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Phony Kosovo ‘Independence’
by Jared Israel

(A shorter version of this a
rticle was posted on Feb. 26 on Arutz Sheva)

[Feb. 29, 2008]

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

We are inundated with misinformation about Kosovo ‘independence.’ Case in point: “Kosovo Declares its Independence from Serbia,” in the February 18th New York Times.
[1]  It should have a warning label: ‘This article is harmful to the truth.’

The Times says Kosovo Albanians had “a long and bloody struggle for national self-determination,” suggesting a people distinct from Albanians in Albania, acting independently. But the Times also describes Kosovo Albanians celebrating by waving not ‘Kosovar,’ but U.S. and Albanian flags:

“The distinctive two-headed eagle of the red and black Albanian flag, reviled by Serbs, was everywhere Sunday, held by revelers, draped on horses, flapping out of car windows and hanging outside homes and storefronts across the territory.”
-- The New York Times, see footnote
[1]

This supports the charge that ‘independence’ is part of a U.S. (and German and Vatican) strategy of absorbing Serbia’s province of Kosovo into a Greater Albania that previously existed only under WWII Axis patronage. [2]

The Times presents the present declaration of supposed independence as rooted in a history of massive abuse of Kosovo Albanians, for example the suppression of the Albanian language, carried out by the Milosevic government.  According to the Times:

"In the 1980s, Mr. Milosevic used Serbs’ enormous sense of grievance that their ancestral heartland was now dominated by Muslim Albanians to come to power in Serbia."
--  See footnote
[1]

So, according to the Times, Serbs were stirred by nationalism compounded by religious jealousy.

This is wrong on two counts. First, Kosovo's constitutional status was changed in 1989 as part of an effort to curb long-ignored anti-Serb violence and fascist-led political separatism, not cultural autonomy. There was no repression of the Albanian language.
[3]  

Second, regarding Islam, I have posted thirteen articles on Kosovo that the New York Times published between 1981 and 1987, describing problems leading up to the 1989 constitutional change. [4]

Searching these articles one finds no mention of Serbs being upset because their "ancestral heartland was now dominated by Muslim Albanians." Indeed, one can find no mention at all of the words 'Muslim' or 'Islam.'  [5]  But one does find the relevant use of words such as ‘rape’ five times; ‘murder’ thrice; ‘vandalize’ once; ‘mutilate’ once, ‘kill’ twice; ‘attack’ on people or property five times; ‘knifed’ once; ‘burn’ twice; ‘damage’ five times; ‘poison’ twice; “splashed gasoline in the face” once; and ‘harass’ once, concerning Serbs who “have been harassed by Albanians and have packed up and left the region.” In every case the Times was reporting terror by secessionist-organized Albanians against Serbs.

‘Drive’ appears three times, concerning not cars but Serbian fears that Albanian fascists were trying to drive them out of Kosovo. Now what could have made the Serbs think that?

The ugly term “ethnically clean” first appears in a 1982 New York Times article describing not some Serbian repression of Albanians, but the Albanian secessionist program of eliminating Serbs from Kosovo in order:

“to establish what they call an ethnically clean Albanian republic and then the merger with Albania to form a greater Albania.” [6]

In modifying Kosovo autonomy in 1989, the Republic of Serbia was not repressing Islam; it was belatedly resisting a) racist violence against Serbs and b) an attempt to destroy Yugoslavia.

As for the secessionist apparatus, if, since the 1980s, it has been indoctrinating Albanians in hatred of Christianity and inciting violence on that basis, why has it left Catholic churches alone while destroying scores of Serbian Orthodox churches? Why has it never harassed Catholics as Catholics, while attacking anti-racist Albanians, whether Muslim, Catholic or atheist, just as it attacks Serbs?

[Excerpt from interview with Agim K. starts here]

[Note from Jared Israel: 'UÇK' stands for Ushtria Çlirimtare e Kosovës. In English: Kosovo Liberation Army or KLA. - J.I.] 

“The threats started again in July, I think. First only by telephone; later they began to come to our house, at night - four or five people usually, sometimes more, in UÇK uniforms. They had guns, knives. First they wanted me to work for them; I am an engineer and they needed qualified people. They wanted me to make diversions on power stations and phone lines. I refused. Then they started to break in our house several times a week, to beat us up: me, my father. My mother and younger sisters had to watch them do it, at gun point.  We had no more sleep at night. This was a thousand times worse than anything Serbs did, or didn't do, or could have done: our own people were torturing us because we wouldn't be cut-throats.”

