Thursday, November 29, 2012

Corvus oculum corvi non eruit

Ramush Haradinaj, KLA, released today by the war crimes "Tribunal", was greeted upon his triumphant return to occupied Kosovistan with billboards like these:
Pristina, occupied Kosovo, today (via NSPM)

Look at the flags.

Enough said.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Monument to Evil

The recent decision by the Hague Inquisition to reverse the convictions of two Croatian generals wasn't just a favor to Empire's onetime "junkyard dogs"; its wider implication was that abuse, expulsion and murder could be practiced with impunity, as long as the perpetrators thereof are Imperial "allies," and the targets are Serbs.

This is the message the Albanians have been hearing for years. Remember, the military leader of the terrorist KLA - now the Kosovian "defense minister" - was a general in the Croatian Army, serving under one of the generals the Inquisition set free. Now, however, they had a chance to show their pride in such impunity, on the occasion of an Albanian national holiday.

On November 28, 1912, what became the Albanian national flag - black eagle on red field - made its first appearance. Each year, the Albanians celebrate this as "Flag Day", and even though "Kosovia" has its own, politically correct flag, its blue and gold are nowhere in evidence these days, amidst the sea of red and black.

The central, pan-Albanian celebration has already taken place - in Skopje, capital of the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia. Why not Tirana, the capital of Albania proper? Or Pristina, the capital of "independent Kosovo"? Simple. Skopje was the ancient capital of Serbia, and though modern Serbia doesn't claim the territory of Macedonia, the Albanians do.

But wait, there is more. In Presevo, a southern Serbian town claimed by Albanians as part of "Eastern Kosova", the local KLA first put up a monument to its "freedom fighters," then dared the Serbian police to come take it down. And yesterday, the following picture appeared in Serbian newspapers:
A model outside the Bujanovac Culture Hall (source)
An installation outside the Culture Hall in Bujanovac (a town near Presevo also claimed by the KLA), purports to represent the house in Valona where the Albanian flag first flew a century ago. However, the model is painted a shade of yellow entirely inappropriate for the original - invoking comparisons to the notorious "Yellow House."

This was the name given to a farmstead in Albania where, during and after the war to claim Kosovo (1999), the KLA killed and dismembered (in that order, if they were lucky) dozens of abducted Serb civilians, to sell their organs on the black market. When word of the "Yellow House" first emerged, the KLA, the Albanian authorities and the house's owners denied everything. The Hague Inquisitors claimed they had found nothing, and just accidentally happened to destroy all the evidence from the investigation. But as you can see, the KLA is now rubbing it in.

Pogroms based on blood libel. Desecrated churches and cemeteries. Pride in terrorism and butchery. All cheered on by the "international community" and the self-appointed defenders of "human rights." A month ago, Secretary of State Clinton declared that the cause of "independent Kosovia" was a personal matter - "for me, my family and my fellow Americans."

Clinton has a shopping center named after her. There are streets and boulevards named after her husband, and an Enver-style statue in downtown Pristina. I guess what's left to their "fellow Americans" is Kosovo itself - a monument to evil if ever there was one.

Proud yet?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Injustice for All, Redux

When the ICTY convicted two Croatian generals (and acquitted another), in April last year, I wrote:
"It would be a mistake to believe that the Tribunal or the Empire have suddenly developed a case of caring about Serb suffering. At best, the judgment against the generals is a gambit to create the perception of impartiality, while continuing to pursue the "Greater Serbian conspiracy." Under the JCE, the accused is guilty of merely existing - i.e. holding a position of authority the Tribunal decides should have had control or even awareness of events - so the fact that one of the generals was acquitted strongly suggests the verdict was political. It is entirely possible that the other two will be acquitted in the appeals process..." (Injustice for All, April 15, 2011; emphasis added)
So I can't say that I was surprised by today's decision by the ICTY to overturn the original verdict in the appeals process, and set the generals free.

