From Rascia-Prizren Diocese Newsletter, August 14, 2003:
“Yesterday’s crime against the Serb children of the village of Gorazdevac near Pec has deeply shaken all Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija and throughout Serbia and left behind it a numbing pain and an awful feeling of helplessness. The brutality and cowardice of this terrorist act have cast a dark shadow over the entire previous UN mission and KFOR, who in the more than four years of their stay in Kosovo and Metohija have not even managed to protect the Serb population living in militarily protected enclaves, let alone to secure a normal life for all throughout the territory of the Province.
After all, this crime is not just some ‘isolated incident’ committed by anonymous extremists. The massacre of innocent children in Gorazdevac is 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 own failures…
For months international representatives have been shouting from the rooftops how the security situation has improved, how the Serb security problem is “all in their frustrated minds” and how a contemporary European society is being built in Kosovo and Metohija. However, when they themselves begin to believe their own lies, a crime occurs that reveals a completely different reality.
This tragedy, therefore, is no “isolated incident” but an illustration of a shocking phenomenon and the culmination of a collective criminal mentality being nurtured and formed, especially during the last four years, in the souls of many, if not the great majority, of Kosovo Albanians. The formation of this retrograde consciousness is the outcome not only of the Albanian language media constantly fanning the flames of ethnic hatred or school programming where the most hardened criminals and opportunists are identified in the eyes of Albanian children as heroes of justice and democracy but also of an ubiquitous attitude of indifference on the part of international bureaucrats whose activity in the Province seems to have been reduced to recording crimes as they occur and feverish efforts to bail out as quickly as possible from their written off mission.
The UN Security Council and NATO headquarters, as well as the governments of Western countries, are constantly being sent dressed up and false reports from Pristina that talk about the great successes of the mission and the progress toward a multiethnic society. When, at a recent meeting of the North Atlantic Council, the decision-making body of NATO, KFOR commander general Fabio Mini recently provided horrific facts regarding corruption in Kosovo and Metohija institutions, especially the Kosovo Protection Corps, and informed the ministers of NATO member countries of the extent of Albanian extremism, many found it difficult to believe because they have been and still are receiving completely different information from their own representatives in Pristina.
The crime in Gorazdevac was undoubtedly committed by a sick person because only such a person could harm innocent children nonchalantly swimming in the river. However, the attack against four Serbs in Pec, including a child seriously wounded in the preceding incident, shows that the boundaries of the crime are much broader and even more serious. What kind of moral wasteland rages in the souls of the Pec residents who bestially descended on a parent transporting his wounded child to the hospital? The spontaneous reaction of the Albanians in Pec is primarily the direct consequence of the activity of Albanian institutions in the Province institutionalizing the rule of ethnic terror and violence and proclaiming crime to be the standard of justice and law. The glorification of terrorists as “freedom fighters” by the Kosovo parliament, systematic discrimination against the non-Albanian population in all spheres of life and persistent obstruction of the return of displaced persons are just some of the most extreme activities being directly implemented under the auspices of these new institutions created by UNMIK. Such institutions are not only preventing the building of a democratic society but actually systematically destroying every possibility of common life. Through their activities such institutions serve primarily as a smokescreen for criminals and mafiosi presently in the roles of leading politicians who enjoy the reputation of national heroes and saviors of the Albanian people.
During the past four years the international community has shown itself to be incapable not only of preventing Albanian ethnic violence but of solving a single serious crime. More than two months have passed since the massacre of the Stolic family and the investigation has not yet to produce a single result. The situation is similar with dozens of other crimes, the most audacious of which include the massacre of peasants harvesting their crops in Staro Gracko and the planting of explosives by terrorists on a Serb bus in Livadice. More than one hundred Orthodox Christian churches have been destroyed during the war; not one perpetrator of these barbarian attacks has been found nor is there any ongoing investigation. Investigations are obstructed by Albanian extremists who have scared the wits out of their more honorable compatriots and international representatives more concerned about their personal safety than the eradication of this rule of terror.
Therefore, the question to ask is whether the international community is indeed incapable or whether it simply lacks the will to confront Albanian terrorism? UNMIK police and KFOR have at their disposal exceptionally comprehensive intelligence and state-of-the-art technical means so it is difficult to believe that they are really unable to resolve these serious crimes. The real issue is the lack of will to cast former “allies” in a negative light because this would undermine the very “legitimacy” of the peacekeeping mission itself. The revelation of the whole truth regarding the criminal activity of the KLA, systematically armed by the governments of some Western countries, the legitimacy of military intervention and the bombing of Serbian cities, towns and villages resulting the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians would be brought into question. Finally, the horrible truth would emerge that the greatest suffering in Kosovo and Metohija began as the first bombs began to fall from combat jets and that a regime that was undemocratic was simply replaced by a rule of ethnic terror and violence under the UN flag.
This horrible crime in Gorazdevac must become a turning point in this retrograde policy justifying crime and the beginning of facing the reality of the situation on the ground. It is high time for the sterile rhetoric and “serious concerns” typically found in press releases brimming with clichés to be replaced by clear and unambiguous qualifications. It is time to undertake concrete measures to stop ethnic violence and begin a true process leading to peace.
If the international UN mission and the new chief of UNMIK comprehend the significance of this development and actively begin to correct the mistakes made during the last four years, there is hope that one day peace and the rule of law will reign in this region. However, if the policy of rationalizing and covering up crimes while systematically deceiving the public continues, the mission will experience a complete collapse and be forced to either withdraw in complete defeat or go to the end and impose a Fascist creation like the independent state of Kosovo Albanians.