-- Agim K., an Albanian whose family fled Kosovo after refusing to assist in anti-Serb violence. [7]

[Excerpt from interview with Agim K. ends here]

If Kosovo is a battleground of Christianity vs. Islam, why in 1993 did Pope John Paul II - was he a Muslim? - give Kosovo Albanian secessionist leader Ibrahim Rugova an audience and a medal? [8]  The pope's message was clear: the Vatican backed secession. This had a big effect on Catholic Europe, just like the pope’s endorsement of Yasser Arafat. (The PLO got its own office in the Vatican in 1994!) [9]  But it also politically strengthened the secessionists among Albanians, since everyone knows the pope spells power.

A related myth, generally pushed in the Western media, although not in this particular Times article, is that, motivated by mythical anti-Muslim hate, Serbs drove Albanians from Kosovo in 1999, thus provoking NATO bombing.

But a) Albanian flight began a week after the onset of NATO bombing, so how could it have caused it? And b) Albanian flight was staged by the NATO-controlled Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) to mislead Western audiences; staged, as we shall see, through calculated terror. The Yugoslav army tried to organize Albanians to stay in Kosovo and fight the KLA, but the KLA strategy of terror prevailed, and so the pro-NATO media was able to broadcast TV images, falsely presented as Albanians fleeing Serbian violence.

In 1999 and 2000 my website interviewed Čedomir Prlinčević, president of the Jewish community and chief archivist in Pristina, capital of Kosovo province.

In the first interview, [10] Mr. Prlinčević described how, after the victory of NATO's 1999 bombing war against Yugoslavia, the KLA marched into Kosovo alongside KFOR. (KFOR stands for 'Kosovo Force,' NATO's name for its troops in Kosovo.)

KFOR watched and refused to intervene as the KLA attacked Yugoslav loyalists (Serb, Albanian, Roma, Jewish and Slavic Muslim) in Pristina. Mr. Prlinčević described how terrorists invaded the section of Pristina where he lived, killing some people and driving 30,000 from their homes, including Albanians loyal to Yugoslavia. Here is an excerpt:

[Excerpt from first Prlinčević interview starts here]

Jared Israel: Did you try to go to KFOR?

Čedomir Prlinčević: KFOR was in my house when they came there.

Israel: What?

Prlinčević: When the Albanians started to destroy apartments, someone called KFOR and a KFOR officer came inside the house; he was there with his squad. There was a whole bunch [of terrorists - J.I.] going up and down the stairs, a 24 hours pressure of people going up and down the stairs, banging, entering, demolishing. They break down the door and pour in tear gas in some places; and they were robbing -

Israel: Excuse me?

Prlinčević: Robbing, robbing.

Israel: Now, you said the KFOR men were there? Did they actually witness it?

Prlinčević: Yes.

Israel: What did they say?

Prlinčević: They didn't react at all. They didn't protect anybody.

Israel: For God's sake, what did they say?

Prlinčević: They said it is for the civil authorities to regulate the problem. They were only concerned with killings.

Israel: Who were the civil authorities?

Prlinčević: They were not formed yet. There were none.

Israel: How did you know whether you were going to get murdered when someone banged down the door? I guess after you were murdered, you would know?

Prlinčević: Yes. They were just there to draw up documents if you were murdered.

-- See footnote [10]

[Excerpt from first Prlinčević interview ends here]

Obviously, the KLA was a NATO proxy force whose job was to do the dirty work, following which Western officials could lament the understandable excesses of Albanian ‘revenge.’

In the second interview,
[11] Mr. Prlinčević explained that before NATO bombed Serbia in 1999, it reorganized the KLA – one of whose top leaders, Hashim Thaci, now heads the so-called ‘Kosovo government’ – under NATO command.

I asked Mr. Prlinčević whether ethnic Albanians in Pristina, an intellectual center, were pro-KLA when NATO bombed.

Here is his reply, shortened:

[Excerpt from second Prlinčević interview starts here]

Čedomir Prlinčević: Not at first, but later even in Pristina the Albanians were sucked into the secessionist camp. This could happen because of certain cultural traits, deeply rooted in their history. An example: my Albanian neighbor was a professor, very much integrated into Yugoslav life. Without warning he packed up and started to leave Kosovo. I said, "Why are you leaving, neighbor?" He said, “I have to." I said, "Why? We're safe here. Nobody's bothering you.” And he said, "I was ordered to leave."

Jared Israel: Who ordered him to leave?

Prlinčević: The leader of his clan. [Note: Earlier in the interview, Mr. Prlinčević explained that Kosovo Albanian culture has clans with powerful leaders.]

Israel: Why?

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

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

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

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

Israel: During the bombing, NATO said the Albanians were fleeing atrocities. Western opponents of NATO said they were fleeing the bombing. But you’re saying we were wrong.

