Kosovo and ongoing de-Christianization



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The ongoing de-Christianization of Kosovo continues and unlike the past frenzy of the anti-Serbian mass media in the West, we mainly have a deadly silence about the reality of Kosovo and the continuing Albanianization of this land. However, how is it “just” and “moral” to persecute minorities and to alienate them from mainstream society; and then to illegally recognize this land without the full consensus of the international community?

How ironic it is that the same United States of America and the United Kingdom, two nations who were in the forefront of covertly manipulating the mass media; remain mainly silent about the destruction of Orthodox Christian churches, Serbian architecture, and of course the past killings of Serbians and other minorities in Kosovo.

After all, according to America and the United Kingdom the initial conflict was about human rights, democracy, and liberty. However, what about the liberty and freedom of Orthodox Christian Serbs, Gypsies, and other minorities in Kosovo? Are these minorities free in modern day Kosovo and can they move around without the fear of discrimination, persecution or death?

Obviously, vast parts of Kosovo are out of bounds for the majority of minorities in Kosovo, therefore, the answer is no and many areas which were cleansed of  Serbians and other minorities remain cleansed.

According to Minority Rights Group International (MRG) which is based in the United Kingdom, it is apparent that exclusion and discrimination is rife. Therefore, minorities face a bleak future and Serbians, Bosniaks, Roma, Croats, Turks, Gorani and Ashkali Egyptians are either being forced out because of alienation or because of limited economic opportunities.

The MRG is not alone in thinking that minorities have been badly betrayed because it is clear that Kosovo remains in limbo and minorities will continue to leave because of the ongoing situation.

The late Patriarch Pavle (His Holiness the Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci, Patriarch of Serbs) was highly respected and a man of reason. He stated the following many years ago ( http://kosovo.net ):

“This humble publication is our cry and appeal to the Christian and civilized world. It is distressing to learn that in the year of the greatest Christian Jubilee, at the end of two millenniums of Christianity, Christian churches are still being destroyed, not in a war but in the time of peace guaranteed by the international community. We hope that these photos of the destroyed and desecrated Orthodox shrines will awaken the conscience of those who are able to stop the crimes and believe that they who already stood up against one evil will not remain just passive witnesses of another evil happening now in their presence.”

“We also make our appeal to all Kosovo Albanians, who reasonably see their future in their joint life with Serbs, to resist and prevent the acts of insanity.”

“In Kosovo and Metohija there will be no victory of humanity and justice while revenge and disorder prevail. No one has the moral right to celebrate the victory complacently, as long as one evil is being replaced with another and the freedom of one people is becoming the slavery of another.”

Patriarch Pavle stated this many years ago and sadly his words of wisdom have been ignored and instead America and the United Kingdom decided to create a new world order; this new world order was to carve up Serbia and to break international law. This breach of ignoring international law ultimately had greater repercussions because the Russian Federation would support Abkhazia and South Ossetia after conflict erupted in Georgia.

Therefore, a “new can of worms was opened” and the “Kosovo model” could inspire future mayhem because it is clear that international law was rendered to be unimportant.

Like I stressed in my last article about Kosovo (Kosovo and Systematic Persecution by KLA) it is clear that all sides committed atrocities, just like what happens in all wars. Pain can be felt on all sides and sadly many innocents were killed during the various civil wars which engulfed the former Yugoslavia.

However, the Serbian story war largely untold and the same can be said about the persecution of other minorities in Kosovo. Yet what is clear is that the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was involved in running brutal death camps and this even applies to the killing of people for organs.

At the same time the KLA supported the ethnic cleansing of Serbians and other minorities, and the same applies to the destruction of Christian churches, monasteries, and other historical architecture which was a clear reminder of the roots of Kosovo.

Also, the hard sell by America, the United Kingdom, and other nations who support independence, is that independence was justified on the grounds of Serbian atrocities. Yet if the KLA was found to be involved in killing civilians for organs then “the spin machine” collapses and “democracy” rings hollow.

Therefore, in one part of Europe we are a seeing the silent destruction of Serbian Orthodox Christianity and the ongoing persecution and alienation of minorities in Kosovo.

It would appear that the violation of international law is deemed to be a viable policy for both America and the United Kingdom. Therefore, important questions, for example the role of the KLA in killing innocents for organs, the rise of the KLA in such a short space of time and a host of other vital questions remain unanswered.

However, it is vital to counter this cover-up and blatant violation of international law because it is clear that murky covert acts have been implemented by higher powers. Also, the world is still divided about the future of Kosovo but why did some nations behave so hastily without the full facts, and without taking into consideration the ongoing persecution and alienation of minorities in Kosovo?


2010-07-17

By Lee Jay Walker, The Modern Tokyo Times

Source: Islamic Terrorism and Religious Persecution

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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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Western policy doing the bidding of Islam in Kosovo: Destroying Orthodox Christianity



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Islamic forces entered Europe from Asia and North Africa in order to enslave, convert, persecute and either completely destroy Christianity or to enforce dhimmitude. Before this process began you had the complete annihilation of Christianity in many parts of North Africa and in various parts of the Middle East it was one long sojourn into dhimmitude, pogroms and massacres.

Christianity survived in some areas, for example in Egypt, however, numbers succumbed after Arab colonial and Islamic discrimination took route. Therefore, a complete Islamic inquisition took root in Arabia (modern day Saudi Arabia) and just like the Sunni Islamic inquisition against Buddhism and Hinduism in Afghanistan, you now have complete Islamization.

Of course the complete annihilation of Buddhism, Christianity, and Hinduism, in both areas didn’t lead to a greater civilization.  On the contrary, it led to the dark forces of Islamic Sharia law and the Shia also suffered countless massacres and pogroms.  After all, you had a complete Sunni Islamic inquisition in Egypt against the Shia. Also, in modern day Malaysia the Shia Muslim faith is forbidden and converts face systematic persecution.

Turning back to the Balkans the Orthodox Christian Serbs survived because Serbian Orthodox Church leaders remained strong and tenacious.  Under the Ottomans each rule was different but overall it was a period of Christian Orthodox boys being taken from their parents and converted to Islam because of the hated devshirme system.

John R. Schindler stated in his book called Unholy Terror that in the Bosnia:

“The most hated aspect of Ottoman rule in Bosnia, and the one whose memory lingers most sharply even today, was the practice of devshirme, the blood tax imposed on Christians.  For three centuries beginning with the conquest of Bosnia, the Ottomans annually levied male children as tribute; every year, up to one-fifth of Christian boys in Bosnia – usually aged fourteen to twenty, but some were younger – were forcibly taken from their families in contingents of a thousand and shipped to the imperial court at Istanbul to become warrior-slaves in the janissaries, the Sultan’s elite guard. They were converted to Islam….”    Page 23 – Unholy Terror.

Of course the modern version in many universities in the West and in the mass media is to play down the slavery of Orthodox Christians in the Balkans, systematic pogroms and ignore the dark days of the Ottoman Empire – and this also applies to mass abuses of sexual slavery which was sanctioned by Islamic Sharia law.

Not surprisingly the Islamic religion grew in Albania, Bosnia, and Kosovo, and other regions of the Balkans. In the modern period you have the remnants of dhimmitude, systematic pogroms, the devshirme system, and other more recent factors in the twentieth century which led to either the weakening of Orthodox Christianity or turning a once majority region into a small minority.

Therefore, the Ottoman Empire, slavery, dhimmitude, devshirme, pogroms, countless religious wars before the twentieth century and traitors who were the children of slaves all fought against the indigenous Orthodox Christian faith.  In the twentieth century Communist forces and Nazism further persecuted and altered the demographics of both Bosnia and Kosovo.

In my article called Bosnia: the myths of peaceful Islam and the hidden Islamic jihad I comment that:

“World War Two also witnessed the mutual support of the Muslim elites with Nazi Germany and Orthodox Christians faced the brutality of many forces.  This notably applies to the Croatian Catholic Ustasha regime which was genocidal towards the Serbian Orthodox Christians and it must be stated that Muslims participated fully within the military wing and police force of this brutal and barbaric regime.  At the same time Muslims served under the Nazi regime of Germany and the 13th Volunteer Mountain Division of the Waffen-SS (Handschar) was famous for killing Orthodox Christians.”

John R. Schindler states that:

“Despite strong local support, Himmler’s Bosnian division ultimately did little to help the Nazi cause or defend the Bosnian Muslims…….the 13th Division’s actual combat record was slight, while its depredations against unarmed Serbs were impressive; the Muslim troops spent more time killing and looting than actually fighting…….the 13th Division ended the war ingloriously, plagued by war crimes and desertion.”  Page 36 – Unholy Terror.

In recent times you still have no respite because Serbian Orthodox Christians still suffer systematic persecution and abuse. The simple question is do Serbian Orthodox Christians in Kosovo have the right to openly spread their faith throughout Kosovo and to build new Serbian Orthodox Churches throughout Kosovo?  The answer is no.

Next, do Serbian Orthodox Christians including small children have the freedom to travel throughout Kosovo without any hindrance and ill-will towards them?  The answer is no because in many areas they have to be protected by international forces.

The Kosovo conflict matters not a jot to this reality in modern Europe because the Serbian Orthodox Christians of Kosovo are innocent and their ancestors laid all the foundations of this land.  This applies to ancient Christian churches and monasteries.

If Kosovo Albanians claim differently, then are their Muslim places of worship much older than Orthodox Christian churches and monasteries?  Also, it was Islam which spread to Kosovo by systematic religious persecution and conquest and not the other way around.

largeEven if the international community wants to state that Serbia was the aggressor during the last Kosovo conflict this should not be an issue.  Or is the new world order based on communities having their land taken away from them because of one brief period of history?

After all, it was the Serbian Orthodox Christians for century after century which suffered massacres, systematic pogroms and the dreaded enslavement of their children under the devshirme system.  Not only this, the world also forgets about Muslim SS Units fighting loyally for Nazism in the Balkans and further changing the demographic reality of the Balkans by slaughtering Serbian Orthodox Christians.

However, in 2011 the Serbian Orthodox Christian community is still under siege in Kosovo and we all know that the Islamization of Kosovo is sanctioned by America which even supported Islamic terrorists during the wars in the Balkans.

Indeed, even the organ-tainted leadership of the Kosovo Albanians doesn’t shame the West and instead a more civilized Serbia is still trying to find a solution despite all the hatred towards the people of Serbia.

In modern Europe we are witnessing Islamization by Western powers who clearly hope that the Christian Orthodox Serbs will just leave Kosovo and then their “rubber stamp” will be complete.

Therefore, while history tells us that the Sunni Islamic inquisition eradicated Buddhism and Hinduism in Afghanistan. In our own lifetime, the de-Orthodox Christianization is being done in-front of the entire world without a murmur by churches in the West which have succumbed to liberalism, secularism and political correctness.

Western nations involved in this tragedy have certainly done a great media propaganda campaign because the organ scandal involving the Kosovo Liberation Army, destruction of Orthodox Christian churches, little Christian Orthodox children having no freedom to play openly throughout Kosovo, and so forth, appears to matter not one iota.

Of course, the same Western nations and mass media said little when two million mainly African Animists and African Christians were being slaughtered in Sudan by the Arab Islamic elites in Khartoum during the 1980s and early 1990s.

However, unlike the Serbian Orthodox Christians of Kosovo, black African nations which are mainly Christian in Uganda and Kenya, and others, didn’t stand by and allow Africans to be crushed.

The new Europe and America is tainted by the ongoing reality of Kosovo and not even a simple solution of allowing the remaining Serbs a free choice is on the table. Therefore, modern day Kosovo is about humiliating Serbia and for the remaining Serbs they either will be forced to accept Albanian Kosovo rule or they will just be marginalized to the point where economic necessity means that they will leave.

Serbian Orthodox Christianity in Kosovo is becoming a museum whereby famous monuments and monasteries are protected by Western forces; however, the faithful have no freedom to roam around Kosovo freely.

The Turkish Ottomans would be pleased with the bidding of America, the United Kingdom, and other Western nations. Not in their wildest dreams would they have envisaged a mainly Christian and non-Muslim West of offering Kosovo “on a Muslim plate” and with all aspects of Serbian Orthodox Christianity “being the final dinner.”


2011-10-13

By Lee Jay Walker

Source: Islamic Terrorism and Religious Persecution

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Bosnia, Cyprus and Kosovo: America and Islamism in the Balkans



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Destroyed Serbian Orthodox church complex in Kosovo in March 2004

The conflicts that engulfed the former Yugoslavia still remain unresolved in the political arena and open to Western political shenanigans and covert meddling from Turkey and Saudi Arabia in Bosnia and Kosovo.  Orthodox Christianity faces many attacks and only a naïve individual would claim that America and the hands of Turkey and Saudi Arabia are clean.

America and other Western nations did little to stop Turkey invading Cyprus in 1974 and creating a de-facto nation and altering the demographics of northern Cyprus and using this area for military purposes.

Irrespective of the rights and wrongs of Cyprus you have no vindication of allowing a foreign army to invade another nation and then altering the ethnic and religious nature of the society that was invaded. However, the response by America to this Turkish and Islamic invasion was not only minimal but it clearly wasn’t important enough to the elites who pull the strings.

The invasion was both nationalist in nature and religious because what is left of Orthodox Christianity in northern Cyprus?  Also, are Orthodox Christian religious leaders free to convert and spread the faith in northern Cyprus?

In Turkey ethnicity and religion is fused together by the current leader of Turkey but anti-Christian themes run deep within the psyche irrespective of the leader.  After all, Turkey is the cradle of Orthodox Christianity and “old Byzantium” but this “cradle” was destroyed by constant Islamic invasions, Turkish migration and Islamization which enslaved and sold European Christian slaves for many centuries.

The one uniting theme of the 1915 Turkish genocide which is still denied by modern day Turkey is that millions of Armenian/Assyrian/Greek Christians were slaughtered and just like “old Byzantium” and modern day northern Cyprus and Kosovo – you have very few traces of Orthodox Christianity.

Therefore, in northern Cyprus, Kosovo and “old Byzantium” the virtual 100% Christian lands have become a graveyard because of past Islamic invasions and because of recent factors. These recent factors apply to the combined forces of America, Turkey, Islamic terrorists, Saudi Arabian funding, and other important areas alongside a distorted media which is anti-Orthodox Christian.

In many Western academia circles and according to Islamic apologists we are told that Islam means peace, but in truth it means “a piece of Christianity to swallow” and then to Islamize.  How do virtual 100% Christian areas become “Orthodox Christian graveyards?”

Shaul Shay in his book called Islamic Terror and the Balkans comments on page 191 that:

“The “Afghan model,” in which an “ad hoc” alliance was forged between radical Islam and the West with the aim of defeating a common adversary – the Soviet Union – has recurred in the arena of confrontation between Islam and its Slav (Orthodox Christian) enemies in the Balkans. In both conflicts in the Balkans – in Bosnia and with even more intensity in Kosovo – radical Islamic factors and Iran (which is defined as a state that supports terror) chose the same side as the United States and the NATO countries.”

On page 192 Shaul Shay comments that:

“The case of the Balkans proves that radical Islam has apparently succeeded in developing an effective model in which it harnesses the West to realize the objectives of Islam, as reflected in the “Afghan model” and subsequently in the “Balkan model.” With regards to the Afghan case, the West did not comprehend the implications of the success of radical Islam and failed to draw the necessary conclusions, forcing it to pay a heavy toll for its errors (the September 11 offensive).”

Therefore, when Serbian troops tried to stem the tide of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in their own country, a massive Western media campaign went hand in hand with political elites in America and the United Kingdom. At the same time the Islamic terror networks were welcomed by policy makers in Washington because of past links in Afghanistan. This applies to the CIA, other agencies and government programs which trained radical Sunni Islamists to fight against the secular government of Najibullah in Afghanistan by establishing bases and allowing religious indoctrination in Pakistan.

The same America which didn’t lift a finger to help Orthodox Christians and force Turkey out of northern Cyprus, was involved in Kosovo in a flash and clearly the KLA and Islamic networks had a well-organized plan which had Washington stamped all over it.  Therefore, in three wars in the Balkans since the end of World War Two the United States supported the forces of Islam in Bosnia, northern Cyprus and Kosovo.

It mattered not if the Muslims were a minority or a majority or if an area was invaded by Turkish Muslim forces in northern Cyprus. Simply put, America sided with Islamic forces every time irrespective if outright Islamists like Alija Izetbegovic in Bosnia or with nationalist Muslims in Turkey.  The end result was the same and this applies to being anti-Orthodox Christian and implementing hypocritical policies.

Alija Izetbegovic was a Bosnian Islamist who worked hand in hand with the Clinton administration. The same Izetbegovic welcomed international Islamic terrorists and clearly in his mind he had a long-term objective. Therefore, while the first phase was military he understood that the second phase was more potent and this applies to Islamization by stealth.

Izetbegovic commented that:

“… the Islamic movement should and must start taking over the power as soon as it is morally and numerically strong enough to not only overthrow the existing non-Islamic, but also to build up a new Islamic authority. …”

“… In one of the thesis for an Islamic order today we have stated that it is a natural function of the Islamic order to gather all Muslims and Muslim communities throughout the world into one. Under present conditions, this desire means a struggle for creating a great Islamic federation from Morocco to Indonesia, from the tropical Africa to the Central Asia. …”

The second phase is more important because it is long-lasting and based on stealth jihad and this applies to Islamization through the educational sector and other important areas.  Shaul Shay comments that:

“Money from Muslim states serves to fund the dissemination of Islam, mainly through educational frameworks. Some 100,000 Muslim Bosnian youths study in Islamic educational institutions today that advocate the extremist Wahhabi ideology.”

In modern day Kosovo the Orthodox Christian community is facing the brunt of Albanian nationalism and Kosovo Islamism. Ironically, for some Kosovo Albanians they also fear the growing rise of Kosovo Islamism because while Albanian nationalism and Kosovo Islamism share some common themes, it is clear that Kosovo Islamism hopes to swallow Albanian nationalism. Either way, the Orthodox Christian community is fighting for its survival in pockets of Kosovo because the “Orthodox Christian graveyard” is literal in many parts of modern day Kosovo and all in the name of democracy according to Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.

The destruction of Orthodox Christian churches and protection of children by international armed forces from Kosovo Albanian extremists is an ongoing reality. This, and the organ scandal, doesn’t seem to alter anything because Serbian power is all but a distant memory. Therefore, a de-facto nation is being created literally on “the organs of innocents and narcotic trafficking alongside Islamic terrorist networks in Kosovo.”

Paul Lewis in an article published in The Guardian (British newspaper) on Dec 14th, states that:

“Kosovo’s prime minister is the head of a “mafia-like” Albanian group responsible for smuggling weapons, drugs and human organs through Eastern Europe, according to a Council of Europe inquiry report on organized crime.”

“The report of the two-year inquiry, which cites FBI and other intelligence sources, has been obtained by the Guardian. It names Thaçi as having over the last decade exerted “violent control” over the heroin trade. Figures from Thaçi’s inner circle are also accused of taking captives across the border into Albania after the war, where a number of Serbs are said to have been murdered for their kidneys, which were sold on the black market.”

In another article published by Modern Tokyo Times it is commented that “The report is clearly damning and this applies to not only the PM of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, but to all nations who have recognized Kosovo. This applies to breaking international law and making clear fabrications about the nature of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and the reality of what was happening on the ground.”  

Paul Lewis continues also stated that:

“The report paints a picture in which ex-KLA commanders have played a crucial role in the region’s criminal activity. It says: “In confidential reports spanning more than a decade, agencies dedicated to combating drug smuggling in at least five countries have named Hashim Thaçi and other members of his Drenica group as having exerted violent control over the trade in heroin and other narcotics.”

Therefore, the policies of Bill Clinton included the green light for thousands of Islamists to enter Bosnia and in time they would slit the throats of Orthodox Christians. Not content with this, he also supported the terrorist and criminal KLA in Kosovo who have been involved in organ trafficking and heroin alongside destroying Orthodox Christianity.

In an article published by Modern Tokyo Times called Bosnia and Clinton’s Radical Islamists it was stated that:

“Sky news has obtained clear and proper evidence of a major cover-up and footages of massacres against Serbian Christians.  According to the investigation and footages which were shown, it is abundantly clear that thousands of radical Islamists from all over the world were given a free reign in Bosnia.”

“This free-reign meant that innocent Serbian Christians were to meet terrible and disturbing deaths at the hands of radical Islamists who celebrated openly while cutting the heads off innocent civilians.  The same Islamic forces which unleashed September 11th and which stone people to death in order to create “year zero,” were welcomed openly by Clinton and by people within his administration.”

In another called The Forgotten Orthodox Christians of Bosnia and Kosovo it was mentioned that “Maybe one day the Serbian Orthodox Christian community in Bosnia will face the same fate which befell their co-religionists in Kosovo.  After all, Islamic nations and organizations are funding many Islamic institutions throughout the region and added to the higher Muslim birthrate and pro-American policies towards the Muslims of Bosnia and Kosovo then this could become a future reality.”

Turning back to northern Cyprus then it is clear that de-Orthodox Christianity is a reality and the same applies to the invasion by Turkey being tolerated for so long.  This is in stark contrast to America’s intervention in Kosovo and not only this, just look at the hypocrisy of NATO because why isn’t Turkey expelled for violating the sovereignty of Cyprus?

If anybody wants to deny the religious element of northern Cyprus then an article by the Washington Times called Religious artifacts in Cyprus in “great peril” should make you think again. The article highlights the destruction of 500 Orthodox Christian churches which have been pillaged, 133 monasteries desecrated, 15,000 religious paintings have disappeared, 77 churches turned into mosques, 28 converted into military hospitals/camps and 13 have been turned into barns.

The US administration went into a panic over one Koran which was burnt but the systematic destruction of Orthodox Christianity in northern Cyprus doesn’t enter the radar. This is because either allies of America are doing this, like Turkey, and because covert policies by past leaders including Clinton have given the “green light” to Islamists in the Balkans.

It is clear that America’s lack of concern for Orthodox Christianity in northern Cyprus was a clear indicator to events in Bosnia and Kosovo. Killing two million mainly African Christians and Animists in Sudan in the 1980s and early 1990s by Arab Islamists didn’t witness intervention.  Also, when Timorese Christians were being massacred by Indonesia this wasn’t deemed to be a crime at the time because America, the United Kingdom, and other nations, kept on selling military arms to Indonesia.

Iraqi Christians should have understood the reality of the Balkans because they have been left to defend themselves and unlike past secular law, they are now governed by Islamic Sharia law.  Not surprisingly approximately 50 per cent of all Iraqi Christians have fled and at no time was special protection given to them from the sword of radical Islam.

Therefore, de-Christianization in northern Cyprus was done by an ally of America, the ongoing de-Christianization of Kosovo and Iraq respectively is happening under the watch of international troops and so-called friendly governments in Kosovo and Iraq – and Saudi Arabia is intent on spreading Islam in Bosnia and Europe while not allowing one single Christian church in their own nation.

If history tells us anything then the de-Christianization of Kosovo is a constant theme of America’s anti-Orthodox Christian policies in the Balkans. Therefore, Izetbegovic’s pan-Islamic dream remains a possibility because of America’s collusion, Islamic terrorist networks, Saudi Arabian and Turkish funding of Islamic institutions and if all this fails – then other covert ways will be found.

Macedonia should take note because the gap between events in northern Cyprus and Bosnia is many years apart but pro-Muslim policies remained the same. The current status quo in Macedonia will be put under further strains in the future because of the demographic reality and the rise of Islamism in the Balkans.


