 1979, p. 46.

[12] Stulli B., Albansko pitanje, JAZU, Zagreb, Vol. 318, 1959, p. 325.

[13] Çabej E., “The problem of the autochthony of Albanians in the light of place-names”, Buletini i Universitetit Shteteror te Tiranes, № 2, 1958, pp. 54–62.

[14] Anamali S., “La nécropole de Kruje et la civilisation du Haut Moyen Age en Albanie du Nord”, Studia Albanica, 1, 1964, pp. 149–164; Anamali S., “The Question of the Albanian Early Mediaeval Culture in the Light of New Archaeological Discoveries”, Studime Historike, 2, 1967, pp. 22–40; Spahiu H., “The Arber graveyard at the Dalmaca Castle”, Illyria, 9–10, 1979–1980, pp. 23–45; Komata D., “The Arber grave-yard of Shurdhah”, Illyria, 9–10, 1979–1980, pp. 105–121; Prendi F., “A grave-yard of the Arber culture in Lezha”, Illyria, 9–10, 1979–1980, pp. 123–170; Doda N., “The Arber Graves of Prosek in Mirdita Region”, Illyria, 1, 1989, p. 113; Spahiu H., Komata D., “Shurdhah-Sarda, a Mediaeval Fortified Town”, Illyria, 3, 1975, p. 249; Popović V., Byzantins, Slaves et autochthones dans les provinces de Prévalitane et Nouvelle Epire, Ecole française de Rome, 1984, pp. 181−243; Popović V., “Albanija u kasnoj antici”, Ilirci i Albanci, Beograd, 1988, pp. 202–283.        

[15] Hrabak B., “Širenje arbanaških stočara po ravnicama i slovenski ratari srednjovekovne Albanije”, Stanovništvo slovenskog porijekla u Albaniji, Titograd, 1991, p. 115. Regarding the Slavic toponyms in Albania, see [Popović V., “Albanija u kasnoj Antici”, Ilirci i Albanci, Beograd, 1988; Selischev A. M., Славианское население в Албании, София, 1931]. A Serb historian Sima Ćirković claimed that the Albanian toponyms in the present-day Albania can be found only in her central regions between the Shkumba and Mat rivers while the southern regions of Albania is covered by the Slavic toponyms. About this issue see more in the works on Albanian toponyms by the Austrian Byzantologist Johannes Koder.

[16] Gersin K., Altserbien und die albanische Frage, Wien, 1912, p. 29; Vlora B. E., Lebenserinnerungen, Band I (1885 bis 1912), München, 1968, p. 275; Vlora B. E., Die Wahrheit über das Vorgehen der Jungtürken in Albanien, Wien, 1911, p. 43. According to the U.S. Office of Strategic Services, from April 1941 until August 1942, the Albanians killed around 10.000 Serbs and Montenegrins in the areas of Kosovo and Metohija which were incorporated into Italian Greater Albania [Krizman S., Maps of Yugoslavia at War. Massacre of the Innocent Serbian Population, Committed in Yugoslavia by the Axis and its Satellites from April 1941 to August 1942, Washington, 1943].

[17] Operation “Storm” (“Oluja”).

[18] March Pogrom in Kosovo and Metohija, March 17−19, 2004, with a survey of destroyed and endangered Christian cultural heritage, Belgrade: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia−Museum in Priština (displaced), 2004; http://crucified-kosovo.webs.com; http://www.kosovo.net; http://www.kosovo.lt

[19] Šabanović H. (ed.), Hadžibegić H., Handžić A., Kovačević E. (prepared by), Oblast Brankovića. Opširni katastarski popis iz 1455. godine (original title: Defter-I, Mufassal-I, Vilayet-I, VLK, sene 859), Monumenta Turcica. Historiam Slavorum Meridionalium Illustrantia, Tomus tertius, serija III, Defteri, knjiga 2, sv. 1, Sarajevo: Orijentalni institut u Sarajevu, 1972.

[20] Ивић П., О језику некадашњем и садашњем, Београд: БИГЗ−Јединство, 1990, p. 141.

[21] In the charter (muniment) to the monastery of SS Arhangels in Metohija by the Serbian Emperor Stefan Dushan from the mid-14th century is written that at that time the Albanians lived on the Mt. Prokletije (on the present-day Albania’s border with Montenegro and Metohija) and that Metohija itself was populated by the Serbs [Светоарханђелска повеља цара Стефана Душана, Збирка рукописа Народне библиотеке Србије: http://scc.digital.bkp.nb.rs/document/RS-759].


2. Sotirovic 2013

Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirović

www.global-politics.eu/sotirovic

globalpol@global-politics.eu

© Vladislav B. Sotirović 2017

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The Albanian Origin: The main challenges of research



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We must be clear on the meaning of Albanian autochthony, anthroponymy and ethnogenesis. Actually, the question is: have the Albanians lived without interruption in the  present-day “ethnic” territories of the Albanians (Albania, the Eastern Montenegro, Kosovo and Metohija, the Southern Central Serbia, the Western Macedonia and the Northern Epirus in Greece) since the ancient Greek and Roman times? In the other words, are the Albanians really the indigenous people of the Balkans as they claim or just newcomers to their present-day ethnic territories?  It is true, however, that the question of the Illyrian ethnic and cultural background of present-day Albanians (i.e., the ethnogenesis of the Albanians) has been politicized subsequent to the Second World War. The question is related both to the ancient history of the Albanians and to the pre-history of their language.

For some German and Austrian 19th century linguists and historians it was evident that the Albanians had been an autochthonous population in Albania since pre-Greco-Roman times. These scholars accepted the theory that the 19th century Albanian nation represented a direct ethnic continuity of the autochthonous Balkan people – the ancient Illyrians. For Albanian scientists it is incontestable that not only cultural, but also, ethnic continuity extends from the ancient Illyrians to present-day Albanians. Many of the 20th century scholars, especially after the Second World War, however, held an opposite opinion, i.e., that the theory of the Illyrian origin of the Albanians is not supported by any single historical source! They claimed that the Albanians are not a native Balkan population but newcomers to present-day Albania from more or less distant regions.

The main two arguments for the second “anti-Illyrian” hypothesis or theory are: 1) the Dacian-Albanian-Romanian linguistic connections (but not the Illyrian-Albanian one); and 2) the place-names in Albania, which indicate a lack of Illyrian-Albanian continuity. Nevertheless, the second approach to the question of Albanian ethnogenesis, i.e. that the Albanians are the newcomers to the Balkan Peninsula who came later compared to all Albanian neighbors, is backed by several historical sources.

The Albanians believe themselves to be the last pure and direct descendants of the ancient Illyrians, the Balkan people who lived on the peninsula in Antiquity. Many scholars consider the Albanians the offspring population of the ancient inhabitants of the Balkan Peninsula, either the Pelasgians or the Illyrians, i.e. the population residing in this part of Europe before the Middle Ages. During the mid-19th century and especially after the establishment of the Albanian national-political organisation – the First League of Prizren in 1878 the romanticist understanding of nationhood based on the linguistic principle prevailed among the Albanian intellectuals, particularly among those living as the emigrants in Italy (the Arabëresh, as the Italo-Albanians called themselves).[1]

The Albanian national movement Rilindja assumed an anti-South Slavic (mostly anti-Serbian) and anti-Greek political-ideological orientation, which in any case cannot be considered as anti-Christian. The Albanian national identity is derived from confrontation with, and from, differences relative to their neighbours. The majority of Albanian political activists from the time of the Rilindja accepted the German-Romanticist principle of “linguistic” nationhood and they created the notion of the designation of the Albanians as an ethnic group as their mother tongue was the Albanian language.[2] However, referring to the linguistic evidences some scholars defend the thesis that the Albanians are descendants of the ancient Dacians who inhabited the lands south of the Danube river (the Roman provinces of Moesia Superior and Moesia Inferior) and migrated south-west to the territory of present-day Albania. There are some serious indications that point to the Albanian ethnic origin in Dacian-Moesian roots. This is supported by the fact that Albanian name for themselves–Shqiptars, is a word of Dacian-Moesian origin, which means the “highlanders” in the Bulgarian language.  

However, the proponents of the Illyrian theory of Albanian ethnogenesis connected the modern international name for the Albanians with Albanoi which was the name of the Illyrian tribe living in present-day North Albania, mentioned for the first time in the works of the Greek geographer Ptolemy in the 2nd century A.D.

The ideology and efforts of the Albanian national movement from 1878 to 1913 to unify the entire Albanian Balkan population who lived in compact masses in a single independent ethnically homogenous state of the Albanians jeopardazied the territorial integrity of Serbian, Montenegrin and Greek national states. Since the Second World War that situation has been replaced through various projects to re-create the 1941−1945 “Greater” Albania.

As would be expected, various historical developments have brought about numerous transformations of the Albanians that produced an alternation of their real (the Caucasus) ethnic entity. There are no “pure” peoples (nations) in the world and the Albanians are not “pure”, either. There is an ethnic substratum that is present in all Balkan peoples (nations). However, it is evident that the Albanians have retained some of the Illyrian elements in their ethnic make-up for this very reason: they were settled in Illyrian territory in 1043. But, on the other hand, all the peoples (nations) who today live in the Western and Central Balkans possess Illyrian  traits.[3] However, in the other regions of the Western and the Central Balkans, the Slavic element is predominant. Among the Albanians the Latinized Illyrian elements are strong, especially with respect to language. Nevertheless, this fact cannot be utilized to claim that Albanian historical and ethnic rights to certain Balkan territories are stronger and older than Slavic or Greek ones. In making this point, the Illyrian-Albanian cultural-ethnic continuation could gain a new political dimension with the inter-ethnical conflicts in the Balkans, which already exist, as a “Greater” Albania is from 1999 in the process of re-creation. The first Balkan province already de facto incorporated into the united national state of the Illyro-Albanians with the capital in Tirana is Kosovo and Metohija.  

Endnotes:

[1] On political ideas in the Romantic Age in Europe, see [Berlin I., Political Ideas in the Romantic Age, Vintage Digital, 2012].

[2] On Albanian renaissance in political thought, see [Ypi L. L., “The Albanian Renaissance in Political Thought: Between the Enlightenment and Romanticism”, East European Politics and Societies, Vol. 21, No. 4, 2007, pp. 661−680].

[3] On ancient Illyrians, see [Stipcevic A., The Illyrians: History and Culture, Noyes Press, 1977; Wilkes J., The Illyrians, Oxford, England−Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers, 1995; Evans A., Ancient Illyria: An Archaeological Exploration, London: I. B. Tauris, 2007].


2. Sotirovic 2013

Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirović

www.global-politics.eu/sotirovic

globalpol@global-politics.eu

© Vladislav B. Sotirović 2017

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Understanding Albanian nationality and regional political-security consequences



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The Albanian nationhood as understood in the 19th century was part of a romanticist notion of nationality, i.e., the Albanians were the Balkan people whose mother tongue was Albanian regardless of any confessional division of Albanian people into three denominations (Moslem, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox). Within the north Albanian tribes, especially among the Miriditi, the Roman Catholic Church was very influential. The Roman Catholic Church became the main protector of the Albanian language and cultural heritage and the main protagonist of the national identity of the Albanians in the Northern Albania.[1] The expression of common notions of the Albanian nationhood were expressed by the Albanian political leadership in the years of the Balkan Wars 1912–1913 in slogans such as: “Neve Shqiptar nuk jemi Greke, Sllav, or Teerk, neve jemi Shqiptar” (“We Albanians are not the Greeks, Slavs, or Turks, we are the Albanians”).

