06/29/15

Russia’s “Hypocrisy” on Crimea and the World’s Buyer’s Remorse on Kosovo

By: Julia Gorin
Republican Riot

One recurring theme over the past two years of the Crimea affair has been the invocation of Kosovo by reporters and pundits who barely remember the word. Surprisingly, Geraldo Rivera — despite having flown a helicopter for America’s terrorist allies the KLA — invoked Kosovo in the proper context on “The O’Reilly Factor,” saying, “Like it or not, Kosovo was the precedent for this.”

But more often, the attempt is to counter the Crimea-Kosovo analogy, and sometimes it’s a strained attempt to accuse Russia of hypocrisy for supporting Crimean separatism (as with South Ossetian, Abkhazian, and Transdniestrian), while having been against Albanian separatism in Kosovo.

One instance came this past February, in an otherwise fine article by former Herald Tribune columnist Jonathan Power:

Please put your hand up if you support giving lethal arms to the Ukrainian army and also supported the US going to war with Iraq in 2003 and with Libya in 2011, the former which unbalanced much of the Middle East and the latter which has left a country almost destroyed, semi-ruled by malicious militias. Also raise your hand if you supported in 1999 the West going to war against Serbia in order to wrest away its province of Kosovo and give it independence — a move which ironically Russia opposed, arguing that this would set a precedent for territorial separation by force of arms. If you supported all these three interventions don’t take offence if I question your judgment on the issue of arms for Ukraine.

Excellent points all. I just need to address the use of “ironically,” which others have also used when describing Russia’s position on Kosovo in contrast to its positions since. (In addition to a bit of it in 2008, in March of last year, for example, Patrick Goodenough of cnsnews.com wrote, “Ironically, the same government now invoking a Kosovo ‘precedent’ led the international opposition to Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence….Moscow warned the move would embolden separatist movements everywhere; the U.S. insisted that Kosovo was a unique case, and that it set no legal precedent.”)

Payback is a bitch. It’s not “irony.”

If you’re giving someone a taste of their own medicine — of the reality they created against better sense; if you’re demonstrating the peril and instability that playing with borders and reordering the world invites — which you’ve spent more than a decade imploring them to reconsider — your original position doesn’t retroactively become “ironic.”

Unless a writer is only now waking up to Kosovo, and is naturally all confused about how we got to Here. Here is where Russia gets to show the West what can happen in this messy new world, and why Russia was against it to begin with. Only the perk Here is that, unlike Kosovo — where America had no national interest — Russia (and others) can invoke the foul precedent in cases that do serve its national interest (and aren’t nearly as destructive as ‘Kosova’). How devious.

If the U.S. is willing to embolden worldwide separatism by setting a precedent — while unilaterally proclaiming it a “non-precedent” and reserving it the “unique case” designation despite more justifiable and deserving separatism — Russia can help make that happen. If you’ve squandered your “special” button on something that wasn’t even in your national interest, don’t blame Russia for going about it more smartly. We sure make it easy for Russia to look clever, while working day and night to make it look sinister.

Russia is making a point. That it can help you reap the fruits of your labor. Why do only we get in on the world-redesign? Russia can paint too. Especially since it’s better at coloring within lines, unlike the messy finger-painting we’ve been doing.

So, the separatism that Russia supports today isn’t a contradiction of the whole Kosovo affair, it’s a continuation. And a continuum.

Although the following may be giving Russia too much credit, every self-determination case it supports may also serve as an invitation for Washington and Brussels to come back to sanity. A sort of mutable tough-love olive branch that can remorph back into enmity if that’s what the West continues to choose. In the case of Kosovo specifically, even though Washington and its Albanian masters would have us think it’s a fait accompli, reversal is possible. Especially with all the buyer’s remorse that’s been voiced internationally. If that leads to the “disbanded” KLA retaking up arms again — this time against our troops as they repeatedly threatened to do throughout the early post-war years — then maybe it’s time Washington learned to fight actual enemies, as opposed to inventing ones like Serbia and Russia.

Nor is it just a case of Russia self-fulfilling its own prophecy about a domino effect, as we can see not only from Palestinian invocations at the UN of the Kosovo precedent, but also from the plethora of irredentist and self-determination movements asserting themselves since Kosovo’s February 2008 UDI.

As for this wanton reordering of the world, it’s not just an issue of shifting European borders, which the world agreed after WWII to not do (and today’s statesmen re-profess it at every chance, adding, “Just as soon as we get this Kosovo thing done.”) It’s also an attitude, one that has manifested in Washington-led actions turning international norms on their head. In an email back-and-forth over the past year, Balkans observer Nebojsa Malic put it this way:

Russia’s view of the world is that there is an order, established at the end of WW2, for which they’ve paid with millions of lives (and we with hundreds of thousands). Even through the Cold War, it mostly held together.

The assumption in 1991 was that the US and NATO would adhere to this order — which is why the Russians agreed to dismantle the Soviet Union. Instead, the US violated it, essentially saying “the law don’t apply to us, just you,” and went nuts. Bombing, regime-changing, color-revolutionizing and “reforming” everyone to Hell and gone. Terrorizing the world is bad. When it’s a self-appointed cop doing it, that’s worse.

Moscow asked nicely, over and over again, if the West — from London and Berlin to Washington — was really, really sure it wanted to do this. What they got was “We are the Empire, we make the rules, obey or perish.” Also a resurgence of U.S.-backed Nazis (Croatia, Ukraine, etc).

The American perspective is that the order became “obsolete” in 1991, when its constraints prevented the untrammeled use of American “leadership” — so America decided to selectively dismantle it. Even though that’s the very order that gives its power any actual legitimacy, as a victor of WW2 who defined the international order (setting up the UN, Bretton Woods, World Bank etc).

The “we beat the Nazis so we can do whatever” excuse wore out over time. For two reasons: a) the Soviets did the disproportionate amount of actually beating the Nazis; and b) writing the law doesn’t put one above it.