2011-10-19

By Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker

Source: Islamic Terrorism and Religious Persecution

9 Samodreza

Destroyed Serbian Orthodox church in Kosovo in March 2004

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Those who have erected the monument to Bill Clinton now flee from the valley of tears, through the land of the people they hunted and hated, burning their churches!



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Former slogan that has been so thunderously shouted within  pre-election debates, and that was the last glimmer of declarative patriotism, dear both to politicians and football fans, by the development of the situation  these days gets quite a different meaning.

Kosovo is Serbia sometimes means that the Serbs, if not otherwise, at least in their souls will not give up the holy Serbian land.

However, it might sound completely different today.  Columns of Albanians from Kosovo carrying everything they own, leave Kosovo, pushing to catch last buses for a better life, moving towards Subotica, in order to try to reach some of the EU states. Many of them were caught illegally crossing the border  and therefore returned, but many were able to get somewhere, beyond the Balkan  Valley of tears. Official data show that Kosovo in the last few months left about one hundred thousand people, and off the record the figure is twice as much.

“The young Kosovar democracy”  has created a good life for powerful criminals, meanwhile ordinary people were left without anything. Sounds familiar? No job, no future, no social support, nothing except brutality of the new transitional master criminal patriarchy and opacity, non traspareny of crucial decisions, and the propaganda of hatred towards Serbia and Serbs cannot feed the hungry.  When a state in unable to secure any future for ordinary people,  at the end  she can just wave to those who are leaving.

Seven years after the declaration of independence, and after the unconditional support primarily the United States, Kosovo is facing the voluntary exodus of thousands of its citizens who have erected a monument to Bill Clinton on the main square in Pristina, and who, in return,  got a state together with American companies as major shareholders in profitable enterprises engaged in telecommunications, coal or counseling in state institutions that are paid from the budget.

Those who were “defending” Kosovo 1999. by bombing Serbia (Albright, Clinton, Wesley Clark with their businesses) have returned to Kosovo to make fortune as they deserved,  which has been described by “The New York Times” few years ago.

“There’s no such a runaway from a prosperous, functional, legally regulated country, no one leaves a good land, thus you can not the mere fact that it’s not somebody’s  recognitions that ipso iure makes a state. No state could never be established that way.

One entity becomes a state when it’s based on historical heritage, developed economy,  the rule of law, and ability to provide social and political consensus in the area considered their own state,” –  says Serbian Minister of Labour, Veteran and Social Affairs, Aleksandar Vulin.

While these unfortunate buses run through Serbia Kosovo Albanians could  glimpse some similarities between the country  they flee and the country they hated, believing that they would do everything better .

They can see the blurry Ibar, which sails  to the north tons of garbage, and people hunched with hands in pockets, staring into the mud, they can see the consequences of neglect, poverty, floods, they can see the ruined bridges, plastered houses, bolted factories and even entire cities killed; former economic giants in the silent dying, closed craft shops and boutiques and the nub. They can see billboards with political slogans and advertisements of mainstream world brands; they can see traces of the bombing, desperate peasants and empty villages, they can see young people who have nothing to do, they can see the poor at every step, and beggars, they can see the trash containers and dumps as the only suppy not only for the homeless anymore, deserted cultural centers, posters, folk singers, they can see abandoned orchards,  –  there are strife and anger and misery, on whichever side of the bus they look at.  They can see the billboards that say  “Celebrating Belgrade”, but also the strikes of teachers, students, but they can also see furious and fancy cars, huge agricultural land owned by the transitional winners and Bank in front which people change their last Euro to pay for electricity or gas; they can see the same kind of Serbia as presented on social networks – neither more nor less than that. 

Land of bitterness, resentment and loss of hope, a state of confusion and impatience, with her eyes directed to distant destinations in hope for investment, or to the West who provided only with praise that the state  is ‘moving in the right direction.’

These buses are real but they are also a metaphor –  a metaphor of the Balkans where a better life is always something  what is ‘yet to happen’ , something probably best described  by mantra from famous TV serial about Djekna,  …” who, so far, hasn’t died, and we don’t know when she will.”


March 2015

Author: Mirjana Bobic Mojsilovic

Source: Vecernje Novosti

Translated by TMBJ

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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.

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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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Britain’s collaboration with pro-jihadist forces in Kosovo



Kosovostan passeport

In British mainstream commentary, the 1999 NATO bombing campaign against Slobodan Milosevic’s Yugoslavia is seen as a ‘humanitarian intervention’. Tony Blair still receives much praise for coming to the defence of the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, whose plight was surely serious as they were subject to increasingly brutal abuses by the Yugoslav army towards the end of 1998 and early 1999. Yet the NATO bombing that began in March 1999 had the effect of deepening, not preventing, the humanitarian disaster that Milosevic’s forces inflicted on Kosovo. The bulk of the atrocities committed by Yugoslav forces took place after the NATO bombing campaign began. In fact, some NATO intelligence agencies, including Britain’s, knew in advance that any bombing might well precipitate the full-scale ‘ethnic cleansing’ which they used as the public pretext for conducting their campaign.

However, there is another critical aspect to this war that undermines its supposed ‘humanitarian’ motives, involving British collusion with the rebel Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which fought alongside al-Qaida militants and essentially acted as NATO’s ground forces in Kosovo. The big debate in government and mainstream media circles during the war was whether NATO should put troops on the ground or whether Yugoslav forces could be sufficiently pounded from the air to stop their atrocities in Kosovo. The British and American governments were reluctant to commit ground forces, mainly for fear of incurring high casualties and getting sucked into a more protracted conflict; instead they turned to finding local allies and used these forces as a tool in their foreign policy. It was in this context that Islamist militants, working alongside the British-supported KLA, essentially took on the role of Western proxies, carrying out some of the dirty work that NATO could not. This story is, as we have seen, by no means unfamiliar in the postwar world.

Much later, in October 2006, then Chancellor Gordon Brown said in a speech on ‘meeting the terrorist challenge’ to an audience at Chatham House: ‘The threat from al-Qaida did not begin on September 11th – indeed the attacks on the twin towers were being planned as the United States was taking action with Europe to protect Muslims in the former Yugoslavia.’ Brown was right; in fact, the British were providing military training to forces connected to the very people planning the 9/11 attacks.

The nature of the KLA

The Kosovo Liberation Army comprised ethnic Albanians committed to securing independence for Kosovo and promoting a ‘Greater Albania’ in the sub-region. Consisting of a mix of radicalised youths and students, professionals such as teachers and doctors, members of influential families and local rogues, it took to armed struggle and made its military debut in early 1996 by bombing camps housing Serbian refugees from the wars in Croatia and Bosnia and by attacking Yugoslav government officials and police stations. By mid-1998 the KLA controlled parts of Kosovo and had armed and organised around 30,000 fighters; it was thus a formidable force on the ground when, amidst a growing civil war, the Yugoslav army launched a brutal full-scale offensive in Kosovo in March 1999.

From its inception, the KLA also targeted Serbian and Albanian civilians, especially those considered collaborators with the authorities. The US and Britain clearly recognised it as a terrorist organisation. In February 1998, the Clinton administration’s special envoy to Kosovo, Robert Gelbard, described the KLA as ‘without any question a terrorist group’. British ministers were equally unequivocal. Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told parliament in March 1998: ‘We strongly condemn the use of violence for political objectives, including the terrorism of the self-styled Kosovo Liberation Army.’ Indeed, in November 1998, and again in January 1999, Cook said that ‘most of the killings’ in Kosovo recently had been carried out by the KLA, whose activities against ordinary Kosovars were only serving to ‘prolong their suffering’. Parliamentary statements by British ministers make clear that they continued to regard the KLA as a terrorist organisation right up to the beginning of the bombing campaign in March. The KLA was also widely known to be involved in heroin trafficking into Britain while MI6 was investigating its links to organised crime.

Moreover, the KLA had also developed connections to al-Qaida. Bin Laden reportedly visited Albania and established an operation there in 1994. In the years preceding the NATO bombing campaign, more al-Qaida militants moved into Kosovo to support the KLA, financed by sources in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. By late 1998, the head of Albanian intelligence was saying that Bin Laden had sent units to fight in Kosovo while the media noted CIA and Albanian intelligence reports citing ‘mujahideen units from at least half a dozen Middle East countries streaming across the border into Kosovo from safe bases in Albania’.

US intelligence reports were also noting that al-Qaida was sending funds and militants to join the KLA, while numerous KLA fighters had trained in al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan and Albania. One of the ‘links’ between Bin Laden and the KLA identified by US intelligence was ‘a common staging area in Tropoje, Albania, a centre for Islamic terrorists.’ The KLA was helping hundreds of foreign fighters to cross from Albania into Kosovo, including ‘veterans of the militant group Islamic Jihad from Bosnia, Chechnya and Afghanistan’, carrying forged passports. One KLA unit was led by the brother of Ayman al-Zawahiri, Bin Laden’s right-hand man, according to a senior Interpol official later giving evidence to the US Congress. One Western military official was quoted as saying that the Islamist militants ‘were mercenaries who were not running the show in Kosovo, but were used by the KLA to do their dirty work.’

Asked in parliament in November 1998 about a media article stating that mujahideen fighters had been seen with KLA forces in Kosovo, Robin Cook stated: ‘I read that report with concern.’ His deputy, Foreign Office Minister Baroness Symons claimed, however, that the government had ‘no evidence’ that Bin Laden was funding the KLA. In March 1999, another Foreign Office minister, Tony Lloyd, told the House of Commons that the government was aware of media reports of contacts between Islamic terrorist groups and the KLA but ‘we have no evidence of systematic involvement’; the use of word ‘systematic’ was likely instructive, implying that the government did indeed have some knowledge.

The covert war

At some point in 1996 British intelligence, along with the US and Swiss services, made its first known contact with a senior KLA official in Albania, likely to have been Shaban Shala, a commander who would not only fight in Kosovo in 1999 but also inside Serbia in 2000. Formal contacts between the KLA and the US took place in July 1998 when Chris Hill, the US special envoy for Kosovo, met KLA officials; the following day a British diplomat also met KLA officials in their headquarters in the central Kosovan village of Klecka. The British government later claimed that ‘an initial meeting’ between an official in the British embassy in Belgrade and KLA leaders was held on 30 July 1998. If so, this came two days after Baroness Symons recognised in an answer to a parliamentary question that the KLA was a ‘terrorist’ organisation and that ‘it was clear’ that it had ‘procured significant quantities of arms in Albania’. By October, Robin Cook was making clear that Britain was opposed to the KLA’s political objective of forging a greater Albania: ‘There is no place on the international map for a greater Albania – any more than there is for a greater Serbia or a greater Croatia.’

9781846687648Yet it was around this time that Britain started to train the forces it recognised as terrorists, whose political agenda it was opposed to and which had documented links to al-Qaida: a level of expediency that would have impressed British officials collaborating with the Muslim Brotherhood or Ayatollah Kashani in the 1950s, for example.

At some point in late 1998, the US Defence Intelligence Agency approached MI6 with the task of arming and training the KLA, the Scotsman newspaper later reported. A senior British military source told the newspaper that: ‘MI6 then subcontracted the operation to two British security companies, who in turn approached a number of former members of the (22 SAS) regiment. Lists were then drawn up of weapons and equipment needed by the KLA.’ ‘While these covert operations were continuing,’ the paper noted, ‘serving members of 22 SAS regiment, mostly from the unit’s D squadron, were first deployed in Kosovo before the beginning of the bombing campaign in March.’

A few weeks into the bombing campaign, the Sunday Telegraph reported that KLA fighters were receiving SAS training at two camps near the Albanian capital Tirana, and at another near the Kosovan border, most likely near the town of Bajram Curri. This was the centre of the KLA’s military operations, where a series of training camps were dotted in the hills and from where arms were collected and distributed. Crucially, it was also where jihadist fighters had their ‘centre’ and common staging area with the KLA, as noted by the previous US intelligence reports. The British training involved instructing KLA officers in guerrilla tactics and weapons handling, demolition and ambush techniques, as well as conducting intelligence-gathering operations on Serbian positions. The whole covert operation was funded by the CIA while the German secret service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), provided weapons and training. The BND had been providing covert support and training to the KLA since the mid-1990s.

British ministers consistently denied any knowledge of the KLA’s sources of arms or training when asked in parliament. On 13 April, three weeks after the bombing campaign began, and just days before the Telegraph reported the British training, Tony Blair told parliament that ‘our position on training and arming the KLA remains as it has been – we are not in favour of doing so … We have no plans to change that.’ Sometimes ministers used revealing language. Baroness Symons stated on two occasions, in March and May 1999, that there was ‘no firm evidence’ and ‘no reliable information’ on the KLA’s sources of weapons and training – the use of the words ‘firm’ and ‘reliable’ being usual ways in which officials feign ignorance of issues they are perfectly aware of. One reason for secrecy was that such training was in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1160, which forbade arming or training forces in all Yugoslavia.

James Bissett, a former Canadian ambassador to Yugoslavia and Albania, later noted that the US training of the KLA in 1998 involved ‘sending them back into Kosovo to assassinate Serbian mayors, ambush Serbian policemen and intimidate hesitant Kosovo Albanians.’ ‘The hope’, he wrote, ‘was that with Kosovo in flames NATO could intervene and in so doing, not only overthrow Milosevic the Serbian strongman, but, more importantly, provide the aging and increasingly irrelevant military organisation [NATO] with a reason for its continued existence.’ KLA leaders similarly explained that ‘any armed action we undertook would bring retaliation against civilians [by Serbian forces]’ and that ‘the more civilians were killed, the chances of intervention became bigger.’ It seems that the KLA’s escalation of ethnic tensions was an integral part of London and Washington’s strategy – a familiar theme of postwar covert action in relation to collusion with Islamist groups.

The KLA certainly proved useful to Anglo–American planners. Tony Blair stated a month into the bombing campaign that ‘the KLA is having greater success on the ground in Kosovo and indeed has retaken certain parts of it’. Described in media reports as NATO’s ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground in Kosovo, the KLA was using satellite telephones to provide NATO with details of Serbian targets. Some of this communications equipment had been secretly handed over to the KLA a week before the air strikes began by some US officers acting as ‘ceasefire monitors’ with the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); they were in reality CIA agents. They also gave the KLA US military training manuals and field advice on fighting the Yugoslav army and police. It was reported that several KLA leaders had the mobile phone number of General Wesley Clark, the NATO commander. Robin Cook, meanwhile, held a joint press conference with KLA representatives at the end of March and was in direct telephone contact with its commander in Kosovo, Hashim Thaqi; the latter would in February 2008 go on to become the first prime minister of post-independence Kosovo.

By early April 1999, more than 500 Albanians living in Britain had volunteered to go to fight in Kosovo, according to KLA representatives in London, though who were likely exaggerating the numbers. Just as during the Bosnian War a few years earlier, Britain and the US allowed, and may have facilitated, British and other Muslims to travel to Kosovo volunteering for the jihad. Indian intelligence analysts B. Raman notes that Pakistani militants associated with the Harkat ul-Mujahideen (HUM) terrorist group who had fought in Bosnia were diverted to Kosovo by the CIA.

Following the 2005 London bombings, John Loftus, a former US Justice Department prosecutor and US intelligence officer, claimed that MI6 worked with the militant Islamist organisation al-Muhajiroun (The Emigrants) to send jihadists to Kosovo. Al-Muhajiroun was founded in Saudi Arabia in 1983 by Omar Bakri Mohammed, who in 1986 fled to Britain after Saudi Arabia banned the organisation, and set up its British branch in early 1986. By the mid-1990s Bakri was being described in the British media as the ‘head of the political wing of the International Islamic Front’, founded by Bin Laden in 1998, and openly supported Bin Laden’s calls for jihad; he told the media he was raising funds for the KLA and supporting their struggle in Kosovo. Loftus told a US television station that al-Muhajiroun leaders ‘all worked for British intelligence in Kosovo’ and that ‘British intelligence actually hired some al-Qaida guys to help defend Muslim rights in Albania and in Kosovo.’ He claimed the CIA was funding the operation while British intelligence ‘was doing the hiring and recruiting’. These claims were, Loftus said, based on an interview given by Bakri himself to al-Sharq al-Awsat, a London-based Arabic-language newspaper on 16 October 2001. However, despite extensive research, I have not been able to locate this interview on this or any other date; Bakri also denies (not surprisingly) ever working alongside British intelligence.

Loftus also claimed that one of the Britons recruited for Kosovo by al-Muhajiroun was Haroon Rashid Aswat, a British citizen of Indian origin who later became Abu Hamza’s assistant at the Finsbury Park Mosque, and who would later crop up in the investigations surrounding the 2005 London bombings. According to Loftus, Aswat was a ‘double agent’, working both for the British in Kosovo and after, and for al-Qaida. Soon after Loftus made the claim, a Times report on Aswat’s possible connections to the London bombings of July 2005 noted that questions were being asked about whether Aswat was a ‘useful source of information’ to British intelligence and noted that ‘senior Whitehall officials … deny “any knowledge” that he might be an agent of MI5 or MI6’ – a cautious formulation that can only add to suspicions.

One Briton who can be more definitively linked to the Kosovo camps was Omar Khan Sharif, who in 2003 would become notorious for his aborted attempt to blow himself up inside a Tel Aviv bar: he pulled out at the last minute, but his accomplice detonated a bomb, killing himself and three others. According to a BBC documentary, Sharif spent three weeks at a camp in Albania during the Kosovo jihad, but the film (predictably) failed to mention that covert British training was also taking place in Albania at the time. Sharif had attended al-Muhajiroun meetings in Britain and was an admirer of Abu Hamza, who became his mentor; he also met Mohamed Siddique Khan, the 7/7 bomber with whom he tried to recruit other jihadists in 2001.

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US covert support of the KLA guerrillas did not stop when NATO’s Kosovo campaign was brought to an end in June 1999, or even with the fall of Milosevic in October 2000. After the Kosovo conflict, KLA forces launched new wars in southern Serbia and Macedonia to promote their aim of a greater Albania, both of which were initially supported by the US – but, not apparently, by Britain. The BBC reported in January 2001 that ‘Western special forces were still training’ the KLA as a result of decisions taken before the fall of Milosevic. Now the KLA was reported to have several hundred fighters in the 5-kilometre-deep military exclusion zone on the border between Kosovo and the rest of Serbia, and were fighting to promote the secession of certain municipalities from Serbia. Moreover, ‘certain NATO-led’ forces ‘were not preventing the guerrillas taking mortars and other weapons into the exclusion zone’, and guerrilla units had been able to hold military exercises there, despite the fact that NATO was patrolling the area. Other media reports noted that European officials were ‘furious that the Americans have allowed guerilla armies in its sector to train, smuggle arms and launch attacks across two international borders’, and that the CIA’s ‘bastard army’ had been allowed to ‘run riot’ in the region.

Of interest from the perspective of British foreign policy is that when, in March 2001, the guerillas began another war, this time across the other nearby border with Macedonia, it was led by several commanders previously trained by British forces for the Kosovo campaign. Now fighting under the banner of the National Liberation Army (NLA), formed in early 2001, two of the Kosovo-based commanders of this push into Macedonia had been instructed by the SAS and the Parachute Regiment at the camps near Bajram Curri in northern Albania in 1998 and 1999. One was organising the flow of arms and men into Macedonia, while the other was helping to coordinate the assault on the town of Tetevo in the north of the country. Another NLA commander, Gezim Ostremi, had been previously trained by the SAS to head the UN-sponsored Kosovo Protection Corps, which was meant to replace the KLA.

NLA forces were being called ‘terrorists’ by Foreign Secretary Robin Cook and ‘murderous thugs’ by NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson, just as they had been before the March 1999 bombing campaign, when, as with the KLA, the British were  cooperating with them. The NLA’s ambushes and assassinations in Macedonia were little different from those perpetrated as the KLA. It also, initially at least, continued to be covertly supported by the US, which in one operation evacuated 400 NLA fighters when they became surrounded by Macedonian forces, and whose arms supplies helped the guerillas take control of nearly a third of Macedonia’s territory by August 2001; it was only after this that Washington, under pressure from its NATO allies, started to rein in its proxy force and throw its weight behind peace talks.

The following month, al-Qaida struck New York and Washington.


This is an edited extract from Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam

Full references are in the book version.

2016-09-04

By Mark Curtis

Source: Mark Curtis

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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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Kosovo and the jihadist Green Corridor in the Balkans



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The Green Corridor[1] is a geopolitical concept with two meanings: (a) The Islamists’ goal of creating a contiguous chain of Muslim-dominated polities from Istanbul in the southeast to northwestern Bosnia, a mere 120 miles from Austria [2]; and (b) The process of increasing ethno-religious assertiveness among the Muslim communities along that route. The process entails four key elements:

  1. Expanding the area of those communities’ demographic dominance;
  2. Establishing and/or expanding various entities under Muslim political control with actual or potential claim to sovereign statehood;
  3. Enhancing the dominant community’s Islamic character and identity within those entities, with the parallel decrease of presence and power of non-Muslim groups; and
  4. Prompting Muslim communities’ ambitions for ever bolder designs in the future, even at the risk of conflict with their non-Muslim neighbors.[3]

The purpose of this article is to give some clarity to this concept. Such clarity is essential to a comprehensive understanding of the motives, actions, and emerging expectations of different actors in the Yugoslav wars of 1991-1999 and their aftermath.

greencorridorReality Denied – Political, cultural, religious and demographic trends among Muslim communities in the Balkans strongly suggest that the Green Corridor is taking shape, either deliberately or spontaneously.[4] Nevertheless, many Western academic experts and media commentators (especially in the English-speaking world) have shown the tendency to be a priori dismissive of any suggestion that a long-term Islamic geopolitical design exists in the Balkans, let alone that it is being deliberately and systematically pursued. The notion of the Green Corridor was thus criticized as a product of Serbian propaganda with “Islamophobic” overtones, although its most authoritative proponents in recent years have been institutions and experts (British, Italian, American, Israeli etc.) with no ethnic or personal axe to grind in the Balkan imbroglio.

The Bosnian war was still raging when Sir Alfred Sherman, former advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and co-founder of the Centre for Policy Studies, warned that the Muslims’ objective was “to create a ‘Green Corridor’ from Bosnia through the Sanjak to Kosovo” that would separate Serbia from Montenegro.[5] Western powers are “in effect fostering this Islamistan,” Sherman warned, and developing “close working relations with Iran, whose rulers are keen to establish a European base for their politico-religious activities.” In addition, “Washington is keen on involving its NATO ally Turkey, which has been moving away from Ataturk’s secularist and Western stance back to a more Ottomanist, pan-Muslim orientation, and is actively helping the Muslim forces.”

Sherman’s 1994 diagnosis proved to be prescient. A decade later it was echoed by Col. Shaul Shay of BESA Center at Bar-Ilan University. He noted that “the Balkans serve as a forefront on European soil for Islamic terror organizations, which exploit this area to promote their activities in Western Europe, and other focal points worldwide.” His conclusions regarding the Green Corridor are disquieting: “[T]he establishment of an independent Islamic territory including Bosnia, Kosovo and Albania… is one of the most prominent achievements of Islam since the siege of Vienna in 1683. Islamic penetration into Europe through the Balkans is one of the main achievements of Islam in the twentieth century.”[6]

Shay’s account shows how the Bosnian war provided the historical opportunity for radical Islam to penetrate the Balkans at a time when the Muslim world – headed by Iran and the various Islamic terror organizations, including al-Qaeda – came to the aid of the Muslims. The Jihadist operational and organizational infrastructures were thus established.