The Albanian political “methodology” from the time of the First Prizren League in 1878 until the Balkan Wars was applied in preparation for unification of all “ethnically Albanian territories” in the Balkans into (a “Greater”) Albania – a single national state of all Albanians, i.e., within the ethnic borders demanded by the League in the years of its existence from 1878 to 1881. Essentially similar national-state concepts were also included in the political programs of the Albanian Peja (Pejë) League, from 1899, the Greater Albanian Kosovo Committee, from 1920, and the Second Prizren League, from 1943. This included preservation of the traditional, common law and local community[2] as the organizational basis of the national movement followed by the demand for unification of all territories populated by the Albanians became Albanian primary national interest from 1878 onward.

Clearly, the process of creation of Albanian nationality was not yet completed at the end of the 19th century. The Albanian nation was not considered a political reality in Europe by many politicians at that time. The Albanian people were among the last ones in Europe to build up their own national identity and national community.[3] When during the sessions of the Congress of Berlin in 1878 the question of Albania and the Albanians was put on the agenda, the German Chancellor (Kanzzelar) Otto von Bismarck decisively rejected discussing it with the explanation that there was no Albanian nationality.[4] For him, the Albanians were the Turks. At the same time, the Serbs (either from Serbia or from Montenegro) and the Greeks considered themselves as a nation (i.e., ethnic groups which had their own state organizations), and as such were understood by Europe, while the Albanians were understood as the Balkan ethnic group (i.e., the group of people who did not have its own state). Consequently, the ethnic group of Albanians could live only as an ethnic minority included into some of the Balkan national state(s) and could not expect more than the right to autonomy within it (them). At the turn of the 20th century many politicians in Serbia, Montenegro and Greece shared the opinion that the ethnic group of the Albanians was culturally and politically incapable of a modern national development and above all unable and  insufficiently competent to establish and rule their own national state.[5] The backwardness of the development of Albanian society at the beginning of the 20th century was evidenced by the fact that the initiation of a  process of modernization shook the Albanian tribal society, but failed to replace it with a modern industrial, parliamentary and civil society. The Albanian national movement was seen as an archaic social movement that could not reach a level of national cohesion in modern terms. This movement produced among the Serbs, Montenegrins and Greeks a feeling of jeopardization of the political and territorial integrity of Serbia, Montenegro and Greece.[6] For them, the theory of the Illyrian-Albanian continuity was in essence a nationalistic ideological construction which became a driving politically-ideological force for Albanian politicians to create, from the Albanian point of view, their ethnic borders according to Albanian acquired rights.[7] Geopolitically, this project, from 1878 to the present, demands not only the territories which ethnically and historically belong to the Albanians, but goes beyond them and encompasses the entire Illyrian-Albanian ethnic population, dispersed in different areas over the neighboring Balkan regions: Kosovo and Metohija, southern parts of Central Serbia, Çameria (Greek Epirus and Greek Western Macedonia), the western portion of the Republic of Macedonia (the FYROM) and the Eastern Montenegro.[8]

Albania ISIL flag

However, contrary to the theory of the backwardness of Albanian social development, the Albanian political and intellectual leadership from the turn of the 20th century has argued that the Albanians met all conditions required by contemporary political science to be recognized as a nation: 1) they have their separate ethnic, linguistic and cultural identity; 2) the Albanian settlements in the Balkans are compact; 3) the Albanians have a very precisely defined national program; and 4) they possess the abilities to build up a community and their own independent state which would be self-governed.[9]

The Albanian political and intellectual leadership often stressed that the Albanian people with their own national idea would never be successfully integrated either into Serbian, Montenegrin or Greek societies and states. That is, in addition to numerous and diverse causes, also due to the fact that the Albanians do not belong to the Slavic or Greek linguistic and cultural groups. There is also significant divergence of national development of the Serbs, Montenegrins, Greeks, on the one hand, and the Albanians, on the other. These nations had a different kind of national movements and distinctly different political elite and national ideology. However, the Albanian national ideology of the Illyrian-Albanian ethnogenesis was created and still exists as a pure myth in the form of a quasi-scientific political propaganda for the sake of the creation of a “Greater” Albania.

Finally, the Albanians surely were among the very few Balkan peoples who managed to find an internal balance between three faiths and to build up the national identity associated with each one as Islam is followed by 70% of Albanian population (primarily from Albania proper, Kosovo and Metohija, the Western Macedonia and the Eastern Montenegro), Eastern Orthodoxy is professed by 20% of the Albanians (chiefly from the Southern Albania and the Greek Northern Epirus) and Roman Catholicism is adhered by 10% of the Albanians (mainly from the Northern Albania proper and Kosovo and Metohija).[10] In one word, the Illyrian theory of the Albanian ethnogenesis played a crucial role in forming a common Albanian identity regardless on confessional division of the Albanians.

The 19th century movement of the Albanian national awakening started half a century later in contrast to a similar process of other Balkan nations and an entire century after similar movements in Central Europe. The cause of this delay was a general national-cultural underdevelopment of the Albanian people who lived under the Ottoman Empire for centuries without cultural and ideological connections to Western Europe where the ideology and movement of nationalism emerged and spread throughout the European continent. Subsequently, the ideas of national identification, national statehood and the concept of historical-ethnic territorial boundaries was realized by Albania’s neighbors (the Greeks, Serbs and Montenegrins) well in advance of the Albanian people. When Albanian intellectuals during and after the Great Eastern Crisis 1875–1878 theoretically shaped the thought and concept of the Albanian national idea related to the question of fixing Albanian national territories and creating an Albanian national state, they faced, and had to struggle with, Serbian, Montenegrin and Greek national aspirations towards the realization of their own national statehood. This ideological, political and military fight was focused primarily on the question upon certain “national” soils on the Balkans which would be included either into a united Serbia, united Montenegro, united Greece or united Albania: Kosovo and Metohija, Northern Epirus, Western Macedonia, Skadar (Skutari) region in the Northwest Albania and the territories around the city of Ulcinj and the Bojana river in the Eastern Montenegro.

The national program of the First League of Prizren set up the following two ultimate national goals of the Albanians: 1) the national liberation of all Albanians, of whom a majority lived within the Ottoman Empire and a minority in the independent states of Serbia and Montenegro; and 2) the creation of a national state of the Albanians in which the entire Albanian historical and ethnic territories would be incorporated into Greater Albania. This second requirement led the Albanians in subsequent decades into open conflict with the neighboring Christian states: Serbia, Montenegro and Greece. The national awakening of the Albanian people in the years of 1878–1912 resulted in the establishment of an ideology of nationhood and statehood that was, to a greater or lesser extent, challenged and opposed by all  of Albania’s neighbors today – the Serbs, Greeks, Montenegrins and the Macedonian Slavs.

Endnotes:

[1] Draškić S., “Nadmetanje Austro-Ugarske i Italije koncem XIX i početkom XX veka u Albaniji”, Albansko pitanje u novoj istoriji, III, Beograd: Marksistička misao, 2-1986, pp. 129–132. See also: [Starova G., “The Religion of the Albanians in the Balkan European Context”, Balkan Forum, Skopje, vol. 1, № 4, 1993, pp. 201–204].

[2] On Albanian traditional common law, see [The Code of Lekë Dukagjini, New York: Gjonlekaj Publishing Company, 1989; Salihu V., Qerimi I., Social Organization and Self-Government of Albanians According to the Costumary Law, GRIN Verlag, 2013 (in German); Gjeçovi Sh., Kanuni i Lekë Dukagjinit, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014].

[3] On this issue, see more in [Schwandner-Sievers S., Fischer J. B., Albanian Identities: Myth and History, Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2002].

[4] Logoreci A., The Albanians. Europe’s Forgotten Survivors, Colorado, 1977, p. 41.

[5] Such approach can be understood as an old theory, which was used during the Balkan Wars 1912–1913 to justify Serbian conquest of the Northern Albania, Greek occupation of Southern Albania and Montenegrin military taking of the city of Skadar/Scutari [Туцовић Д., Србија и Албанија, један прилог критици завојевачке политике српске буржоазије, Београд, 1913, pp. 177–118].

[6] The Serbs, Montenegrins, Macedonian Slavs and Greeks accuse Albanian intellectuals and politicians of using the theory of the Illyrian-Albanian ethnic, linguistic and cultural continuity for the sake of realizing the political concept of a “Greater Albania” in the Balkans (see figure 2). This concept cannot be realized without a radical change of the borders of the Balkan states established in 1912–1913, following two Balkan Wars. Such a change in the borders would violate the territorial integrity of Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Greece. In conclusion, the concept of a “Greater” Albania, based among other ideological constructions and on the theory of the Illyrian-Albanian ethnogenesis, may serve as a prelude to a Third Balkan War. Regarding the concept and consequences of creation of a “Greater” Albania at the Balkans, see [Čanak J. (ed.), “Greater Albania”. Concept and possible Consequences, Belgrade: the Institute of Geopolitical Studies, Belgrade, 1998; Borozan Đ., “Greater Albania”-Origins, Ideas, Practice, Belgrade: the Institute of Military History of the Yugoslav Army, Belgrade, 1995]. It should be stressed that in addition to Orthodoxy and the so-called St. Sava’s spiritual legacy, the province of Kosovo and Metohija (i.e., Serbia proper) is the third pillar of Serbian national identity. Contrary to the Serbian case, Kosovo and Metohija are not of any significance for Albanian national identity. Regarding the (crucial) importance of Kosovo and Metohija for the Serbs from historical perspective, see: [Самарџић Р. и други, Косово и Метохија у српској историји, Београд: Српска књижевна задруга, 1989].

[7] See more in: [Илири и Албанци, Научни скупови, књ. XXXIX, Београд: САНУ, 1988].

[8] According to the map of United Albania, composed by Ali Fehmi Kosturi and distributed since 1938. Historically, there were two attempts to create a “Greater” Albania: first in 1912 supported by Austria-Hungary, and second in 1941 with the direct intervention of fascist Italy and the logistic support of the Third Reich. In both cases the concept of “Greater” Albania reasserted the demands of the 1878–1881 Albanian First League of Prizren to create an Albanian state inside alleged Illyrian-Albanian historical-ethnic borders.

[9] Similar arguments referring to Kosovo and Metohija were presented by the Albanian Kosovo intelligentsia in the 1990s during the Kosovo crisis and the war. See, for example: [Maliqi S., “Strah od novih ratnih uspeha”, Borba, Beograd, September 16th, 1993].

[10] To date, the Albanian Muslims are the main corps of the Albanian national movement and nationalism. The concept of “United”, or “Greater”, Albania, in its original form (from 1878), was under the strong influence of conservative, political Islam.

2. Sotirovic 2013

Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirović

www.global-politics.eu/sotirovic

globalpol@global-politics.eu

© Vladislav B. Sotirović 2017

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Guess Kosovo wasn’t that ‘unique’: Separatism in the Caucasus



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A study of differences and similarities between the break-away states of South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh in the Caucasus and Kosovo in the Balkans.