The original verdict had two objectives: to clear the nominal obstacles to Croatia's entry into the EU, and to bait the Serbs into lending the ICTY some legitimacy, until it could finish the process of blaming them for the 1990s Balkans wars. It has accomplished both, so now it can be disposed of.

This is just one more tile in the mosaic of evidence indicating that the faux "tribunal" is a political court, nothing more.

Monday, November 12, 2012

An Enduring Mystery

On Veterans' Day (originally Armistice Day, commemorating the end of the Great War), a local newspaper in Bellingham, Washington published a letter from one of the local soldiers, who took part in the IFOR peacekeeping mission in Bosnia.

Officially, everyone was enthusiastic about the mission, and its success in stopping the previously intractable Bosnian War was later taken for granted. But one of the things I learned in Bosnia, while having the honor to work with retired Army colonel David Hackworth, was that one should always trust the grunts, not the "perfumed princes" with fruit salads on their uniforms. And from what I've heard from the grunts - much, much later - it was a near run thing that Bosnia did not relapse into war by the end of 1996.

Here's something PFC Matthew Levi Aamot, wrote in that letter to his grandmother Charlotte, in March 1996:
"One thing that bothers me here is all the kids who stand out at the road and beg food. Thing is, most of these kids so far are well fed and clothed, and are just trying to get something for nothing. ... Suspect that the kids are being paid by the Bosnian army to get ahold of our MREs (meals) to use for themselves.

I also think that these people are just using this year to rearm and recruit more troops. After we leave they will fight again. Maybe we can help get peace established, but somehow, I don't think that us being here will make a lasting impact."
Yet somehow, the peace took. The war has been in remission ever since. And there have been few attempts to explain why. Maybe because the U.S. troops stayed on beyond the one-year deployment that was originally promised? Perhaps because Washington refused to green-light a new war in Bosnia, as it had Serbia to fry? Or was it that the armistice, once it actually took hold and became peace, proved too seductive to people who had to be lied into war to begin with?

It is hard to tell. But until it is figured out, I'm afraid that deciding whether PFC Aamot was right or wrong may hinge solely on the definition of "lasting."

Monday, November 05, 2012

Parallel Perspectives

The Cults of Bosnia and Palestine, by Richard Ziegler
Baico Publishing, Ottawa, 2012
136 pages (softcover)

Two years or so ago, the "Gaza flotilla" incident made me wonder whether Israel was getting "Serbed." It was just a brief glance at some patterns too eerily similar to be coincidental. Yet the whole subject of propaganda, manufactured consent and perception management simply begged for a more detailed study, by someone who could devote enough time, resources and scrutiny to it.

Canadian author Richard Ziegler's second book, "The Cults of Bosnia and Palestine" is one attempt at such a study. A self-identified leftist (his first book was titled "Reclaiming the Canadian Left"), Ziegler has chosen to examine the strange parallel thinking on the Western Left when it comes to the Bosnian and Palestinian conflicts.

Having spotted the same "invective" used to describe the Bosnian Serbs in use against Israel, Ziegler ventures to answer the question "whether some of the charges against [Israel] are made in good faith, or are merely an imitation of a proven strategy." (p.2 ) This comparative approach characterizes all four sections of the book.

In the short, introductory chapter Ziegler explains that the Left's obsession with Bosnia and Palestine most likely lies in its tendency to look for the "victims of oppression" and identify with them. The second chapter dwells on the concepts of "genocide" and "ethnic cleansing," both of which have been employed in crafting the narratives of Bosnia and Palestine. Ziegler notes the dubious emergence and questionable meaning of the term "ethnic cleansing", arguing it was used as a catch-all condemnation of Serbs. But he also tackles the thorny subject of genocide, first noting the absurd contortions applied to Rafael Lemkin's definition by war crimes prosecutors (p.29), then examining the implications of comparing Bosnia to the Holocaust (p.35). Of particular interest is Ziegler's argument that seeing genocide everywhere in effect tends to devalue the significance and distinctiveness of the Holocaust, thus indirectly amnestying its perpetrators.