Russians have been grumbling about all this since 1999 — but for years they weren’t in a position to do much about it. The US backing Nazis in Kiev, of all places, was the last straw, considering the Soviets had 27 million dead fighting that beast back in the 1940s…

In the Russian view, there is room on this planet for everyone, so long as they don’t trespass. In the American view, there is room on this planet only for those who play ball. The rest will submit or die. How very like some folks we know…

And then, as icing on the cake, the West deliberately snubbed the last major celebration of Victory Day that any veterans may still be alive for (don’t reckon many will be around 5 years hence). Some insults one just cannot forgive.

So while US hipsters mark “VE Day” by dressing up in 1940s costumes left over from the set of Captain America, and organize a half-our air spectacle named “Arsenal of Democracy,” millions of Russians march with the photographs of their parents and grandparents who fought in the war, and call them the “Immortal Regiment.”

Three guesses as to who I think will win.

Indeed, one eye-roller for my Russo-loathing parents has always been the popularly held Russian sentiment that some great destiny awaits Russia. I fear America may finally show Russia the way to it, just by wreaking so much havoc. But I also fear that in the end the destiny will be the opposite of great.

In Nebojsa’s analysis above, I would only replace the word “Washington” where “America” appears, since America and Americans are not represented by the Washingtonians. “American” behavior in the past 20 years has been anything but, and there is a huge disconnect between Washington and Americans, like so many third-worlders led around by the nose by their leaders, until it ends in anguish for the masses when the consequences of their leaders’ policies arrive. We sometimes dismiss it with, “People get the leaders they deserve.” Let’s remember that when it comes our time to pay the price for Washington’s foreign misadventures, something we’ve already had a taste of.

Meanwhile, the 70-year snub — complete with the spectacle of Washington telling world leaders to boycott Russia’s observances (which backfired when the Czech president kicked out baby ambassador Andrew Schapiro and reaffirmed that his visit would be a thank-you to Russia “for not having to speak German in this country” — was foreshadowed three years earlier by Nebojsa in his “Victory Day” article:

[W]hen you look at the EU, it resembles nothing so much as what Nazi slogans described as the “European family of nations” working together for the prosperity of all. The whole endeavor has roots in National-Socialism…Then there is the bizarre situation that the map of Europe today looks suspiciously like the one from 1942, and all of Hitler’s allies in the Balkans are now the staunchest allies of the American Empire. In that corner of Europe, at least, WW2 is still being fought. Only this time, the Luftwaffe and the panzers are supposedly the “good guys”.

The newly reunited Germany, the nascent European Union and the rising American Empire [risen, but overreaching] all saw an opportunity in dismembering Yugoslavia. What followed was an eerie re-run of the 1940s carnage. Croatia’s [1990s] “democratic” president, Franjo Tudjman, led an NDH [WWII Croatia] revival — but because he was allied with the U.S. and not Hitler this time around, he succeeded where his predecessor failed. In Bosnia, Alija Izetbegovic had Washington’s support to make a bid for an Islamic state, causing a bloodbath when both Serbs and Croats objected. Albanians were likewise armed and supported to re-establish the “Natural Albania” of 1941-45.

But the cruelest twist was that these [actual Nazi heirs] accused the Serbs of Nazism — and their PR flacks used Communist propaganda to do so….Who would have ever thought to see American bombers, German tanks and Communist propaganda working together towards a goal Hitler once had: to crush Serbia as an example to others.

When Hitler invaded, Yugoslavia had been rotten already. Croats actually greeted the Wehrmacht with flowers. Few have dared ask how Tito could have put Yugoslavia back together, after all that. Yet the answer is very simple: he allowed many of the Nazi collaborators to change their uniforms at the last moment, defecting to the winning team….No wonder only Russia still celebrates Victory Day. In the rest of Europe, it’s Hitler’s ghost that rejoices.

Earlier I mentioned there being buyer’s remorse on a global scale over Kosovo independence. Below is a sad snippet of the character of these regrets over recent years (though much has since been resolved in Kosovo’s favor, naturally). The backtracking has come even from the Vatican, which had stood at the forefront of almost every Balkans separation (Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo):

“Vatican will not recognize Kosovo” (B92, March 21, 2013)

The Vatican will not recognize Kosovo, claims Serbian Foreign Minister Ivan Mrkić, adding that some countries could rescind their decisions to recognize Kosovo.

Mrkić told daily Večernje novosti that Serbian officials had been assured that the Vatican would not change its stance on Kosovo…When asked why he thought that some countries could rescind their decisions to recognize Kosovo, Mrkić said:

Some countries have already done it. Sao Tome and Principe has annulled the decision to recognize Kosovo’s unilaterally declared independence. Mali was for a long time among the countries that recognized Kosovo on all sites until their president sent a letter to the public stating it was not true,” he explained, adding that it was quite possible that more countries would rescind their recognition.

A possibility indeed, if one couldn’t count on arm-twisting by Washington. Several countries at the 2011 Non-Aligned Movement summit described the enormous and constant pressure from the U.S., Britain, and France, “depending on whose former colonies they were.” (Also illustrating first-world desperation over Kosovo — in addition to America’s begging tours in places like Bangladesh — is the way its mighty representatives pounce on every new recognition, no matter by how obscure a country, principality or island. Such as when recognition was announced in February 2009 by Maldives — which had been considering de-recognizing amid a probe into whether officials took a $2 million bribe for recognition — “US secretary of state Hillary Clinton thanked Maldives for its decision…[and] welcomed [Foreign Minister] Shaheed’s efforts to encourage other countries to support Kosovo.”)

Here was Italy three years after Kosovo’s unilateral declaration, and three months after the Council of Europe’s revelations about the KLA’s murder-for-organs business:

Kosovo is mistake, Italian MEP says (B92, March 27, 2011)

MEP Pinno Arlacchi has said that Kosovo is the international community’s biggest mistake in the past 12 years, adding that [the] EULEX mission is a complete failure… “We created a mafia state and we care only about not letting the truth come out,” the Italian MEP added…[T]he EU and the international community should stop having a false image of Kosovo as a stable place.

“…The political situation in Kosovo and the fact that organized crime dominates its territory represent a huge threat to the security of the EU and the regional countries, even Albania,” said Arlacchi…who actively took part in the creation of Italy’s structures for combating mafia in the 1980s. “EULEX has been a complete failure. They have no strategy or idea what to do, and they did not take into account Europe’s experience in combating organized crime,” he underscored.