After February 2008 when Kosovo Albanian-dominated Parliament proclaimed Kosovo independence (without organizing a referenda) with obvious US diplomatic support (unilateral recognition) with explanation that the Kosovo case is unique in the World (i.e., it will be not repeated again) one can ask the question: is the problem of the southern Serbian province of Kosovo-Metochia really unique and surely unrepeatable in some other parts of the World as the US administration was trying to convince the rest of the international community?[1]

Domino effect in international relations

The consequences of recognition of Kosovo independence by bigger part of the international community are already (and going to be in the future) visible primarily in the Caucasus because there are some similarities in these two regions.[2]

At the Caucasus region (where about 50 different ethnolinguistic groups are living together)[3] a self-proclaimed state independence is already done by Abkhazia and South Ossetia[4] only several months after the self-proclaimed independence of Albanian “Republic of Kosovo”,[5] following the pattern of both the Nagorno-Karabakh (formally a province in Azerbaijan) in 1991 and Kosovo in 2008.

The experts from the German Ministry of the Foreign Affairs expressed already in 2007 their real fear that in the case of the US and EU unilateral recognition of Kosovo independence the same unilateral diplomatic act could be implied by Moscow by recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as a matter of diplomatic compensation and as a result of domino effect in international relations.[6]

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It is also known and from the official OSCE sources that Russian delegates in this pan-European security organization have been constantly warning the West before 2008 that such scenario is quite possible, but with one peculiarity: from 2007 they stopped to mention possibility of the Russian recognition of the Nagorno-Karabakh’s self-proclaimed independence (on September 2nd, 1991).

It is most probably for the reason that Moscow does not want (up to now) to deteriorate good relations with Azerbaijan – a country with huge reserves of natural gas and oil.

Why the South Ossetia could be different?

On the first glance it can be said that the Orthodox South Ossetians are equally separatist as the Muslim Albanians from Kosovo. However, the South Ossetians are having sympathies towards the Serbs (not for the reason that both of them are the Orthodox Christians), but not towards, as we could expect, separatist Kosovo Albanians.

The real reason of such sympathies is similar legal state rights applied by both the Serbs in Kosovo and the South Ossetians.[7]

Historically, the South Ossetia was never really integral and authentic part of sovereign Georgian state,[8] in contrast to Kosovo-Metochia which was not only integral, but culturally and politically the most important region of the medieval Serbian state (called as the Ancient Serbia or Serbia proper) till the mid-15th century when Kosovo-Metochia became occupied by the Ottomans.[9]

The territory of present-day Georgia historically was never before it became part of Russia politically firmly united around its capital Tbilisi in contrast to Serbia which before it lost independence in 1459 was having a long period of experience of the unified state territory with Kosovo-Metochia as its center.

When Serbia gained the autonomy status within the Ottoman Empire in 1830/1833 and was later recognized by the European Great Powers at the Berlin Congress in 1878 as an independent state it was known for her rulers and politicians which historical territories belonged to her: Kosovo-Metochia was on the first place.[10]

The present day territory of Georgia entered the Russian Empire in parts – segment by segment. Ossetia as united territory (i.e., not divided into the Northern and the Southern Ossetia as today situation is) became (according to the Russian historiography) voluntarily part of the Russian Empire in 1774.

In the other words, the Russian Empress Catherine the Great (1762−1796), in order to be surely convinced that the Ossetians are really independent, before incorporation of this province into the Russian Empire sent a special commission which informed St. Petersburg that “the Ossetians are free people subordinated to no one”.[11]

Georgia itself became part of the Russian Empire in 1804 (27 years later then Ossetia). This fact is the most important argument used by the South Ossetians in their dispute with the Georgian authorities.

The Southern part of Ossetia was given to be administered by Georgia only in the USSR by decision of three Georgian Communists – J. V. Stalin, Sergei Ordzonikidze and Avelj Enukindze. It has to be also stressed that the border between two parts of Ossetia (the Northern and the Southern) never existed before 1994.

What concerns the Kosovo Albanian case, it is known that the Albanians started to settle themselves in the region of Kosovo-Metochia from the present-day Northern Albania only after the First Serbian Great Migration (or Exodus) from the region in 1690. In the other words, before the Ottoman occupation of Serbia there were no Albanians in Kosovo-Metochia in any significant number (only 2% according to the Ottoman census in 1455).[12]

According to several Byzantine and Arab historical sources, the Balkan Albanians are originating from the Caucasus Albania – in the 9th century they left the Caucasus and have been settled by the Arabs in the Western Sicily (and the South Italy) which they left in 1043 and came to the Balkans.[13] The borders of the present-day territory of Kosovo-Metochia are fixed by the Yugoslav Communist authorities in 1945,[14] who in fact separated this province from the rest of Serbia together with the Province of Vojvodina.[15]

In addition, the Yugoslav Communist People’s Assembly issued the decree according to which it was forbidden for about 100.000 expelled Serbs from Kosovo-Metochia during the Second World War by the Albanian authorities to return back to the province.

This decesion was followed by migration of up to 200.000 Kosovo-Metochia Serbs during the period of the Socialist Yugoslavia from the province to the Central Serbia. In addition, during the Socialist Yugoslavia it is estimated that up to 300.000 Albanians from Albania migrated to Kosovo-Metochia.

Together with enormously high birth-rate of the Kosovo Albanian population,[16] these are the main reasons for drastically altered demographic picture of the province in Albanian favor during the time of the Socialist Yugoslavia thus making legal case for Serbs stronger to challenge Albanian thrive for Kosovo independence (and inclusion into Albania).

The people of the South Ossetia on the referendum about the future of the USSR on March 17th, 1991 voted for existence of the Soviet Union (like the Serbs upon Yugoslavia, but and Kosovo Albanians on referendum to become an independent from Serbia like the Georgians from the USSR).[17]

The referendum on March 17th, 1991 was organized two months after Georgian army started the war against the South Ossetia in which till September of the same year 86 Ossetian villages have been burned. It is calculated that more than 1.000 Ossetians lost their lives and around 12.000 Ossetians emigrated from the South to the North (Russia’s) Ossetia.

This is the point of similarity with expelled at least 200.000 Serbs from Kosovo-Metochia by the Albanian the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army[18] after the NATO peace-keeping troops entered and de facto occupied this province in June 1999.

A state’s independence of the Republic of South Ossetia from the Republic of Georgia was formally proclaimed on May 29th, 1992. However, this legal act can not been understood as a “separatist” one for the reason that at that time Georgia was not recognized by no one state in the world as an independent political subject and Georgia was not a member of the United Nations.

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However, in contrast to the case of the South Ossetia, the unilateral proclamation of the state independence of Kosovo by the Albanians on February 18th, 2008 cannot be treated by the international community as a legitimate act (without permission by Belgrade) as Kosovo by the international law and agreements is an integral part of Serbia (the same legal reason was applied by the international community to the case of self-proclaimed the Republic of Serbian Krayina in 1991 from Croatia).[19]

Differently from the case of Georgia, when the South Ossetia proclaimed the state independence in May 1992, Serbia in 2008, when the Albanian dominated Parliament of Kosovo proclaimed the state independence, was an internationally recognized independent state and a member of the United Nations.

This is a common point of similarity between the Ossetians and the Serbs as the nations: both of them are fighting against separation of one part of their national body and the land from the motherland.

However, Tbilisi is doing the same like Belgrade, from this point of view, i.e. claiming that the South Ossetia (and Abkhazia) is historical and state’s part of Georgia.[20] From that point of view, there is a similarity between political claims of both states – Serbia and Georgia with one significant difference: historical rights of Serbia over Kosovo-Metochia are much more stronger in comparison with the same rights of Georgia over the South Ossetia (and Abkhazia).

In the other words, Kosovo-Metochia was all the time, from historical, cultural, state’s and identity point of views, a central/proper part of Serbia, while both the South Ossetia and Abkhazia have been just borderland provinces of Georgia.[21]

International system of governing and separation

The main argument for the western politicians upon the case of Kosovo self-proclaimed independence, as “unique case” in global perspective, is the fact that according to the “Kumanovo Agreement” between Serbia and the NATO, signed on June 10th, 1999, and the UN Resolution of 1244 (following this agreement), Kosovo-Metochia is put under the UN protectorate with imposed international system of governing and security.

However, such “argument” does not work in the case of the South Ossetia as the Ossetians are governing their land by themselves and much more successfully in comparison with the “internationally” (i.e., the NATO) protected Kosovo-Metochia.

This was quite visible in March 2004 when the international organizations and military troops could not (i.e., did not want to)[22] protect the ethnic Serbs in Kosovo-Metochia from violent attacks organized by the local Albanians when during three days (March 17−19th) 4.000 Serbs were expelled, more than 800 Serbian houses were burned and 35 Serbian Christian Orthodox churches and cultural monuments were destroyed or severely damaged.

The “March Pogrom” of 2004 revealed the real situation in the region of Kosovo-Metochia. The position of the South Ossetians in independent Georgia from 1991 to August 2008 could be compared with position of the Serbs in Kosovo-Metochia after June 1999 which is under the total Albanian domination.

The fact is that the South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Pridnestrovje[23] showed much more political-legal bases and capabilities to be recognized as an independent for the reason that they showed real ability to govern themselves by only themselves, but not by the international organizations as it is in the case of the Albanian-governed Kosovo (the “Republic of Kosovo” from February 2008) after June 1999 up today. They also proved much more democracy and respect for human and minority rights in comparison with the Albanian-ruled Kosovo.[24]

The Nagorno-Karabakh and Kosovo-Metochia

There are several similarities, but also and dissimilarities between conflicts in the Nagorno-Karabakh province and Kosovo-Metochia. In both cases the international community is dealing with autonomy of a compact national minority who is making a majority on the land in question and having its own national independent state out of this territory.

Both the Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians and the Kosovo Albanians do not want to accept any other solution except separation and internationally recognized independence (and later unification with their motherlands).[25]

Both conflicts are in fact continuations of old historic struggles between two different civilizations: the Muslim Turkish and the Christian Byzantine. In both conflicts the international organizations are included as the mediators. Some of them are the same – France, the USA and Russia as the members of both Contact Groups for ex-Yugoslavia and the Minsk Group under the OSCE umbrella for Azerbaijan.

Serbia and Azerbaijan were against that their cases (Kosovo-Metochia and the Nagorno-Karabakh) will be proclaimed as the “unique” as therefore it would be a green light to both Albanian and Armenian separatists to secede their territories from Serbia and Azerbaijan without permissions given by Belgrade and Baku (what in reality already happened).

However, there are differences between Kosovo-Metochia and the Nagorno-Karabakh cases.

Firstly, Kosovo-Metochia was internal conflict within Serbia (which is after June 1999 internationalized), but in the case of the Nagorno-Karabakh there is external military aggression (by Armenia).

Secondly, in difference to Armenia in relation to the Nagorno-Karabakh, Albania formally never accepted any legal act in which Kosovo was called as integral part of a state territory of Albania (with historical exception during the Second World War when Kosovo-Metochia, the Eastern Montenegro and the Western Macedonia have been included into Mussolini’s the so-called “Greater Albania” with the capital in Tirana).

Delegation from Albania did not take any participation in the talks and negotiations upon the “final” status of Kosovo-Metochia between Prishina and Belgrade in 2007−2013, while Armenia has official status of “interested side” in the conflict in regard to the Nagorno-Karabakh. However, the Armenians from the Nagorno-Karabakh such status did not obtain.

