Blood in Kosovo
Province Terrorized Again
by Nebojsa Malic
as north-eastern United States clawed its way from a weekend
blackout, and the UN mission in Iraq gasped
in shock at Tuesday's massacre at its Baghdad headquarters,
the occupied Serbian province of Kosovo was once again in
the headlines. A week ago, British historian Kate Hudson noted
that the attack on Yugoslavia over Kosovo in 1999 established
of aggression" that was applied to Iraq in 2003.
course, the US did not occupy all of Serbia, as it did with
Iraq – only its one province, settled with Albanians bent
on carving out an independent state, or possibly annexing
Albania. While Iraqis shoot at occupation troops, the
Albanians actually welcomed them. These differences, while
rightly irrelevant to Hudson's argument, have also meant years
of abject misery for non-Albanians living in Kosovo.
Tuesday, the government in Belgrade finally announced
its official position on the status of its occupied province,
rejecting outright the notion of independence but pledging
"substantial autonomy" within Serbia. The unexpectedly
firm line by the otherwise spineless Dossie leadership came
a day before Kosovo's new international viceroy, Harri Holkeri,
was to make his first visit to the occupied province.
and UNMIK probably expected an official Albanian response
filled with righteous indignation at the very thought of anything
but full independence for the province. But the unofficial
response that came on August 13 was loud, clear and disgusting.
An "unknown" gunman fired
at children swimming in the Bistrica river, killing
two and injuring several others. The attack took place
just outside Gorazdevac, a Serb enclave surrounded by Albanian
villages. Serbs in Kosovo have long since been disarmed by
the NATO occupation force; the assailant had used an AK-47
attack followed on Sunday, only this time no one was hurt.
that week, and again on Saturday, Serbian military outposts
near the border with Kosovo came
under fire. The attacks were claimed
by the AKSh, the "Albanian National Army," the
newest incarnation of the KLA. It seems to have reawakened
following the announcement of Presevo area Albanians that
they would form an Albanian
National Council to promote annexation to Kosovo.
attack on children was condemned by both Kosovo Serbs and
the Belgrade government. As angry Serbs protested in the streets
of their ghettos, the UN authorities and NATO occupiers pledged
to find the assailants. That pledge has remained unfulfilled
as of yet, as have all others before it.
Sava, the famous "cybermonk"
at Decani, wrote that the Gorazdevac attack was "first
and foremost a shocking
indicator of the real situation in Kosovo and Metohija
that the majority of UNMIK and KFOR representatives, together
with Albanian political leaders, are persistently attempting
to hide from the global public in order to rationalize their
Bishop Artemije, who once
collaborated with the UN-NATO occupiers, is embittered.
"All words have been used already; everything that should
have been said has been said so many times already,"
he told KFOR political officer Frederick Mathias during their
meeting Saturday, quoted FoNet news agency.
even the most conciliatory Serbs – who have condemned Slobodan
Milosevic's government on many occasions and repeatedly reached
out to Albanians – are this embittered, it should be obvious
that few if any Kosovo Serbs trust the occupying authorities
any more. KFOR may be the only thing standing between them
and the Albanian lynch mobs, but it clearly isn't doing it
well; besides, NATO occupation enabled
those lynch mobs to operate in the first place, a fact
Kosovo Serbs have not forgotten, if others have.
Covic Goes To The UN
the murders at Gorazdevac were ghastly, they should not have
been a surprise to anyone familiar with the situation in Kosovo.
Truly surprising was the reaction of official Belgrade, where
the normally ambivalent Dossies actually did something.
Covic, deputy Prime Minister charged with Kosovo affairs,
quickly traveled to New York for the emergency session of
the UN Security Council. What he said there was surprisingly
hideous attack on innocent children swimming in the river
near their homes in Kosovo and Metohia had taken place only
because they were Serbs. It was an attempt to send a message
to all Serbs that they had to leave and there is no chance
for a multi-ethnic society," official
UN reports quoted Covic, who added that "it was necessary
to accept the fact that last week's crimes were not unique
– they belonged to a pattern of activity by a determined minority
of the Albanian population to bring the ethnic
cleansing of the province to completion."