Chapter 3 deals with Islam and history involved in both regions. Here Ziegler makes an important observation that the Left has not only adopted myths about peaceful coexistence of everyone under Islam, but generally dismissed history as a factor in both conflicts (p. 70-71). He explains the Leftist reluctance to criticize Islam as a result of perceiving the Muslims as the oppressed, and therefore being on the "good" side of identity politics.

Ziegler's venture into explaining the development of anti-Serbism on the Western Left in the final chapter is a very intriguing read. He may not be entirely right to dismiss the lack of prior anti-Serb sentiment on the Left - Engels wrote a scathing attack on the Slavs following the failure of the Hungarian Revolution in 1849, which is often mistakenly attributed to Marx and even excerpted out of context to sound worse - but certainly paints a detailed picture of the circumstances in which the modern anti-Serb thought in the West coalesced in the early 1990s. This is contrasted with prior anti-Semitism on the Left, and the many projections, false analogies and cognitive dissonance that characterize the Left's hostility to both Serbs and Jews. A good overview of the pattern that emerges in both instances is laid out at the very end (p. 118-119). Ziegler's conclusion is that leftist beliefs about Serbs and Jews are almost religious in nature, "and thus impregnable to argument, evidence or reason." (p. 120).

If anything, the book is too short. Documenting the instances of anti-Serbism in the Western press, both mainstream and alternative, over the past two decades would result in a multi-volume work by itself. Yet if Ziegler's conclusion is correct, and the quasi-religious conviction on the Left is impervious to reason, the quantity of evidence becomes somewhat irrelevant, and the quality of the argument more important than ever. To someone who has decided that Serbs and Jews must be evil, no amount of proof to the contrary will suffice to persuade them otherwise.

Nonetheless, Ziegler has done extensive research. Fully 54 pages of the volume's 136 are filled with  often explanatory footnotes. He doesn't cherry-pick favorable authors, either, but includes arguments from all over the spectrum (including myself at one point). Unlike many a scholar, however, he doesn't try to pad the volume with needlessly complex verbiage; Ziegler's prose is crisp, clean, and legible. One doesn't have to be a scholar to understand what he's arguing, or to appreciate the amount of time and effort that went into condensing what could have been a sprawling argument into such a compact volume.

Though plenty of targets of Imperial "liberation" have been softened up by propaganda, no one else has received the "full Serb" just yet. But with the demonization proving so effective, that may only be a matter of time. A great deal of its effectiveness is due to the involvement of the Left, which has successfully styled itself as standing for niceness and tolerance and against all name-calling. Except when it comes to those "disgusting Serbs" and Jews, of course.

The Cults of Bosnia and Palestine, by Richard Ziegler, will be presented on November 14, at Ottawa's Collected Works bookstore.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Madeleine the Bigot

On October 23, Czech filmmaker Vaclav Dvořák (author of the documentary "Stolen Kosovo") crashed the Prague book-signing of former U.S. State Secretary Madeleine Albright. Asked to sign not her self-praising book, but rather the posters of her "greatest hits" (jihad in Bosnia, ethnic cleansing in Croatia, stolen Kosovo), Albright shrieked "Get out!" and called Dvořák and his associates "disgusting Serbs," as can be seen on video.

"Disgusting Serbs, get out!" Albright in Prague, 10/23/2012
Can you imagine if she'd said "disgusting Arabs," or anything else for that matter? Isn't this sort of irrational hatred the very definition of bigotry? Sure - but while bigotry against anyone else is a career-ender in the modern West, bigotry against the Serbs is perfectly acceptable. One might even argue it's mandatory in certain spheres of society, media and politics in particular.

So widespread and accepted has this bigotry become, that efforts to fight it have sprung up only recently, and without official support of the Serbian government (out of fear of offending the bigoted foreigners, most likely). For example, during the 1990s, the British press depicted the Serbs as monkeys, among other things. U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke was proud of his disdain for Serbs; it simply oozes from the pages of his memoir. And Madeleine Albright is apparently unconcerned about displaying her bigotry as well.