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While the Armenian army (i.e. from the Republic of Armenia) was directly involved in the military operations in the Nagorno-Karabakh, officially part of an independent state of Azerbaijan,[26] in the Kosovo-Metochia conflict of 1998−1999 the official regular army of the Republic of Albania was not involved (differently from a great number of the volunteers from Albania).

As a result, Armenia occupied 1/5 of Azerbaijan territory and the victims of ethnic cleansing are mainly the Azerbaijani. A military weaker Azerbaijan side in comparison to Armenia, which was supported by Russia in arms and other war material, did not apply to the NATO for the military help, but military weaker Kosovo Albanian side in comparison to Serbia’s police and the Yugoslav army forces did it during the Kosovo conflict of 1998−1999.[27]

Conclusion

It can be concluded that the Albanian unilaterally proclaimed Kosovo independence in February 2008 is not “unique” case in the world without direct consequences to similar separatist cases following the “domino effect” (the South Ossetia, the South Sudan, the Crimean Peninsula, the Eastern Ukraine, Scotland, Catalonia, Bask region…).

That is the real reason why, for instance, the government of Cyprus is not supporting “Kosovo Albanian rights to self-determination” as the next “unique” case can be easily the northern (Turkish) part of Cyprus which is, by the way, recognized only by the Republic of Turkey and under de facto Ankara’s protection and the occupation by the regular army of the Republic of Turkey from 1974 onward.[28]

Finally, that Kosovo “domino effect” well works in the practice showed the Russian authorities in the spring 2014 when Moscow recognized separation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine based on the self-determination of the local inhabitans exactlly calling the 2008 Kosovo case of self-proclaimed independence.


[1] The region of Kosovo (under such name known in the western politics and science) is traditionally and historically called by the Serbs as Kosovo-Metochia, while by the Albanians as Kosova or Kosovë. The western portion of the region is Metochia and the eastern one is Kosovo.

[2] “Южную Оссетию смерили косовским взглядом”, Коммерсант, 15. 11. 2006: http://www.kommersant.ru/doc/721626.

[3] On history, antropology, religion and ethnography of the Caucasus, see: N. Griffin, Caucasus: A Journey To The Land Between Christianity And Islam (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2004); B. Grant, L. Yalcin-Heckmann (eds.), Caucasus Paradigms: Antropologies, Histories and The Making of A World Area (LIT Verlag, 2007); Ch. King, The Ghost of Freedom: A History of The Caucasus (Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press, 2008); Th. De Waal, The Caucasus: An Introduction (Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press, 2010); J. Forsyth, The Caucasus: A History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013); A. Tsutsiev, Atlas of The Ethno-Political History of The Caucasus (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014); G. M. Hahn, The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia’s North Caucasus and Beyond (McFarland & Company, 2014). On ethnopolitical conflicts in the Caucasus, see: S. E. Cornell, Small Nations and Great Powers: A Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict in the Caucasus (London−New York: RoutledgeCurzon, 2001); E. Souleimanov, Understanding Ethnopolitical Conflict: Karabakh, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia Wars Reconsidered (New York−London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2013).

[4] On self-proclamation of the state’s independence by Abkhazia and South Ossetia and followed war between Georgia and Russia in August 2008, see: S. E. Cornell, S. F.  Starr (eds.), The Guns of August 2008 Russia’s War in Georgia (M. E. Sharpe, 2009); R. D. Asmus, A Little War That Shook The World: Georgia, Russia, and The Future of The West (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2010); D. Gierycz, The Mysteries of The Caucasus (Xlibris Corporation, 2010).

[5] Up today there are more than 100 states in the world, according to Kosovo Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who recognized this territory as an independent state. Among them are and 26 EU member states. However, Kosovo is not still a member of any international political, economic or sport organization. The first two states which recognized Kosovo proclamation of independence in February 2008 were Afghanistan and the USA. The number of states who really recognized Kosovo independence is very questionable.

[6] Moscow used the domino effect principle in the case of unification of the Crimean Peninsula with Russia in the spring 2014 and can use the same principle for the unification with Russia of any other region of Ukraine or other ex-Soviet republics with significant number of the Russian-speaking population or at least to support their autonomous or separatist political movements.

[7] There is a claim that the Ossetians are only European nation in the Caucasus, but this claim is up to now not scientifically proved. The Ossetians themselves believe to originate from the Sarmatian tribe of Alans. The Ossetians speak a language that is remotely related to the Persian.

[8] See: Ph. M. Parker (ed.), Ossetia: Webster’s Timeline History 1204−2007 (ICON Group International, Inc., 2010).

[9] The Serbian Christian Orthodox cultural heritage in Kosovo-Metochia is of the crucial importance for the national identity of all Serbs (Политичка ревија, Тема броја: Косово и Метохија, питање идентитета и српског националног интереса (Београд: Институт за политичке студије, vol. 35, no. 1, 2013)).

[10] М. Екмечић, Дуго кретање између клања и орања. Историја Срба у Новом веку (1492−1992) (Београд: Евро−Ђунти, 2010), 203−94.

[11] On history of Georgia, see: R. G. Suny, The Making of The Georgian Nation (Indiana University Press, 1994); D. Rayfield, Edge of Empires: A History of Georgia (London: Reaktion Books Ltd., 2012); S. F. Jones, Georgia: A Political History Since Independence (I. B. Tauris, 2014).

[12] For instance, see: H. Hadžibegić, A. Handžić, E. Kovačević (urednici), Oblast Brankovića: Opširni katastarski popis iz 1455. godine (Sarajevo: Orijentalni institut u Sarajevu, 1972).

[13] About this issue, see: Кавкаски Албанци лажни Илири, Проширени текстови реферата изложених 21. јуна 2007. године на мултидисциплинарном округлом столу у САНУ „Методолошки проблем истраживања порекла Албанаца“, Београд: Пешић и син, 2007; Ј. И. Деретић, Д. П. Антић, С. М. Јарчевић, Измишљено досељавање Срба (Београд: Сардонија, 2009).

[14] Before 1945 it was hardly known what the exact borders of this province have been as it historically depended on the power of the local feudal lords (ex. the Branković’s) or foreign power (ex. the Kosovo Vilayet in the Ottoman Empire) which was administering the province.

[15] The Albanian minority in Serbia within the region of Kosovo-Metochia in the Socialist Yugoslavia enjoyed all kind of minority rights according to the international law and even above it. The region has its own president, constitution, parliament, police, academy of science, law, press, education system, etc. In the other words, Albanian-run and dominated Kosovo- Metochia was in fact an independent political subject in Yugoslavia equal with all Yugoslavia’s republics. Within such political conditions Kosovo Albanians developed a high range of the policy of the oppression and expulsion from the region of the ethnic Serbs with a strong tendency to separate the region from the rest of Serbia and include it into a Greater Albania. What S. Milošević’s government did in 1989 it was abolishment of just political independence of both autonomous regions in Serbia – Vojvodina and Kosovo-Metochia in order to protect the country from territorial destruction. However, even after 1989 Kosovo Albanians enjoyed minority rights according to the basic standards of the international law. Many minorities in Europe or elsewhere today can just dream about minority rights left to Kosovo Albanians by Serbia’s government in 1989. For the matter of comparison, for instance, the Kurds in Turkey (from 1999 a candidate country for the EU membership) enjoy no single minority right for the very reason as they are not recognized as minority group at all. From the legal point of view by the Turkish government, the Kurds do not even exist in Turkey as the ethnocultural and linguistic group. For this reason, the process of Kurdish assimilation in Turkey is on the way on. On the Kurdish question in Turkey, see: M. Heper, The State and Kurds in Turkey: The Question of Assimilation (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007); C. Saraçoglu, Kurds of Modern Turkey: Migration, Neoliberalism and Exclusion in Turkish Society (Tauris Academic Studies, 2010); M. M. Gunter, The Kurds: The Evolving Solution to the Kurdish Problem in Iraq and Turkey (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011); N. Beratsky (ed.), The Kurds (Greenhaven Press, 2013); R. Aras, The Formation of Kurdishness in Turkey: Political Violence, Fear and Pain (London-New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2014). On Slobodan Milošević from the western perspective, see: L. Sell, Slobodan Milosevic and the destruction of Yugoslavia (Durham-London: Duke University Press, 2002); A. LeBor, Milosevic. A Biography (London-Berlin-New York-Sydney: Bloomsbury, 2012).

[16] The Kosovo Albanian birth-rate after the Second World War is highest in Europe and even higher than in Albania for the very political reason to claim Kosovo-Metochia to be exclusively Albanian territory – a claim to be based on the ethnic rights as the Albanians do not have any historic right on this province ((P. V. Grujić, Kosovo Knot (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: RoseDog Books, 2014)).

[17] The South Ossetian referendum is called by Georgia as illegal like Kosovo Albanian referendum is also called by Serbia’a authorities as not legally based. At the moment of the Kosovo Albanian referendum this South Serbian province did not have any political autonomy. Kosovo-Metochia enjoyed very wide political autonomy until 1989 when it was cancelled by Belgrade in order to prevent separation of the province from the rest of the country. It was left to Kosovo-Metochia after 1989 cultural and education autonomy for the local Albanians – the right which they enjoyed in Montenegro and the FYR of Macedonia. The South Ossetia was never enjoying such wide political autonomy (semi-independence) in the USSR as it was the case of Kosovo-Metochia in the Socialist Yugoslavia till 1989.

[18] On the Kosovo Liberation Army, see, for instance pro-Albanian and pro-western points of view on historical background for the Kosovo Liberation Army with described its activities up to and including the NATO intervention: H. H. Perritt Jr., Kosovo Liberation Army: The Inside Story of An Insurgency (University of Illinois, 2008); J. Pettifer, The Kosova Liberation Army: Underground War to Balkan Insurgency, 1948-2001 (London: C. Hurst & Co. (Publishers) Ltd, 2012). The last book is official history of the Kosovo Liberation Army ordered and financed by the Albanian-run Kosovo government composed by the Kosovo Liberation Army veterans. The Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army is not lesser separatist and terrorist than, for instance, the Kurdish PKK. However, it is allowed for the Turkish government by the „international“ community to use all legal and other means to fight the PKK including and a clear violation of the human rights.

[19] About the case of the Republic of Serbian Krayina see: В. Ђурић, Република Српска Крајина. Десет година послије (Београд: „Добра воља“, 2005). Regarding the case of destruction of ex-Yugoslavia in the 1990s, see: J. Guskova, Istorija jugoslovenske krize (1990−2000), I−II (Beograd: ИГАМ, 2003). Up today, the Republic of Kosovo is not a member of any international political, sport, cultural or economic organization.

[20] According to 1989 data, ethnic breakdown of Georgia was: the Georgians 69%, Armenians 9%, Russians 5%, Azerbaijanis 3%, Ossetians 3%. In 1993 it was 146.000 refugees in Georgia. At the same time about one million persons left Georgia, live in break-away regions or were expelled after 1989 (I. Ivekovic, Ethnic and Regional Conflicts in Yugoslavia and Transcaucasia: A Political Economy of Contemporary Ethnonational Mobilization (Ravenna: Longo Editore Ravenna, 2000), 18.

[21] See: C. Francis, Conflict Resolution and Status: The Case of Georgia and Abkhazia (1989−2008) (Academic & Science Publishers, 2011); A. Saparov, From Conflict to Autonomy in the Caucasus: The Soviet Union and the Making of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno Karabakh (New York−London: Routledge, 2014).

[22] Neue Zürcher Zeitung (14. 05. 2004).