John R. Schindler, professor of strategy at the U.S. Naval War College and former National Security Agency analyst and counterintelligence officer, concurs: in his view the Balkans provide the missing piece in the puzzle of al-Qa’ida’s transformation from an isolated fighting force into a lethal global threat.[7] Radical Islam played a key role in the Yugoslav conflict, Schindler says: like Afghanistan in the 1980s, Bosnia in the 1990s became a training ground for the mujahidin, leading to blowback of epic proportions.

The Green Corridor paradigm reflects Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations, which used the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a paradigmatic case of the so called “fault-line wars” between Islam and the rest. Many years before the first shots were fired in Bosnia in 1992, that paradigm was confirmed by the late Bosnian-Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic. In his Islamic Declaration Izetbegovic denied any chance of “peace or coexistence between the Islamic faith and non-Islamic societies and political institutions”: “Islam contains the principle of ummet, the tendency to unite all Muslims into a single community – a spiritual, cultural and political community… It is a natural function of the Islamic order to gather all Muslims and Muslim communities throughout the world into one.”[8] During the Bosnian war (1992-1995) Izetbegovic presented a “pluralist” image to the West, but his followers acted in accordance with his primary message. The fruits of their labor – and that of their coreligionists in another half-dozen countries in the region – are clearly visible along a thousand miles’ trail through the middle of today’s Balkans.

Ottoman Legacy – Unlike other European peninsular regions (Iberia, Italy), the northern boundary of the Balkans is not marked by mountain ranges that separate the peninsula from the heartland of Europe. That boundary, along the easily fordable Sava and Danube rivers, is open and crossed by several key transit corridors connecting Central and Western Europe with the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean. Poor in energy and natural resources, the region is significant mainly because of its location as the hub of pan-European corridors. This has been the bane of its history, too, inviting invaders and turning the Balkans for most of the modern era into an object of competing designs and interests of outside powers. The Ottoman conquest and occupation, in particular, left an indelible mark on the region.

The initial onslaught of Islamic conquerors on Europe started twelve centuries ago across the Straits of Gibraltar. The second attack of Islam on Europe came at the southeastern fringe of the Old Continent, starting in 1354, when Ottoman Turks crossed the Dardanelles from Asia Minor and established a foothold on the northern shore. The subsequent spread of Islam in the Balkans was “by the sword”: it was contingent upon the extent of Ottoman rule and the establishment of political and social institutions based on the teaching of Kuran and the previous seven centuries of Islamic legal and political practice. The line of the attack went from Thrace via Macedonia to Kosovo; through the Sanjak into Bosnia all the way to the Una river, was finally stopped at the Habsburgs’ Military Frontier created in the 16th century.

It is noteworthy that the geographic thrust of the Ottoman attack and later colonization of Muslims from other parts of the Empire in the Balkans coincided exactly with the “Green Corridor.” This is not to suggest that Ottoman strategists had devised an elaborate plan of conquest along those lines, but – rather – that the Green Corridor has a geopolitical logic that influences political and military decision-making either consciously or spontaneously. The historical record further indicates that Ottoman efforts at Islamization of the local population were more determined, and far more successful, along the “Transverse” axis (Thrace-Macedonia-Kosovo-Sanjak-Bosnia) than in other conquered Christian lands (e.g. in mainland Greece, central Serbia, northern Bulgaria, or Wallachia).

The Ottoman conquest destroyed the materially and culturally rich Christian civilization of Byzantium and its dynamic and creative Slavic offspring in Serbia and Bulgaria. The conquered populations became second-class citizens (“dhimmis”), whose physical security was predicated upon their abject obedience to the Muslim masters.[9] They were heavily taxed (jizya, or poll tax, and kharaj) and subjected to the practice of devshirme: the annual “blood levy” (introduced in the 1350s) of a fifth of all Christian boys in the conquered lands to be converted to Islam and trained as janissaries. In the collective memory of Balkan Christian nations, five centuries of Turkish conquest and overlordship – with all their consequences, social and political – are carved as an unmitigated disaster. Conversions to Islam, a phenomenon more strongly pronounced along the Green Route than in the central regions of the Empire, contributed to a new stratification of the society under Ottoman rule and a new power balance. That balance shifted in favor of those individuals and communities that embraced the conquerors’ faith. They soon assumed the role of officials and tax collectors, holding power over and oppressing their neighbors, former co-religionists. People of the same ethno-linguistic community, sharing the same ancestors, thus often evolved into members of two fundamentally opposed social and political groups.

The Ottoman zenith was reached under Suleyman the Magnificent in the first half of the 16th century. As that decline gathered pace after the defeat at Vienna (1683), the provincial Ottoman governors and local warlords in the Balkans grew stronger and disobedient of the Sultan. They were often local converts to Islam, eager to assert their power over their former co-religionists, Christian gaiurs. This resulted in far harsher treatment of their Christian subjects than was mandated from the Porte, and helped ignite uprisings in Serbia (1804) and Greece (1821). The 19th century witnessed a more thorough oppression of the Christian communities under Ottoman rule than at any prior period. At the same time, some great powers (Great Britain in particular) supported the continued Turkish subjugation of Balkan Christians on the grounds that the Ottoman Empire was a “stabilizing force.” France’s and Britain’s alliance with Turkey against Russia in the Crimean War (1853-1856) reflected a frame of mind and a strategic calculus – the desire to score points in the Muslim world vis-à-vis another, non-Muslim power – that has manifested itself in recent years in the overt or covert support by those same powers for the Muslim side in Bosnia and Kosovo, and somewhat less overtly in the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Demography – The most enduring, and politically and culturally relevant consequence of the Ottoman rule in the Balkans is the presence of large indigenous Muslim communities. The Balkan Peninsula is one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse regions in the world, all the more so considering its relatively small area (just over 200,000 square miles) and population (around 55 million).[10] Of that number, Eastern Orthodox Christians – mainly Greeks, Bulgars, Serbs and Slavic Macedonians – have the slim majority of around 53 percent; Sunni Muslims (11 million Turks in European Turkey and a similar number of Albanians, Slavic Muslims and ethnic Turks elsewhere) make up just over 40 percent; and Roman Catholics (mainly Croats) are at around 5 percent.[11] Those communities do not live in multicultural harmony. Their mutual lack of trust that occasionally turns into violence is a lasting fruit of the Turkish rule. Four salient features of the Ottoman state were institutionalized, religiously justified discrimination of non-Muslims; personal insecurity; tenuous coexistence of ethnicities and creeds without intermixing; and the absence of unifying state ideology or supra-denominational source of loyalty. It was a Hobbesian world, and it bred a befitting mindset: the zero-sum-game approach to politics, in which one side’s gain is perceived as another’s loss. That mindset has not changed, almost a century since the disintegration of the Empire.

KosovoIslamMost Balkan Muslims live in continuous swathes of territory along the Green Corridor, from Istanbul in the southeast to Cazin in the northwest. There are but two major gaps in the chain. One is in northeastern Macedonia, where 80 miles divides easternmost Albanian villages near Kumanovo from the westernmost Bulgarian-Muslim (i.e. Pomak) villages in the country of Blagoevgrad. The other is in the region of Raska (northern Sanjak) in southwestern Serbia, along the main road and railway from Belgrade to the Montenegrin port of Bar.

The Christian communities all over the Balkans are in a steep, long-term demographic decline. Fertility rate is below replacement level in every majority-Christian country in the region.[12] The Muslims, by contrast, have the highest birth rates in Europe, with the Albanians topping the chart. On current form it is likely that Muslims will reach a simple majority in the Balkans within a generation.

The Role of Modern Turkey – Turkey’s European foothold on the Straits and in Eastern Thrace is populous (over 11 million) and overwhelmingly mono-ethnic (Turkish) and mono-religious (Muslim); the Christian remnant is negligible. A nation-state of 72 million, the Turkish Republic is based on a blend of European-style nationalism and an Islamic ethos that breeds a sense of intense kinship with the Muslim communities further west in the Balkans. The Kemalist dream has never penetrated beyond the military and a narrow stratum of urban elite. For decades described as the key to U.S. strategy in eastern Mediterranean, in the Middle East, and—more recently—in the oil-rich Caspian region and the sensitive ex-Soviet Central Asia, the country is ruled by the ever-more-openly Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. His antics at Davos vividly illustrated the problem: the AKP “espouses an ideology of cultural divide, tension, and conflict, despite all of the pro-Europe rhetoric in which Islamists in Turkey engage in their pursuit to exploit the European Union for their agenda of Islamization.”[13] That agenda is no longer confined to the borders of the Turkish state. There is a rekindled sense of kinship among the growing ranks of Turkish islamists with their Balkan co-religionists and with the old Ottoman domains further west. The re-Islamization and assertiveness of Turkey under Erdogan is essential to the revival of Islam and ethnic self-assertiveness all along the Green Corridor:

“The [Yugoslav] wars of the 90s opened whole areas where they [Muslims] were in the majority: While the regional realities modified, so did geopolitics between those who remained in the their traditional homes in the Balkans and the ever expanding Islam over Europe itself. … [with] pan-European Islamic clusters from the West southward into the Balkans themselves. Of the utmost importance to Muslims in Western Europe, but especially the Balkans, is the admission of Turkey into the EU, for Ankara will be a voice for all Muslims inside the E.U. itself.”[14]

Without a strong, solidly supportive anchor at its southeastern end, no Muslim revival in former Ottoman lands along the Green Corridor would be possible. The mix of nationalism and Islamism in Turkey aims not only at reversing the process of modernization of the past 85 years; it also aims at reversing the outcome of the preceding period of Ottoman decline. Under the AKP Turkey is becoming increasingly revisionist, potentially irridentist, and detrimental to stability in the Balkans.

Bulgaria – Of the country’s 8 million inhabitants, ethnic Turks account for just under ten percent (750,000). Their numbers were reduced through forced emigration under the Zhivkov regime in the 1980s, but many have returned following Bulgaria’s entry into the EU. Southern Bulgaria is also home to several hundred thousand Pomaks, Islamized Slavic speakers. Their number is unknown as they are not recognized as a distinct ethnic group: officially they are “Muslim Bulgarians.” Most Pomaks and Turks live in six counties that are situated between Turkey and FRY Macedonia: Haskovo, Kardjali, Smolian, Blagoevgrad, and southern parts of Pazardzhik and Plovdiv. The Pomaks are experiencing an intense Islamic religious revival, mainly financed from the Arab world. Hundreds of new mosques have been built in recent years. Middle Eastern “charities” are also establishing Kuranic schools, paying for trips to the Hajj, and offering scholarships to young Pomaks to study Islam in Saudi Arabia. Since religion defines their identity, “these poor, pastoralist Slavic Muslims have become prime targets for Arab proselytizers seeking to make inroads in Bulgaria, the EU country with the largest indigenous Muslim population.”[15]

In addition to the religious revival, the Pomaks are establishing a new form of ethnic identityand demand the recognition of their separate nationality.[16] Some Pomak activists assert that, far from being “Islamized Bulgarians,” they are descended from ancient Thracians.[17] Others assert Arab descent and an Islamic identity that antedates Turkish conquest. Some Bulgarians see the assertion of a separate ethnic identity as the first step in a future call for the establishment of a Pomak state – Islamic in character – in the Rhodope region as the key link to the Western Balkans. Some politicians warn of “unprecedented aggression based on religious and ethnic grounds” and accuse Muslim activists of “contempt for the laws of the Republic of Bulgaria.”[18] Even pro-Western sources in Sofia concede that “it is stretching credibility to imagine” that Bulgaria is not a target of radical Islam.[19]

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – FYROM is widely considered the weakest state in the Balkans. Macedonian Slavs account for 66 percent (1.3 million) and Albanians for 25 percent (500,000) of the republic’s two million people. The latter, 98 percent Muslim, have had a remarkable rate of growth since 1961, when they accounted for 13 percent of the total. Albanian birthrate is more than twice that of Slavs. Following the signing of the Ohrid Agreement that ended the 2001 Albanian armed rebellion by the “NLA” (a KLA subsidiary), the state itself is effectively becoming bi-national and bilingual. Albanians are de facto the second constituent nation in FYROM. They are guaranteed proportional share of government power and ethnically-based police force. Having secured their dominance along the borders of Albania and Kosovo, the current main thrust of the Albanian ethno-religious enroachment has the country’s capital city as its primary objective. It is a little-known fact that today’s Skopje is effectively as divided as Nicosia, or Jerusalem, or Mostar. Once a city quarter becomes majority-Albanian, it is quickly emptied of non-Albanian (i.e. Slavic-Macedonian, non-Muslim) population. The time-tested technique is to construct a mosque in a mixed area, to broadcast prayer calls at full blast five times a day, and to create the visible and audible impression of dominance that intimidates non-Muslims (“sonic cleansing”). In those mosques a Wahhabi-connected imam or administrator is invariably present to keep an eye on the rest.[20] Through their links with Arab donors they can influence the payment of salaries to imams and administrative staff.

63 raspeto kosovo1

During the 2001 Albanian rebellion the NLA was largely financed by the smuggling of narcotics from Turkey and Afghanistan, but in addition to drug money, “the NLA also has another prominent venture capitalist: Osama bin Laden.”[21] French terrorism expert Claude Moniquet estimated in 2006 that up to a hundred fundamentalists, “dangerous and linked to terrorist organizations,” were active or dormant but ready in sleeper-cells in Macedonia. New recruits are offered stipends to study Islam in Saudi Arabia, and they are given regular salaries and free housing to spread the Wahhabi word on their return to Macedonia.[22] Both demographically and politically, the Republic of Macedonia has a precarious present and an uncertain future. In the long term its stability and sustainability is open to doubt.

Kosovo – Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton warned a year ago that “Kosovo will be a weak state susceptible to radical Islamist influence from outside the region… a potential gate for radicalism to enter Europe,” a stepping stone toward an anti-Christian, anti-American “Eurabia.”[23] His was a rare voice in Washington to warn of the ongoing merger of aggressive greater-Albanian nationalism and transnational Islamism. Bolton’s verdict is shared by former UN commander in Bosnia, Canadian Gen. Lewis McKenzie. In 1999 the West intervened “on the side of an extremist, militant Kosovo-Albanian independence movement,” he says. “The fact that the KLA was universally designated a terrorist organization supported by al-Qaeda was conveniently ignored.”[24]

Since the 1999 US-led NATO intervention, Kosovo has become the crime capital of Europe.[25] Crime is the province’s main economic activity: hard drugs (primarily heroin), followed by human trafficking, associated sex trade, and arms smuggling.[26] But no less significant, from the vantage point of the Green Corridor, has been the symbiosis that has developed between Kosovo’s Albanian crime families and the Jihadist networks abroad.[27] As a result, according to a 252-page report compiled by U.S. intelligence agencies in April 2006, Islamic militants with ties to Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations have been freely crisscrossing the Balkans for more than 15 years: “extremists, financed in part with cash from narcotics smuggling operations, were trying to infiltrate Western Europe from Afghanistan and points farther east via a corridor through Turkey, Kosovo and Albania.”[28]

This process started well before the 1999 NATO intervention, but the Clinton Administration ignored the warnings.[29] The relationship was cemented by the zeal of KLA veterans who joined Bin Laden’s network in Afghanistan.[30] Iran also supported the Albanian insurgency in Kosovo, hoping “to turn the region into their main base for Islamic armed activity in Europe.”[31] By the end of 1998 U.S. DEA officials complained that the transformation of the KLA from terrorists into freedom fighters hampered their ability to stem the flow of Albanian-peddled heroin into America.[32] By that time the NATO bombing of Serbia was in full swing, however, and the mujaheddin were, once again, American “allies.” A decade later Kosovo is run by those “allies.” It is the worst administered and most corrupt spot in Europe,[33] a mono-ethnic hotbed of criminality and intollerance, a major source of irridentism and regional instability – and a key pillar of the Green Corridor.

Sanjak – The region known to Muslims as Sandžak (“administrative district” in Turkish) is one of the most critical geopolitical pressure points in the Balkans. It covers some 8,500 square kilometers along the border between Serbia and Montenegro, linking Kosovo to the southeast with Bosnia to the northwest. The demographic picture of the region is exceptionally complex. According to the census in Serbia (2002) and Montenegro (2003), the population of Sandžak was 420,259. Of that number 235,567 lived in Serbia and 184,692 in Montenegro. Bosniaks and Muslims-by-nationality accounted for 52 percent while Serbs and Montenegrins had 43 percent, with smaller groups making up the balance. The crucial demographic gap in the Green Corridor exists in the northwestern half of Sanjak, comprising three municipalities in Serbia (Priboj, Nova Varos and Prijepolje) and Pljevlja in Montenegro. If there is to be a fresh crisis in the Balkans over the next decade, it is to be feared that this will be its location.

The leading figure in local politics is Muamer Zukorlic, an Arab-educated imam with pan-Islamic credentials. Zukorlic is in dispute with the leadership of the Islamic Religious Community of Serbia (IVZ), the authority of which he refuses to accept. The leaders of the IVZ, reis-ul-ulema Adem Zilkic and his predecessor Hamdija Jusufspahic, are powerless to bring Zukorlic to heel because he is supported by the Muslim leadership in Sarajevo and well-endowed from foreign (mainly Arab) sources. While both sides in the dispute claim to be opposed to Wahhabi infiltration, Zukorlic’s position is ambivalent. Even after a secret Wahhabi training camp stocked with weapons and explosives was discovered 20 miles from the city of Novi Pazar he said that the problem was “blown out of proportion. After Montenegro proclaimed independence in May 2006, the Muslim demand for autonomy is focused on the six municipalities on the northern side of the border, in Serbia. Such an entity would have a 58% overall Muslim majority. More importantly, even in the reduced format it would still provide the all-critical land bridge between Kosovo and Bosnia.

Bosnia – Alija Izetbegovic’s memorable assertion in his Islamic Declaration that “there can be no peace or coexistence between the Islamic faith and non-Islamic societies and political institutions,” and that his goal is “a great Islamic federation spreading from Morocco to Indonesia,” was not unusual for a sincere Islamist.[34] Izetbegovic meant business. Bill Clinton was still in the White House when a classified State Department report warned that the Muslim-controlled parts of Bosnia were a safe haven for Islamic terrorism.[35] It warned that hundreds of foreign mujaheddin, who had become Bosnian citizens and remained there after fighting in the war, presented a major terrorist threat to Europe and the United States. Among them were hard-core terrorists, some with ties to bin Laden, protected by the Muslim government. This was confirmed in November 2001 when Bosnian passports were found in a house in Kabul used by the fleeing Taliban.[36]

The core of Bin Laden’s Balkan network are the veterans of El Moujahed brigade of the Bosnian-Muslim army. It was established in 1992 and included volunteers from all over the Islamic world . The unit was distinguished by its spectacular cruelty, including decapitation of prisoners to the chants of Allahu-akbar.[37] El Moujahed was the nursery from which an international terrorist network spread to Europe and North America. After the end of the Bosnian war, many Muslim volunteers remained.[38] The Bosnian-Muslim government circumvented the Dayton rules by granting Bosnian citizenship to several hundred Arab and other Islamist volunteers. Less than a year after the war’s end they were well established, having taken over Serbian-owned properties and married local women, sometimes by force.[39]

The Bosnian veterans went on to perpetrate murder and mayhem in many countries in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and North America.[40] Osama Bin Laden’s links to the Bosnian Muslims were known to the Clinton Administration, but they were tolerated by Washington.[41] The Millennium Plot at the end of December 1999, the narrowly averted al-Qaida attempt to blow up Los Angeles International Airport, was planned by a cell operating in Montreal – most of them veterans of the Bosnian war – and the operation was controlled out of central Bosnia.The Bosnian Connection was also present in the bombing of the Al Khobar building in Riyadh[42] and in a plot to blow up U.S. military installations in Germany.[43] Even 9/11 itself had a Bosnian Connection: Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, who planned the 9/11 attacks, was a seasoned veteran of the Bosnian jihad, as were two of the hijackers.[44]

Iran had already obtained a foothold of its own in Bosnia when the Clinton Administration got Teheran’s help in supplying the Muslim army with weapons.[45] This was done in violation of the UN arms embargo initially demanded by the U.S. and behind the back of its European allies.[46] The CIA and the Departments of State and Defense were initially kept in the dark.[47] Iranian intelligence operatives came with the weapons. The result is a symbiotic relationship between the ruling Muslim establishment in Sarajevo and the Tehran regime.[48]

Last but not least, Bosnia remains a staging post for thousands of illegal Muslim immigrants from the Middle East making their way into Western Europe.[49] Izetbegovic stepped down in 2000, but the hard-liners who have internalized his teaching and his vision remain active at all levels of Bosnia’s Muslim nomenklatura. As Jane’s Intelligence Review concluded in 2006, “The current threat of terrorism in Bosnia and Herzegovina comes from a younger, post-war generation of militant Islamists, radicalized by US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Шиптарски геноцид

The Green Corridor and the War on Terrorism – In the Balkans, a phenomenon initially based on local groups is morphing into an integral part of a global network. Al-Qaeda and its loosely linked Balkan offshoots, or self-starting independent cells merely inspired by it, are capable of fielding operatives who are European in appearance and seemingly integrated into the Western society – the “white al-Qa’eda.”[50] Western law-enforcement officials concede that the region has become “a paradise” for Islamic radicals.”[51]

By contrast, Western politicians and diplomats are typically evasive. They do not deny the existence of the problem, but tend to relativize it by adding that it is unlikely to disturb the political and security balance in the region, or to damage Western interests. As a former diplomat from the region notes, “Then usually follows the reassuring mantra about the pro-European orientation of secularized Balkan Muslims with the optimistic conclusion that the accelerated process of the Euro-integration of the whole region would narrow the space for radical Islamism until such tendencies will finally disappear.”[52]

The problem with such optimistic assessment is not that it is totally wrong but that it becomes less right with each passing day. A major fault of the Western approach is its naïve faith in the attractive powers of secularisation. There is a growing gap between the reality of Islam in the Balkans and Western mainstream narrative about the allegedly moderate and tolerant “Balkan Islam.” The problem of the Green Corridor will not be resolved without critical reexamination of Western policies as well as Western illusions. That problem has morphed over the past two decades into a demographic, social and political reality: “[W]hile the Muslims have established a continuity which drives a wedge within Christian Central Europe, the West is looking with indifference at that evolving situation which they hope will create a docile, Turkish-like Islam. But in view of the trouble Turkey itself is suffering from Muslim fundamentalists, it is doubtful whether these hopes will be fulfilled.”[53]

The U.S. policy in Southeast Europe over the past two decades has had the effect, by design or default, to favor the aspirations of various supposedly pro-Western Muslim communities in the Balkans along the geographic line extending from Turkey north-westwards towards Central Europe.[54] That policy was based on the expectation that satisfying Muslim ambitions in a secondary theater will improve the U.S. standing in the Muslim world as a whole.