Remorse by Poland came a year after the declaration of independence:

Kaczynski: Polish Recognition was a Mistake
President of Poland Firmly Against Severing Kosovo from Serbia
(May 14, 2009)

…While visiting Belgrade on Wednesday [President Lech] Kaczynski said he, along with Polish opposition, is against the decision of Donald Tusk’s government to recognize southern Serbian province of Kosovo as an independent state…[and] also openly backed the policy of the Serbian government and President Tadic in regards to the preservation of southern Kosovo-Metohija province.

According to polls, the majority of Polish people share President Kaczynski’s firm position that Poland should not have backed Pristina Albanians’ unilateral declaration of independence. Apart from Poland’s president, one of the most prominent voices on [the] Polish and EU political scene fiercely opposed to the wanton mutilation of [the] Serbian state is Sylwester Chruszcz, a Member of the European Parliament and President of the League of Polish Families, who didn’t hesitate to declare the recognition of UDI by Albanian secessionists in the Serbian province was a “fatal mistake”, nor to remind that, regardless of the illegal individual recognitions, “Kosovo is Serbia”.

The government of Premier Tusk characterized a decision to recognize a mafia state on Serbian territory — which it called “difficult” — as boiling down to a “choice Poland had to make between its key allies in the European Union on the one side and aligning with Russia on the other.”

Meanwhile, here is where the Czechs were on “Independence Day” in 2008:

Czech lawmakers ask intl. community to support Serbia (B92, Feb. 17, 2008)

…The letter stresses that international law and the rule of law, although imperfect, “are the only wall standing between us and the rule of evil, the only wall capable of diminishing the rules of jungle in international relations.”

The current Kosovo status crisis is seen as an example of a breach of both these basic elements of civilization.

They remind that the valid UN SC Resolution 1244, adopted in 1999, defines Kosovo as an autonomous territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, SRJ, and thus guaranties its successor-state, Serbia, territorial integrity.

“Obviously, the U.S. and Europe are using two different yardsticks: one for Serbia, another for Kosovo, Croatia — where the Serb population was exiled from their homes in Slavonia and Krajina — and Turkey, with its fight against ‘Kurdish separatism’,” the letter continued.

The Czech lawmakers and former statesmen believe that Serbia’s offer of a broad autonomy is the only possible solution within the known principles of morality and law.

“A violent, internationally legitimized secession of this historic province from the Republic of Serbia would make a dangerous precedent for small states in Europe and beyond,” the appeal concluded. […]

In 2010, analyst Rick Rozoff pointed out that “The EU nations that led the drive to recognize Kosovo’s secession were Britain, France, Germany and Italy, the same four countries that met in Munich 70 years earlier to cede the Sudetenland and then all of Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany.”

In a sad twist, the Czech Republic itself joined that pathetic crowd, answering not to its outraged public, but to international diktat:

Czech President: “How Ashamed I Am Of Czech Kosovo Recognition” (B92, May 24, 2008)

…”I was very upset by the words of Ambassador Vereš, who said that Serbs did not take personally Kosovo recognitions by countries such as Finland, Holland or Germany, but that the Czech government’s move hurt them,” Klaus wrote in an article for Mlada Fronta Dnes daily, which he entitled, “How ashamed I was”.

The Czech president reminded that he personally cannot be at peace with the recognition, and that for this reason he decided to receive Vereš, which the diplomats describe as a highly unusual move….He added that Vereš reminded him of several key moments in the common history of the two nations.

“The ambassador’s father studied in Prague after the war, to be sent home by our authorities after 1948, because he would not renounce Tito in favor of Stalin,” Klaus continued…[A]s the Warsaw Pact troops entered Czechoslovakia in 1968, Yugoslavia was the only country to declare its own mobilization.

The Czech government’s decision to recognize the unilateral independence, which Serbia rejects as illegal, has caused a storm in the local political scene, which continues unabated for the third day.

The leader of the Czech communists, Vojteh Filip, said last night… “Legally, the Czech decision to recognize Kosovo will be finalized once the president appoints the Czech ambassador to Priština. We have asked Vaclav Klaus to block the appointment of Janjina Hžebičkova,” Filip explained.

Czech: request to cancel the recognition of Kosmet independence (June 14, 2008)

Vice President of the Czech Parliament House of Commons Wojtech Fillip has stated that he has prepared a proposal for MPs to vote on the cancellation of Governmentʼs decision to recognize the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosmet. While stressing that the decision of the Government in Prague is contrary to the international law, Filip underlined that this act should be put out of power in a legal manner, and that the current authorities should be disabled from making moves without the consensus of the majority of citizens, MPs and politicians…The legal cancellation of governmentʼs decision would represent a positive precedent not only in Czech, but in the whole Europe, as it would send a message that the recognition of Kosmet independence means a huge jeopardy for the international legal system in the whole world, emphasized Wojtech Filip.

Favorite to win Czech elections calls Kosovo “terrorist” (B92, DANAS, Jan. 24, 2013)

…Speaking for the ČTK news agency, [Miloš Zeman] said that if elected, he would “not allow a Czech ambassador to be sent to Priština”.

“I would withdraw even the charge d’affaires that is there now, let alone send an ambassador. I consider Kosovo a terrorist regime financed by narco-mafias,” Belgrade-based daily Danas is quoting Zeman as saying.

It was the opposition of the outgoing president, Vaclav Klaus, that prevented the appointment of an ambassador in Priština, although the Czech Republic is among the 22 of EU’s 27 nations that have recognized Kosovo.

Also experiencing at least momentary buyer’s remorse was racing-to-recognize Switzerland:


There are also concerns about the Swiss position and the fact that some politicians have been calling for the country to retract recognition for Kosovo – after being one of the first to recognise it.

Media Question Wisdom of Recognising Kosovo (Swiss Info, Dec. 17, 2010)

Does Switzerland bear a responsibility for the legitimacy of the Kosovo government, given it was one of the first nations to recognise Kosovo’s independence?

There have been criticisms expressed in the Swiss media this week of Switzerland’s diplomatic move, following a Council of Europe report accusing Kosovo’s leader of heading a mafia-style organisation.