[23] An unrecognized the Republic of Pridnestrovje, the break-away region of the Republic of Moldova is very good example of transitional, or uncompleted statehood. It is de facto not under Moldovan control, possessing all formal attributes of a sovereign state, like the “Republic of Kosovo”. Pridnestrovje, or Transdniestria, forms part of the world-wide belt of “pseudo states” (V. Kolossov, “A Small State vs a Self-Proclaimed Republic: Nation-Building, Territorial Identities and Prospects of Conflict Resolution (The Case of Moldova-Transdniestria)”, S. Bianchini (ed.), From the Adriatic to the Caucasus: The Dynamics of (De)Stabilization (Ravenna: Longo Editore Ravenna, 2001), 87). Abkhazia, the South Ossetia and Pridnestrovje are the only “states” in the world who recognized the self-proclaimed independence of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh in 1991. However, it is not done up today by any of the UN member states.

[24] On the issue of violation of minority rights in Albanian-governed Kosovo-Metochia, including and the policy of ethnic cleansing, see, for instance: The March Pogrom in Kosovo and Metohija (March 17−19, 2004) with a survey of destroyed and endangered Christian cultural heritage (Belgrade, 2004); H. Hofbauer,  Experiment Kosovo. Die Rückker des Kolonialismus (Wien: 2008); M. Чупић, Отета земља. Косово и Метохија (злочини, прогони, отпори) (Београд: Нолит, 2006), 387−88; V. B. Sotirović, “Kosovo & Metohija: Ten Years After The ‘March Pogrom 2004’”, Српска политичка мисао (Serbian Political Thought), vol. 43, no. 1, (Belgrade: Institute for Political Studies, 2014), 267−83. Such policy of violation of minority rights including and ethnic cleansing, at least at such extent, is not recorded in the cases of the South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Pridnestrovje. According to Miroljub Jevtić, both Kosovo Albanian secesionism and destruction of Serbian Christian Orthodox national and cultural heritage in this province have Islamic background (М. Јевтић, „Исламска суштина албанског сецесионизма и културно наслеђе Срба“, Национални интерес (National Interest), vol. 17,  no. 2 (Belgrade: Institute for Political Studies, 2013), 231−52). On Islamic fundamentalism, see: L. Davidson, Islamic Fundamentalism: An Introduction (Santa Barbara, California: Praeger, 2013).

[25] On the case of Nagorno Karabakh, see: H. Krüger, The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: A Legal Analysis (Springer−Heidelberg−Dordrecht−London−New York: Springer, 2010); B. Balayev, The Right to Self-Determination in the South Caucasus: Nagorno Karabakh in Context (Lexington Books, 2013).

[26] On political history of Azerbaijan since 1991, see: Svante E. Cornell, Azerbaijan Since Independence (M. E. Sharpe, 2010).

[27] Azerbaijan did not apply fot the NATO help for at least three reasons: 1) not to spoil good relations with Russia; 2) not to provoke Iran – a country which was supporting Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia; and 3) the NATO at that time was not ready for the confrontation with Russia in the region which was de facto recognized by Brussels and Washington as the Russian zone of interest. On the Kosovo-Metochia War in 1998−1999 in the context of destruction of ex-Yugoslavia, see: C. Hadjimichalis, “Kosovo, 82 Days of an Undeclared and Unjust War: A Geopolitical Comment”, European Urban and Regional Studies, Vol. 7, No. 2, (2000), 175-80; T. Judah, Kosovo: War and Revenge (New Haven-London: Yale University Press, 2002); A. Finlan, The Collapse of Yugoslavia 1991-1999 (Ospray Publishing, 2004). On the NATO’s air war for Kosovo-Metochia in 1999, see: T. G. Carpenter (ed.), NATO’s Empty Victory: A Postmortem on the Balkan War (Cato Institute, 2000); B. S. Lambeth, NATO’s Air War for Kosovo: A Strategic and Operational Assessment (Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2001); D. Henrikson, NATO’s Gamble: Combining Diplomacy and Airpower in the Kosovo Crisis 1998-1999 (Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 2007). On the NATO’s „humanitarian“ intervention in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999, see: D. N. Gibbs, First Do No Harm: Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2009).

[28] The author of this article has strong belief that the USA and the Russian administrations simply decided in 2008 to recognize at the moment de facto situation upon the Balkans and the Caucasus affairs: Kosovo-Metochia will be recognized as the USA domain, while the South Ossetia and Abkhazia as the Russian one. By now, and of course, such a “secret diplomacy” deal cannot be proven by any document.

2. Sotirovic 2013

Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic

www.global-politics.eu/sotirovic

globalpol@global-politics.eu

© Vladislav B. Sotirovic 2015

_____________________

Original source of the article: http://russia-insider.com/en/2015/01/10/2319

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A short history of Kosovo-Metochia



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The region of Kosovo & Metohija (Metochia in English) was a political center of mediaeval Serbia and makes the very essence of Serbian spiritual and cultural identity and statehood since the Middle Ages up today. The biggest and the most important number of Serbian Orthodox mediaeval monasteries and churches (for instance, Gračanica, Pećka Patrijaršija, Bogorodica Ljeviška and Visoki Dečani) are built exactly in Kosovo & Metohija and the headquarters of the Serbian Orthodox Church – Patriarchate established in 1346 was located (till 1766) in the city of Peć in the western portion of the region called Metohija. The capital of Serbian Empire proclaimed in 1346 was also in Metohija in the city of Prizren which is known in Serbian history as the “Imperial city” or “Serbian Constantinople”. The term Metohija means the land in possession of the Serbian Orthodox Church and according to the archival documents c. 70% of the territory of Kosovo & Metohija was in the legal possession of the Serbian Orthodox Church till 1946 when the new Serbophobic Communist authorities, lead by non-Serb party cadre, “nationalized” the land of the church under the policy of agrarian reform and delivered it to the Albanian peasants.

However, contrary to the Serbian case, for Albanians Kosovo & Metohija is not central national land: moreover it is just peripheral for the very reason they started to settle Kosovo & Metohija from the northern Albania only after the First Great Serbian Migration from Kosovo & Metohija in 1690 during the Austrian-Ottoman War (Vienna War) 1683-1699. That the Albanians, contrary to the Serbs, are not aboriginal people in Kosovo & Metohija is clearly showing the first preserved Ottoman census (“defter”) related to Kosovo & Metohija done in 1485, i.e. only 30 years after this province became occupied by the Turks and included into administrative system of the Ottoman Empire (in 1455). By analysing the personal names and place names from this document already ex-Yugoslav linguists claimed that it is obvious that only 2% of them are of Albanian origin. However, after the First (when c. 100.00 Serbs emigrated from Kosovo & Metohija to the Southern Hungary) and the Second (during the new Austrian-Ottoman War in 1737-1739) Great Serbian Migrations from Kosovo & Metohija, the ethnic composition of the region gradually was changed for the reason that the Ottoman authorities invited neighbouring loyal Muslim Albanians (in Turkish language „Arnauts“) from the Northern Albania (the speakers of the Geg dialect of the Albanian language) to settle this region. Consequently, according to the Austrian historiography and statistoics, only at the end of the 19th c. a tiny Albanian majority became reality at Kosovo & Metohija: in 1899 it was 47,9% of Albanians compared to 43,7% of the Serbs, while in 1871 Serbian majority was clear with 63,6% of the Serbs vs 32,2% of the Albanians. According to official Serbian statistics made immediately after the Balkan Wars 1912-1913 when Kosovo & Metohija became re-included into the state territory of Serbia, it was 50% of all non-Albanians and 50% Albanians living in this region.

There are three reasons for such population change:

1) Constant Albanian immigration to Kosovo & Metohija from Northern Albania after 1699
2) Permanent Albanian terror against and ethnic cleansing of the local Orthodox Serbs (for instance, 150.000 Serbs are expelled from Kosovo & Metohija in the years 1878-1912)
3) A higher Albanian natural birth-rate in comparison to the Serbian one

Differently to the Serbian case, Kosovo & Metohija (except during the WWII) was never part of Albanian state that was, by the way, established for the first time in history only in 1912. Thus, undoubtedly, Serbs have pure historical and legal rights on Kosovo & Metohija in comparison to the Albanians (like Lithuanians on Vilnius and Trakai areas in comparison to the Poles).

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The most important Serbian Christian Orthodox shrines in Kosovo & Metochia from the Middle Ages

Kosovo and Metohija is very fertile and clement plane (differently from mountainous Albania – that was the main reason for ethnic Albanian migrations from Albania to Kosovo & Metohija) with mild climate, reach in water resources, with high mountain chains bordering with Albania. It has been God-blessed environment for a fruitful development of the highest achievements in all cultural fields in medieval Serbia. The cultural and demographic strength of the Serbs is best illustrated by the presence of c. 1.500 monuments of Serbian culture. Numerous outstanding noble Serbian families used to live in this province (known as “Old Serbia”), as families Branković, Hrebeljanović, Musić, Vojinović, some of which were the inceptors of Serbian dynasties. In addition, a great number of Serbian noble castles existed all over Kosovo with rich aristocratic life going on inside their walls. They were also meeting places of Serbian nobility and centers where important political and other decisions have been taken and places attended by foreign envoys and outstanding guests from the noble foreign ruling families. In Svrčin castle, for example, the famous Serbian Emperor Dušan (1331-1355) was firstly crowned king in 1331, and Pauni, famous for its beauty, were favoured place of Serbian king Milutin (1282-1321) – a founder of monastery of Gračanica. In Pauni in 1342 Serbian Emperor Dušan had received Jovan VI Kantakuzin, one of the pretenders to the Byzantine throne at that time. Nerodimlja, with the strong fortress over the castle, was favourite residence of Serbian king Stefan Dečanski (1321-1331) who built up the famous monastery of Visoki Dečani in Metohija – a meeting place of western (Roman Catholic) and eastern (Byzantine Orthodox) architecture styles.

However, for the mediaeval Albanian history Kosovo & Metohija is of no importance: no one Albanian feudal lord or dynasty originated in Kosovo & Metohija, no Albanian religious shrines (churches) in Kosovo & Metohija, and mostly important, no Albanian place-names in the province. Even today, 90% of place-names in Kosovo & Metohija are of Serbian-Slavic origin – even in Albanian language the name for the province („Kosova“) has Serbian-Slavic root/origin: „Kos“ (=blackbird).

Serbian elite and minor nobility has built in the Middle Ages in this region hundreds of smaller chapels and several dozens of monumental Christian monasteries and churches. Some of them have been preserved to date, such as Patriarchy of Peć (since 1346 site of the Serbian Patriarch), Dečani, Gračanica, Bogorodica Ljeviška, Banjska, Sveti Arhanđeli near Prizren and others. Serbian churches and monasteries had been for centuries owners of great complexes of fertile land. As it is said, Metohija, the name originated from the Greek word metoh, means church land (administratively, Kosovo province is divided by Serbian authorities into Kosovo covering the eastern part and Metohija covering the western part). Highly developed economic life was an integral part of a high level of civilization attained in the medieval Serbia. The city of Prizren, for example, was a famous economic and commercial center, with developed silk production, fine crafts, and numerous settlements where the merchants from Kotor (today in Montenegro) and Dubrovnik (historically independent republic) had their houses, and in the 14th c. Prizren was the site of the consul from Dubrovnik for the whole Serbian state. And many other commercial centers such as Priština, Peć, Hoča, Vučitrn, are testifying the strength of highly developed economic life in this region. The region of Kosovo & Metohija was also famous in Europe after its very rich silver-mining centers as Trepča, Novo Brdo and Janjevo, out of which in the 15th c. Novo Brdo had become one of the most important mining centers of the Balkans and Europe. Mainly silver, but in certain extent and gold, were exported to the big European centers in great quantities especially during the first half of the 15th c. However, the Ottoman authorities totally neglected mine exploitation in Kosovo & Metohija (likewise elsewhere in the Ottoman Empire) and at such a way this very rich province did not contribute to the economic prosperity of the Ottoman citizens.