The policy has never yielded any dividends, but repeated failure only prompts its advocates to redouble their efforts. Former U.S. Under-Secretary of State Nicholas Burns thus declared on February 18, 2008, a day after Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence: “Kosovo is going to be a vastly majority Muslim state, given the fact that 92 to 94 percent of their population is Muslim, and we think it is a very positive step that this Muslim state, Muslim majority state, has been created today. It’s a stable – we think it’s going to be a stable state.” If it is intrinsically “a very positive step” for the United States that a “vastly Muslim state” is created on European soil that had been “cleansed” of non-Muslims then it should be expected that Washington will be equally supportive of an independent Sanjak that would connect Kosovo with Bosnia, of a centralized, i.e. Muslim-controlled Bosnia that will abolish the legacy of Dayton, or of any other putative Islamistan in the region – from yet-to-be federalized Macedonia to a revived Eastern Rumelia in southern Bulgaria. It is worthy of note that the Organization of the Islamic Conference statement, to which the State Department referred so approvingly, announced that the Islamic Umma wishes its borthers and sisters in Kosovo success: “There is no doubt that the independence of Kosovo will be an asset to the Muslim world and further enhance the joint Islamic action.”[55]

Kosovostan passeport

“There is no doubt,” indeed. Far from providing a model of pro-Western “moderate Islam,” Kosovo, Muslim Bosnia, Sanjak, western Macedonia, and southern Bulgaria are already the breeding ground for thousands of young hard-line Islamists. Their dedication is honed in thousands of newly-built, mostly foreign-financed mosques and Islamic centers. The intent was stated by the head of the Islamic establishment in Sarajevo. “The small jihad is now finished … The Bosnian state is intact. But now we have to fight a bigger, second jihad,” Mustafa Ceric, the Reis-ul-Ulema in Bosnia-Herzegovina, declared over a decade ago. This statement reflects the inherent dynamism of political Islam: a truce with Dar al-Harb is allowed, sometimes even mandated, but a permanent peace is impossible for as long as there is a single infidel entity refusing to submit to Dar al-Islam.

If Western and especially U.S. policy in the Balkans was not meant to facilitate the Green Corridor, the issue is not why but how its effects paradoxically coincided with the regional objectives of those same Islamists who confront America in other parts of the world. Far from enhancing peace and regional stability, such policies continue to encourage seven distinct but interconnected trends centered on the Green Corridor:

(a) Pan-Islamic agitation for the completion of an uninterrupted Transverse by linking its as yet unconnected segments.

(b) Destabilization of Bosnia resulting from constant Muslim demands for the erosion of all constitutional prerogatives leading to the abolition of the Republika Srpska.

(c) Growing separatism among Muslims in the Raska region of Serbia, manifest in the demand for the establishment of an “autonomous” Sanjak region.

(d) Continuing intensification of greater-Albanian aspirations against Macedonia, Montenegro, Greece, and rump-Serbia.

(e) Further religious radicalization and ethnic redefinition of Muslims in Bulgaria, leading to demands for territorial autonomy in the Rhodope region.

(f) Ongoing spread of Islamic agitation, mainly foreign-financed, through a growing network of mosques, Islamic centers, NGOs and “charities” all along the Route.

(g) Escalation of Turkey’s regional ambitions and Ankara’s quiet encouragement of all of the above trends and phenomena.

In all cases the immediate bill will be paid by the people of the Balkans, but long-term costs of the Green Corridor will haunt many Western policy-makers for decades to come.

Endnotes:

[1] The term “Zelena transverzala” first gained prominence 25 years ago, just before the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo in 1984. The organizing committee of the Olympics – dominated by Bosnian Muslim members of the Communist Party (“League of Communists,” SKJ) – decided to give the sports hall built for the event an unusual name, “Zetra.” This was the acronym for the Green Corridor (Zelena-TRAnsverzala); it supposedly referred to the belt of urban parkland in central Sarajevo. Some observers – including Bosnian anti-terrorism expert Dzevad Galijasevic, himself a Muslim – believe that the choice of the name was not incidental, and that its Islamist-geopolitical connotations were anything but unknown to those who had selected it.

[2] In a 2001 report by the Italian security services, the dorsale verde is defined as “the project of Islamic colonization of the Balkans that aims at the gradual establishment of a green corridor to include all regions in which predominantly Muslim ethnic groups prevail.” Cf. Fiorenza Saranzini: “Soldi e moschee, Osama avanza nei Balcani.” Corriere della Sera, November 8, 2001, p. 11. See also “Come nasce la dorsale verde” in Limes, 3/1998, pp. 15-27

[3] Massimo Nava, “Il nostro Afghanistan”, in Limes Quaderni Speciali 4/2001, pp. 177-185

[4] Cf. Laura Iucci: “La Bosnia resta un serbatoio di terroristi.” Limes (Rome), No 6-2003, pp. 203-208.

[5] Sir Alfred Sherman: “Let’s Remove the Blinkers.” The Jewish Chronicle (London), September 30, 1994.

[6] Shaul Shay, Islamic Terror and the Balkans. Transaction Publishers, 2008.

[7] John R. Schindler, Unholy Terror: Bosnia, Al-Qa’ida, and the Rise of Global Jihad. Zenith Press, 2007.

[8] Alija Izetbegovic, Islamska deklaracija. Sarajevo: Mala muslimanska biblioteka, 1990.

[9] “The attitude of the Muslims toward the Christians and the Jews is that of a master toward slaves,” a British diplomat, H.E.W. Young, reported as late as 1909, “whom he treats with a certain lordly tolerance so long as they keep their place. Any sign of pretension to equality is promptly repressed.”

[10] All data based on official statistics, adjusted for Panonian (non-Balkan) regions of Serbia and Croatia.

[11] The region’s once-thriving Jewish community was destroyed during World War II, with the enthusiastic participation of two Waffen SS divisions, Hanjar (Bosnian-Muslim) and Skenderbey (Kosovo-Albanian).

[12] It now stand at -0.83 percent in both Bulgaria and Greece.

[13] Bassam Tibi, “Turkey’s Islamist Danger.” Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2009.

[14] “The Role of the Balkan Muslims in the Shaping of Europe,” Muslim Media Network, May 4, 2008.

[15] Christopher Deliso, The Coming Balkan Caliphate. Praeger, 2007, p. 106.

[16] In November 2008 the “Justice Federation,” a Pomak NGO in the town of Gotse Delchev, declared at a press conference that Pomaks were separate ethnicity and demanded their own TV channel and political party.

[17] This claim is similar to the Albanian assertion of “Illyrian” descent: by implication, Orthodox Christian Slavs (Serbs, Bulgarians) are the relative “newcomers,” whose claim to the land is therefore more tenuous.

[18] FOCUS News Agency, January 10, 2009: www.focus-fen.net/index.php?id=n166573

[19] Clive Leviyev-Sawyer,“Radical Islam in Bulgaria?” The Sofia Echo, April 16, 2007.

[20] Deliso, op. cit., p. 84

[21] The Washington Times, June 22, 2001.

[22] “Fissures in Balkan Islam,” The Christian Science Monitor, February 14, 2006.

[23] Voice of America interview, February 17, 2008.

[24] Lewis Mackenzie, “We Bombed the Wrong Side in Kosovo.” The National Post, April 6, 2004.

[25] Less than a year after NATO intervention, on 10 March 2000, the UN human rights rapporteur Jiri Dienstbier declared that “Kosovo is in chaos,” having become “a mafia paradise.” Reuters, 20 March 2000.

[26] Cf. Norbert Spinrath, president of the Association of German Police Officers, in Der Spiegel, December 15, 1999. In March 2008, a similar picture was presented in a report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

[27] Cf. The American Council on Kosovo’s information resources on: www.savekosovo.org

[28] “Terrorists use Balkan corridor.” International Herald Tribune, April 18, 2006.

[29] The Jerusalem Post, September 14, 1998.

[30] USA Today, November 26, 2001.

[31] The Sunday Times (London), March 22, 1998.

[32] The Washington Times, May 4, 1999.

[33] In a November 2008 progress report, the European Union said “corruption is still widespread and remains a major problem in Kosovo… due to insufficient legislative and implementing measures.”

[34] Cf. Lieutenant Colonel John E. Sray, USA, Selling the Bosnia Myth to America: Buyer Beware. U.S. Army Foreign Military Studies Office, Fort Leavenworth, KS, October 1995.

[35] The Los Angeles Times, October 7, 2001.

[36] AP, November 21, 2001.

[37] Videos of such gruesome spectacles are circulated through Islamic centers and Internet sites in the West.

[38] The Washington Post, November 30, 1995.

[39] “Mujaheddin Remaining in Bosnia,” The Washington Post, July 8, 1996.

[40] “Le troisième membre du ‘gang de Roubaix’ se revendique proche du FIS.” Le Monde, October 6, 2001.

[41] L’Express, December 26, 1996.

[42] The New York Times, June 26, 1997.

[43] The Los Angeles Times, October 7, 2001.

[44] John Schindler, author of Unholy Terror, in World Magazine, Vol. 22, No. 35, September 27, 2007.

[45] “Clinton-Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Help Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base,” U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee, January 16, 1997.

[46] See “Fingerprints: Arms to Bosnia, the real story,” The New Republic, October 28, 1996.

[47] “U.S. Had Options to Let Bosnia Get Arms, Avoid Iran,” The Los Angeles Times, July 1, 1996.

[48] “Iran, Bosnia to Exapend Ties.” IRIB (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting), December 21, 2003.

[49] “Bosnia opens the door to Europe for Iranian illegal immigrants.” The Times (London), August 31, 2000.

[50] “Terrorist Cells Find Foothold in the Balkans,” The Washington Post, December 1, 2005.

[51] Gregory Katz, “Terrorists said to be getting aid in Balkans,” Houston Chronicle, December 27, 2005.

[52] Chronicles Online, April 6, 2006. www.chroniclesmagazine.org

[53] Raphael Israeli: From Bosnia To Kosovo: The Re-Islamization Of The Balkans. Ariel Center for Policy Research, Policy Paper No. 109, 2004.

[54] Cf. a “programmatic” article on the U.S.-sponsored Greater Middle East by two New Republic editors, Jacob Heilbrunn and Michael Lind: “The Third American Empire.” The New York Times, January 2, 1996.

[55] Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the head of the OIC, as quoted by Reuters, February 19, 2008.


2010-02-11

By Srđa Trifković

Source: The Lord Byron Foundation for Balkan Studies

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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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Disappeared people in Kosovostan



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During and after the the Kosovo conflict in 1998-1999, the KLA abducted and kidnapped over 2,000 Kosovo civilians, Serbs, Roma, and Albanians that opposed the KLA, who were tortured and murdered. Ten years after the conflict, these 2,000 remain missing. Approximately 1,000 to 1,3000 Kosovo Serbs are missing and presumed dead. How did they die? UNMIK occupation forces have been reluctant to investigate these mass murders of Kosovo civilians. What happened to them? Evidence has emerged that the KLA ran a series of prison camps, in Kosovo and in Albania itself, where they tortured and murdered Kosovo Serbs, Roma, and Albanians. Moreover, Carla Del Ponte disclosed that the KLA had detention centers where they murdered Kosovo Serbs and harvested their organs. What happened to the 2,000 kidnapped and murdered, the missing, Kosovo’s disappeared?

The Kosovo conflict was always, first and foremost, about secession, taking land from another country criminally and making it your own, a land grab, a shifting of borders. Secession is illegal under the UN Charter and under international law. This is why it was never openly disclosed before or during the conflict. It was only revealed after the war. So the public had to be deceived and hoodwinked. The people had to be lied to. And this was done in so-called democracies of the West, the so-called free world. Because secession is inherently illegal, a crime, a smokescreen had to be devised. The people had to be told lies through the mass media network. Instead of secession, which was never mentioned, the masses in the U.S. and elsewhere were lied to, told that Albanians wanted greater rights. In fact, Albanians sought a Greater Albania, an illegal land grab based on ethnicity. The gullible were told that the Kosovo conflict was about human rights and “oppression”. But it was known that Kosovo Albanians enjoyed more rights and freedoms than any other minority in the world. They had their own university, their own Albanian language, their own Albanian-language newspapers, their own court system, their own educational system, and they controlled the police. Why was there a conflict in Kosovo then? The issue was that the Albanian population, largely Muslim, wanted to secede from Serbia and Yugoslavia. This is illegal under international law and the UN Charter. This necessitated the manufacturing of a propaganda war which pictured the Albanian Muslims as victims and the Yugoslav and Serbian governments and police as “oppressors”. Such a black and white scenario meant that crimes by the Albanian secessionists were downplayed, minimized, and even dismissed and ignored.

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The KLA secessionists, first described by the U.S. government as terrorists, later became proxies and allies of the U.S. and of NATO. They went from terrorists to “freedom fighters” and a “liberation army”. Once they became a proxy army and shock troops for the U.S. and NATO, they could do no wrong and had a free hand. All was permitted during “a period of terror”.

The KLA secessionists took the green light to abduct, kidnap, torture, and murder Kosovo Serb civilians, but also Kosovo Roma, Gorani, and Albanians that opposed the KLA secessionist agenda. U.S., NATO, and UNMIK forces gave them the green light and go-ahead to terrorize and to murder Kosovo Serbs and other non-Albanians in Kosovo. Why did the KLA secesionists murder Kosovo Serb, Roma, and Albanian civilians? This seems rather paradoxical if the goal of the uprising was human rights and greater freedoms. But this was never the goal or objective. The goal was always to create an independent Albanian state out of Kosovo. Secession was always the goal, although Albanians already had a national state of Albania. Kosovo would be a second Albanian state. Murdering and ethnically cleansing non-Albanians was always the goal because the KLA secessionists and their U.S. and Western backers wanted them to create an Albanian state, not a multi-ethnic state. So all non-Albanian Muslims had to disappear. And they did. The U.S., NATO, and UNMIK occupation forces made sure it happened.

American reporter Michael Montgomery investigated the disappearance of the over 2,000 missing in Kosovo. He noted that many Kosovo Serbs “simply vanished without a trace. There were no demands for ransom, no news of any kind.” He spoke of the camps where Kosovo Serbs were tortured and murdered: “I had met sources who spoke vaguely about secret camps in Albania where Kosovo Serbs, Albanians and Roma were interrogated, tortured and in most cases killed.” A former KLA secessionist disclosed information about the prison camps. Montgomery admitted that the goal of the KLA secessionists was independence and secession, not the U.S. propaganda line of greater human rights and oppression from the Slobodan Milosevic regime: “He had returned from a successful career abroad to join the KLA in its fight for Kosovo’s independence from Serbia.” Once the U.S. and NATO had occupied the Kosovo province, why lie anymore? Indeed, there was no further need for lies and deceptions. Secession was always the goal. Of course, that we as citizens of democracies had been brainwashed and treated like cattle did not even enter into the equation. Why did our media and government lie to us? The ends justified the means undoubtedly for American journalists like Michael Montgomery. The truth can now be revealed ten years after the conflict. But on the positive side, we have engineered an illegal secession and created a second Albanian Muslim state in Europe, an illegal entity only maintained by U.S. and NATO occupation troops, by military force alone. This criminal entity, propped up by force, by a foreign power, the U.S., will remain a focal point of instability and future conflict. It will remain a time bomb and powder keg.

In the April 10, 2009 BBC story “Horrors of KLA Prison Camps Revealed” on the prison camps by Nick Thorpe he stated that Kosovo is a part of Serbia which Serbs “regard as their own”. Hold on a second. We need a reality check. Is the legal status of Kosovo up in the air? Kosovo is a part of Serbia under the UN and under international laws. This is a subtle brainwashing and propaganda trick. The BBC journalist seeks to brainwash the listener or viewer into thinking that Serbs “regard” Kosovo a part of Serbia when, in fact, Kosovo is a part of Serbia under international law and the UN. Why this subtle brainwashing? Are we pigs or human beings? Why is he lying to us? This is, in reality, the nature of journalism and news reporting in the U.S. and Western countries, a delusional system of subtle mind control, or, to put it another way, a system of persuasion and suggestion.

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His KLA informant “had become haunted by the treatment of civilians he had seen at a KLA prison camp.” He needed to disclose the truth. He admitted that KLA commanders had ordered the abuses and murders and had tolerated them. These alleged abductions and murders of Kosovo Serb civilians were war crimes. He explained that many of the Kosovo Serbs disappeared: “He said the civilians were Serbs and Roma seized by KLA soldiers and were being hidden away from Nato troops. The source believes the captives were sent across the border to Albania and killed.” A total of eight former KLA secessionists gave information on the prison camps. Another KLA witness stated: “Yet another source spoke of driving trucks packed with shackled prisoners – mainly Serbian civilians from Kosovo – to secret locations in Albania where they were eventually killed.”

In the BBC report, Brankica Antic, a Kosovo Serb, described how her husband Zlatko was kidnapped by the KLA in 1999 after NATO occupied the Serbian province and has been missing since then. His body has never been recovered. He is presumed to have been murdered by the KLA under the auspices of U.S. and NATO occupation troops.

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In the Albanian towns of Kukes and Tropoje, Carla Del Ponte revealed that over 300 Kosovo Serb civilians were transported using trucks by KLA forces where their organs were harvested. Kidneys were removed from Kosovo Serbs and taken to the airport to be transpoted to Turkey. This was all done after NATO and U.S. troops occupied Kosovo. There was a house, the infamous “yellow house”, in the Albanian town of Burrel where organs were harvested from kidnapped Kosovo Serb civilians. Human Rights Watch (HRW) has stated that these allegations needed to be investigated and regarded the allegattions as “serious and credible”. Del Ponte revealed that Kosovo Serb civilians “were stripped of their organs in Kosovo war” by the KLA and that the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague has evidence of these crimes.

The UN war crimes tribunal has, however, never investigated these alleged war crimes. Jose Pablo Baraybar of the UN Office of Missing Persons in Kosovo stated that evidence of these crimes that the UN tribunal possessed was destroyed. Montgomery had investigated evidence of these war crimes in February, 2004. UN war crimes prosecutors, however, took no action and filed no charges. Nick Thorpe of the BBC explained that this was done because “stability seemed more important than justice.”

Sian Jones, a researcher for Amnesty International (AI) told the BBC that the UN had abandoned its legal obligations and duties: “To see a UN body failing to abide by the international standards to which it holds its member states accountable is really quite shocking. And, more than that, the impact on the families who want to know the fate of their family members, they want to know where their bodies are, they want to know what happened to them.”

“What we have is a massive failure to protect members of the minority communities from human rights abuses whilst that very international community was supposed to be there to protect them.”

One secret KLA prison camp was in Kukes in northeastern Albania, which was an important and key supply base for the KLA secessionists who used the base to smuggle weapons and fighters into Kosovo.

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The Kosovo Serb civilians were tortured before they were murdered: “He recalled hearing two of the captives begging to be shot rather than tortured and ‘cut into pieces’.” He noted that the KLA goal was to target Kosovo Serb civilians: “‘I was sick. I was just waiting for it to end,’ the source told me. ‘It was hard. I thought we were fighting a war [of liberation] but this was something completely different.’” Montgomery stated that “it was about killings, it was about greed”. Montgomery noted that these KLA war crimes that approached genocide were suppressed and covered-up in the U.S. and Western media: “A long silence over the atrocities has held strong throughout Kosovo.” Kosovo Serbs continue to be persecuted based on their ethnicity and religion in Kosovo along with other non-Albanians but the egregious human rights violations have not received any attention in the U.S. or other Western countries.

Why was there no interest in investigating and punishing these war crimes in Kosovo? Why was Michael Montgomery and the BBC revealing them ten years after the conflict? The reason was because these facts were now irrelevant and meaningless. Thus, they could safely be disclosed. As Montgomery himself noted, once secession, once independence had been achieved for the Serbian province and it was now an Albanian Muslim state, a new, second Albanian nation, “Europe’s most controversion state”, achieved through criminality and aggression, revealing the information could do no harm or be of any value to anyone.


2010-12-09

By Carl Savich

Source: Serbianna

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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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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

51Y0Hyi7Y3L._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_

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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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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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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Five facts about Kosovo the #fakenews media is lying to you about



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1. Kosovo is not ancient Albanian land

Its very name comes from the Serbian word “kos,” meaning blackbird. Its Albanian name, “Kosova,” means nothing whatsoever.

Kosovo was the heartland of medieval Serbian state and the site of the 1389 battle in which both the Serbian prince and the Ottoman sultan died, checking the Turkish expansion into the Balkans for almost 70 years. Ethnic Albanians were settled there by the Ottomans over the intervening centuries, and became a majority due to pogroms and persecution of Serbs – which began under Ottoman rule but continued under Austro-Hungarian occupation in WWI and German/Italian occupation in WWII.

Kosovo was never a political entity of any kind until 1945, when the Communist regime that reconstructed Yugoslavia after Axis occupation (with which Albanians overwhelmingly collaborated) created the “Autonomous Region of Kosovo & Metohija” – the latter being a Greek word describing church lands.

The Communists also forbid any Serbs expelled in WW2 to return to Kosovo, cementing its ethnic Albanian majority, which further grew through an influx of illegal immigrants from Enver Hoxha’s Albania and the ethnic cleansing of non-Albanians since the NATO occupation began in 1999.

2. Operation Allied Force

The 1999 NATO bombing campaign, was not a legitimate humanitarian intervention approved by the UN.

It was a war of aggression, in violation of both the NATO and the UN charter. Contrary to what the mainstream Narrative says today, NATO’s justification for the war was not Serbian “human rights violations” against the Albanians. No, the bombing began as a way to force Serbia to accept the ultimatum issued at the French chateau of Rambouillet, in which NATO demanded a 3-year occupation of the province and a NATO-organized referendum that would give the ethnic Albanians independence.

It was at Rambouillet that the US negotiated on behalf of the “Kosovo Liberation Army,” a separatist group it had previously acknowledged as terrorists. As part of its terrorist campaign to separate Kosovo from Serbia, the KLA has engaged in murder, assassination, extortion, torture, and trafficking in drugs, guns, sex slaves and even human organs.

3. Serbia did not kill 10,000 ethnic Albanian civilians during the 1999 war

That figure is an estimate based on assertions by NATO, entirely unsupported by any facts whatsoever – same as the “up to 100,000 men” speculated by NATO propagandists during the war itself. Western media continue to repeat it the same way they repeated the claim of 300,000 dead in Bosnia, which was later revised down to under 100,000.

4. There was no Serbian plan to deport a million ethnic Albanians

The so-called “Operation Horseshoe” was concocted by German and Bulgarian intelligence to provide justification for the illegal and illegitimate NATO war (see #2 above), to the point where they used the Croatian word for horseshoe. While there was a mass exodus of Albanians towards Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro (odd, since it was part of Yugoslavia same as Serbia), some evidence suggests that may have been orchestrated by NATO and the KLA.

Bagra Kosova

5. Kosovo’s “independence” is neither legal nor legitimate

UN Resolution 1244, which authorized a NATO-led peacekeeping mission after the June 1999 armistice, reaffirmed Kosovo’s status as a part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Legally, it remained a province of Serbia, whose integrity was sacrosanct on the same grounds as Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia (and later Montenegro) were recognized in their Communist-drawn borders when the proto-European Union and the US decided to declare Yugoslavia nonexistent in 1992.

In February 2008, the provisional administration of Kosovo set up under the UN viceroy and NATO occupation, declared independence – based on a plan rejected by the UN Security Council, the final arbiter of Resolution 1244.

The International Court of Justice later tortured logic and language to rule that international law didn’t say anything about random people making such declarations – but these were not random people. Their very legitimacy rested on the UN mandate, which their declaration violated.

President Barack Obama lied in March 2014 that there was internationally recognized and supervised referendum on the issue; there wasn’t. No mainstream media outlet ever called him on it, though.


2017-01-30

Source: Gray Falcon

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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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Shaking Hands With a War Criminal



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Inside Kosovo’s Islamist Cauldron



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Kacanik, KOSOVO – A plume of smoke hangs over our table in the corner of a dark, shabby café in this rugged town in southern Kosovo. The lanky 19-year-old sitting next to me is chain-smoking through half a pack of L&Ms, his hands trembling as he recalls how he joined one of the world’s most brutal militant Islamist groups.