According to [Swiss politician] Dick Marty, the European Union, the United States and the United Nations were all aware of the crimes committed by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), but turned a blind eye in favour of short-term stability.

His report accuses Thaci of being the head of an organised crime ring during the Kosovo Albanian guerrilla war against Serbia in the late 1990s – a ring that assassinated opponents and trafficked in drugs as well as organs harvested from murdered Serbs.

And newspapers like Geneva’s Le Temps took Switzerland to task. On Thursday, it said that Switzerland was following and even encouraging the trend of quasi-absolving crimes committed by the Albanians…. “How blind! How could such a careful country that insists on human rights be so partisan,” asked Le Temps.

In Le Temps’ view, Switzerland carries a larger part of the burden than other countries on account of its connections with the KLA. […]

Hit with a war just five months after Kosovo’s unilateral secession, Georgia too lapsed into self-preserving sanity:

Georgian Opposition Wants U.S. To Renounce Recognition Of Kosovo (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Nov. 5, 2009)

…Labor Party Secretary-General Joseph Shatberashvili…says that Labor Party leaders believe that if Washington would revoke its recognition of Kosovo’s independence it would cause Russia to reconsider its decision to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states.

Shatberashvili said that after the talks in the United States, Natelashvili — who is known as one of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s “most consistent critics” — will travel to Moscow to hold similar talks with Russian officials.

Moscow recognized the Georgian republics as independent countries after a brief war with Georgia in August 2008. […]

As well, an MEP from one of Washington’s chief cohorts in the Kosovo affair spoke up belatedly:

MEP Van Orden: ‘Not happy’ about Kosovo outcome (EurActive, April 9, 2008)

British Conservative MEP and foreign affairs committee member Geoffrey Van Orden believes greater autonomy for Kosovo within Serbia would have been a better solution, strengthening reformists in Serbia and improving Western relations with Russia…

“I’m not happy personally about the outcome in Kosovo. I’m not sure that was the best we could come to and I think we should have tried harder to find a way to give Kosovo greater autonomy within Serbia. I’m not looking for ways to make relationships with Russia more difficult than they are. On the contrary, I want good relations with Russia and I think it’s in Russia’s strategic interest to have good relations with the West. I don’t see a lot of point in just finding issues which are going to put Russia on a different side to ourselves, and this is one of them. And after all, we are not dealing with a Serbia ruled by Milosevic, we are dealing with a democratically elected government in Serbia, and it seems very strange, that now that we have a democratically elected government, that we kick them in the most sensitive place.”

Even one of the chief architects of reversing WWII in 1990s Yugoslavia, Germany, had a former official with second thoughts (after laying the groundwork for what he’s complaining about):

Former German chancellor terms recognition of Kosovo an error (India — Top News, May 5, 2008)

In an interview with Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, Schroeder said the declaration had come too early and was thus wrong…It had created new problems without solving old ones, he said. The European Union had succumbed to pressure from the United States on the Kosovo issue. […]

(Though really, Schroeder was more concerned that the fast pace could hurt the future of Serb compliance: “Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder says that EU member-states have been too quick in recognizing Kosovo’s unilateral independence….he hoped that the EU would realize its responsibility for leaving Serbia’s pro-European forces out on a limb.”)

Any Kosovo recognizers feeling genuine buyer’s remorse would find support from non-recognizers Romania, Spain, Greece and Slovakia, that last one reaffirming its non-recognition in June 2013:

“Consensus in Slovakia not to recognize Kosovo” (B92, June 5, 2013)

Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčak has told the Tanjug news agency…that his country would not recognize Kosovo…Commenting on the announcement of Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta that he will discuss possible recognition of Kosovo with his Slovak counterpart Robert Fico, Lajčak said:

“When people ask me whether Slovakia will change its position or why it still has not changed the stance, I ask them if they heard any politician, read any article, heard any journalist, representative of a non-governmental organization or a citizen say that Slovakia should recognize Kosovo. They have not.

“This stance is based on a resolution of the Slovak parliament but is also accepted by the entire society…So, when Prime Minister Ponta arrives next week, I am sure he will get the same answer from my prime minister,” Lajčak stressed. […]

Lajcak: Kosovo’s independence is illegitimate (Aug. 12, 2009)

“Kosovo’s decision was based on political instead of legal criteria. Two elements were missing in the process: an agreement between Belgrade and Pristina and legalization of the process through international institutions, mainly the UN Security Council,” said Lajcak…

Here was Romania before its 2013 bout of faltering:

Basescu: “Problem started with Kosovo must be stopped” (Aug. 23, 2008)

… “It is wrong to grant ethnic minorities collective territorial rights,” [Romanian president Traian] Basescu said. “Western forces do not realize this and the consequences are major problems with territorial integrity in the Balkans, the Black Sea region, and in other parts of Europe.” […]

Spanish paper: Mistake called Kosovo (B92, Jan. 24, 2008)

One of Spain’s most influential dailies says that Kosovo’s independence is imminent, and wrong.

“Kosovo will soon declare independence, with the backing of Germany and the United States, despite the fact that the border change was not in keeping with international law, nor EU practice, and Spain is not heard or listened to by anyone in the EU,” ABC said today in an editorial.

“The creation of an independent state for Kosovo Albanians will set a precedent for many parts of Europe with minorities who, often without reason, consider themselves discriminated,” the daily wrote.

The author, [Pedro] Schwarz, pointed out that state borders, “at least in the European continent,” are inviolable, and that this principle was “more important than succumbing to the temptation to create new states in line with ethnic principle.”

The article stressed that Kosovo Albanians, encouraged by the support of the UN special envoy, Martti Ahtisaari, and the promise of independence by the United States and some EU members, “did not show the least readiness to reach a reasonable agreement with Belgrade.”

Kosovo independence was declared rashly: Greek President (FOCUS News Agency, Dec. 3, 2009)

Greek President Karolos Papoulias said in an interview to Czech Pravo newspaper Kosovo independence was declared rashly and the states which have not recognized it are in fact defending their national interests, the Serbian BETA agency informs.