Turkish-Ottoman invasion from the mid-14th c. (1354) means a fatal turning point in the Balkan and Serbian history during the second half of the 14th c. The military advance of the Turks towards the Central Europe via the Balkans was a rather slow process. Serbian ruler prince (known in Serbian epic songs as the “emperor”) Lazar Hrebeljanović (1370-1389) and Serbian nobility in the famous „Kosovo Battle“ on June 28th, 1389 did everything to stop the Turkish invasion towards the South Eastern Europe. It was not only a clash of two armies led by their rulers Serbian prince Lazar and Turkish sultan Murat I (1362-1389), who both are killed during the battle, but also a clash of two civilizations, one Christian-European and one Islamic-Asiatic. During the Ottoman yoke in Serbian national conscience the „Kosovo Battle“ has acquired a mythical dimension of a crucial historical event (even today chronology of Serbian national history is divided into two periods: before and after the „Kosovo Battle“), greatly affecting the national identity of the Serbs. The Serbian epic poetry is very rich and the cycle of poems devoted to Kosovo & Metohija are a pearl of that treasure and moral and psychological support to Serbian people during the centuries of slavery under the Turks till the 19th c. Kosovo & Metohija have been longest under the Turkish lordship in comparison to all other ethnic and historic Serbian lands as this region became finally liberated from the Turks only in 1912. On the opposite side, in Albanian national epic poetry there are no examples of devotion to the Kosovo & Metohija land and history. However, even the “father” of Albanian national pride – the feudal lord Georgie Kastriot Skanderbeg (1405-1468, ruler of Central Albania from 1443 to 1468) was in fact of Serbian origin. Contrary to Albanian case, in Serbian national poetry we find such a great number of representatives of Serbian nobility, of Serbian castles and outstanding Serbian monasteries from Kosovo & Metohija.

The Turkish-Ottoman invasion of the South Eastern Europe including and the Serbian lands, have not only brought about the fall of Christian civilization, but is also responsible for the destruction of all social structures, the elimination of the Serbian elite and the destruction of the most outstanding cultural achievements. One part of Serbian nobility was killed, one part expelled to Asia, one part took Islam (mainly voluntarily), and one part managed to emigrate north, west and to across the Adriatic Sea to Italy. Average people (the peasants) deprived from its national leaders had no option but to stick to the traditional national values. It is thanks to the Serbian Orthodox Church which managed to revive its work in 1557 (renewal of the Patriarchy of Peć by the sultan’s decree), that Serbian people kept alive the awareness of the mediaeval national state and high achievements of its civilization. Many mediaeval castles and towns were destroyed, many churches were raised to the ground, and even some of them turn into the mosques. For example, at the beginning of the 17th c., the church of the Holy Angels (Sveti Arhandjeli), where Serbian emperor Stefan Dušan was buried, that was in fact the monumental mausoleum of Emperor Dušan, was totally destroyed, and the stone of which the church was built was used for building the Sinan-paša mosque, still existing in the city of Prizren today. Bogorodica Ljeviška, the monumental church of King Milutin, in 1756 was turned into the mosque and only after the WWI it was again restored into the Christian church. Contrary, there is no one example of conversion of the Muslim mosque into the Christian church in the 20th c. when the Christians (Serbs) ruled the province.

Turkish invasion and the consequences of their conflict with Christian Europe, particularly since the siege of Vienna in 1683, had considerably changed the ethnic and demographic picture of that part of Serbia. The Orthodox Serbs were the absolute majority population until the end of the 17th c., and before the First Great Migration of the Serbs in 1690, due to the defeat of the Christian Europe (the Habsburg army) in the conflict with the Turks and the participation of the Serbs in that conflict on the side of the Christian Europe. After 1690 the Turks have been settled in Kosovo & Metohija’s towns and cities, but the turning point in history of Kosovo & Metohija was the fact that the Albanians have been coming from the mountains of Northern Albania to both (firstly) Metohija and (later) Kosovo. The colonisation of Kosovo & Metohija by Albania’s Albanians has been continued after 1941 up today. Surely, until the 18th c. there are no Albanians in Kosovo & Metohija in bigger agglomerations. In addition to the newly settled Albanians who were mostly Muslims, i.e. originally the Christians converted to Islam already in Albania or soon after settling in Kosovo & Metohija, it was also and the process of Islamization of the Serbs that brought about great changes in the cultural environment of the province. Many of Islamized Serbs (the „Arbanasi“) gradually fused with predominantly Albanian Muslims and adopted their culture and language. Thus, a great number of today Kosovo “Albanians” are in fact of Serbian ethnic origin. The process of Islamization and a change of ethnic structure of Kosovo & Metohija further continued at the beginning of the second half of the 19th c. when the Turks settled the Cherkeses in this province which at that time enjoyed a status of a separate Ottoman administrative unit („Kosovo vilayet“) but with a bigger territory in comparison to Kosovo & Metohija are today (including and Northern Macedonia and parts of present-day South West Serbia). Consequently, due to of all these artificial demographic changes, but also and due to high birth-rate of Kosovo Albanians, the Orthodox Serbs decreased for almost 50% of the total population living in Kosovo & Metohija c. 1900.

In the second half of the 19th c. and at the beginning of the 20th c. the Serbian middle class in Prizren, Peć, Priština and other cities was the main driving force of the urban and economic development of the province. The newspaper “Prizren” was published in both in Serbian and Turkish language. In 1871 the „Orthodox Theological School“ was founded in Prizren by Sima Igumanov. During the eighties and the nineties of the 19th c. a great number of new schools, cultural institutions and banks were founded and many of them have been sponsored by the independent Kingdom of Serbia whose consulate was established in Priština.

It was during the WWII, that the most drastic changes in the demographic picture of Kosovo & Metohija took place. In this region, which became part of Mussolini’s and Hitler’s protected Greater Albania from 1941 to 1944 (composed by Albania, Kosovo & Metohija, Western Macedonia and Eastern Montenegro), the Albanian nationalists got free hands to terrorize and exterminate the Serbs. Under such pressure no lesser than 100.000 Serbs left this region. In their empty houses about the same number of Albanians from Albania are settled (the „Kosovars“). Such policy definitely changed the balance in the Albanian favour. Thus, the first official census in post-WWII Yugoslavia (in 1948) showed 199,961 Serbs (including and “Montenegrins”) in Kosovo & Metohija and 498,242 Albanians. Moreover, the federal National Assembly in Belgrade issued a special law in 1946 according to which all expelled Serbs/Montenegrins from the region during the years of 1941-1944 are prohibited to return back to their homes under the official pretext that such move would provoke tensions between Serbs/Montenegrins and Albanians in Kosovo & Metohija.

After 1945, as a result of unbelievable demographic explosion (up today the biggest in Europe) Albanian population in Kosovo doubled till 1971. The official Yugoslav census for that year shows 916,168 Albanians living in Kosovo & Metohija, while Serb and Montenegrin (the “Montenegrins” as a separate nation from the Serbs are declared in 1945) population reached only to number 259,819. This demographic trend clearly demonstrates that the theory of Serb repression over Albanians after the WWII is absolutely not correct. The truth is that the Serbophobic Yugoslav Communist authorities (lead by Austro-Hungarian Croat Josip Broz Tito who was fighting in 1914 in Austro-Hungarian uniform at the territory of Serbia) gave favour to the Albanians at the expense of Serbs/Montenegrins allowing uncontrolled settlement of Albanian immigrants from North Albania and tolerating different methods of ethnic discrimination over the Serbs/Montenegrins which made more and more Serbs and Montenegrins leave the province to seek more secured life in Central Serbia or Montenegro. The new wave of Serbian and Montenegrin exodus from Kosovo & Metohija started after mass Albanian demonstrations in 1968 in the region with a requirement to transform Kosovo & Metohija into the new (7th) Yugoslav republic in order to easily secede the region from Serbia with a final aim to include it into a Greater Albania. By the 1990s more than 800 settlements in which Serbs lived with Albanians became ethnically pure Albanian villages. From 1974 (when a new Yugoslav (con)federal constitution was adopted) Kosovo & Metohija’s Albanians got extremely huge political-national autonomy only formally within Republic of Serbia. However, it became practically an independent seventh republic within Yugoslav (con)federation having its own president, government, parliament, Academy of Science, flag, police, territorial defence and school systems and even a constitution which was in many articles in direct opposition to the constitution of the Republic of Serbia.

Monah na rusevinama crkveDestroyed Serbian Christian Orthodox Church in Kosovo & Metochia by Muslim Albanians in March 2004

In an attempt to prevent the secession of Kosovo & Metohija after pro-Greater Albanian demonstrations in this province in the spring 1981 (when Albanians openly required unification with Albania), Serbian government in the 1990 abolished only Albanian political autonomy (i.e independence) at Kosovo & Metohija. When the rebels of Albanian classical terrorist „Kosovo Liberation Army“ (established in 1995 and sponsored by the USA) began attacks on both Serbian police forces and Serbian civilians in February 1998 the Serbian government brought the army and stronger police troops to put the rebellion down. In the course of the „Kosovo War“ in 1998 and 1999 which ended by the NATO intervention against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) more than 500.000 Kosovo & Metohija’s Albanians, in order to escape from the NATO bombing and to perform a political refugee show-programme for the West) fled the province to Macedonia and Albania. After the war, despite the international presence, „Kosovo Liberation Army“ organized persecutions of Serbian, Montenegrin and all other non-Albanian population with a result that more than 200.000 Serbs and Montenegrins left Kosovo and Metohija. Only 90.000 Serbs remained living in total isolation, dispersed in several KFOR protected Serb enclaves. After the self-proclamation of Kosovo state independence on February 17th 2008 Balkan ethnic Albanians are living in two national states with a great possibility to create in the recent future a united Greater Albania following the borders from 1941-1944.

By means of the United Nations’ Security Council Resolution 1244 (June 1999), the mandate of the warrant for the effective protection of universal values of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family (which is foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the World) on the territory of the southern Serbia’s Autonomous Region of Kosovo & Metohija (in English known only as Kosovo) after the war against Kosovo Albanian secessionist terrorists (the so-called “Kosovo Liberation Army”, established, financed and supported by the USA administration) from February 1998 to June 1999 was given to the United Nations.

Responsibility for protection of human lives, freedom and security in Kosovo & Metohija was thus transferred to the international public authorities (in fact only to the NATO): the administration of UNMIK (United Nations’ Mission in Kosovo), and the international military forces – (KFOR, Kosovo Forces). Unfortunately, very soon this responsibility was totally challenged as more than 220.000 ethnic Serbs and members of other non-Albanian communities were expelled from the region by local ethnic Albanians. Mostly suffered the Serbs: it left today only 10% of them in Kosovo & Metohija in comparison to the pre-war situation. Only up to March 2004 c. 120 Christian religious objects and cultural monuments were devastated or destroyed.