Prlinčević: The bombing isn't a sufficient explanation. If they were just fleeing bombs, why did they have to go to Albania and Macedonia? Why not inner Serbia?

But the bombing did play an important role. The KLA served as [plane] spotters; they could direct NATO [bombing raid] attacks against hostile Albanians [that is, who were resisting the KLA orders to leave or who were going to inner Serbia or returning home - JI] and this confirmed for the clan leaders that the KLA had serious power. It was psychological warfare, intended to reinforce the psychological crisis among Albanians, a crisis rooted in fear.

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

That's what I meant when I said you need to know something about Albanian culture in order to understand why Albanians left. You have to know about blood feud. One book has a great hold over Albanians. It's called the Canon of Leke Dukagjinii. It's a 15th-century text. It goes into great detail on how to carry out blood feuds, when and whom it is proper to kill. Rules and regulations.

This is an intensely tradition-oriented culture. Blood feud is a constant threat for Albanians. Thousands in Albania and Kosovo cannot leave their houses because they are being hunted. It is for this reason that Kosovo Albanian
houses are often built surrounded by high walls and with gun slits instead of windows.

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

-- See footnote [11]

[Excerpt from second Prlinčević interview ends here]

My conclusion? The first target of Western-fostered Kosovo "independence" has been Albanians independent of racism.

Jared Israel
Editor, Emperor's Clothes

Footnotes and Further Reading follow fundraising appeal

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Footnotes

[1] "Kosovo Declares Its Independence From Serbia,"
by Dan Bilefsky, Warren Hoge, C. J. Chivers and Nicholas Kulish, The New York Times, February 18, 2008

[2] See, "The roots of Kosovo fascism," by George Thompson, The Emperor's New Clothes, February 19, 2000, at http://tenc.net/articles/thompson/rootsof.htm

[3] Regarding the change in Kosovo's constitutional status in 1989, see "The Other Side of the Story,"
by Dusan Vilic and Bosko Todorovic, The Emperor's New Clothes, February 16, 2002, at
http://emperors-clothes.com/book/other.htm#3  and http://emperors-clothes.com/book/other.htm#11

[4] See "Thirteen NY Times Articles on Kosovo, from 1981 to 1987," The Emperor's New Clothes, February
26, 2008, at http://emperors-clothes.com/a/13.htm

[5] As I stated, if one does a word search on the page where the New York Times articles are posted
http://emperors-clothes.com/a/13.htm
one will not find the words ‘Muslim’ or ‘Islam.’ The word ‘Moslem’ (spelled with an 'o' rather than a 'u') does appear once, but that is regarding a Muslim clan which was entrusted with protecting the Serbian Orthodox
Patriarchate of Pec. See "Sacred Serbian Site Damaged By Blaze," by Marvine Howe, The New York Times, April 21, 1981, at
http://emperors-clothes.com/a/13.htm#2 

If the Times has discovered that its reporting from 1981 to 1987 on Kosovo was wrong, let it say so and say why. By failing to refute its earlier reporting - indeed, by failing even to mention that at the time it attributed Kosovo's problems to systematic anti-Serb violence - the Times lends credibility to my charge that the 'Serbian religious jealousy' explanation was invented to provide a plausible reason for Serbs to have supposedly abused Albanians.

[6] See "Exodus of Serbians Stirs Province in Yugoslavia," by Marvine Howe, The New York Times, July 12, 1982, at
http://emperors-clothes.com/a/13.htm#7
The phrase "ethnically clean" appears in the article at
http://emperors-clothes.com/a/13.htm#clean

[7] "An Albanian Tragedy: A stranger in Belgrade. Interview with Agim K."
Interviewed by Tanya Djurovic,
The Emperor's New Clothes, March 6, 2000, at
http://www.tenc.net/interviews/albanian.htm

[8] See "In 1993, the Pope Openly Embraced Kosovo  Secession ," The Emperor's New Clothes, February 26, 2008, at http://emperors-clothes.com/medal.htm

[9] 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#VII

[10] "Driven from Kosovo!" Interview with Čedomir Prlinčević, Chief Archivist and leader of the Jewish Community in Priština, capital of Kosovo province (Serbia).
Interviewed by Jared Israel and Nancy Gust, The Emperor's New Clothes, September 9, 1999, at
http://emperors-clothes.com/interviews/prlincevic.htm 

[11] "Why Albanians Fled Kosovo During the 1999 NATO Bombing -  Interview with Čedomir Prlinčević," interviewed by Jared Israel, The Emperor's New Clothes, December 3, 2000, at http://emperors-clothes.com/interviews/keys.htm

Further Reading

A partial collection of Emperor's Clothes articles on Kosovo is posted at http://emperors-clothes.com/yugo.htm

***

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