According to him, the international community should have insisted on negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina to continue because the plan of the UN envoy Martin Ahtisaari has been prepared “hastily”…Kosovo will be a center of conflicts. […]

Meanwhile, on the eve of the declaration itself: Former NATO commander in Kosovo General Fabio Mini: RECOGNITION OF KOSOVO INDEPENDENCE A BIG MISTAKE (Serbian Press Agency SRNA, Feb. 16, 2008)

“If the UN recognizes Kosovo, tomorrow everyone will have the right to ask for the same: Northern Ireland, the Chechens, the Basques, etc.,” assessed Mini. The Italian general does not understand the international community’s hurry to recognize the unilateral proclamation…because, he said, a few years is not enough for such processes.

In an interview for the Milan daily “Corriere dela Serra”…[Mini] assessed that Italy would be making “a horrible mistake” if it recognized Kosovo, even bigger than its recognition in record time of Croatia in 1992. “The independence of Kosovo [will] only serve the ruling clans….”

Lot of mistakes done to Serbia by European States, diplomat (Serbianna.com, Aug. 5, 2008)

Former Italian foreign minister Gianni de Mikelis, who is also a member of the European Parliament, said…that recognition…was a mistake, as well as the sending of the EULEX mission to Kosovo. According to him, it is evident that Kosovo will not become a UN member, as the majority in the General Assembly, not only China and Russia, would be against it. Serbia will not allow admission of Kosovo in the UN, but it cannot go backwards either, and such a situation creates instability and [a] problem for the whole of Europe.

UPDATE: After letting the cat out of the bag in January 2013 that UN membership for Kosovo — as well as Serbia’s recognition of Kosovo — are indeed part of the grand plan — then trying to stuff the cat back in — the Reich asserted itself: March 25, 2013 — Germany Urges Serbia to Allow Kosovo UN Seat:

[N]ormalization of the relations between Kosovo and Serbia should eventually include a UN seat for Kosovo… “If the situation developed this way, we in Bundestag would be ready to tolerate [Serbia’s] failure to fulfill some of the additional conditions.”

UPDATE: In case we hadn’t guessed, “normalizing relations” now also means what Europe has been impossibly swearing it wouldn’t:

March 28, 2013 — Serbia Must Recognise Kosovo: “German MEP Elmar Brok said neither Serbia nor Kosovo can hope to join the European Union if they have not recognised each other first.” What’s more, longstanding UN member Serbia and the newest non-state Kosovo “’should join the EU at the same time’, in order to avoid a situation similar to that between Macedonia and Greece, whereby Serbia could ‘use the veto to obstruct Kosovo’s membership in the union.’”

Explanation of how it works: “Whenever the both sides are urged to negotiate, it is mostly…to get the Serbs to accept something…more things leading to Serbia recognizing Kosovo.”

You don’t have to be Russian to be infuriated.

06/22/15

“Deranged Lone Assassin” Mows Down, Stabs 37 Austrians, Answering ‘IS’ Call to Balkan Muslims: “Either Join, or Kill Over There”

By: Julia Gorin
Republican Riot

Is it a coincidence that earlier this month, the following call to Jihad by IS was issued specifically to Balkan Muslims: IS to Balkan Muslims: “Either join, or kill over there”

Well, Alen Rizvanovic killed over there. Not exactly “lone” or “deranged” (beyond the mental disorder otherwise known as Islam which, yes, is lame. And now so are 34 Austrians, plus three dead).

Austria is of course very vulnerable to feeling the effects of the call of the wild, thanks to the Bosnian Muslims it welcomed back when it served as the financing center of the Bosnian Jihad, known to Westerners as the Bosnian war, or “Serbian genocide against Bosniaks.” Official Austria was front and center in helping make the war go in favor of the Muslims who demanded to carve their own Islamic state in Europe out of Yugoslavia.

But getting to the main question at hand: Gee, why would IS think it can recruit Balkan Muslims? Of all people. Didn’t we make it clear that those Muslims aren’t like those Muslims? IS and its forebears must not have gotten the memo that the West proclaimed the Muslims of the Balkans to be modern, secular, European, Western-facing, moderate, and so on — and gave them the upper hand in the war, and then in the peace. Because that way there would be no risk that these Muslims would turn into those Muslims, right? I mean, if they drink alcohol and eat pork — as their advocates constantly point out — then there’s no way they’ll choose Islamic solidarity over the West. Right?

Here was that IS call:

IS to Balkan Muslims: “Either join, or kill over there” (B92, RTS, vocativ.com, June 5, 2015)

The Islamic State has published a propaganda video that threatens Balkan countries and calls on Muslims to either join it, or launch attacks in the Balkans.

The video, titled “Honor is in jihad, a message to the Balkans”, has been published by the Alhayat Media Center – a propaganda center established to reach audiences in the West with Islamic messages.

The video, that lasts a little over 22 minutes, has an English language narrator talking about the history of the Balkans, while showing historical footage, and about the Muslim communities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania “and other countries in the region.”

Members of the Islamic State who came from the Balkans are shown, with several of them calling on other Muslims to go to Iraq and Syria, “where they can safely and with dignity live with their families.”

Among the identified Islamists are Abu Bilkis, aka Al Albani and Abu Mukatil, aka Al Kosovo, as well as Abu Muhammad al Bosni.

[What names these are! “Al-Bosni, Al-Albani, Al-Kosovi.”? Who could have foreseen it? Those very same “moderate” and “pro-American” Muslims.]

“Many of you complain that they cannot grow a beard or wear a niqab. Now is your chance, make Hijra,” said one of those featured, Salahudding Al Bosni.

He also told the audience that “to think back to the last war in Bosnia-Herzegovina”.

As in other propaganda videos, the jihadists are telling those who are “unable to emigrate to the land of Islam” to attack “dictators in Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania”, as well as their armies.

“Fight them over there. If you can, put explosives under their cars, in their houses, all of them. If you can, take some poison, put in it their drink, in their food, let them die. Kill them in every place and wherever you can. In Bosnia, in Serbia, in Sandzak. You can do it, Allah will help you,” Salahudding Al Bosni is heard saying.

This clip has been “much better produced than the dozens of previous propaganda materials made for the Balkan Islamists in the past 20 years,” said the reports.