UN Ambassadors gave him a polite hearing and said the obligatory
words of concern and condolences, then rejected
his claims outright. According to US government-sponsored
Radio Free Europe, British Ambassador Emyr Jones-Parry said
the attacks "must still be considered as isolated acts
of extremism," offering no explanation as to why. And
the Council said "it was important for leaders in Pristina
and Belgrade to redouble their efforts to cooperate in building
a multiethnic Kosovo."
see, double of zero is still… zero. The UN gets to sound all
proper, but do nothing. Impressive.
at first apologetic, after Covic's presentation UN officials
began an all-out effort at spin control. Derek Chappel, UN
police spokesman in Pristina, glibly
dismissed the danger of terrorism in the occupied province
in an interview to Agence France-Presse. The agency played
along, labeling the manifestly one-sided campaign of murder
"inter-ethnic violence." Here are some of Chappel's
more ludicrous statements from Tuesday's AFP story:
[the AKSh] have been
classified as a terrorist organisation but we don't believe
they can seriously threaten the stability of Kosovo."
always said that we don't believe there are any large-scale
terrorist organisations in Kosovo but there are always people
who are capable of carrying out terrorist acts."
is still awash with explosives, hand grenades and military
weapons and it is certainly true that there are people here
who do not want reconciliation and want to create instability.
They wouldn't hesitate to use violence to drive the communities
apart. I think that is a very serious threat..."
by AFP): "the extremists' failure to generate a popular
uprising against the international police and judiciary
following the recent war-crimes conviction of an ethnic-Albanian
guerrilla commander showed that most people, whether Serb
or Albanian, wanted to bury the past."
is either insane, or deliberately lying. To him, the AKSh
exists – but not really – and is certainly not a threat. But
of course, there are people who threaten "the stability
of Kosovo," (!) and since he pointedly avoids mentioning
Albanians (and everyone knows they want a stable, Serbenfrei
Kosovo of their own), then who else could possibly be responsible
than those dastardly Serbs again…?
people who have systematically killed and expelled their neighbors
of all other ethnicities, then stole or torched their
property as "people who do not want reconciliation"
is surely the pinnacle of cynicism. In case he'd been living
under a rock these past four years (which is entirely possible),
he could not have helped but notice that "communities"
in occupied Kosovo had already been separated into Albanians
(forcibly ruled by KLA thugs) and everybody else (killed,
expelled, or terrorized into ghettos). How many more people
need to die for Chappel to snap out of his auto-colonoscopy
and confess the truth? Why, all of them, in all likelihood.
Kosovo would be very stable then.
Chappel isn't just some faceless UN bureaucrat. He is the
official spokesman for the UN police force,
the people who are supposed to prevent attacks like Gorazdevac
from happening – or at the very least catch their perpetrators.
Which they have markedly failed to do over the past four years.
are no signs they would perform differently in the future.
That "failure to generate a popular uprising" Chappel
incredulously mentioned had in reality been a week-long bombing
spree against police stations and a fatal
sniper attack against a UN policeman. It appears the UN
police have heard the KLA's message, loud and clear.
is not the only news service deliberately obfuscating the
issue. The Associated Press reported
on the Serbian government's Tuesday declaration with obvious
derision and distortion of facts. For example, its reporter
claimed "dozens" of Serbian churches were destroyed
in "revenge attacks" since 1999, while in reality
the number has been over 112, and the attacks were motivated
not by "revenge" (what have the churches done?)
but sheer hatred.
Guardian article about the Bistrica
beach atrocity referred to "brutal Serbian occupying
forces," dismissed the Belgrade position as a "wish
list" that had "fat chance of becoming reality,"
and claimed that "indicted war criminal" Slobodan
Milosevic had "set up a police state" in Kosovo.
It did call the attack on children "exceptionally brutal"
and "extreme," but it almost sounded as a pretext
for lambasting Belgrade.
the media refuse to see the pattern in the attacks so obvious
to Covic and the Kosovo Serbs. They have toed the UN-NATO
line for so long, it has become impossible to drop it, even
in face of overwhelming evidence. So what happens in Kosovo
must be distorted and the audience diverted from obvious conclusions.
last week, under Imperial pressure and that of their regime,
the Serbs had gone along with this charade. No more.
weeks ago, Helle Dale of the Washington Times quoted
Dossie Prime Minister Zoran Zivkovic, who supposedly said
that, "There are three things Serbs cannot stand… an
independent Kosovo, NATO and the United States." Dale
was trying to be malicious and smear the Serbs as Nazis and
barbarians. But she really did them a favor.
a letter of response, the Serbia-Montenegro embassy did
not deny the quote's accuracy, only its context: namely,
that Zivkovic was trying to tell the media how he was governing
against the will of the people, like every good modern, progressive,
freedom-loving, democratic etc. vassal of the Empire.
was right, then. As reactions from both the government and
the people show, Serbs really cannot stomach an independent
(and needless to say, Albanian) Kosovo. After what happened
in 1999, they cannot stand NATO, either. Dossies are working
hard to join the Alliance, but they might well choke themselves
trying. Regarding the United States, perhaps the Serbian peasants
have figured out something that has eluded most Americans:
that the United States, once venerated by Serbs as a friendly
and fellow freedom-loving nation, has turned into a freedom-crushing
Empire, an abomination and antithesis of itself. What it has
done to Kosovo is all the evidence they need.
that is definitely something to ponder.
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