Through his neatly trimmed beard, Adem, who asks me not to use his real name for fear of arrest, says he had never even left Kosovo. But two years ago, he found himself on the perilous and far-off Turkey-Syria border — a major entry point for foreigners seeking to join the ranks of Islamic State (IS).

He was taken by IS recruiters to a Turkish village, where he waited to be smuggled into a war zone. After a two-week training camp in the Syrian city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Syrian and Iraqi territory that the group calls its “caliphate,” he would be assigned to a fighting unit.

Hours before the recruiters were to sneak him across the border, however, Adem turned back and made his way home.

“I realized that what was going on in Syria had nothing to do with Islam,” says Adem, who keeps looking over his shoulder as if he might be found out at any moment by Kosovar authorities. He looks like any other teenager, in skinny jeans and a silver chain hanging over his T-shirt.

Kacanik lies in southern Kosovo’s Sharr Mountains, a pathway between central Europe and the southern Balkans since at least the Bronze Age.

Jihadist Capital Of The Balkans

The government estimates that more than 300 Kosovars have traveled to the Middle East to wage jihad, or Islamic holy war. That makes this predominately Muslim country of under 2 million people, which unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, Europe’s biggest contributor per capita of IS foot soldiers.

Kacanik in particular has gained a reputation as the jihadist capital of the Balkans. In the past three years, at least 24 men from its population of 30,000 have left to fight for extremist groups like IS or Al-Qaeda in Syria and Iraq.

Adem’s own path toward radicalization began when he received a Facebook invitation to attend a sermon hosted by an imam from a nearby town. He says he was “curious” about Islam. For the next five months, Adem attended sermons and Koran classes at a makeshift mosque where he and other young men lived.

The sermons were organized by Rinia Islame (Islamic Youth in Albanian), an Islamic charity operating in Kacanik. It is one among dozens of secretive organizations funded by Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states that promote an extreme version of Islam. The groups are accused of brainwashing youth and recruiting them for extremist causes abroad.

Adem says the sermons he attended were “very strict and harsh.” “They told us not to shake hands with women and don’t go to cafes or bars,” he says.

There are indeed mounting outward signs of Islamic fundamentalism in Kacanik, where it is no longer uncommon to see women in Islamic veils or men with untrimmed beards and calf-length trousers, none of which has much real tradition in the country.

As Adem tells it, the sermons worked their way up from Koran lessons, to the meaning of jihad, to the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

“My family doesn’t practice religion very much,” says Adem, who lives with his parents and two sisters in a crammed flat in Kacanik. “Only my grandfather and I.”

He says his family picked up on signs that he was becoming radicalized. “They said that if I want to practice religion, I can do it — I can pray — but not become a radical.”

The sermons attended by Adem were given by Zeqirja Qazimi, a notorious imam who was jailed for 10 years on May 20 after he and six associates were convicted for fighting for IS militants in Syria from 2012 to 2014 and for trying to gather IS recruits.

“Imam Zekerija Qazimi came from Gjilan,” says Adem, referring to a town in eastern Kosovo. “He was telling us about jihad.”

Qazimi also posted a video on YouTube in which he said that the “blood of infidels is the best drink for us.” Local media reported that Qazimi was responsible for recruiting 11 Kosovar fighters to IS; three were said to have been killed in Syria.

When I ask whether Adem has been threatened since turning his back on the extremists who radicalized him, his answer belies the bloodthirsty reputation of a group that routinely kills captives en masse and is said to ruthlessly execute suspected traitors. “I’ve never felt danger,” he says. “It was my decision.”

The Middle Eastern-funded charities have penetrated poor, rural communities like Kacanik that have been neglected by the government and where unemployment is around 40 percent, making young men easy targets for indoctrination.

The Islamic charities often run schools, dormitories, and welfare programs. But they also push a hard-line agenda that appears to have gained at least a minor foothold in Kacanik.

Fertile Ground For Extremism

Adem believes the Arab-funded charities targeted poor families, and often single mothers. He says in exchange for attending the sermons, the charity would give students accommodations, expense money, and new clothes and shoes.

“There were many people who attended the sermons,” says Adem, who had just finished high school and was jobless when he started attending the classes. “There were people in poor economic conditions.”

“These charities were not registered and they worked with certain radical individuals and they have manipulated the poor,” says Kacanik Mayor Besim Ilazi.

Ilazi, a tall, balding man, points at derelict buildings and defunct factories at the foot of the green hills around Kacanik and adds, “The economy is the main reason why some people joined.”

Locals also point to the town’s proximity to Macedonia as one of the reasons Kacanik has become such a hotbed for radicalism. Macedonia is a short 30-minute drive away, and locals say hard-line ethnic Albanian preachers often visit Kosovar communities to deliver sermons.

Radical Charities Going Underground

In late 2014, Kosovar officials closed 14 charities — including the one that provided religious classes to Adem — when they were suspected of having ties to Islamic extremist groups. Under a new law, Kosovo can jail citizens for up to 15 years if they participate in foreign wars.

Kosovo authorities say around 50 homegrown jihadists have been killed in fighting in Syria and Iraq, and around 120 have returned to Kosovo. More than 100 people in Kosovo have been arrested or are under investigation for recruiting or fighting abroad on behalf of IS.

Ilazi insists the government crackdown has largely driven Kacanik’s radical fringe out of the town. But he also acknowledges that some extremists have simply gone underground and continue to operate in “private houses.”

Locals talk of cabins in the woods where the extremists hold meetings and sermons. One local points to a rocky hill in the distance. “Over there is where they meet at night,” he says, talking on condition of anonymity. “No one can go there because they have armed guards.”

“The radicals were allowed to operate freely for too long.”

Florim Neziraj, head of the Islamic Community of Kosovo in Kacanik

Recruits ‘Never Came Back’

Adem, sipping Turkish coffee from a tiny cup, says that several months after attending religious classes some of the young men “left and never came back,” referring to locals who went to Syria to fight.

“We were in a small place and we heard everything,” says Adem. “Yes, there were people who went to Syria. I saw them leave Kacanik.”

Florim Neziraj is the head of the local branch of the Islamic Community of Kosovo, the main officially sanctioned Islamic organization in the country. The young, ginger-haired imam has been leading efforts to prevent young men from joining radical Islamic groups.

“Those who have gone to Syria are often very young,” says Neziraj, who is wearing a tight navy suit and sporting a trimmed beard. “They come from the best families in Kacanik. You couldn’t say anything bad about them. We saw no signs of radicalization. They were manipulated and fell victim to certain individuals.”

Neziraj argues that blame must be apportioned to the government, which he says “neglected the problem” of radicalization. “The radicals were allowed to operate freely for too long,” he adds.

Kosovo has traditionally been a secular state with a liberal Muslim population, with bars on the same street as mosques. But less tolerant voices have flourished, including among the radical Islamic charities, which have thrived since arriving after the war ended in Kosovo in 1999.

Neziraj says many such charities came under the guise of “humanitarian organizations,” often building schools and hospitals. But he says these charities were often bent on “indoctrinating the youth.”

He fears it might be too late to tackle spreading radicalism.

IS Recruiter

One product of the radicalization in Kacanik is Lavdrim Muhaxheri, a 25-year-old IS recruiter who fights in Syria. He has been described as one of IS’s top leaders.

Last year, Muhaxheri sent shockwaves around Kosovo when he posted photos on Facebook of himself beheading a prisoner in Syria. Another post purportedly showed him executing a Syrian man with a rocket-propelled grenade.

Adem is reluctant to talk about Kacanik’s most notorious former resident, but admits he saw Muhaxheri attending the local mosque for prayers, saying he looked “normal.”

He says Muhaxheri’s path is a lesson for young men in Kacanik thinking of fighting in Syria.

“I live a normal life again, but I’m one of the lucky ones,” Adem tells me between cigarettes in the café, where he now works as a waiter. “Not everyone who takes the wrong path can find their way again.”

But for the older tombs, he said, “I think the bones should stay in their graves.”

June 2016

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Frud Bezhan is a Prague-based correspondent for RFE/RL.

Source: RFE/RL

Kosovo ISIL Ridvan Haqifi and Lavdrim Muhaxheri

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Is Kosovo a Contested Land?



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Serbia entered on December 14th, 2015 a final stage of the negotiations to become a full member of the European Union’s (the EU). The western (the USA/EU) client Serbia’s Government is currently under the direct pressure from Brussels to recognize an independence of the narco-mafia Kosovo’s quasi state for the exchange to join the EU but not before 2020. It is only a question of weeks that a western colony of Serbia has to finally declare its position towards Kosovo’s independence. The President of Serbian Academy of Science and Arts, like all other western bots in Serbia, already publicly announced his official position in regard to this question: Serbia’s Government has to finally inform the Serbian nation that Kosovo is not any more an integral part of Serbia and therefore the recognition of Kosovo’s independence by Belgrade is only way towards a prosperous future of the country that is within the EU (and the NATO’s pact as well).

In the following paragraphs we would like to present the most important features of the “Kosovo Question” for the better understanding of the present political situation in which the Serb nation is questioned by the western “democracies” upon both its own national identity and national pride.

Prelude

The southeastern province of the Republic of Serbia – under the administrative title of Kosovo-Metochia (in the English only Kosovo), was at the very end of the 20th century in the center of international relations and global politics too due to the NATO’s 78 days of the “humanitarian” military intervention against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (The FRY which was composed by Serbia and Montenegro)[1] in 1999 (March 24th–June 10th). As it was not approved and verified by the General Assembly or the Security Council of the United Nations, the US-led operation “Merciful Angel” opened among the academicians a fundamental question of the purpose and nature of the “humanitarian” interventions in the world like it was previously in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1995, Rwanda in 1994 or Somalia in 1991−1995.[2] More precisely, it provoked dilemmas of the misusing ethical, legal and political aspects of armed “humanitarian” interventions as the responsibility to protect for the very reason that it became finally obvious in 2008 that the NATO’s “humanitarian” military intervention in 1999 was primarily aimed to lay the foundation for Kosovo’s independence and its separation from Serbia with transformation of the province into the US−EU’s political-economic colony.[3]

Kosovo as contested land between the Serbs and the Albanians

The province of Kosovo-Metochia (Kosova in the Albanian), as historically contested land between the Serbs and the Albanians, did not, does not and will not have an equal significance for those two nations. For the Albanians, Kosovo was all the time just a provincial land populated by them without any cultural or historical importance except for the single historical event that the first Albanian nationalistic political league was proclaimed in the town of Prizren in Metochia (the western part of Kosovo) in 1878 and existed only till 1881. However, both Kosovo as a province and the town of Prizren were chosen to host the First (pan-Albanian) Prizren League[4] only for the very propaganda reason – to emphasize allegedly predominantly the “Albanian” character of both Kosovo and Prizren regardless to the very fact that at that time the Serbs were a majority of population either in Kosovo or in Prizren.[5] Kosovo was never part of Albania and the Albanians from Albania had no important cultural, political or economic links with Kosovo’s Albanians regardless the fact that the overwhelming majority of Kosovo Albanians originally came from the North Albania after the First Great Serbian Migration from Kosovo in 1690.[6]

However, quite contrary to the Albanian case, Kosovo-Metochia is the focal point of the Serbian nationhood, statehood, traditions, customs, history, culture, church and above all of the ethno-national identity. It was exactly Kosovo-Metochia to be the central administrative-cultural part of the medieval Serbia with the capital in Prizren. The administrative center of the medieval and later Ottoman-time Serbian Orthodox Church was also in Kosovo-Metochia in the town of Peć (Ipek in the Turkish; Pejë in the Albanian). Before the Muslim Kosovo’s Albanians started to demolish the Serbian Christian Orthodox churches and monasteries after June 1999, there were around 1.500 Serbian Christian shrines in this province.[7] Kosovo-Metochia is even today called by the Serbs as the “Serbian Holy Land” while the town of Prizren is known for the Serbs as the “Serbian Jerusalem” and the “Imperial town” (Tsarigrad) in which there was an imperial court of the Emperor Stefan Dushan of Serbia (1346−1355). The Serbs, differently to the Albanians, have a plenty of national folk songs and legends about Kosovo-Metochia, especially in regard to the Kosovo Battle of 1389 in which they lost state independence to the Ottoman Turks.[8]

Nevertheless, there is nothing similar in the Albanian case with regard to Kosovo. For instance, there is no single Albanian church or monastery in this province from the medieval time or any important monument as the witness of the Albanian ethnic presence in the province before the time of the rule by the Ottoman Sultanate. Even the Muslim mosques from the Ottoman time (1455−1912) claimed by the Albanians to belong to the Albanian national heritage, were in fact built by the Ottoman authorities but not by the ethnic Albanians. The Albanian national folk songs are not mentioning the medieval Kosovo that is one of the crucial evidences that they simply have nothing in common with the pre-Ottoman Kosovo. All Kosovo’s place-names are of the Slavic (Serb) origin but not of the Albanian. The Albanians during the last 50 years are just renaming or adapting the original place-names according to their vocabulary what is making a wrong impression that the province is authentically the Albanian. We have not to forget the very fact that the word Kosovo is of the Slavic (the Serb) origin meaning a kind of eagle (kos) while the same word means simply nothing in the Albanian language. Finally, in the Serbian tradition Kosovo-Metochia was always a part of the “Old Serbia”[9] while in the Albanian tradition Kosovo was never called as any kind of Albania.

The province became contested between the Serbs and the Albanians when the later started to migrate from the North Albania to Kosovo-Metochia after 1690 with getting a privileged status as the Muslims by the Ottoman authorities. A Muslim Albanian terror against the Christian Serbs at the Ottoman time[10] resulted in the Abanization of the province to such extent that the ethnic structure of Kosovo-Metochia became drastically changed in the 20th century. A very high Muslim Albanian birthrate played an important role in the process of Kosovo’s Albanization too. Therefore, after the WWII the ethnic breakdown of the Albanians in the province was around 67 percent. The new and primarily anti-Serb Communist authorities of the Socialist Yugoslavia legally forbade to some 100.000 WWII Serb refugees from Kosovo-Metochia to return to their homes after the collapse of the Greater Albania in 1945 of which Kosovo was an integral part. A Croat-Slovenian Communist dictator of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito (1892−1980), granted to the province of Kosovo-Metochia a considerable political autonomous status in 1974 with a separate Government, Provincial Assembly, President, Academy of Science, security forces, independent university in Prishtina and even military defense system for the fundamental political reason to prepare Kosovo’s independence after the death of his Titoslavia.[11] Therefore, Kosovo-Metochia in the Socialist Yugoslavia was just formally part of Serbia as the province was from political-administrative point of view an independent as all Yugoslav republics. A fully Albanian-governed Kosovo from 1974 to 1989 resulted in both destruction of the Christian (Serb) cultural monuments[12] and continuation of mass expulsion of the ethnic Serbs and Montenegrins from the province to such extent that according to some estimations there were around 200.000 Serbs and Montenegrins expelled from the province after the WWII up to the abolition of political autonomy of the province (i.e. independence) by Serbia’s authority in 1989 with the legal and legitimate verification by the Provincial Assembly of Kosovo-Metochia and the reintegration of Kosovo-Metochia into Serbia.[13] At the same period of time, there were around 300.000 Albanians who illegally came to live in Kosovo-Metochia from Albania. Consequently, in 1991 there were only 10 percent of the Serbs and Montenegrins who left to live in Kosovo-Metochia out of a total number of the inhabitants of the province.[14]

Fighting Kosovo’s Albanian political terrorism and territorial secession

The revocation of Kosovo’s political autonomy in 1989 by Serbia’s central Government was aimed primarily to stop further ethnic Albanian terror against the Serbs and Montenegrins and to prevent secession of the province from Serbia that will result in the recreation of the WWII Greater Albania with the legalization of the policy of Albanian ethnic cleansing of all non-Albanian population what practically happened in Kosovo after June 1999 when the NATO’s troops occupied the province and brought to the power a classical terrorist political-military organization – the Kosovo’s Liberation Army (the KLA). Nevertheless, the Western mainstream media as well academia presented Serbia’s fighting Kosovo’s Albanian political terrorism and territorial secession after 1989 as Belgrade policy of discrimination against the Albanian population which became deprived of political and economic rights and opportunities.[15] The fact was that such “discrimination” was primarily a result of the Albanian policy of boycotting Serbia’s state institutions and even job places offered to them in order to present their living conditions in Kosovo as the governmental-sponsored minority rights oppression.

Gazimestan 2

In the Western mainstream mass media and even in academic writings, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, a political leader of Kosovo’s Albanians in the 1990s, was described as a person who led a non-violent resistance movement against Miloshevic’s policy of ethnic discrimination of Kosovo’s Albanians. I. Rugova was even called as a “Balkan Gandhi”.[16] In the 1990s there were established in Kosovo the Albanian parallel and illegal social, educational and political structures and institutions as a state within the state. The Albanians under the leadership of Rugova even three times proclaimed the independence of Kosovo. However, these proclamations of independence were at that time totally ignored by the West and the rest of the world. Therefore, Rugova-led Kosovo’s Albanian national-political movement failed to promote and advance the Kosovo’s Albanian struggle for secession from Serbia and independence of the province with a very possibility to incorporate it into a Greater Albania. I. Rugova himself, coming from the Muslim Albanian Kosovo’s clan that originally migrated to Kosovo from Albania, was active in political writings on the “Kosovo Question” as a way to present the Albanian viewpoint on the problem to the Western audience and therefore, as a former French student, he published his crucial political writing in the French language in 1994.[17]

One of the crucial questions in regard to the Kosovo problem in the 1990s is why the Western “democracies” did not recognize self-proclaimed Kosovo’s independence? The fact was that the “Kosovo Question” was absolutely ignored by the US-designed Dayton Accords of 1995 which were dealing only with the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina.[18] A part to the answer is probably laying in the fact that Rugova-led Albanian secession movement was in essence illegal and even terroristic. It is known that Rugova himself was a sponsor of a terroristic party’s militia which was responsible for violent actions against Serbia’s authorities and non-Albanian ethnic groups in Kosovo.[19] For instance, in July 1988, from the graves of the village of Grace graveyard (between Prishtina and Vuchitrn) were excavated and taken to pieces the bodies of two Serbian babies of the Petrovic’s family.[20] Nevertheless, as a response to Rugova’s unsuccessful independence policy, it was established the notorious KLA which by 1997 openly advocated a full-scale of terror against everything what was Serbian in Kosovo.

The KLA had two main open political aims:

  • To get an independence for Kosovo from Serbia with possibility to include the province into a Greater Albania.
  • To ethnically clean the province from all non-Albanians especially from the Serbs and Montenegrins.

However, the hidden task of the KLA was to wage an Islamic Holy War (the Jihad) against the Christianity in Kosovo by committing the Islamic terror similarly to the case of the present-day Islamic State (the ISIS/ISIL) in the Middle East. Surely, the KLA was and is a part of the policy of radicalization of the Islam at the Balkans after 1991 following the pattern of the governmental (Islamic) Party of Democratic Action (the PDA) in Bosnia-Herzegovina.[21]

That the KLA was established as a terroristic organization is even confirmed by the Western scholars[22] and the US administration too. On the focal point of the Kosovo’s War in 1998−1999 we can read in the following sentence:

Aware that it lacked popular support, and was weak compared to the Serbian authorities, the KLA deliberately provoked Serbian police and Interior Ministry attacks on Albanian civilians, with the aim of garnering international support, specifically military intervention”.[23]

Conclusions

It was true that the KLA realized very well that the more Albanian civilians were killed as a matter of the KLA’s “hit-and-run” guerilla warfare strategy, the Western (the NATO’s) military intervention against the FRY was becoming a reality. In the other words, the KLA with his Commander-In-Chief Hashim Thaci were quite aware that any armed action against Serbia’s authorities and Serbian civilians would bring retaliation against the Kosovo Albanian civilians as the KLA was using them in fact as a “human shield”. That was in fact the price which the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo had to pay for their “independence” under the KLA’s governance after the war. That was the same strategy used by Croatia’s Government and Bosnian-Herzegovinian Muslim authorities in the process of divorce from Yugoslavia in the 1990s. However, as violence in Kosovo escalated in 1998 the EU’s authorities and the US’s Government began to support diplomatically an Albanian course – a policy which brought Serbia’s Government and the leadership of the KLA to the ceasefire and withdrawal of certain Serbian police detachments and the Yugoslav military troops from Kosovo followed by the deployment of the “international” (the Western) monitors (the Kosovo Verification Mission, the KVM) under the formal authority of the OSCE. However, it was in fact informal deployment of the NATO’s troops in Kosovo. The KVM was authorized by the UN’s Security Council Resolution 1199 on September 23rd, 1998. That was the beginning of a real territorial-administrative secession of Kosovo-Metochia from Serbia sponsored by the West for the only and very reason that Serbia did not want to join the NATO and to sell her economic infrastructure to the Western companies according to the pattern of “transition” of the Central and South-East European countries after the Cold War. The punishment came in the face of the Western-sponsored KLA.

2. Sotirovic 2013

Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic

Mykolas Romeris University

Institute of Political Sciences

Vilnius, Lithuania

vladislav@sotirovic.eu

ENDNOTES:

[1] The FRY became renamed in February 2003 into the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro (the SCG) and finally the federation ended in June 2006 when both Serbia and Montenegro became independent states.

[2] On the “humanitarian” military interventions, see [J. L. Holzgrefe, R. O. Keohane (eds.), Humanitarian Intervention: Ethical, Legal, and Political Dilemmas, Cambridge−New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003; T. B. Seybolt, Humanitarian Military Intervention: The Conditions for Success and Failure, Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press, 2007; D. Fassin, M. Pandolfi, Contemporary States of Emergency: The Politics of Military and Humanitarian Interventions, New York: Zone Books, 2010; A. Hehir, The Responsibility to Protect: Rhetoric, Reality and the Future of Humanitarian Intervention,  London−New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012; G. Th. Weiss, Humanitarian Intervention, Cambridge, UK−Malden, MA, USA: 2012; A. Hehir, Humanitarian Intervention: An Introduction, London−New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013; B. Simms, D. J. B. Trim (eds.), Humanitarian Intervention: A History, Cambridge−New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013; D. E. Scheid (ed.), The Ethics of Armed Humanitarian Intervention, Cambridge−New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014].

[3] H. Hofbauer, Eksperiment Kosovo: Povratak kolonijalizma, Beograd: Albatros Plus, 2009.

[4] On the First Prizren League, from the Albanian viewpoint, see [S. Pollo, S. Pulaha, (eds.), The Albanian League of Prizren, 1878−1881. Documents, Vol. I−II, Tirana, 1878].  

[5] In 1878 the Serbs were about 60 percent of Kosovo population and 70 percent of Prizren inhabitants.

[6] On the First Great Serbian Migration from Kosovo in 1690, see [С. Чакић, Велика сеоба Срба 1689/90 и патријарх Арсеније III Црнојевић, Нови Сад: Добра вест, 1990].

[7] On the Serbian Christian heritage of Kosovo-Metochia, see [M. Vasiljvec, The Christian Heritage of Kosovo and Metohija: The Historical and Spiritual Heartland of the Serbian People, Sebastian Press, 2015].