Well that must have done the trick. This guy was motivated enough to extrapolate “over there” to his own adopted home of Austria, not far from the Balkans. It’s a call-up that has Deutsche Welle asking, “Are the Balkans a gateway for ‘IS’?”

Now, why would the Balkans per se — more than some other part of Europe — be IS’s gateway? I mean, what is different about the populations of the Balkans from those of the rest of Europe? Surely it couldn’t be the countless Westward-facing Muslims that populate that region. In any case, when has the word “extremism” ever been associated with Balkan Muslims? Yet that is the category Deutsche Welle placed the story under:

EXTREMISM
Are the Balkans a gateway for ‘IS’?
Millions of Muslims live in the Balkans. According to media reports, Islamist terrorists are increasingly trying to influence them. But opinions are split on how dangerous the situation really is.

The history of the Balkans over the past 100 years is nothing but a chronology of Muslim oppression, at least according to the “Islamic State” (IS) terrorist group, whose propaganda targets the region. [Funny, that’s also according to the Bosnian and Albanian ‘not-like-those’ Muslims.] The only solution in the fight against the communists, so-called “crusaders” and Jews is jihad, they say. In an elaborately produced video, “IS” urges Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegowina, Serbia, Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia to kill their “infidel” neighbors.

“Put explosives under their cars and houses, pour poison into their food, let them croak,” a young bearded man shouts in Bosnian. The terrorists in the video even have nicknames, depending on where they come from: Al-Bosni, Al-Albani, Al-Kosovi.

The propaganda has already served one purpose: for days, all of the regional media reported that “IS” has its sights on the Balkans. Such reports are extremely useful to the Islamists, warns Vlado Azinovic, a political scientist and journalist from Bosnia.

“Via Twitter alone, the IS publishes more than 200,000 short messages per week,” the terrorism expert says. “They all contain such threats in several languages, so it’s wrong to believe that IS is targeting the Balkans in any way,” Azinovic told DW.

But, notions that the Balkans represent a gateway for jihadists are nothing but media hype and an expression of “hysteria”, he added.

[That’s right, Folks. Stay on-program. There’s no difference between short twitter messages and an elaborately, professionally produced video specifically in the Balkanites’ own language.]

Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper also reported that radical Islamists are increasingly networking in the western Balkans, offering “a kind of initial training for would-be jihadists.” The paper quoted German security officials as saying the situation is so alarming that it was discussed at the most recent G7 summit.

“The threat posed by IS should be taken seriously,” says Filip Ejdus, a Belgrade political scientist. While the expert doesn’t believe “IS” can create branches in the Balkans at this point, he fears the terrorists will soon carry out more attacks in Europe…

Experts may disagree about the extent of the threat posed by “IS” in the Balkans, but there is no doubt that the “Islamic State” has been recruiting many new backers in the region.

A record 250 men from Kosovo have gone to war for “IS”, media reports say. Bosnia-Herzegowina is also said to be at the top of the jihadist recruitment list…

…Ejdus says… “Although a majority of Muslims in the Balkans rejects these anti-civilizing ideas, they still unfortunately find their way to some people.”

The same is true for Kosovo, says Ismail Hasani, an expert on the sociology of religion from Pristina. Some Imams, who were trained in the Middle East, propagate a non-traditional interpretation of Islam, he told DW. “But in the Balkans, these radical versions don’t fall on fertile soil.” Hasani is convinced these interpretations will soon be a thing of the past…

But back to the present. Here is the UK Daily Mail report:

‘Deranged lone assassin’ drives at 90mph into crowds of shoppers in Austria before stabbing bystanders, killing four-year-old boy and two adults, and leaving 34 injured (June 20, 2015)

A four-year-old boy is reported to be one of three people killed after an SUV ploughed into a crowd of people in Graz, Austria.

Another 34 people were injured in the attack, with six – including two children – said to be in a serious condition.

Eyewitnesses say the driver rammed into crowds at up to 90mph before he got out and began randomly stabbing bystanders, which included the elderly and policemen.

The three victims killed in the attack have been described as a 28-year-old Austrian man, a 25-year-old woman and a four-year-old boy.

The woman and boy were both killed as the driver ploughed through crowds on the main Herrengasse shopping street before reaching the city’s main square.

The governor of the state has described the driver as a ‘deranged lone assassin’.

The National Police Director, Josef Klamminger, said the man, who is believed to be a 26-year-old Austrian truck driver, was suffering from ‘psychosis’ related to ‘family problems’.

The attacker is believed to be married with two children.

Police director Klamminger added that the man was under a restraining order keeping him away from the home of his wife and two children, after a domestic violence report was filed against him last month. [So far, we’re hitting on all the tropes of being a pious Muslim male.]

The driver did not resist when he was arrested by the police – who say he acted alone – and they have no reason to believe it was an act of terrorism.

The mayor was reported to be riding his Vespa in the street when the SUV sped past him, just feet away.

He only avoided being hit by driving onto the pavement, according to local media.

Always doing his homework, writer Daniel Greenfield found an Alen Rizvanovic on facebook, who has twice “liked” jihadist Bosnian war criminal Naser Oric, commander of Muslim soldiers at Srebrenica whom we are to again memorialize this July 11th. (And with extra gusto, please, as it’s the 20th anniversary of “the worst atrocity in Europe since WWII.”)

By the way, isn’t Graz where the Bosnian Muslims and Croats stole off to in the first place, to have their secret referendum on secession? Graz even sounds like a shortened Grazie — as in ‘Thanks, Austria, for not extraditing that Bosniak war criminal on the Serbs’ warrant, and thanks for trying to block Serbia’s EU accession start. Doing everything “right” for the Bosnian Muslims sure goes a long way.

06/18/15

This Week’s Globe Magazine Cover

By: Julia Gorin
Republican Riot

“Ex-White House aide reveals — Clinton Fighting Dementia!”

Well that’s good. Because he sure as hell didn’t fight al-Qaeda.

(Or is Dementia the name of a mistress?)

Meanwhile, the subhead reads: “Can’t Remember Being President.”

That’s funny, I can’t remember him being a president either.

Anyway, no biggie. Some would argue Bill Clinton has had dementia for the last 30 years.