The most terrible in the series of Kosovo Albanian eruptions of violence against the Serbs living in this region was organized and carried out between March 17th-19th, 2004, having all the features of Nazi organized Pogroms. During the tragic events of the March Pogrom, in a destructive assault of tens of thousands by Kosovo Albanians led by armed groups of redressed Kosovo Liberation Army (Kosovo Protection Corpus), a systematic ethnic cleansing of the remaining Serbs was carried out, together with destruction of houses, other property, cultural monuments and Serbian Orthodox Christian religious sites. However, the international civil and military forces in the region have been only “stunned” and “surprised”.

The March Pogrom, which resulted in the loss of several dozens of lives, several hundreds of wounded (including the members of KFOR as well), more than 4.000 exiled ethnic Serbs, more than 800 Serbian houses set on fire and 35 destroyed or severely damaged Serbian Orthodox Christian churches and cultural monuments, revealed the real situation in this European region 60 years after the Holocaust during the Second World War. Unfortunately, the attempts of the Serbs to call attention to the situation proved to have been justified in the most shocking way.
It is thus necessary to reiterate that ethnic cleansing of the Serbs (and other non-Albanian population) in the region by the local Albanians after the mid-June 1999 means putting into practice the annihilation of a Serbian territory of exquisite historic, spiritual, political and cultural top-level significance in terms of the Serbian nation, state and the Church, and its every-day visible transformation into another Albanian state in the Balkans with a real wish and possibility to unify it with a neighboring motherland Albania. The main geo-political goal of the First Albanian Prizren League from June 1878 is being brought to its attainment, including its implications for the Preshevo valley in South-East Serbia, Western Macedonia up to Vardar River, Greek portion of Epirus province and Eastern Montenegro.

The Albanian national movement, established in accordance with the program of the First Prizren League in 1878, is keeping on with its terrorist activities up today. It was before after June 1999 particularly active in the period of Italian and German Greater Albania from April 1941 to May 1945, when it undertook the organization of the Albanian Quisling network of agents. During this period of time c. 100.000 Serbs from Kosovo & Metohija have been expelled from their homes to addition to extra 200.000 expelled during Croat-run Titoslavia from 1945 to 1980. The process of articulation of the Albanian secessionist movement in the geo-political sense continued throughout the post-Second World War period marked by the rule of Yugoslav-Albanian anti-Serb communist partocracy. The process became particularly intense and successful in the period between 1968 and 1989. The entrance of the NATO troops in the region in June 1999 marks the beginning of the last stage of the Albanian-planned and carried out “Final Solution” of the Serbian question on the territory of Kosovo & Metohija – a “Cradle of Serbian nation”.
In the light of the main Albanian goal – to establish ethnically pure Greater Albania – it is “understandable” why it is so important to destroy any Serbian trace in the territory defined by the aspirations. Albanian terrorism has been developing for more than two centuries. It has the profile of ethnically, i.e. Nazi-racist style motivated terrorism (like Croat one), marked by excessive animosity against the Serbs. Its principal features are the following:

1. Repressive measures directed against the Serbian population
2. Carrying practical actions to force the Serbs to leave their homes
3. Devastation of the Serbian Orthodox Christian religious objects and other cultural monuments belonging to the Serbian people and testifying to its ten centuries long presence in Kosovo & Metohija
4. Destruction of the complete infrastructure used by the members of the Serbian community
5. Destruction of Serbian cemeteries

Long standing Muslim Albanian Nazi-style terror against the Serbian community in Kosovo & Metohija is a specific phenomenon with grave consequences not only for the local Serbs. It became, however, clear that sooner or later it will bring about severe problems for the whole Europe.

The origins of the endowments of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the heritage of the Serbian state and nation in Kosovo & Metohija, as well in other Serbian ethnographic territories, can be traced in historical sources and other relevant documents since the Early Middle Ages. Unfortunately, throughout the course of their long history, Serbian religious (and at the same time national) objects have often been exposed to physical attacks of numerous foreign invaders including and Albanians who came to the Balkans from the Caucasus’ Albania via Sicily and South Italy only in the year of 1043. In the centuries of the Islamic Ottoman rule (1455−1912) over Kosovo & Metohija, both Serbian nation and its cultural heritage, tangible and intangible, suffered very much by both Turks and especially (Muslim) Albanians who came to this region from present-day Albania after the Great Vienna War that is finished in 1699. However, not those sufferings can be compared to the hardship borne by them since mid-June 1999, when the region of Kosovo & Metohija became turned into the first NATO’s established concentration camp and U.S. 19th c.-style colony in Europe run by both the local Albanians and their numerous fellows emigrated to Kosovo & Metohija from Albania.

It is in Kosovo & Metohija that the richest group of monuments of religious endowments bequeathed by the Christian East to the European Christian civilization can be found. According to the official inventory of protected cultural properties of the Republic of Serbia, as of 1986 and 1994, more than 300 cultural properties, belonging to the “1st and the 3rd categories”, have been granted protected status in Kosovo & Metohija. There is also a considerable number of properties having status of “recognized heritage”, i.e. preventively protected properties.

A considerable number of cultural properties in the highest categories – mediaeval monumental heritage in particular – distinctly shows that the Serbian mediaeval state (early 9th c.−1459), marked by the Nemanjić’s dynasty (1167−1371), which gave ten rulers in the course of two centuries, once (before the Ottoman rule) belonged to the developed countries of Europe. This is the heritage that continued the tradition of the Byzantine architecture: numerous religious objects and cities (for instance Novo Brdo/Novaberda) were built on Byzantine foundations, while in some of them elements of Western European mediaeval architectural styles – before all Romanesque – were incorporated in a unique, original manner. The fact that Serbian king Stephen (Stefan) Uroš III Dečanski (1321−1331) dedicated to Christ Pantokrator his great burial church in the monastery of Dečani (in Metohija near Peć), entrusting its construction to the Franciscan Vito, a member of the order of Friars Minor from Kotor, is an obvious and respectable example of an unbiast approach. The architecture of Kosovo & Metohija acquired some specific features owing to the fact that some other Serbian royal mausolea were built in this region – like burial churches of king Uroš III Milutin (1282−1321) in Banjska and emperor Stefan Dušan “Mighty” (1331−1355) in the monastery of Holy Archangels (in Metohija near Prizren) – and that the Patriarchate of Peć, an important religious centre, with church of Holy Apostles, was the burial place of the highest prelates of the Serbian Orthodox Church since the 13th c. (more than 200 years before Columbus discovered America).

It has to be clearly noted that there is no a single Albanian built mediaeval shrine or profane object on the territory of Kosovo and Metohija for the very historical reason – the Albanians did not live in this region before 1699. Even the term “Kosova” used in Albanian language is in fact of Slavic-Serbian original “Kosovo” what means nothing in Albanian language but it means a kind of eagle in Serbian (“Kos”).

Both Kosovo and Metohija have been the homeland of numerous Serbian aristocratic families like the Musić’s, Lazarević’s or Branković’s. Their estates are situated in this region. The greatest portions of Kosovo & Metohija’s land, rich in ores, belonged to Serbian rulers and to Serbian Orthodox Church. The rulers have been periodically granted to the monasteries vast estates, including villages and shepherds’ settlements (the so-called “katuni”), so that the major part of the present territory of Kosovo & Metohija was occupied with church estates – metochies. It was for that reason that the western part of this region got the name of Greek origin – Metohija.

In the centuries of the Ottoman lordship, Serbian people gathered around their churches and monasteries. After the sudden change of fortune in the war operations of the Habsburg general Piccolomini, whose military campaign against the Ottoman Empire (Great Vienna War, 1683−1699) was readily supported by the Serbian population of Kosovo & Metohija, c. 100.000 of local Serbs were forced to migrate to northern areas, across the rivers of Sava and Danube in the year of 1690 (The First Great Serbian Migration) in order to escape retaliation. In the opening decades of the 18th c., the great Ottoman Empire, together with a policy of mass settlement in the region of loyal Muslim ethnic Albanians from the neighboring mountainous and poor Albania, began to show clear signs of political and military weakening. After the First Serbian Uprising against the Turks (1804−1813), the Ottoman authorities were compelled to accept requests of European great powers, and Russia in particular, regarding protection of the Christian population in the Balkans. When two Serbian states, Serbia and Montenegro, finally managed to liberate Kosovo & Metohija and the whole region of Old Serbia (Kosovo, Metohija, Raška and Vardar Macedonia) in 1912/1913, not a single of the most important monuments of Islamic architecture was destroyed or desecrated – Bayraki mosque in Peć (Metohija), Sinan-pasha’s mosque in Prizren (Metohija), built in the 17th c. of stones and fragments of sculptural decoration brought from the ruins of the monastery of Holy Archangels near Prizren (an endowment of Serbian emperor Dušan), the Imperial (Fetih) mosque in Priština (Kosovo) or Hadum-mosque in Đakovica (Metohija).

2177800481_785277bdf2_b_KosovoA rapid process of Islamization of Christian Kosovo & Metochia after June 1999

However, the major part of Serbian Christian religious objects, which despite all managed to survive centuries of hardship and Muslim Albanian attacks, could not withstand the latest devastations lasting since mid-June 1999 when NATO troops occupied the region. Destruction and devastation of Serbian Christian cultural heritage in Kosovo & Metohija, which in NATO’s countries acquires special treatment, is unprecedented in the whole history of Europe.

The most genocidal action committed by local Albanians under the auspicious by the NATO’s troops in Kosovo & Metohija from the mid-June 1999 was the “March Pogrom” from March 17th to March 19th of 2004. These three days and nights of Albanian vandalism and ethnic cleansing of non-Albanians from the region, primarily the autochthonous Serbs, in the Nazi “Kristallnacht”-style resulted in devastation of 19 cultural monuments, 6 of which fall into 1st category – churches from the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, and 16 religious objects without heritage value, which makes a total of 35 recorded cultural properties and churches of Serb nation.

Only during the period between 1999 and 2004 (the first 5 years of NATO’s occupation of Kosovo & Metohija), in this region 15 cultural monuments from the 1st category and 23 from the 3rd category have been destroyed, which makes a total of 38 recorded cultural properties out of much more destroyed Serbian cultural properties of minor importance. The group of cultural properties at risk , i.e. preserved monuments, includes 88 properties: 31 from the 1st and 57 from the 3rd category.

After the “March pogrom” in 2004, as the most remarkable vandalistic assault of the Muslim Kosovo Albanian terrorists, the number of devastated most important cultural properties has reached 21 for the 1st and 36 for the 3rd category, which makes a total of 47 monuments and objects (end of March 2004). If we take into account all the other destroyed cultural properties, as well as ordinary religious objects, the total surpasses 140 cultural monuments, churches and other religious objects up to mid-2004.