Where does all this animosity come from? The torrent of abuse over the years has even made some Serbs believe they must have done something to deserve it. Many blamed the "Milosevic regime", and believed the 2000 coup - funded, organized and supported by the Empire - would put a stop to the hatred. Yet 13 years hence, with Milosevic himself long dead and all the subsequent governments making licking the foreign boot their #1 policy priority, the bigotry shows no sign of abating. Could it be that the roots of it go farther back, long before Milosevic?

Oddly enough, the case of Madam Albright might help shed some light on this.

When Marie Jana Korbelová was born in Prague in 1937, her father Josef Korbel worked as the press attache at the Czechoslovak embassy in Belgrade, Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The very next year, however, the Munich "agreement" surrendered parts of Czech territory to Hitler, and in March 1939, Nazi Germany occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia. Justifiably fearing persecution on account of his Jewish faith, Korbel first converted to Catholicism, then fled with his family to the UK (ironically, the country most responsible for the betrayal in Munich). During the war, he worked for the Czech government in exile, and after 1945 was sent to Belgrade again, this time as the ambassador. He kept little Marie out of Tito's public schools, choosing to have her educated by a governess at first, and later at a boarding school in Geneva. This is where she became "Madeleine". When Stalin cracked down on the insufficiently obedient Czech government in 1948, Korbel fled again - this time to the U.S., where he requested political asylum.

"Madeleine" is thus raised Catholic. In 1959, she becomes an Episcopalian ("Protestant, yet Catholic") to marry journalist Joseph Albright. In the late 1960s, she attends Columbia University in New York, and takes a graduate class taught by Zbigniew Brzezinski. He later became President Carter's National Security Adviser, and in 1978 brought Madeleine to the NSC. After Reagan's election, she moved to the think tanks, continuing to work with Brzezinski on his project of toppling Communism in Europe through the Catholic Church. In 1982 she went to Poland to interview "Solidarity" activists. Upon returning, she taught at Georgetown, a prestigious university originally set up by Jesuits. She remained involved in Democratic politics, and in 1992 joined Bill Clinton's transition team to set up his NSC. As a reward, she was appointed Ambassador to the UN in late 1993, and in 1997 became the first female U.S. Secretary of State. All of this is public record.

What does this biography tell us about Madeleine, the person? First of all, that her defining identity and influences in life have all been Catholic; it wasn't until 1996 or so that she found out that Korbel had been Jewish! Her mentor in Washington was the aggressively Catholic Brzezinski, who didn't care whether the Russians were Orthodox or godless Reds, he hated them all the same (with the Afghan jihad as a result).

Now, consider the long-standing Catholic bigotry towards the Orthodox ("eastern schismatics"), amplified by the Serbs' role in bringing down the Catholic Habsburg Empire, the Cold War animosity towards the "Red Russians", Brzezinski's Polish Russophobia, and the fact that the early 1990s propaganda claimed the "Communist" Serbs were oppressing the Catholic Croats and Slovenians...The writing is on the wall, pretty much.

Ironies abound, of course. While it was the Serbs' refusal to perish that eventually led to Austrian defeat, the Czechs were among the first to declare independence from Vienna. And though Albright has repeatedly invoked the specter of Munich to justify her belligerent politics, a Munich-like dismemberment of a country was precisely what the U.S. did by declaring occupied Kosovo "independent", her Czech colleague Jiři Dienstbier pointed out in 2008. Unaware of her Jewish origins, she deliberately backed a policy of treating the Serbs the same way Hitler did, and sided with Hitler's unrepentant allies. And is it really a coincidence that the Rambouillet ultimatum so resembled the Austro-Hungarian note from 1914?

So it is unfortunate that Dvořák wore a Palestinian scarf when confronting Albright. If he meant to bait her, a mitre would have worked far better.