05/5/15

One Killed, Two Wounded in Jihad Attack on Bosnian-Serb Police Station. Read AP’s Bosnia-War Motives for Gunman with a Grain of Salt Lake City

By: Julia Gorin
Republican Riot

This incident happened less than a week after a Bosnian-involved Aussie terror plot was foiled, and at the very police station where former NY cop Bob Leifels did a 1997-98 stint as international police.

Gunman Shouting Allahu Akbar in Bosnia Storms Police Station (AP; ABCNews.com, Apr. 27)

A gunman stormed into a police station in a northeastern Bosnian town shouting “Allahu akbar” on Monday, killing a policeman and wounding two others, authorities said.

The gunman was also killed during the attack in the town of Zvornik….The Bosnian Serb police chief, Dragan Lukac, identified the man as Nerdin Ibric.

Here comes the requisite retro-justification part of any MSM report when Serbs are targeted:

Zvornik is a town in the Bosnian Serb part of the country and it is located on the border with Serbia. Before the 1992-95 war, about 60 percent of the town’s population was Muslim Bosnians. Almost all were expelled and many were killed during the war as part of a Serb campaign to create a purely Serb area.

(Notice also the requisite omission of the population-trades that all three sides engaged in, called “ethnic cleansing” only when the Serb side did it. Nor is the reader given to understand that “many were killed” as fighters, not in civilian-massacres, as it’s made to sound, or that the Serb ambition wasn’t to create pure areas but to prevent war. Ethnic purity was a result of the war that the Serbs’ enemies and Washington, Bonn, and Vatican so wanted.)

Serbs managed to control half of Bosnia by the time the U.S. brokered a peace agreement in 1995 under which each warring party could keep their conquered territory. This is how the country ended up divided into two fairly autonomous regions — one for the Serbs, the other shared by Muslim Bosniaks and Croats. The two have their own governments, but are linked by a central government based in Sarajevo.

After the war, only a few thousand Muslims returned to the Serb area of Zvornik.

How many Serbs returned to this or that area of Muslim-won ground, we’re not told. But here’s just one random, May 2010 example of what happens when they do:

Bosnian Muslim high school students in the city of Maglaj went out on the streets to intimidate ethnic Serb returnees….parad[ing] with traditionally green Islamic flags and shouting anti-Serbian slogans….Bosnian Muslim police did nothing to enhance security. One of the Serb returnees, Vjekoslav Lazic, said that…life of ethnic Serbs is under threat. “We asked the authorities in the Serb Republic to help us so that we can collectively leave”….During Easter, Muslims in Maglaj invited local Serbian Orthodox priests to convert to Islam…Additional “invitations” were nailed to the doors of houses owned….Christian clergy approached the chief Maglaj imam to intervene but Imam Izudin Kruska told them that the problems…have not been organized by the Islamic Community of Maglaj. Dzevad Galijasevic, himself a former Mayor of Maglaj, says that Islamic extremism is on the rise in the city. Galijasevic, who is a member of anti-terrorism task force for the Balkans, warned that Maglaj Muslims are being systematically radicalized.

And a 2007 item:

70 villages in Bosnia, home to 15,000 Serb returnees, have reportedly been without electricity for several years. Media in the Republic of Srpska reported that…local Bosnian Muslim and Croat municipal authorities “deliberately bypassed Serb villages when it came to restoration of infrastructure destroyed during the 1990s war.” The period between 1992 and 1995 saw the expulsion of the Serb population from more than three hundred major settlements that now belong to the Muslim-Croat federation.

And have you seen Sarajevo lately? (Bosnia: Muslims dominate capital, claims Croatian MP — The Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, once a symbol of ethnic diversity, has become an entirely Muslim city, a Croat deputy in the Bosnian Parliament, Branko Zrno, said…Serbs and Croats in Sarajevo have no institutional protection, and continue to leave the capital…Serbs claim that in the city of 400,000 only 7,000 Serbs have remained, compared to 160,000 before the 1992-1995 civil war…Muslim President of the Bosnian Helsinki committee for human rights, Srdjan Dizdarevic, said in a recent interview that Sarajevo had become a “monoethnic” city… “Ethnic cleansing in this city has, unfortunately, been successfully completed. If the will exists to reconstruct Bosnia on multiethnic principles, one should start with Sarajevo,” he concluded. But as ethnic tensions deepened, the Muslim chairman of a three-man rotating state presidency, Haris Silajdzic, on Wednesday launched a fresh attack on the Serb entity. Silajdzic repeated earlier claims that the Serb entity is a “symbol of genocide” allegedly perpetrated by its first president, Radovan Karadzic… “The international community is obliged to remove consequences of the genocide,” Silajdzic added, referring to the Serb entity. […])

Back to the AP article about the shooting:

…The Bosnian Serb government will hold an overnight emergency session and the regional president, Milorad Dodik, told Bosnian Serb TV he believes the attacker was instructed by someone else even though he acted alone.

Lukac, the police chief, called on citizens to help police.

“We will fight against them and we will never forgive them, but police can’t do it alone. We need the citizens to help,” Lukac said, without specifying who he meant by “them.”

[Whom do you want him to mean?]

The imam of the Zvornik mosque, Mustafa Muharemovic, condemned the attack.

Of course he did. It also doesn’t hurt that minorities such as he have it good in the Serb part of Bosnia.

A weekend report from the Serb Republic News Agency:

FACT THAT AMBASSADORS ARE TURNING A BLIND EYE CANNOT DISPUTE THE ATTACK

GRADISKA, May 1 /SRNA/ – Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik said today in Gradiska that even though the ambassadors in BiH are turning a “blind eye” this cannot change and dispute the fact that Republika Srpska institutions were attacked in a terrorist attack in Zvornk.

“The police officer was wearing a uniform [with] insignia of Republika Srpska. There was not a single insignia of BiH [Bosnia-Herzegovina] there. When you [certain ambassadors] try to express your condolence to Bakir Izetbegovic [BiH president and son of the late fundamentalist wartime president Alija Izetbegovic] who is hesitating to take a political action to fight politically-motivated Islam and radical Islam, this speaks how much you want to distort facts in BiH,” Dodik told reporters in Gradiska.