[8] On the Kosovo Battle of 1389 in the Serbian popular tradition, see [Р. Пековић (уредник), Косовска битка: Мит, легенда и стварност, Београд: Литера, 1987; R. Mihaljčić, The Battle of Kosovo in History and in Popular Tradition, Belgrade: BIGZ, 1989; Р. Михаљчић, Јунаци косовске легенде, Београд: БИГЗ, 1989]. The President of Serbia – Slobodan Miloshevic, started his patriotic policy of unification of the Republic of Serbia and promulgation of the human rights for the Kosovo Serbs exactly on the 600 years anniversary of the Kosovo Battle that was celebrated on June 28th, 1989 in Gazimestan near Prishtina as the place of the battle in 1389. However, this event was commonly seen by the Western academia and policy-makers as an expression of the Serb nationalism [R. W. Mansbach, K. L. Taylor, Introduction to Global Politics, London−New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2012, 429] and even as the Serb proclamation of the war to the rest of Yugoslavia.

[9] Р. Самарџић et al, Косово и Метохија у српској историји, Београд: Друштво за чување споменика и неговање традиција ослободилачких ратова Србије до 1918. године у Београду−Српска књижевна задруга, 1989, 5; Д. Т. Батаковић, Косово и Метохија: Историја и идеологија, Београд: Чигоја штампа, 2007, 17−29.

[10] See, for instance, a Memorandum by Kosovo and Macedonian Serbs to the international peace conference in The Hague in 1899 [Д. Т. Батаковић, Косово и Метохија у српско-арбанашким односима, Београд: Чигоја штампа, 2006, 118−123].

[11] From Josip Broz Tito, however, the Serbs in Croatia or Bosnia-Herzegovina did not receive any kind of political-territorial autonomy as Kosovo Albanians or Vojvodina Hungarians enjoyed in Serbia. Nevertheless, for the matter of comparison with Kosovo Albanians in Serbia, the Kurds in Turkey are not even recognized as a separate ethno-linguistic group.

[12] For instance, the Muslim Albanians tried to set arson on the Serbian Patriarchate of Pec’s church in the West Kosovo (Metochia) in 1981, but just accidentally only the dormitory was burnt.

[13] J. Palmowski (ed.), A Dictionary of Contemporary World History From 1900 to the Present Day, Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, 428.

[14] On the history of Kosovo from the Western perspective, see [N. Malcolm, Kosovo: A Short History, New York: New York University, 1999; T. Judah, Kosovo: What Everyone Needs to Know, Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press, 2008].

[15] T. B. Seybolt, Humanitarian Military Intervention: The Conditions for Success and Failure, Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press, 2007, 79.

[16] Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869−1948) was an Indian national leader against the British colonial occupation of India. He became well-known as a leader who organized an Indian civil disobedience movement against the British colonial authorities which finally led to the independence of India. On his biography, see [J. Lelyveld, Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and his Struggle with India, New York: Knopf Borzoi Books, 2011].

[17] I. Rugova, La Question du Kosovo, Fayard, 1994. It has to be noticed that Rugova’s father and grandfather were shot to death by the Yugoslav Communist authorities at the very end of the WWII as the Nazi collaborators during the war.

[18] On the Dayton Accords, see [D. Chollet, The Road to the Dayton Accords: A Study of American Statecraft, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005].

[19] On this issue, see more in [В. Б. Сотировић, Огледи из Југославологије, Виљнус: приватно издање, 2013, 190−196].

[20] We cannot forget as well that the KLA-led “March Pogrom” of Serbs in Kosovo (March 17−19th, 2004) was executed when I. Rugova was a “President” of Kosovo. The pogrom was in fact “…a systematic ethnic cleansing of the remaining Serbs…together with destruction of houses, other property, cultural monuments and Orthodox Christian religious sites” [D. Kojadinović (ed.), The March Pogrom, Belgrade: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia−Museum in Priština (displaced), 2004, 8].

[21] On the threat of radical Islam to the Balkans and Europe after 1991, see [Sh. Shay, Islamic Terror and the Balkans, Transaction Publishers, 2006; Ch. Deliso, The Coming Balkan Caliphate: The Threat of Radical Islam to Europe and the West, Westport, CT: Praeger Security International, 2007].

[22] T. B. Seybolt, Humanitarian Military Intervention: The Conditions for Success and Failure, Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press, 2007, 79.

[23] Ibid.

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Kosovo and Other Countries Destroyed by Hillary Clinton



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In an email sent to his business partner and Democratic fundraiser Jeffrey Leeds, former Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote of Hillary Clinton, “Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris.”

Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State during Barack Obama’s first term was an unmitigated disaster for many nations around the world. Neither the Donald Trump campaign nor the corporate media have adequately described how a number of countries around the world suffered horribly from Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy decisions.

Millions of people were adversely harmed by Clinton’s misguided policies and her “play-to-pay” operations involving favors in return for donations to the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative.

The following is a before and after chart illustrating, country by country, the destabilizing effects of Clinton’s policies as Secretary of State:

Abkhazia

Before Hillary: In 2009, more and more nations began recognizing the independence of this nation that broke away from Georgia and successfully repelled a U.S.-supported Georgian invasion in 2008.

After Hillary: Clinton pressured Vanuatu and Tuvalu to break off diplomatic relations with Abkhazia in 2011. The State Department pressured the governments of India, Germany, and Spain to refuse to recognize the validity of Abkhazian passports and, in violation of the US-UN Treaty, refused to permit Abkhazian diplomats to visit UN headquarters in New York. The Clinton State Department also threatened San Marino, Belarus, Ecuador, Bolivia, Cuba, Somalia, Uzbekistan, and Peru with recriminations if they recognized Abkhazia. Georgia was connected to Clinton through the representation of Georgia in Washington the Podesta Group, headed by Tony Podesta, the brother of Mrs. Clinton’s close friend and current campaign chairman John Podesta.

Argentina

Before Hillary: Under President Nestor Kirchner and his wife Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Argentina’s economy improved and the working class and students prospered.

After Hillary: After former president Nestor Kirchner’s sudden death in 2010, the U.S. embassy in Buenos Aires became a nexus for anti-Kirchner activities, including the fomenting of political and labor protests against the government. Meanwhile, Clinton pressed Argentina hard on its debt obligations to the IMF, also crippling the economy.

Bolivia

Before Hillary: Bolivia’s progressive president Evo Morales, the country’s first indigenous Aymara leader, provided government support to the country’s coca farmers and miners. Morales also committed his government to environmental protection. He kept his country out of the Free Trade Area of the Americas and helped start the Peoples’ Trade Agreement with Venezuela and Cuba.

After Hillary: Clinton permitted the U.S. embassy in La Paz to stir up separatist revolts in four mostly European-descent Bolivian provinces, as well as foment labor strikes among miners and other workers in the same model used in Venezuela.

Brazil

Before Hillary: Brazil’s progressive presidents, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, ushered in a new era for the country, with workers’ and students; rights at forefront and environmental protection and economic development for the poor major priorities.

After Hillary: Clinton’s authorization of massive electronic spying from US embassy in Brasilia and consulate general in Rio de Janeiro resulted in a “constitutional coup” against Rousseff and the Workers’ Party government, ushering in a right-wing, CIA-supported corrupt government.

Central African Republic

Before Hillary: Under President Francois Bozize, the CAR remained relatively calm under a peace agreement hammered out under the auspices of Muammar Qaddafi’s Libya.

After Hillary: In 2012, Islamist terrorists of the Seleka movement and supported by Saudi Arabia conducted an uprising, massacring Christians and riving Bozize’s government from power. The CAR became a failed state under Clinton’s State Department.

Ecuador

Before Hillary: Ecuador began sharing its oil wealth with the people and the economy and the plight of the nation’s poor improved.

After Hillary: Clinton authorized a 2010 National Police coup against President Rafael Correa. The economy soon plunged as labor disputes wracked the mining and oil sectors.

Egypt

Before Hillary: Under Hosni Mubarak, Egypt was a stable secular nation that suppressed jihadist politics in the mosques. The jihadist-oriented Muslim Brotherhood was kept at bay.

After Hillary: After Clinton’s 2011 “Arab Spring” and the toppling of Mubarak, Egypt saw Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood elected president. Immediately, the secular country began a process of Islamization with Christian Copts experiencing repression and violence, including massacres. Morsi’s rule resulted in a military coup, thus ending Egypt’s previous moves toward democracy.

Germany

Before Hillary: The nation was a peaceful country where German culture, as well as religious freedom and women’s rights were guaranteed.

After Hillary: Clinton’s “Arab Spring” eventually resulted in a flood of mainly Muslim refugees being welcomed into Germany from the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. Today, Germany is wracked by Muslim refugee street crime, unsanitary and harmful public health habits of migrants, sexual assaults by migrant men of women and children, increased acts of terrorism, and a diminution of German culture and religious practices.

Greece

Before Hillary: Greece was a nation that saw government safety net social services extended to all in need. It also remained a top tourist destination for northern Europeans.

After Hillary: The 2010 debt crisis emaciated the Greek economy and Clinton remained adamant that Greece comply with draconian economic measures dictated by Germany, the European Union, and the IMF/World Bank. Making matters worse, Clinton’s “Arab Spring” eventually resulted in a flood of mainly Muslim refugees being welcomed into first, the Greek isles, and then mainland Greece, from the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. Today, Greece, especially the islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Symi, Rhodes, Leros, and Kos, are wracked by Muslim refugee crime, unsanitary public health habits of migrants, sexual assaults by migrant men of women and children, acts of arson and vandalism, and a diminution of Greek culture and religious practices.

Guatemala

Before Hillary: Under President Alvaro Colom, the nation’s first populist progressive president, the poor received access to health, education, and social security.

After Hillary: Clinton authorized the U.S. embassy in Guatemala to work against the 2011 election as president of Colom’s wife, Sandra Torres. Colom was succeeded by a right-wing corrupt president who resigned for corruption and then was arrested.

Haiti

Before Hillary: Haiti was prepared in 2011 to re-elect Jean-Bertrand Aristide, forced out of office and into exile in a 2004 CIA coup. The prospects of Artistide’s return to power was a blessing for the slum dwellers of Haiti.

After Hillary: Clinton refused to allow Aristide to return to Haiti from exile in South Africa until it was too late for him to run in the 2011 election. Under a series of U.S.-installed presidents, all approved by Bill and Hillary Clinton, Haiti is a virtual cash cow for the Clintons. The Clinton Foundation diverted for its own use, international aid to Haiti, and the Clintons ensured that their wealthy friends in the hotel, textile, and construction businesses landed lucrative contracts for Haitian projects, none of which have benefited the Haitian poor and many of which resulted in sweat shops and extremely low wage labor practices.

Honduras

Before Hillary: Emergent multi-party democracy with a populist progressive president, Manuel Zelaya. Children received free education, poor children received free school meals, interest rates were reduced, and the poorest families were given free electricity.

After Hillary: Clinton authorized a military coup d’etat against Zelaya in 2009. Clinton family “fix-it” man Lanny Davis became a public relations flack for the military dictatorship. Resulting fascist dictatorship involved in extrajudicial death squad killings of journalists, politicians, and indigenous leaders followed the “constitutional coup” against Zelaya. During 2012, Clinton ordered U.S. embassy in Tegucigalpa to work against 2013 election of Xiomara Castro de Zelaya as president.

Iraq

Before Hillary: Under Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq experienced small moves toward an accommodation with the Kurds of the north and Sunnis. Iran acted as a moderating political force in the country that deterred any attempts by Saudi-supported jihadis to disrupt the central government in Baghdad.

After Hillary: Clinton’s Arab Spring resulted in the rise of the Sunni/Wahhabist Islamic State in northern and western Iraq and Iraq’s plunge into failed state status. Shi’as, Kurds, Yazidis, Assyrian Christians, and moderate Sunnis were massacred by the jihadis in northern, western, and central Iraq. The Iraqi cities of Mosul, Kirkuk, and Nineveh fell to ISIL forces with non-Muslims being raped, tortured, and executed and priceless antiquities being destroyed by the marauding jihadists.

Kosovo

Before Hillary: Kosovo, which became independent in 2008, initially granted its Serbian minority in northern Kosovo and Metohija some degree of self-government.

After Hillary: In 2009, Kosovo increasingly became a state ruled by criminal syndicates and terrorists of the former Kosovo Liberation Army. The rights of Serbs were increasingly marginalized and Kosovo became a prime recruiting ground for jihadist guerrillas in Arab countries subjected to Clinton’s “Arab Spring” operations, including Libya and Syria.

Clinton pressured states receiving U.S. aid and other U.S. allies to recognize Kosovo’s independence. These included Pakistan, Palau, Maldives, St. Kitts-Nevis, Dominica, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Burundi, East Timor, Haiti, Chad, Gambia, Brunei, Ghana, Kuwait, Ivory Coast, Gabon, St. Lucia, Benin, Niger, Guinea, Central African Republic, Andorra, Oman, Guinea-Bissau, Qatar, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Honduras, Somalia, Djibouti, Vanuatu, Swaziland, Mauritania, Malawi, New Zealand, Dominican Republic, Jordan, Bahrain, and Comoros. In the Kosovo capital of Pristina, there is a 10-foot-high statue of Bill Clinton standing over Bill Clinton Boulevard. Not far away is a women’s clothing store called “Hillary.”

Libya

Before Hillary: Under Muammar Qaddafi, post-sanction Libya saw a boom in urban construction and a new major international airport to serve as a hub for Africa. Plans announced for an African dinar, supported by Libyan gold holdings, to serve the needs of Africa. All Libyans received free education and medical care. There was a program for revenue sharing of Libya’s oil wealth with the Libyan people.

After Hillary: Clinton’s 2011 regime change operations against Qaddafi, which saw the Libyan leader sodomized, beaten, and shot in the head by U.S.-supervised jihadist rebels, resulted in Clinton laughing about the incident in the infamous, “We came, we saw, he died” comment. Libya became a failed state where Islamic jihadist terrorists vied for control of the country and Qaddafi’s arm caches were given or sold to jihadist terrorists in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, the pan-Sahel region, and sub-Saharan Africa. After Qaddafi’s ouster, black African guest workers and their families were massacred by jihadist forces.

Malaysia

Before Hillary:Malaysia, before 2009, was a religiously tolerant nation where Buddhists, Christians, and Hindus enjoyed freedom of religion.

After Hillary: In 2009, Najib Razak became prime minister and he began accepting bribes from Saudi Arabia that totaled some $2.6 billion with additional Malaysian public money in Razak’s personal bank accounts plus the Saudi cash totaling some $3.5 billion. Razak began allowing Saudi-influenced clerics to push for sharia law throughout Malaysia and Christians in Sarawak, Sabah, and Penang began experiencing Wahhabist repression. Clinton was silent about Malaysian persecution of non-Muslims. The reason may have been a reported several hundred million donation from Razak’s slush fund into the Clinton Foundation’s coffers.

Palestine

Before Hillary: In 2012, Palestine was granted non-member observer status in the United nations. The 2009 Goldstone Report of the UN found that Israel violated international humanitarian law in its war against Gaza in 2009. Palestine was gaining more support and sympathy internationally and was successfully putting to rest Israeli propaganda disinformation.

After Hillary: Hillary Clinton rejected the Goldstone Report as “one-sided.” Clinton’s unbridled support for expanding Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem and its silence on the dehumanizing Israeli blockade of Gaza, emboldened Israel’s theocratic right-wing government to further encroach on Palestinian territories and cementing into place an apartheid-like series of Palestinian “Bantustans” in the West Bank and an open-air ghetto in Gaza.

Paraguay

Before Hillary: The country under Fernando Lugo began lifting out of poverty the nation’s rural campesinos and urban workers. Paraguay also began a steady move toward democratization after years of military  dictatorships.

After Hillary: Clinton’s 2012 “constitutional coup” against Fernando Lugo brought back into power the military-industrial oligarchy with the nation’s campesinos being forced back into poverty and repressive rule.

South Sudan

Before Hillary: Prior to independence in 2011, South Sudan, while rife with intra-tribal feuding, was relatively calm.

After Hillary: After being rushed into indepenence from Sudan in 2011, South Sudan, a special project of Clinton, George Soros, and actor George Clooney, descended into civil war and chaos. It beat all records in being transformed from a newly-independent state into a failed state.

Syria

Before Hillary: Syria was a multi-cultural and multi-religious secular state championing the concept of pan-Arab socialism and progressive policies advanced by Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser. Syria was not a safe place for jihadism.

After Hillary: After Clinton’s 2011 green light for the “Arab Spring,” Syria became a failed state where the Islamic State gained a firm foothold. Minority Alawites, Christians, Druze, and Kurds were massacred by jihadist groups aided and abetted by NGOs and other interests backed by Clinton.

Thailand

Before Hillary: Thailand’s Red Shirt movement was a powerful force that demanded a return to democracy in Thailand and the restoration of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted in a 2006 military coup, to power.

After Hillary: A Red Shirt protest in 2010 resulted in a bloody crackdown by the Thai military. Clinton remained silent about the Thai army’s killing of protesters and the mass arrests of Red Shirt leaders. U.S. military assistance to the Thai government was continued by Clinton. When Thaskin’s sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, became prime minister in 2011, Clinton began working to undermine her and her government in a manner not unlike Clinton’s subterfuge against Rousseff in Brazil and Cristina Kirchner in Argentina. When iot comes to women leaders, Clinton only tolerates conservatives who kow-tow to the United States. The pressure against Yingluck eventually resulted in her ouster in 2014 and her being criminally charged in the same manner that saw Rousseff charged in Brazil.

Tunisia

Before Hillary: Tunisia was one of the most secular nations in the Arab and Islamic world. A top destination for European tourists, the country was more European in its outlook than North African.

After Hillary: After Clinton’s 2011 “Jasmine Revolution,” a textbook themed revolution crafted by Clinton’s friend George Soros, Tunisia descended into Islamist rule and violence. Today, Tunisia is the top country for recruits to the Islamic State.

Turkey

Before Hillary: Turkey was moving steadily closer to European standards on human rights and democracy. Even under the Islamist-oriented Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country remained committed to pluralism.

After Hillary: Clinton authorized the shipment of Libyan weapons captured from Qaddafi’s arms caches to Turkish middlemen in the employment of Erdogan’s government for transfer to the jihadist rebels in Syria. A complication in this arrangement resulted in the September 11, 2012 jihadist attack on the CIA warehouse facility in Benghazi, which killed U.S. envoy Chris Stevens and other State Department personnel. Turkey’s dalliance with jihadist rebels in Syria was mirrored by increasing Islamization of Turkey. The events of 2011 and 2012 resulted in Turkey today being ruled by an Islamist strongman, Erdogan, with open political opposition being stamped out.

Ukraine

Before Hillary: Ukraine was a stable and neutral country that neither aligned itself with the West and NATO nor with Russia under the presidency of Viktor Yanukovych, elected in 2009 and inaugurated in 2010.

After Hillary: Clinton tried everything possible to ensure the 2009 defeat of Viktor Yanukovych. The State Department and its friends in the George Soros camp provided assistance to Clinton’s favorite candidate Yulia Tymoshenko to defeat Yanokovych. It was this early interference in the 2009 election that ultimately led to the “Euromaidan” themed revolution in 2014 against the government, resulting in civil war, the retrocession of Crimea back to Russia, and secessionist states in eastern Ukraine. Clinton’s policies directly led to a failed state in Europe.

Venezuela

Before Hillary: Under Hugo Chavez, the country provided basic social services to its poorest of citizens. Venezuela also provided discounted gasoline to several Caribbean and Central American countries through the PetroCaribe consortium.

After Hillary: After Clinton allowed the U.S. embassy in Caracas to foment anti-Chavez labor and political protests, the country began to falter economically. After Chavez’s 2012 diagnosis of terminal cancer, the State Department stepped up pressure on Venezuela, crippling the nation’s economy and political system.

Western Sahara

Before Hillary: Recognized by the African Union and several nations around the world as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Western Sahara saw some hope for an evacuation of illegal Moroccan occupation trops from its territory.

After Hillary: In 2010, Moroccan troops began entering Sahrawi refugee camps and attacking residents, even in UN-protected exclusion zones, where Moroccan troops were prohibited from entering. Clinto ensured that UN talks and a proposed popular referendum on the future of Western Sahara were stalled. Clinton pressured a number of states to withdraw their recognition of the SADR, including St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Paraguay, Haiti, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Malawi, Kenya, Mauritius, Zambia, Panama, and Burundi. The Clinton Foundation received a 2011 donation of $1 milion from a Moroccan phosphate company owned by the Moroccan government and which has mining operations in Western Sahara.

Yemen

Before Hillary: Yemen was a largely secular state that was transforming into a federation where the rights of South Yemen and the Zaidi Houthis of north Yemen were being recognized.

After Hillary: Clinton’s “Arab Spring” of 2011 and the fall of Abdullah Saleh from power saw Yemen become a failed state. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the Islamic State gained control over several areas of North and South Yemen. The fall of Saleh permitted Saudi Arabia to conduct a genocidal war in the country with Mrs. Clinton’s full support.

Wayne Madsen is an investigative journalist who consistently exposes cover-ups from deep within government. Want to be the first to learn the latest scandal? Click on the banner above and subscribe today!

2016-09-22

About the author:

Wayne Madsen is an investigative journalist who consistently exposes cover-ups from deep within the government. Want to be the first to learn the latest scandal? Go to WayneMadsenReport.com subscribe today!

Source: Info War

Bil-Klinton-Pristina

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Kosovostanization



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ISIL International



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Bil-Klinton-Pristina

Цлинтониѕација

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The Birkenstock Bomber: When Bernie Did Serbia



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The most useful parable about progressives is that offered by Bernard Sanders, self-styled “socialist-progressive-independent” rep from Vermont. Sanders owes his political career to rage against the Vietnam War among radicals, many of whom moved into the state in the early 1970s. They forthwith planned a long-term, carefully organized, assault on Vermont’s two-party structure. Sanders linked his political ambitions to this effort to organize a third force, the Progressive Alliance. He became mayor of Burlington and, later, congressman.

SandersAt a rapid clip the emphasis moved from party-building to Sanders-building. By 1994, it was apparent that the only movement B. Sanders was interested in was that of liberal money into his political campaign trough. One political piece of opportunism followed another, always forgiven by Vermont pwogressives who are frightened of Sanders and fear to speak out against the loudmouth fraud, even though, in 1998, Sanders spoke vehemently in Congress in favor of sending his state’s nuclear waste into a poor, largely Hispanic, township in Texas called Sierra Blanca.

Sanders supported sanctions against Iraq. Then he voted in favor of the war on Serbia. He did it once, he did it twice and on April 28, 1999, he did it again. This was the astounding imp-cr213-213 tie vote, which meant that the House of Representatives repudiated the war on Serbia launched by Clinton in violation of Article One of the US Constitution., which reserves war-making powers to Congress. So if the “socialist progressive” Sanders, who owes his entire career to antiwar sentiment, had not voted for NATO’s bombers, the result would have been even more dramatic, a straight majority for the coalition of Republicans and radical Democrats, such as Dennis Kucinich, Cynthia McKinney, Barbara Lee, Pete Stark and a handful of others.

On April 26, 1999, even before his most recent vote of shame, Sanders’s office was occupied by fifteen radical Vermonters sickened by his stance. The last time any political rep from Vermont had an office occupied was when a group later known as the Winooski 44 sat in (Republican) Jim Jeffords’s office in 1984, protesting Reagan’s war in Central America. Jeffords waited three days before asking the police to remove the protesters. Sanders waited six hours.

On Monday May 3, Sanders held a town hall meeting in Monteplier attended by the fifteen protesters, wearing chains. The man in Sanders’s Burlington office who told the protesters that Sanders wouldn’t speak to them was Philip Fiermonte, ironically one of the Winooski 44.

