|Kosovo Muslims Fleeing to Belgrade
Vote with their Feet
By Mary Mostert, Analyst, Original Sources
August 11, 1999
It's an obscure article in today's London Daily Telegraph written from Belgrade by David Millward. I'm a bit surprised it even made it into the paper at all. It finally reported what those of us in the media who bothered to try to find out both sides of the Kosovo issue had already reported months ago. It told about responsible, law-abiding, ethnic Albanians who are fleeing KLA anarchy and terror in NATO occupied Kosovo, for the capitol of Serbia, Belgrade.
"A noticeboard at the Yugoslav capital's only mosque is crammed with slips of paper from Kosovars offering two or, in one case, three flats in Pristina for one in Belgrade. There are an estimated 200,000 Muslims in the Yugoslav capital which has been a haven from the bloody inter-communal strife that has beset first Bosnia and then Kosovo, with little more than a handful of incidents since the start of the Nato bombardment." Many of those Muslims have lived in Belgrade for decades and are located throughout the city. There is not a Kosovar or Muslim "ghetto".[...]
The difference between what is happening in Belgrade and what is happening in, say, Pristina where the Serbs have been killed, raped and driven out - not just since the end of the bombing but for YEARS and YEARS - is a matter of religion. Muslim, Serbian Orthodox and the Jewish leaders ALL stood shoulder-to-shoulder during the NATO bombing and all taught their followers well. Muslims, Jews and Christians who are living their religions will not hate one another, lie about, kill, covet the property or rape one another. Why? Because the Ten Commandments are common to all three religions. [...]
During the early days of the NATO bombing, when the Serbs were holding rock concerts on the bridges over the Danube, linking arms and singing to try to keep NATO from destroying the bridges, Belgrade's Rabbi was there, with other Jews, members of Belgrade's 26 other ethnic groups, supporting their Serb friends and neighbors.
A puzzled British journalist, David Millward, noted that "Even if many Serbs in the city regard the KLA in Kosovo as the devil incarnate and tacitly condone ethnic cleansing, the idea of turning on their near neighbours is regarded as anathema."
Millward's problem is his country's propaganda which he has swallowed. Everything we are seeing now in Kosovo, which has been taken over by the KLA, clearly shows that the group, known to be drug dealers, runners of prostitution rings and terrorists, ARE the devil incarnate. The desire on the part of Milosevic to rid the country of the KLA and its activities is NOT, and has never been "Ethnic Cleansing." It was intended to be "KLA Cleansing." Undoubtedly there were excesses and undoubtedly those who supported KLA terrorism were treated harshly.
But, bear in mind that not all the soldiers of the KLA are ethnic Albanians. Like most criminal groups, they cross ethnic lines. There are mercenaries from other countries, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and the United States - and, in fact, are LED by a Croatian general who helped ethnically clease Croatia of Serbs.
Had the London Telegraph, CNN, the Washington Post and other major news sources made an attempt to actually GET THE STORY, instead of parroting government press releases and listening to the one-sided stories of people who were determined to take over various parts of Yugoslavia for one or another ethnic groups - they would have discovered long ago that it was never the SERBS who wanted an ethnically pure province in Bosnia, Croatia or in Kosovo. Milosevic sent his army into those provinces to PREVENT them from becoming ethnic islands.
He failed to prevent the ethnic cleansing, because the United States of America put its huge military power behind those wanting the ethnically pure state. Albania is 95% Albanian. The KLA wants Kosovo to be as ethnically pure as Albania, so it can one day be annexed to Albania.
Croatia, which was once 18% Serb, is now down to 12% Serb and dwindling thanks to the ethnic cleansing of its president, Franjo Tudjman. Tudjman and his generals, who had the help of US bombers and arms allowed through a UN blockade by Bill Clinton rid the Krajina area of Croatia of 300,000 Serbs, representing about 6% of Croatia's 5 million population.
Compare that with over 1 million people, most of them Serbs, who have fled the hatreds of Croatia, Kosovo, Bosnia, and arrived in Belgrade or other areas of Serbia. They have not all been Serbs as the clearly puzzled David Millward reports. During the NATO bombing, it was reported that there were 100,000 Albanians in Belgrade. Now Millward reports that there are 200,000 Albanians in Belgrade. That would appear to indicate that one in seven or one in eight of the Albanians who fled Kosovo during the NATO Bombing fled to Belgrade, not to Albania, Macedonia, or Montenegro.
For ANYONE to flee to Belgrade either during the bombing or now, when its electrical systems, factories, bridges, roads, hospitals, schools and water systems are damaged or destroyed is truly remarkable. We used to call that sort of thing "voting with your feet." It says volumes to refute the lies and the Serb baiting that has been going on in the guise of "news" in recent years.