[Politically-motivated and radical Islam. Perhaps that answers the AP reporter’s question above, as to whom police chief Lukac might have been referring to?]

Dodik said that the facts are that Republika Srpska was attacked, that a Republika Srpska police station was attacked and that a police officer, a Serb from Republika Srpska, was killed.

“I still very clearly say that a huge majority of Bosniaks are peaceful people, that we want peace and coexistence with them, but we also want an energetic fight against all those who bring violence, regardless of their motives,” Dodik said… “Everything is politics for them [foreign ambassadors distorting the target]. Of course, they have never dropped [the idea] to degrade and abolish Republika Srpska in a peaceful way, but also to strengthen BiH…” He said that this is a twisted approach by a segment of the IC [international community]….

“Republika Srpska police force does not exist in the FBiH [the Muslim-Croat Federation], in Brcko District, or in joint BiH institutions; it is a body of Republika Srpska, a body that was established by Republika Srpska laws and constitution which also represents a right that was given us by the Dayton Peace Agreement,” Dodik has concluded.

Two more AP reports follow. Watch how the whole thing morphs into a contemplation on supposed Serb bellicosity:

Police station attack in Bosnia reignites ethnic tensions

The killing of a policeman by a Muslim gunman prompted Bosnian Serb leaders on Tuesday to renew calls for independence from the federation forged in a U.S.-brokered peace deal in 1995. That’s dangerous talk in the Balkans, whose economically depressed states are rife with ethnic rivalries and border disputes that could explode at any moment.

The attack came only a week after a group of 40 masked gunmen forcibly took over a police station in a Macedonian border village, calling themselves members of the Kosovo Liberation Army that fought for independence from Serbia in the late 1990s. The attackers declare they were forming an independent state in Macedonia, another former member of Yugoslavia. [More on that to come.]

In the wake of Monday’s attack, the Bosnian Serb leader, who has been pushing for independence for the Serb region of Bosnia, said the country’s central institutions are “useless” and Bosnian Serbs should form their own intelligence service.

“This was a shot against Republika Srpska (the Bosnian Serb mini-state) and we have the right to defend ourselves and we will,” Milorad Dodik said.

A similar call was made by the Bosnian Serbs in 1992, which triggered their armed rebellion against Bosnia’s referendum for independence and in favor of forming a pan-Serbian state in the Balkans. [Whereas the rest of us would have no problem living under an Islamic regime.]

Bosnia has a national army, consisting of all three ethnic groups under a single command. But it has two separate police forces, one for the Bosniaks and Croats, and the other for Bosnian Serbs. Both forces are coordinated by the Ministry of Security.

In theory, Dodik could mobilize his own force, drawing from his region’s police officers and other fighters who might support the idea of secession from Bosnia. But that would be a serious violation of the Dayton agreement.

Emir Suljagic, from the Bosnian Democratic Front Party, said, “those who are trying to cynically use this event for gaining political points should be cautious and learn from the lessons of the past when major violence started with big words.”

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic struck a more conciliatory stand on Tuesday, saying Bosnia’s stability has to be preserved and that Serbian and Bosnian security services must cooperate “in order to prevent provocations like this in the future.”

“Risks of similar attacks are high in our region, most of all from the radical Islamist movement,” he said.

On Tuesday, Bosnian police arrested two men with suspected links to the gunman in Zvornik.

New details begun [sic] to emerge about the gunman, identified as 24-year-old Nerdin Ibric, with residents from his village saying his father was taken away by Serbs in 1992 at the start of Bosnia’s brutal multi-ethnic war and never seen again. Local media reported that Serb police rounded up the father along with 750 Muslims from the town and killed them all.

Considering that killings on such a mass scale have yet to be demonstrated as real even for Srebrenica, this is to be taken with a grain of salt. But what one can take away from the detail of the father being led away, if that’s true, is the same lesson as that of the 2007 Trolley Square massacre in Salt Lake City: Like father, like son. A Bosnian “defender” breeds a jihadi offspring. And yet we’re supposed to believe that the Serbs weren’t dealing with anything related to jihad.

One of the suspects taken into custody on Tuesday is known to police and has been questioned in the past for possible Syria ties and recruitment efforts for the Islamic State group, Bosnian Serb police chief Dragan Lukac said.

Bosnian security analyst Goran Kovacevic said, “This country is living in an atmosphere of war. All the people now in power emerged during the war,” he said. “Even 20 years later, they base their politics on war rhetoric and spread fear.”

The final AP article, from Thursday:

Bosnian Authorities Identify Police Station Attack Suspects (Apr. 30)

Bosnian authorities on Thursday identified two suspects arrested in connection with a fatal attack on a police station, including one already under investigation for allegedly helping to recruit fighters for the Islamic State group.

Prosecutors identified the two suspects as 24-year-old Avdulah Hasanovic, and 40-year-old Kasim Mehidic. The men were arrested on Tuesday.

Hasanovic was detained last year in a sweep against Islamic extremists who allegedly recruited people to fight for IS in Syria. He was later released, but his passport has been confiscated and he has had to regularly report to authorities. The group’s leader is on trial.

Radical Muslims were non-existent before the 1992-95 war in the Balkans when foreign mujahedeen arrived in Bosnia to help the Muslim Bosniaks fight against Serbs and Croats. Most of them left after the war but had managed to spread their ultra-conservative interpretation of Islam among a few thousand locals, who stand out amid the majority moderate and secular Bosnian Muslims. [Ah, I almost thought they’d forgotten to include that mantra.]

Bosnian Serb police chief Dragan Lukac said the investigation so far shows the gunman Nerdin Ibric was connected to such extremists.

Experts say some 200 Bosnians are fighting in Syria. IS recruiters mostly target young, jobless men with no hope for a better future in a country with an unemployment rate of more than 40 percent. The 24-year-old gunman fit this profile and was the son of a man who was killed during the war when Serb police from Zvornik rounded up over 700 Muslim men from the once predominantly Muslim town and executed them as part of a campaign to create a pure Serbian area.

Bosnia’s Islamic Community condemned the attack and said the perpetrator’s background is no excuse for committing such a crime.

That’s refreshing. Now if only the MSM could figure it out.