Readers of the Washington Post’s first edition can be forgiven if they missed the historic House vote refusing to approve the bombings. At first the Post reported the vote coyly on page A27. In the late edition, the Post still played down the vote. The New York Times had a better sense of news and history and put the vote on its front page, above the fold: “Deadlocked House Denies Support for Air Campaign.” The Washington Times did better too, with a front-page banner headline: “House Refuses to Back Air War on Serbs: Separate Vote Denise Funds for Deploying Ground Forces.” In the Vietnam era it took years for resistance in the House to even approach that level. Too bad Sanders was on the side of the laptop bombers.


This article is excerpted from Imperial Crusades: Iraq, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia (Verso) by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair.

15-06-2016

About the author:

Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net. Alexander Cockburn’s Guillotined! and A Colossal Wreck are available from CounterPunch.

Source: http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/15/the-birkenstock-bomber-when-bernie-did-serbia/

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Kosovo: Hillary Clinton’s Legacy of Terror



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Kosovo is Clinton Country: a 10-foot-high statue of Bill overlooks “Bill Clinton Boulevard” in the capital city of Pristina. Hillary is also memorialized in what has become the crime capital of Europe: right off the street named for her husband is a store named “Hillary,” featuring women’s clothing modeled after the putative Democratic party nominee for President. Pantsuits figure prominently. As Vice puts it: “While former President Bill Clinton has had a boulevard named after him, it’s without a doubt that his wife’s the real star out here.” Why is that?

As Gail Sheehy pointed out in her biography of Hillary, it was Mrs. Clinton who hectored her husband into bowing to a chorus of neoconservative and liberal interventionist voices and finally giving the order to bomb the former Yugoslavia. Traveling to Kosovo when Serbs in the northern part of the country were demanding some form of local autonomy to stave off violent attacks by Kosovar ultra-nationalists, Mrs. Clinton reassured her hosts that the US would stand behind Pristina: “For me, my family and my fellow Americans this is more than a foreign policy issue, it is personal.” She then physically embraced Kosovo President and Mafia chieftain Hacim Thaci – who has since been credibly accused by the Council of Europe of stealing human organs from Serb victims and selling them on the black market.

Hillary owns Kosovo – she is not only personally responsible for its evolution from a province of the former Yugoslavia into a Mafia state, she is also the mother of the policy that made its very existence possible and which she carried into her years as Secretary of State under Barack Obama.

As the “Arab Spring” threatened to topple regimes throughout the Middle East, Mrs. Clinton decided to get on board the revolutionary choo-choo train and hitch her wagon to “moderate” Islamists who seemed like the wave of the future. She dumped Egyptian despot Hosni Mubarak, whom she had previously described as a friend of the family, and supported the Muslim Brotherhood’s bid for power. In Libya, she sided with Islamist rebels out to overthrow Moammar Ghaddafi, celebrating his gruesome death by declaring “We came, we saw, he died.” And in Syria, she plotted with Gen. David Petraeus to get around President Obama’s reluctance to step into the Syrian quagmire by arming Syrian rebels allied with al-Qaeda and other terrorist gangs.

The Clintonian legacy of enabling Islamist terrorists extends to present day Kosovo, where the New York Times has revealed an extensive network of ISIS-affiliated madrassas – indoctrination centers – funded by the Saudis, the Qataris, and the Kuwaitis. The Times reports:

“Every Friday, just yards from a statue of Bill Clinton with arm aloft in a cheery wave, hundreds of young bearded men make a show of kneeling to pray on the sidewalk outside an improvised mosque in a former furniture store.”

“The mosque is one of scores built here with Saudi government money and blamed for spreading Wahhabism” in the 17 years since the war ended with Kosovo’s independence, says the Times.

“Since then – much of that time under the watch of American officials – Saudi money and influence have transformed this once-tolerant Muslim society at the hem of Europe into a font of Islamic extremism and a pipeline for jihadists.”

Kosovo is jihadi heaven. The Times informs us that “Over the last two years, the police have identified 314 Kosovars – including two suicide bombers, 44 women and 28 children – who have gone abroad to join the Islamic State, the highest number per capita in Europe.”

The Wahabist ideology carried by radical imams is directly financed by the Saudis, the Qataris, the Kuwaitis, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman. All of these countries, by the way, are major donors to the Clinton Foundation.

Hillary Clinton’s Islamist-friendly foreign policy created a terrorist base in Kosovo, and her friends the Saudis are instrumental in setting up the conditions whereby ISIS has gained a foothold in the heart of Europe. At sprawling Camp Bondesteel, where US troops have been stationed since the “liberation,” radical imams recruited three Kosovar employees, including Lavdrim Muhaxheri, who is today a commander of the Islamic State: his claim to fame is that he was videotaped executing a Syrian by blowing him to bits with a rocket-propelled grenade. (“I did not do anything less or more than what KLA soldiers did during the war,” he declared in an interview with an Albanian newspaper.)

thaciclintonAfter ignoring the problem for years, the authorities are making a show of rounding up terrorist suspects: five were recently arrested and given long sentences, but there are hundreds more where that came from.

Kosovo today is a fulcrum of terrorism, violence, crime, and virulent nationalism. The Parliament is in chaos as Albanian ultra-nationalists demanding union with Albania shut down sessions with smoke bombs and mob action. This is the legacy of the Clintons in the Balkans: a terrorist state run by Mafia chieftains that has become the epicenter of radical Islamism in the midst of Europe.

This is “blowback” with a vengeance, and Hillary Clinton and husband Bill have their fingerprints all over this outrage: but of course the “mainstream” media isn’t holding them to account. The Times story on the rise of ISIS in Kosovo never mentions the dubious duo, and is vague when it reports on the three employees of Camp Bondesteel who wound up in Syria’s terrorist camps. Who are the other two besides Muhaxheri? Did  they receive any military training? This Reuters report confirms that NATO brought Muhaxheri to Iraq, where he worked for two years at a military base.

And there’s more where he came from. As Reuters informs us:

“Thousands of Kosovars have moved on from Bondsteel to work with U.S. contractors on bases in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade, earning the kind of money they can only dream of in Kosovo.”

The terrorist pipeline runs from Kosovo, to Iraq and Afghanistan, and then on to Syria – where they fill the ranks of ISIS and al-Qaeda.

Could there be a more perfect illustration of how the principle of “blowback” works, and how we’re creating an army of Frankenstein monsters?

All this brings back memories  of Antiwar.com’s first days: this site was born as a protest against US intervention in the former Yugoslavia. Back then we warned again and again (and again!) about the specter of Islamist extremism as the energizing ideology of the Albanian separatists, both in Kosovo and Bosnia.

We were right on target.

That’s the great advantage of being a regular reader of Antiwar.com – we bring you the news before it happens. That’s years before it happens.

But we can’t continue to do it without your support – your financial assistance is critical to our continued existence.

Unlike the War Party, we here at Antiwar.com don’t get seven-figure donations from big foundations, foreign countries, or anybody else for that matter. We depend on you – our readers and supporters – for the funds we need to do our work.

And we need your help today. Our fundraising campaign has entered a crucial phase: a group of generous donors has contributed $29,000 – but we can’t get those funds until and unless we match that money in smaller donations.

That’s where you come in.

We’ve been holding down the fort for over 20 years – yes, that’s right. It seems like only yesterday when we first burst on the scene, but in reality a lot of time has passed – enough to demonstrate that we’ve been right so many times that we might as well be officially designated an authentic oracle.

It takes a lot of effort – and, yes, some money – to keep this site going. We’ve done our part, day in and day  out, for two decades – and now it’s time for you to do your part. We aren’t asking for a lot: what we spend annually is a drop in the bucket compared to what the War Party spends. And yet it’s enough to get by – and that’s all we ask.

NOTES IN THE MARGIN

You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.

I’ve written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and David Gordon (ISI Books, 2008).

You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here.


25-05-2016

By Justin Raimondo

Author bio:

Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of Antiwar.com, and a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute. He is a contributing editor at The American Conservative, and writes a monthly column for Chronicles. He is the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement [Center for Libertarian Studies, 1993; Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2000], and An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard [Prometheus Books, 2000].

Source: http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2016/05/24/kosovo-hillary-clintons-legacy-terror/

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How Kosovo Was Turned Into Fertile Ground for ISIS



Kosovo ISIL Ridvan Haqifi and Lavdrim Muhaxheri

PRISTINA, Kosovo — Every Friday, just yards from a statue of Bill Clinton with arm aloft in a cheery wave, hundreds of young bearded men make a show of kneeling to pray on the sidewalk outside an improvised mosque in a former furniture store.

The mosque is one of scores built here with Saudi government money and blamed for spreading Wahhabism — the conservative ideology dominant in Saudi Arabia — in the 17 years since an American-led intervention wrested tiny Kosovo from Serbian oppression.

Since then — much of that time under the watch of American officials — Saudi money and influence have transformed this once-tolerant Muslim society at the hem of Europe into a font of Islamic extremism and a pipeline for jihadists.

Kosovo now finds itself, like the rest of Europe, fending off the threat of radical Islam. Over the last two years, the police have identified 314 Kosovars — including two suicide bombers, 44 women and 28 children — who have gone abroad to join the Islamic State, the highest number per capita in Europe.

They were radicalized and recruited, Kosovo investigators say, by a corps of extremist clerics and secretive associations funded by Saudi Arabia and other conservative Arab gulf states using an obscure, labyrinthine network of donations from charities, private individuals and government ministries.

“They promoted political Islam,” said Fatos Makolli, the director of Kosovo’s counterterrorism police. “They spent a lot of money to promote it through different programs mainly with young, vulnerable people, and they brought in a lot of Wahhabi and Salafi literature. They brought these people closer to radical political Islam, which resulted in their radicalization.”

After two years of investigations, the police have charged 67 people, arrested 14 imams and shut down 19 Muslim organizations for acting against the Constitution, inciting hatred and recruiting for terrorism. The most recent sentences, which included a 10-year prison term, were handed down on Friday.

It is a stunning turnabout for a land of 1.8 million people that not long ago was among the most pro-American Muslim societies in the world. Americans were welcomed as liberators after leading months of NATO bombing in 1999 that spawned an independent Kosovo.

 American bombing of Serbian positions in Kosovo in 1999 during the air campaign by NATO. Credit Jerome Delay/Associated Press

After the war, United Nations officials administered the territory and American forces helped keep the peace. The Saudis arrived, too, bringing millions of euros in aid to a poor and war-ravaged land.

But where the Americans saw a chance to create a new democracy, the Saudis saw a new land to spread Wahhabism.

“There is no evidence that any organization gave money directly to people to go to Syria,” Mr. Makolli said. “The issue is they supported thinkers who promote violence and jihad in the name of protecting Islam.”

 A portrait of Bill Clinton on a back street in Pristina near Bill Clinton Boulevard. Credit Andrew Testa for The New York Times

Kosovo now has over 800 mosques, 240 of them built since the war and blamed for helping indoctrinate a new generation in Wahhabism. They are part of what moderate imams and officials here describe as a deliberate, long-term strategy by Saudi Arabia to reshape Islam in its image, not only in Kosovo but around the world.

Saudi diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks in 2015 reveal a system of funding for mosques, Islamic centers and Saudi-trained clerics that spans Asia, Africa and Europe. In New Delhi alone, 140 Muslim preachers are listed as on the Saudi Consulate’s payroll.

All around Kosovo, families are grappling with the aftermath of years of proselytizing by Saudi-trained preachers. Some daughters refuse to shake hands with or talk to male relatives. Some sons have gone off to jihad. Religious vigilantes have threatened — or committed — violence against academics, journalists and politicians.

The Balkans, Europe’s historical fault line, have yet to heal from the ethnic wars of the 1990s. But they are now infected with a new intolerance, moderate imams and officials in the region warn.

How Kosovo and the very nature of its society was fundamentally recast is a story of a decades-long global ambition by Saudi Arabia to spread its hard-line version of Islam — heavily funded and systematically applied, including with threats and intimidation by followers.

 Idriz Bilalli, an imam in Podujevo, has sought to curb extremists and has received death threats. Credit Andrew Testa for The New York Times

The Missionaries Arrive

After the war ended in 1999, Idriz Bilalli, the imam of the central mosque in Podujevo, welcomed any help he could get.

Podujevo, home to about 90,000 people in northeast Kosovo, was a reasonably prosperous town with high schools and small businesses in an area hugged by farmland and forests. It was known for its strong Muslim tradition even in a land where people long wore their religion lightly.

After decades of Communist rule when Kosovo was part of Yugoslavia, men and women mingle freely, schools are coeducational, and girls rarely wear the veil. Still, Serbian paramilitary forces burned down 218 mosques as part of their war against Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians, who are 95 percent Muslim. Mr. Bilalli needed help to rebuild.

When two imams in their 30s, Fadil Musliu and Fadil Sogojeva, who were studying for master’s degrees in Saudi Arabia, showed up after the war with money to organize summer religion courses, Mr. Bilalli agreed to help.

The imams were just two of some 200 Kosovars who took advantage of scholarships after the war to study Islam in Saudi Arabia. Many, like them, returned with missionary zeal.

Soon, under Mr. Musliu’s tutelage, pupils started adopting a rigid manner of prayer, foreign to the moderate Islamic traditions of this part of Europe. Mr. Bilalli recognized the influence, and he grew concerned.

“This is Wahhabism coming into our society,” Mr. Bilalli, 52, said in a recent interview.

Mr. Bilalli trained at the University of Medina in Saudi Arabia in the late 1980s, and as a student he had been warned by a Kosovar professor to guard against the cultural differences of Wahhabism. He understood there was a campaign of proselytizing, pushed by the Saudis.

“The first thing the Wahhabis do is to take members of our congregation, who understand Islam in the traditional Kosovo way that we had for generations, and try to draw them away from this understanding,” he said. “Once they get them away from the traditional congregation, then they start bombarding them with radical thoughts and ideas.”

“The main goal of their activity is to create conflict between people,” he said. “This first creates division, and then hatred, and then it can come to what happened in Arab countries, where war starts because of these conflicting ideas.”

From the outset, the newly arriving clerics sought to overtake the Islamic Community of Kosovo, an organization that for generations has been the custodian of the tolerant form of Islam that was practiced in the region, townspeople and officials say.

Muslims in Kosovo, which was a part of the Ottoman Empire for 500 years, follow the Hanafi school of Islam, traditionally a liberal version that is accepting of other religions.

But all around the country, a new breed of radical preachers was setting up in neighborhood mosques, often newly built with Saudi money.

In some cases, centuries-old buildings were bulldozed, including a historic library in Gjakova and several 400-year-old mosques, as well as shrines, graveyards and Dervish monasteries, all considered idolatrous in Wahhabi teaching.

From their bases, the Saudi-trained imams propagated Wahhabism’s tenets: the supremacy of Sharia law as well as ideas of violent jihad and takfirism, which authorizes the killing of Muslims considered heretics for not following its interpretation of Islam.

The Saudi-sponsored charities often paid salaries and overhead costs, and financed courses in religion, as well as English and computer classes, moderate imams and investigators explained.

But the charitable assistance often had conditions attached. Families were given monthly stipends on the condition that they attended sermons in the mosque and that women and girls wore the veil, human rights activists said.

“People were so needy, there was no one who did not join,” recalled Ajnishahe Halimi, a politician who campaigned to have a radical Albanian imam expelled after families complained of abuse.

Gjilan, a town of about 90,000 where a moderate imam was kidnapped and beaten by extremists. Credit Andrew Testa for The New York Times

Threats Intensify

Within a few years of the war’s end, the older generation of traditional clerics began to encounter aggression from young Wahhabis.

Paradoxically, some of the most serious tensions built in Gjilan, an eastern Kosovo town of about 90,000, where up to 7,000 American troops were stationed as part of Kosovo’s United Nations-run peacekeeping force at Camp Bondsteel.

“They came in the name of aid,” one moderate imam in Gjilan, Enver Rexhepi, said of the Arab charities. “But they came with a background of different intentions, and that’s where the Islamic religion started splitting here.”

One day in 2004, he recalled, he was threatened by one of the most aggressive young Wahhabis, Zekirja Qazimi, a former madrasa student then in his early 20s.

Inside his mosque, Mr. Rexhepi had long displayed an Albanian flag. Emblazoned with a double-headed eagle, it was a popular symbol of Kosovo’s liberation struggle.

But strict Muslim fundamentalists consider the depiction of any living being as idolatrous. Mr. Qazimi tore the flag down. Mr. Rexhepi put it back.

“It will not go long like this,” Mr. Qazimi told him angrily, Mr. Rexhepi recounted.

Within days, Mr. Rexhepi was abducted and savagely beaten by masked men in woods above Gjilan. He later accused Mr. Qazimi of having been behind the attack, but police investigations went nowhere.

Ten years later, in 2014, after two young Kosovars blew themselves up in suicide bombings in Iraq and Turkey, investigators began an extensive investigation into the sources of radicalism. Mr. Qazimi was arrested hiding in the same woods. On Friday, a court sentenced him to 10 years in prison after he faced charges of inciting hatred and recruiting for a terrorist organization.

Before Mr. Qazimi was arrested, his influence was profound, under what investigators now say was the sway of Egyptian-based extremists and the patronage of Saudi and other gulf Arab sponsors.

By the mid-2000s, Saudi money and Saudi-trained clerics were already exerting influence over the Islamic Community of Kosovo. The leadership quietly condoned the drift toward conservatism, critics of the organization say.

Mr. Qazimi was appointed first to a village mosque, and then to El-Kuddus mosque on the edge of Gjilan. Few could counter him, not even Mustafa Bajrami, his former teacher, who was elected head of the Islamic Community of Gjilan in 2012.

Mr. Bajrami comes from a prominent religious family — his father was the first chief mufti of Yugoslavia during the Communist period. He holds a doctorate in Islamic studies. Yet he remembers pupils began rebelling against him whenever he spoke against Wahhabism.

He soon realized that the students were being taught beliefs that differed from the traditional moderate curriculum by several radical imams in lectures after hours. He banned the use of mosques after official prayer times.

Hostility only grew. He would notice a dismissive gesture in the congregation during his sermons, or someone would curse his wife, or mutter “apostate” or “infidel” as he passed.

In the village, Mr. Qazimi’s influence eventually became so disruptive that residents demanded his removal after he forbade girls and boys to shake hands. But in Gjilan he continued to draw dozens of young people to his after-hours classes.

“They were moving 100 percent according to lessons they were taking from Zekirja Qazimi,” Mr. Bajrami said in an interview. “One hundred percent, in an ideological way.”

Evening prayer at the mosque of the radical imam Fadil Musliu on the outskirts of Pristina, the capital. Credit Andrew Testa for The New York Times

Extremism Spreads

Over time, the Saudi-trained imams expanded their work.

By 2004, Mr. Musliu, one of the master’s degree students from Podujevo who studied in Saudi Arabia, had graduated and was imam of a mosque in the capital, Pristina.

In Podujevo, he set up a local charitable organization called Devotshmeria, or Devotion, which taught religion classes and offered social programs for women, orphans and the poor. It was funded by Al Waqf al Islami, a Saudi organization that was one of the 19 eventually closed by investigators.

Mr. Musliu put a cousin, Jetmir Rrahmani, in charge.

“Then I knew something was starting that would not bring any good,” said Mr. Bilalli, the moderate cleric who had started out teaching with him. In 2004, they had a core of 20 Wahhabis.

“That was only the beginning,” Mr. Bilalli said. “They started multiplying.”

Mr. Bilalli began a vigorous campaign against the spread of unauthorized mosques and Wahhabi teaching. In 2008, he was elected head of the Islamic Community of Podujevo and instituted religion classes for women, in an effort to undercut Devotshmeria.

As he sought to curb the extremists, Mr. Bilalli received death threats, including a note left in the mosque’s alms box. An anonymous telephone caller vowed to make him and his family disappear, he said.

“Anyone who opposes them, they see as an enemy,” Mr. Bilalli said.

He appealed to the leadership of the Islamic Community of Kosovo. But by then it was heavily influenced by Arab gulf sponsors, he said, and he received little support.

When Mr. Bilalli formed a union of fellow moderates, the Islamic Community of Kosovo removed him from his post. His successor, Bekim Jashari, equally concerned by the Saudi influence, nevertheless kept up the fight.

“I spent 10 years in Arab countries and specialized in sectarianism within Islam,” Mr. Jashari said. “It’s very important to stop Arab sectarianism from being introduced to Kosovo.”

Mr. Jashari had a couple of brief successes. He blocked the Saudi-trained imam Mr. Sogojeva from opening a new mosque, and stopped a payment of 20,000 euros, about $22,400, intended for it from the Saudi charity Al Waqf al Islami.

He also began a website, Speak Now, to counter Wahhabi teaching. But he remains so concerned about Wahhabi preachers that he never lets his 19-year-old son attend prayers on his own.

The radical imams Mr. Musliu and Mr. Sogojeva still preach in Pristina, where for prayers they draw crowds of young men who glare at foreign reporters.

Mr. Sogojeva dresses in a traditional robe and banded cleric’s hat, but his newly built mosque is an incongruous modern multistory building. He admonished his congregation with a rapid-fire list of dos and don’ts in a recent Friday sermon.

Neither imam seems to lack funds.

In an interview, Mr. Musliu insisted that he was financed by local donations, but confirmed that he had received Saudi funding for his early religion courses.

The instruction, he said, is not out of line with Kosovo’s traditions. The increase in religiosity among young people was natural after Kosovo gained its freedom, he said.

“Those who are not believers and do not read enough, they feel a bit shocked,” he said. “But we coordinated with other imams, and everything was in line with Islam.”

The entrance to the grounds of the Serbian Orthodox monastery in Decani in western Kosovo. In January, four armed Islamists passed through the checkpoint and were arrested at the monastery gates. Credit Andrew Testa for The New York Times

A Tilt Toward Terrorism

The influence of the radical clerics reached its apex with the war in Syria, as they extolled the virtues of jihad and used speeches and radio and television talks shows to urge young people to go there.

Mr. Qazimi, who was given the 10-year prison sentence, even organized a summer camp for his young followers.

“It is obligated for every Muslim to participate in jihad,” he told them in one videotaped talk. “The Prophet Muhammad says that if someone has a chance to take part in jihad and doesn’t, he will die with great sins.”

“The blood of infidels is the best drink for us Muslims,” he said in another recording.

Among his recruits, investigators say, were three former civilian employees of American contracting companies at Camp Bondsteel, where American troops are stationed. They included Lavdrim Muhaxheri, an Islamic State leader who was filmed executing a man in Syria with a rocket-propelled grenade.

After the suicide bombings, the authorities opened a broad investigation and found that the Saudi charity Al Waqf al Islami had been supporting associations set up by preachers like Mr. Qazimi in almost every regional town.

Al Waqf al Islami was established in the Balkans in 1989. Most of its financing came from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain, Kosovo investigators said in recent interviews. Unexplained gaps in its ledgers deepened suspicions that the group was surreptitiously funding clerics who were radicalizing young people, they said.

Investigators from Kosovo’s Financial Intelligence Unit found that Al Waqf al Islami, which had an office in central Pristina and a staff of 12, ran through €10 million from 2000 through 2012. Yet they found little paperwork to explain much of the spending.

More than €1 million went to mosque building. But one and a half times that amount was disbursed in unspecified cash withdrawals, which may have also gone to enriching its staff, the investigators said.

Only 7 percent of the budget was shown to have gone to caring for orphans, the charity’s stated mission.

By the summer of 2014, the Kosovo police shut down Al Waqf al Islami, along with 12 other Islamic charities, and arrested 40 people.

