Over the past couple of years, Julia Gorin has done more in-depth coverage of suffering in Kosovo than I have done since 1999. She has that rare quality for a journalist: the ability to research the story, connect the dots, and back her claims up with hard evidence. Most mainstream reporters, by contrast, rely on "unnamed diplomats" and "respected analysts" who are actually government spokesmen and paid propagandists for whichever cause is the Official Truth of the day.
Back in July, Julia published a piece in the American Legion magazine revealing that the "victory" in Kosovo was anything but. She was immediately attacked by two soldiers deployed in Kosovo, claiming she was a "liar" and a "predator" who made up things and impugned the Soldiers (always with a capital "S") who served their country and protected "our freedoms" - such as, ostensibly, Julia's freedom of speech.
Let's set aside for the moment the obviously ridiculous notion that occupying a portion of Serbian territory on behalf of Albanian separatists in any way shape or form defends anything American, whether rights, interests or principles. In practice, one has freedom of speech in the U.S. so long as their voice isn't heard by too many. If there is the slightest danger of a dissenting view "infecting" the carefully constructed mainstream, the dissident is exposed to onslaught of "respectable" critics and pro-establishment types, dismissed as a kook or a paid foreign agent, ridiculed as a liar or a fringe extremist, etc. This is exactly what happened when Julia published her critique of Croatia's Ustasha revival; death threats and invective came at her from all angles (publishing emails from angry Croats calling her a "filthy Jewish bitch" or saying "we didn't kill enough of you" was a brilliant response, though).
Just to make sure she means business, Julia has a link on her page to Bruiser, her rather fierce-looking canine companion. Seems as if taking a look at his photo has a salutary effect on those who threaten her bodily harm.
Following the attacks by the two military bloggers, Julia has composed an extensive response, which is carried by FrontPage Magazine. She carefully documents every one of her claims, debunks the bloggers' assertions methodically, and in general makes them look like clueless idiots at best, or pathetic mouthpieces of officialdom at worst.
How someone can sit in Camp Bondsteel, in occupied Kosovo, and claim they fight for liberty is completely beyond me. How can someone claim to fight for American freedoms, and then take part in enabling the ethnic cleansing of Serbs in Kosovo, which is as un- and anti-American an endeavor as it gets? Or could this be the knee-jerk "patriotism" of some folk who believe that questioning the motives and intentions of the Imperial government while there are troops in harm's way (by the way, that harm is likely to come from the Albanians they are protecting; how's that for irony?) is treason? It seems they have forgotten that their oath was not to a Fuehrer but to the Constitution of a Republic.
There are times when I wonder whether I would care so much about what has taken place in the Balkans had I not lived through it, or if I would be so passionate about the injustices heaped upon the Serbian people if I were not an ethnic Serb. Julia Gorin is neither. She's an American, who could have profited handsomely parroting the official line about evil, genocidal Serbs. Instead, she chose to put everything on the line for the cause of truth and justice. That is true heroism. That is the American Way. And those who sneer at her while pretending to be American patriots ought to be ashamed of themselves.