It is clear that Europe is facing the organized and deliberate destruction of monuments and religious objects alongside with devastation of private property of Serbian nation in the cradle of Serbian civilization and history by militant-fanatic Albanians who took example of Catholic Croat-run genocide against the Serbs committed three times in the 20th century (1914-1918; 1941-1945 and 1991-1995) in Croatia, Dalmatia, Slavonia, Srem, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The aim in both cases was and is to erase any trace of Serbian Orthodox civilization and the Serbian cultural heritage westward from the Drina River and in Kosovo & Metohija. The genocide is accompanied with promotion of totally false historical data, undue claims to cultural and historic heritage belonging to other people and the changing and renaming of geographical names and toponyms. We have not to forgot that many Kosovo-Metohija Albanians took participation in ethnic cleansing of the Serbs from the Krayina region (Republic of Serbian Krayina) in Titoist-Tuđman’s Greater Croatia in 1991-1995 as volunteers or mercenaries in Croatian army or ultra-right party-military detachments. Some of these Albanians even received the rank of the generals in the Croatian Army like terrorist and war-criminal Agim Cheku who later became one of the leading commanders of the Albanian “Kosovo Liberation Army” and later the chief-commander of the “Kosovo Protection Corps” (transformed KLA). The other KLA top war criminals after the mid-June 1999 took an active part in political life in the region and one of them, Ramush Haradinaj (a leader of the “Alliance for the Future of Kosovo” and deputy-chief-commander of the “Kosovo Protection Corps”), even became “Prime Minister” of “Kosova” in 2004. Unfortunately, but not and surprisingly, such a situation in Kosovo & Metohija, likewise in Croatia, met no adequate response from the international professional circles coming from the “democratic West” with the exclusion of Serbian professionals and institutions from the heritage protection system.

During the time from the mid-June 1999 up today as the major problems in the context of protection and preservation of the Serbian Christian Orthodox cultural heritage in Kosovo & Metohija are:

• Access to cultural properties and work on their protection is impossible for the exiled Serbian experts,
• For the most monuments and objects no protection has been provided,
• Recommended regimes of protection are not being improved nor implemented,
• Measures of protection are not being put into effect, or, to be more precise, they are being implemented in a discriminative manner,
• Not a single process of rehabilitation of devastated or destroyed Serbian Christian Orthodox monuments has been initiated,
• Supervision by responsible higher rank institutions of the Republic of Serbia has been precluded,
• Vandalization of cultural properties is still occurring, but the offenders have not been condemned never mind apprehended,
• Disrespect for the international legal acts, and
• Application of a policy of “double standards” by UNMIK and NATO

Historically, Serbian Christian Orthodox artistic, cultural and religious heritage of Kosovo & Metohija (both movable and immovable properties) has been exposed to the most severe damages and devastation by local Muslim Albanians during the last 250 years, but particularly after the arrival of the civic “UN Mission in Kosovo” (UNMIK) and NATO military occupation of the region under the label of the “Kosovo Protection Forces” (KFOR) in the mid-June 1999. The territory of Kosovo & Metohija is Serbian centre of cultural, religious and artistic heritage of the highest value in European context that is, first of all, a testimony of historical presence of the Serbs, Serbian culture and Serbian civilization. This heritage belongs to the mankind and is thus worth of protection in accordance with the principle of the “European common heritage”. Salvaging and preserving the Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija is a great challenge and duty to be undertaken by modern and democratic Europe if it is.


Source:

March Pogrom in Kosovo and Metohija. March 17-19, 2004 with a survay of destroyed and endangered Christian cultural heritage (2004). Belgrade: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia-Museum in Priština (displaced)

Improved and corrected by Prof. Dr.  Vladislav B. Sotirovic

Note:

The text is not approved by Noel Malcolm! We apologize for any inconvenience.

10 I morto i SerbiDestroyed Serbian Christian Orthodox Church in Kosovo & Metochia by Muslim Albanians in March 2004

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The emergence of “Balkan Jihad” and its progress in the region



Kosovo ISIL Ridvan Haqifi and Lavdrim Muhaxheri

Two Kosovo Albanian Muslim muhajedeens (with the passports of Republic of Kosovo) as members of ISIL in Syria in 2015 (Official ISIL’s video material)

After the 9/11, a worldwide “War on terror” begun in order to disband and neutralize Islamic terrorist networks across the globe. The main focus of the largest anti-terrorist campaign in history is focused in the Middle East area, as well as in Afghanistan.

The Balkan Peninsula is the European area where this campaign has also taken place, with numerous arrests and a continuous effort into riding the fundamentalist out of the area. The question arising though, is how did the extremists gain a foothold in South Eastern Europe in the first place, and what was the reaction of the international community over the previous years.

The presence of Islam in the Balkans dates back in the 13th century.

In order to create the much needed mercenary armies, against the then archenemy, the Francs; Byzantine Emperors allowed Muslim Turks into modern day Bulgaria. They were used mainly as cavalry forces due to their excellent techniques in that kind of war. Over the coming decades the antagonism between the Francs and the Vatican from one side and the Byzantium from the other, led to the final conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks in 1453. Gradually virtually the whole of the Balkans came under Muslim dominance and were included in the Dar al Islam territory stretching from the Hindu river and up to Gibraltar.

In Bosnia in particular the sect of Vogomils –Eastern Orthodox sect-, converted to Islam for a variety of societal and spiritual reasons. Since the Vogomils were the affluent class of the central Balkans they soon became the ruling class over millions of Christians of mostly Slavic descent.

In Albania the Islamic takeover had a dramatic effect and in a matter of 150 years 2/3rds of the population converted from the Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholicism into Islam. The main reason for such a large proselytism in Albania had been the traditional adherence towards the stronger ruler that the mountainous Albanians have showed since their early history. During the Roman Empire times, the Albanians served as elite corps in the Armies of the Emperors Empires –i.e. Diocletian was of Albanian descent- and tended to absorb the cultural and religious norms of their regional superintendents. The same was the case in the more or less Greek dominated Byzantium. As soon as the “Eastern Roman Empire” waned in favor of the Western one; there was a mass conversion to Catholicism in the early 13th century .

The historical collective path of the Albanian people can be compared with that of the mountainous Swiss that have eloquently absorbed influences and norms by the much larger and influential neighbors (Germany, France, and Italy).

It is against this historical background that the Islamic fundamentalist drama in the Balkans evolved in the 1990s. Evan F. Kohlmann, author of Al-Qaeda’s Jihad in Europe: The Afghan-Bosnian Network argues that “key to understanding Al Qaida’s European cells lies in the Bosnian war of the 1990s” . Using the Bosnian war as their cover, Afghan-trained Islamic militants loyal to Osama bin Laden convened in the Balkans in 1992 to establish a European domestic terrorist infrastructure in order to plot their violent strikes against the United States.

So, the outbreak of the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992 presented an unparalleled opportunity for the international Mujaheedin to storm Europe, establish safe havens in the area and thus initiate re-conquest of regions they previously ruled . The leader of Bosnia, Alia Izebegovic was eager to obtain as much assistance as possible and didn’t hesitate in providing the necessary framework by which the Islamic ties were forged . In the same year, a variety of Islamic mercenaries flocked into the Balkans in order to support the “Holy cause”, meaning the establishment of the first Islamic state in Europe .

The end of the war in 1995 saw quite a few of those mujahedin, acquiring Bosnian citizenship and establishing the first Islamic community in the village of Bocinja Donja . During 2006 and 2007, hundreds of citizenships were revoked by Islamists residing in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Nevertheless the whereabouts of most of them remain unknown, raising fears for potential terrorist acts by them in the future and in an European soil . What is more, the Novi Pazar town in Sanjak area in Southern Serbia; has become a core for Islamic fundamentalism, linked with Al-Qaeda cells. Novi Pazar is the focus of the Islamist attempt to build a landbridge from Albania and Kosovo to Bosnia. Further to the East, in southern Serbia’s Raška Oblast, are three other concentrations of Muslims: Sjenica and Pester area (lightly populated but mostly Muslim), Prijepolje (some 50 percent Muslim) and — very close to the Bosnia border where Republica Srpska controls the slender Gorazde corridor — Priboj (also some 50 percent Muslim).

The land between is Serbian farmland, but the Islamist goal is to link the cities as “evidence” that the entire region is, or should be, Muslim territory. The same strategy worked successfully in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where Serbian farmers were driven off their lands during the civil war.

Just south of the Serbian area of Raška Oblast is the Montenegrin part of Raška region, where, for example, Bijeljo Polje is some 60 to 80 percent Muslim, and Pijevlja, close to the Bosnian border, is about 40 percent Muslim. These Montenegrin towns, like those of the Western Serbian Raška region, are the key to the illicit arms and narcotrafficking across the Gorazde Corridor to Bosnia.

An Islamist university has opened in Novi Pazar, ostensibly a normal college, but led by an Islamist mufti of little formal education. This modern institution — whose officials proclaim it a normal educational institution — reveals its character in its symbol: the Wahabbi/Salafi Dawa symbol, an open Q’uran surmounted with a rising sun. The university, in a renovated former textile factory, is a known center of radical Islamist thinking. A book fair held there in early October 2003 distributed very radical Islamist literature, specifically advocating conflict with the West.

The Dawa sign indicates that the university is predominantly Saudi-funded, although some Western funding is known to have been pumped into the institution, reportedly largely to undermine Serb interests in the region .

Western tolerance of Islamic radicals, however, was one of the gravest mistakes of modern times . In addition, a well organized criminal network has already been established in Sarajevo that in a large extent facilitates illegal immigration from Asia to Europe . That activity is coupled with the narcotics trade that is being supplemented by the infamous “Balkan Drug route”  It is illuminating to note that the areas from where this route is passing are under Muslim influence mostly.

Sources

Chicago-Kent College of Law and the Illinois Institute of Technology (1996), ” Nationbuilding in the Balkans-History of Albanians”. Web Site: http://pbosnia.kentlaw.edu/resources/history/albania/albhist.htm

Evan F. Kohlmann, “Al-Qaeda’s Jihad in Europe“,Berg Publications, Preface, Oxford-UK, September 2004.

Kokalis Foundation; Kennedy School of Government; Harvard University, Presentation paper by Xavier Bougarel, “Islam & Politics in the Post-Communist Balkans. Website: http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/kokkalis/GSW1/GSW1/13%20Bougarel.pdf

Foreign Military Studies Publications (02/1995), By LTC John E. Sray, U.S. Army, “Mujahedin Operations in Bosnia”. Website: http://leav-www.army.mil/fmso/documents/muja.htm

Department of the USA Navy; Naval Historical Centre Publications (26/07/2005), By Steven Woehrel, “Islamic terrorism & the Balkans”. Website: http://www.history.navy.mil/library/online/islamic_terrorism.htm

Reuters, Alert Net Service (11/04/2007), By Daria Sito-Sucic, “Bosnia revokes citizenship of Islamic ex-soldiers”. Web Site: http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L1151505.htm

Information was provided by a variety of ISSA Reports, informal journalist sources from Serbia, Albania & FYROM. The material has been made publicly else were and has not been contended for its reliability.

For extensive and sensitive information on the subject see: ISSA Special Report (17/09/2003). Web Site: http://128.121.186.47/ISSA/reports/Balkan/Sep1703.htm#App1

Council on Foreign Relations; Open Edition (13/02/2002), By David L. Phillips, “Keeping the Balkans free of Al-Qaeda”. Website: http://www.cfr.org/publication/4344/rule_of_law.html?breadcrumb=%2Fregion%2F385%2Fbalkans

European Commission; External Affairs Service (2004), “The Contribution of the European Commission to the Implementation of the EU-Central Asia Action Plan on Drugs”. Website: http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/drugs/hero.htm


19-05-2013

By Ioannis Michaletos

Source: Modern Diplomacy

9 Samodreza

Destroyed 14th century Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo (Samodreza) by Kosovo ISIL

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