The charity’s head offices, in Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands, have since changed their name to Al Waqf, apparently separating themselves from the Balkans operation.

Asked about the accusations in a telephone interview, Nasr el Damanhoury, the director of Al Waqf in the Netherlands, said he had no direct knowledge of his group’s operations in Kosovo or the Balkans.

The charity has ceased all work outside the Netherlands since he took over in 2013, he said. His predecessor had returned to Morocco and could not be reached, and Saudi board members would not comment, he said.

“Our organization has never supported extremism,” Mr. Damanhoury said. “I have known it since 1989. I joined them three years ago. They have always been a mild group.”


Kosovars celebrating the independence of Kosovo from Serbia in 2008. Credit Bela Szandelszky/Associated Press

Unheeded Warnings

Why the Kosovar authorities — and American and United Nations overseers — did not act sooner to forestall the spread of extremism is a question being intensely debated.

As early as 2004, the prime minister at the time, Bajram Rexhepi, tried to introduce a law to ban extremist sects. But, he said in a recent interview at his home in northern Kosovo, European officials told him that it would violate freedom of religion.

“It was not in their interest, they did not want to irritate some Islamic countries,” Mr. Rexhepi said. “They simply did not do anything.”

Not everyone was unaware of the dangers, however.

At a meeting in 2003, Richard C. Holbrooke, once the United States special envoy to the Balkans, warned Kosovar leaders not to work with the Saudi Joint Relief Committee for Kosovo, an umbrella organization of Saudi charities whose name still appears on many of the mosques built since the war, along with that of the former Saudi interior minister, Prince Naif bin Abdul-Aziz.

A year later, it was among several Saudi organizations that were shut down in Kosovo when it came under suspicion as a front for Al Qaeda. Another was Al-Haramain, which in 2004 was designated by the United States Treasury Department as having links to terrorism.

Yet even as some organizations were shut down, others kept working. Staff and equipment from Al-Haramain shifted to Al Waqf al Islami, moderate imams familiar with their activities said.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia appears to have reduced its aid to Kosovo. Kosovo Central Bank figures show grants from Saudi Arabia averaging €100,000 a year for the past five years.

It is now money from Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates — which each average approximately €1 million a year — that propagates the same hard-line version of Islam. The payments come from foundations or individuals, or sometimes from the Ministry of Zakat (Almsgiving) from the various governments, Kosovo’s investigators say.

But payments are often diverted through a second country to obscure their origin and destination, they said. One transfer of nearly €500,000 from a Saudi individual was frozen in 2014 since it was intended for a Kosovo teenager, according to the investigators and a State Department report.

Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations were still raising millions from “deep-pocket donors and charitable organizations” based in the gulf, the Treasury under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, David S. Cohen, said in a speech in 2014 at the Center for a New American Security.

While Saudi Arabia has made progress in stamping out funding for Al Qaeda, sympathetic donors in the kingdom were still funding other terrorist groups, he said.

Today the Islamic Community of Kosovo has been so influenced by the largess of Arab donors that it has seeded prominent positions with radical clerics, its critics say.

Ahmet Sadriu, a spokesman for Islamic Community of Kosovo, said the group held to Kosovo’s traditionally tolerant version of Islam. But calls are growing to overhaul an organization now seen as having been corrupted by outside forces and money.

Kosovo’s interior minister, Skender Hyseni, said he had recently reprimanded some of the senior religious officials.

“I told them they were doing a great disservice to their country,” he said in an interview. “Kosovo is by definition, by Constitution, a secular society. There has always been historically an unspoken interreligious tolerance among Albanians here, and we want to make sure that we keep it that way.”

 Albert Berisha, sentenced to prison for going to Syria to fight, says he did not join the Islamic State. Credit Andrew Testa for The New York Times

Families Divided

For some in Kosovo, it may already be too late.

Families have been torn apart. Some of Kosovo’s best and brightest have been caught up in the lure of jihad.

One of Kosovo’s top political science graduates, Albert Berisha, said he left in 2013 to help the Syrian people in the uprising against the government of President Bashar al-Assad. He abandoned his attempt after only two weeksand he says he never joined the Islamic State — but has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison, pending appeal.

Ismet Sakiqi, an official in the prime minister’s office and a veteran of the liberation struggle, was shaken to find his 22-year-old son, Visar, a law student, arrested on his way through Turkey to Syria with his fiancée. He now visits his son in the same Kosovo prison where he was detained under Serbian rule.

And in the hamlet of Busavate, in the wooded hills of eastern Kosovo, a widower, Shemsi Maliqi, struggles to explain how his family has been divided. One of his sons, Alejhim, 27, has taken his family to join the Islamic State in Syria.

It remains unclear how Alejhim became radicalized. He followed his grandfather, training as an imam in Gjilan, and served in the village mosque for six years. Then, two years ago, he asked his father to help him travel to Egypt to study.

Mr. Maliqi still clings to the hope that his son is studying in Egypt rather than fighting in Syria. But Kosovo’s counterterrorism police recently put out an international arrest warrant for Alejhim.

“Better that he comes back dead than alive,” Mr. Maliqi, a poor farmer, said. “I sent him to school, not to war. I sold my cow for him.”

Alejhim had married a woman from the nearby village of Vrbice who was so conservative that she was veiled up to her eyes and refused to shake hands with her brother-in-law.

The wife’s mother angrily refused to be interviewed. Her daughter did what was expected and followed her husband to Syria, she said.

Secretly, Alejhim drew three others — his sister; his best friend, who married his sister; and his wife’s sister — to follow him to Syria, too. The others have since returned, but remain radical and estranged from the family.

Alejhim’s uncle, Fehmi Maliqi, like the rest of the family, is dismayed. “It’s a catastrophe,” he said.


21-05-2016

By Carlota Gall

Source: The New York Times

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Kosovo history – Fifth part



Serbs fighting ISIS

The series of long-scale Christian national movements in the Balkans, triggered off by 1804 Serbian revolution, decided more than in the earlier centuries, the fate of Serbs and made ethnic Albanians (about 70% of whom were Muslims) the main guardians of Turkish order in the European provinces of Ottoman Empire. At a time when the Eastern question was again being raised, particularly in the final quarter of 19th and the first decade of 20th century, Islamic Albanians were the chief instrument of Turkey’s policy in crushing the liberation movements of other Balkan states. After the congress of Berlin (1878) an Albanian national movement flared up, and both the Sultan and Austria-Hungary, a power whose occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina heralded its further expansion deep into the Balkans, endeavored, with varying degrees of success, to instrumentalize this movement. While the Porte used the ethnic Albanians as Islam’s shock cutting edge against Christians in the frontier regions towards Serbia and Montenegro, particularly in Kosovo, Metohia and the nearby areas, Austria-Hungary’s design was to use the Albanians national movement against the liberatory aspirations of the two Serbian states that were impeding the German Drang nach Osten. In a rift between two only seemingly contrary strivings, Serbia and Montenegro, although independent since 1878, were powerless (at least until the Balkan wars 1912-1913) without the support of Russia or other Great Power to effect the position of their compatriots within the borders of Ottoman Empire.

karadjordjeDuring the Serbian revolution, which ended with the creation of the autonomous Principality of Serbia within the Ottoman empire (1830), Kosovo and Metohia acquired special political importance. The hereditary ethnic Albanian pashas, who had until then been mostly renegades from the central authorities in Constantinople, feared that the flames of rebellion might spread to regions they controlled thus they became champions for the defense the integrity of the Turkish Empire and leaders of many military campaigns against the Serbian insurgents, at the core of the Serbian revolution was the Kosovo covenant, embodied in the “revenge of Kosovo”, a fresh, decisive battle against the Turkish invaders in the field of Kosovo. In 1806 the insurgents were preparing, like Prince Lazar in his day, to come out in Kosovo and weigh their forces against the Turks, However, detachments of Serbian insurgents reached only the fringes of northern Kosovo. Metohia, Old Raska (Sandzak), Kosovo and northern Macedonia remained outside the borders of the Serbian principality. In order to highlight their importance in the national and political ideologies of the renewed Serbian state, they were given a new collective name. It was not by chance that Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic, the father of modern Serbian literacy, named the central lands of the Nemanjic state – Old Serbia.

Fearing the renewed Serbian state, Kosovo pashas engaged in ruthless persecution in an effort to reduce number of Serbs living in their spacious holdings. The French travel writer F.C.H.L Pouqueville was astounded by the utter anarchy and ferocity of the local pashas towards the Christians. Jashar-pasha Gjinolli of Prishtina was one of the worst, destroying several churches in Kosovo, seizing monastic lands and killing monks. In just a few years of sweeping terror, he evicted more than seventy Serbian villages between Vucitrn and Gnjilane, dividing up the seized land among the local Islamized population and mountain folk that had settled there from northern Albania. The fertile plains of Kosovo became desolate meadows as the Malisor highlanders, unused to farming knew not to cultivate.

The revolt of the ethnic Albanian pashas against the reforms introduced by the sultans and fierce clashes with regular Turkish troops in the thirties and forties of the 19th century, emphasized the anarchy in Kosovo and Metohia, causing fresh suffering among the Serbs and the further devastation of the ancient monasteries. Since neither Serbian nor Montenegro, two semi-independent Serbian states, were able to give any significant help to the gravely endangered people, Serbian leaders form the Pristina and Vucitrn regions turned to the Russian tsar in seeking protection from their oppressors. They set out that they were forced to choose between converting to Islam or fleeing for Serbia as the violence, especially killings, the persecution of monks, the raping of women and minors, had exceeded all bounds. Pogroms marked the decades to come, especially in period of the Crimean War (1853-1856) when anti-Slav sentiments reached their peak in the ottoman empire: ethnic Albanians and the Cherkeses, whom the Turks had resettled in Kosovo, joined the Ottoman troops in persecuting Orthodox Serbs.

The brotherhood of Decani and the Pec Patriarchate turned to the authorities of Serbia for protection. Pointing to the widespread violence and increasing banditry, and to more frequent and persisted attempts by Catholic missionaires to compel the impoverished and spiritually discouraged monk communities to concede to union. Prior Serafim Ristic of Decani loged complaints with both the sultan and Russian tsar and in his book Plac Stare Srbije (Zemun 1864) he penned hundreds of examples of violence perpetrated by the ethnic Albanians and Turks against the Serbs, naming the perpetrators, victims and type of crime. In Metohia alone he recorded over one hundred cases in which the Turkish authorities, police and judiciary tolerated and abetted robbery, bribery, murder, arson, the desecration of churches, the seizure of property and livestock, the rape of women and children, and the harassment of monks and priests. Both ethnic Albanians and Turks viewed assaults against Serbs as acts pleasing to Allah acts that punishing infidels for not believing in true God: kidnapping and Islamizing girls were a way for true Muslims to approach Allah. Ethnic Albanian outlaws (kayaks) became heroes among their fellow-tribesmen for fulfilling their religious obligations in the right way and spreading the militant glory of their clan and tribe.

Eloquent testimonies to the scope of the violence against the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohia, ranging from blackmail and robbery to rape and murder, come from many foreign travel-writers, from A. F. Hilferding to G. M. McKenzie – A. P. Irby. The Russian consul in Prizren observed that ethnic Albanians were settling the Prizren district underhidered and were trying, with the Turks, to eradicate Christians from Kosovo and Metohia. Throughout the 19th century there was no public safety on the roads of Metohia and Kosovo. One could travel the roads which were controlled by tribal bands, only with strong armed escort. The Serbian peasant had no protection in the field where he could be assaulted and robbed by an outlaw or bandit, and if he tried to resist, he could be killed without the perpetrator having to face charges for the crime. Serbs, as non-Muslims, were not entitled to carry arms. Those who possessed and used arms in self-defence afterwards had to run for their life. Only the luckiest managed to reach the Serbian or Montenegrin border and find permanent refuge there. They were usually followed by large families called family cooperatives (zadruga), comprising as many as 30-50 members, which were unable to defend themselves against the numerous relatives of the ethnic Albanian seeking vengeance for his death in a conflict with an elder of their clan.

Economic pressure, especially the forced reducing of free peasants to serf, was fostered by ethnic Albanian feudal lords with a view to creating large land-holdings. In the upheavals of war (1859, 1863) the Turkish authorities tried to restrict enterprising Serbian merchants and craftsmen who flourished in Pristina, Pec and Prizren, setting ablaze entire quarters where they worked and had their shops. But it was the hardest in rural areas, because ethnic Albanians, bond together by tight communities of blood brotherhoods or in tribes, and relatively socially homogeneous, were able to support their fellow tribesman without too much effort, simply by terrorizing Serbs and seizing their property and livestock. Suppression in driving of the Serbian peasantry, space was made for their relatives from northern Albania to move in, whereby increased their own prestige among other tribes. Unused to life in the plains and to hard field-work, the settled ethnic Albanians preferred looting to farming.

Despite the hardships, the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohia assembled in religious-school communes which financed the opening of schools and the education of children, collected donations for the restoration of churches and monasteries and, when possible, tried to improve relations with the Turkish authorities. In addition to monastic schools, the first Serbian secular schools started opening in Kosovo from mid-1830s, and in 1871 a Seminary (Bogoslovija) opened in Prizren. Unable to help politically, the Serbia systematically aided churches and schools from the 1840s onwards, sending teachers and encouraging the best students to continue with their studies. The Prizren seminary the hub of activity on national affairs, educated teachers and priests for all the Serbian lands under Turkish dominion, and unbeknownst to authorities, established contact on a regular basis with the government in Belgrade, wherefrom it received means and instructions for political action.

33. ZvecanEthnic circumstances in Kosovo and Metohia in the early 19th century can be reconstructed on the basis of data obtained from the books written by foreign travel writers and ethnographers who journeyed across European Turkey. Joseph Miller’s studies show that in late 1830s, 56,200 Christians and 80,150 Muslims lived in Metohia; 11,740 of the Muslims were Islamized Serbs, and 2,700 of the Christians were Catholic Albanians. However, clear picture of the ethnic structure during this period cannot be obtained until one takes into account the fact that from 1815 to 1837 some 320 families, numbering ten to 30 members each, fled Kosovo and Metohia ahead of ethnic Albanian violence. According to Hilferding’s figures, Pec numbered 4,000 Muslim and 800 Christian families, Pristina numbered 1,200 Muslim, 900 Orthodox and 100 Catholic families with a population of 12,000.3

Russian consul Yastrebov recorded (for a 1867-1874 period) the following figures for 226 villages in Metohia: 4,646 Muslim ethnic Albanian homes, 1,861 Orthodox and 3,740 Islamized Serbs and 142 homes of Catholic Albanians. Despite the massive departure of the population for Serbia, available data show that until Eastern crisis (1875-1878), Serbs formed the largest ethnic group in Kosovo and Metohia, largely owing to a high birth rate.

The biggest demographics upheaval in Kosovo and Metohia occurred during the Eastern crisis, especially during the 1876-1878 Serbo-Turkish wars, when the question of Old Serbia started being internationalized. The Ottoman empire lost a good deal of territory in its wars with Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Austria-Hungary occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the second war with the Turks, Serbian troops liberated parts of Kosovo: their advance guard reached Pristina via Gnjilane and at the Gracanica monastery held a memorial service for the medieval heroes of Kosovo battle… After Russia and Turkey called a truce, Serbian troops were forced to withdraw from Kosovo. Serbian delegations from Old Serbia sent petitions to the Serbian Prince, the Russian tsar and participants of the Congress of Berlin, requesting that these lands merge with Serbia. Approximately 30,000 ethnic Albanians retreated from the liberated areas (partly under duress), seeking refuge in Kosovo and in Metohia, while tens of thousands of Serbs fled Kosovo and Metohia for Serbia ahead of unleashed bashibozouks, irregular auxiliaries of Ottoman troops.4

On the eve of the Congress of Berlin in the summer of 1878, when the great powers were deciding on the fate of the Balkan nations, the Albanian League was formed in Prizren, on the periphery of ethnic Albanian living space. The League called for the preservation of Ottoman Empire in its entirety within the prewar boundaries and for the creation of autonomous Albanian vilayet out of the vilayets of Kosovo, Scutari, Janina and Monster (Bitolj), regions where ethnic Albanians accounted for 44% of overall population. The territorial aspirations of the Albanian movement as defined in 1878, became part of all subsequent national programs. The new sultan Abdulhamid II (1878-1909) supported the League’s pro-Ottoman and pro-Islamic attitude. Breaking with the reformatory policy of his predecessors, sultan adopted pan-Islamism as the ruling principle of his reign. Unsatisfied with the decisions taken at the Congress, the League put up an armed opposition to concession of regions of Plav and Gusinje to Montenegro, and its detachments committed countless acts of violence against the Serbs, whose very existence posed a permanent threat to Albanian national interests. In 1881, Turkey employed force to crush the League, whose radical wing was striving towards an independent Albanian state to show that it was capable of implementing the adopted reforms. Notwithstanding, under the system of Turkish rule in the Balkans, ethnic Albanians continued to occupy the most prominent seats in the decades to come.

Surrounded by his influential guard of ethnic Albanians, the Abdulhamid II became increasingly lenient toward Islamized Albanian tribes who used force in quelling Christian movements: they were exempt from providing recruits, paying the most of the regular taxes and allowed at times to refuse the orders of local authorities. This lenient policy towards the ethnic Albanians and tolerance for the violence committed against the Serbian population created a feeling of superiority in the lower strata of Albanian society. The knowledge that no matter what the offense they would not be held responsible, encouraged ethnic Albanians to ignore all the lesser authorities. Social stratification resulted on increasing number of renegades who lived solely off banditry or as outlaws. The policy of failing to punish ethnic Albanians led to total anarchy which, escaping all control, increasingly worried the authorities in Constantinople. Anarchy received fresh impetus at the end of the 19th century when Austria-Hungary, seeking a way to expand towards the Bay of Salonika, encouraged ethnic Albanians to clash with the Serbs and disobey the local authorities. Ruling circles in Vienna saw the ethnic Albanians as a permanent wedge between the two Serbian states and, with the collapse of the system of Turkish rule, a bridge enabling the Dual Monarchy to extend in the Vardar valley. Thus, Kosovo and Metohia became the hub of great power confrontation for supremacy in the Balkans.

The only protection for the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohia until the end of 1880s came from Russian diplomats, Russia being the traditional guardian of the Orthodox and Slav population in the Ottoman Empire Russia’s waning influence in the Balkans following the Congress of Berlin had an unfavorable impact on the Serbs in Turkey. Owing to Milan and Alexander Obrenovic’s Austrophile policy, Serbia lost valuable Russian support at the Porte in its efforts to protect Serbian population In Kosovo and Metohia, Serbs were regarded as a rebellious, treasonous element, every move they made was carefully watched and any signs of rebellion were ruthlessly punished. A military tribunal was established in Pristina in 1882 which in its five years of work sent hundreds of national leaders to prison.

The persistent efforts of Serbian officials to reach agreement with ethnic Albanian tribal chiefs in Kosovo and Metohia, and thus help curb the anarchy failed to stem the tide of violence. Belgrade officials did not get a true picture of the persecutions until a Serbian consulate was opened in Pristina in 1889, five centuries after a battle in Kosovo. The government was informed that ethnic Albanians were systematically mounting attacks on a isolated Serbian villages and driving people to eriction with treats and murders: “Go to Serbia -you can’t survive here!”. The assassination of the first Serbian Consul in the streets of Pristina revealed the depth of ethnic Albanian intolerance. Until 1905, not a single Serbian diplomat from Pristina could visit the town of Pec or tour Metohia, the hotbed of the anarchy. Consuls in Pristina (who included the well-known writers Branislav Nusic and Milan M. Rakic) wrote, aside to their regular reports, indepth descriptions of the situation in Kosovo and Metohia. Serbia’s sole diplomatic success was the election of a Serbian candidate as the Raska-Prizren Metropolitan in 1896, following a series of anti-Serbian orientated Greek Bishops who had been enthroned in Prizren since 1830.

Outright campaigns of terror were mounted after a Greaco-Turkish war in 1897, when it appeared that the Serbs would suffer the same fate as the Armenians in Asia Minor whom the Kurds had wiped out with blessing from the sultan. Serbian diplomats launched a campaign at the Porte for the protection of their compatriots, submitting extensive documentation on four hundred crimes of murder, blackmail, theft, rape, seizure of land, arson of churches. They demanded that energetic measures be taken against the perpetrators and that the investigation be carried out by a joint Serbo-Turkish committee. But, without the support of Russia, the whole effort came to naught. The prime minister of Serbia observed with resignation that 60,000 people had fled Old Serbia for Serbia in the period from 1880 to 1889. In Belgrade, a Blue Book was printed for the 1899 Peace Conference in the Hague, containing diplomatic correspondence on acts of violence committed by ethnic Albanians in Old Serbia, but Austria-Hungary prevented Serbian diplomats from raising the question before the international public. In the ensuing years the Serbian government attempted to secretly supply Serbs in Kosovo with arms. The first larger caches of guns were discovered, and 190l saw another pogrom in Ibarski Kolasin (northern Kosovo), which ended only when Russian diplomats intervened.

The widespread anarchy reached a critical point in 1902 when the Serbian government with the support of Montenegrin diplomacy again raised the issue of the protection of the Serbs in Turkey, demanding that the law be applied equally to all subjects of Empire, and that an end be put to the policy of indulging ethnic Albanians, that they be disarmed and that Turkish garrisons be reinforced in areas with a mixed Serbian-ethnic Albanian population. Russia, and then France, supported Serbia’s demands. The two most interested parties, Austria-Hungary and Russia, agreed in 1897 to maintain the status quo in the Balkans, although they initiated a reform plan to rearrange Turkey’s European provinces. Fearing for their privileges, ethnic Albanians launched a major uprising in 1903; it began with new assaults against Serbs and ended with the assassination of the newly appointed Russian consul in Mitrovica, accepted as a protector of the Serbs in Kosovo.

The 1903 restoration of democracy in Serbia under new King Petar I Karadjordjevic marked an end to Austrophile policy and the turning towards Russia. In response, Austria-Hungary stepped up its propaganda efforts among ethnic Albanians. At the request of the Dual Monarchy, Kosovo and Metohia were exempt from the Great Powers Reform action (1903-1908). A new wave of persecution ensued: in 1904,108 people fled for Serbia from Kosovo alone. Out of 146 different cases of violence, 46 ended in murder; a group of ethnic Albanians raped a seven-year-old girl. In 1905, out of 281 registrated cases of violence, 65 were murders, and at just one wedding, ethnic Albanians killed nine wedding guests.

The Young Turk revolution in 1908, which ended the “Age of Oppression” (as Turkish historiography refers to the reign of Abdulhamid II), brought no changes in relations between ethnic Albanians and Serbs. The Serbs’ first political organization was created under the auspices of the Young Turk regime, but the ethnic Albanian revolt against the new authorities’ pan-Turkish policy triggered off a fresh wave of violence. In the second half of 1911 alone, Old Serbia registrated 128 cases of theft, 35 acts of arson, 41 instances of banditry, 53 cases of extortion, 30 instances of blackmail, 19 cases of intimidation, 35 murders, 37 attempted murders, 58 armed attacks on property, 27 fights and cases of abuse, 13 attempts at Islamization, and 18 cases of the infliction of serious bodily injury. Approximately 400,000 people fled Old Serbia (Kosovo, Metohia, Raska, northern and northwest Macedonia) for Serbia ahead of ethnic Albanian and Turkish violence, and about 150,000 people fled Kos