By Julia Gorin
On cue, within minutes of news that four Albanians were involved in a plot to attack American soldiers in
New Jersey, we were treated to the familiar disclaimers of Albanian pro-Americanism, meant to keep us on program — lest the American people finally demand a reevaluation of our self-destructive 1990s alliances which still dictate current policy.
“3 Brothers implicated in
Dix plot had roots in fiercely pro-U.S. region,” rang out an International Herald Tribune headline of a widely printed AP story:
Three Muslim brothers who allegedly helped plot to kill soldiers at a U.S. Army base have roots in one of Europe’s most pro-American corners — a region that remains grateful to the United States for ending the Kosovo war.
Albania was among the first countries to answer
Washington’s call for troops to help support U.S.-led military offensives in
Afghanistan. In Pristina, the capital of Kosovo…
U.S. flags are commonplace…
A Washington Post article began: “They hail from one of the most pro-American and secular parts of the Muslim world — the ethnic Albanian regions of
Macedonia, where gratitude for
U.S. assistance in Kosovo during the 1990s still runs high.” The same week, an Albanian-Canadian broadcaster assured Canucks, “No one loves Americans more than Albanians do” -- something that one Albanian spokesman after another repeats.
Albanians are the most pro-American people in the world! everyone proclaims as Albanians burn churches, kill nuns and behead monks in Kosovo, the “most pro-American state-in-progress.” Ah yes, this is who loves
America. A dubious endorsement indeed. Everywhere else, we are hated for trying to beat back jihad. In
Albania and the Albanian Diaspora, they love us for enabling it. Any time you help Muslims kill Christians, just like any time you help one nationality clean out its ethnic rival, it’ll thank you. For a little while.
Don’t be fooled. Albanian love is conditional. And it’s waning fast.
This was the overnight bus ride from Pristina to
Montenegro that Weekly Standard contributor and longtime champion of Balkan Muslims Stephen Schwartz described last year for a site called FamilySecurityMatters.com:
A man behind me began speaking almost immediately and without stopping, in Albanian — which I understand…insistently focused on the nature of God…[and on] the evil intentions of Americans,
Iraq, and bloodshed. I was startled because it is rare to hear Albanians, after the rescue of Kosovo, badmouth Americans…”God is one, who are these people like this American who come and try to tell us how to be Muslims? What about
Iraq? Why is this American here with his friend?”
Schwartz then described a rest stop:
I did not find out where I was until I asked a waiter in the restaurant, because none of the Albanians crowded in the back with me and my Sufi companion and the whisperer in darkness would speak civilly to me. When I asked one man, in Albanian, the name of the town, he answered in Serbian: “ne znam,” “I don’t know.” Another said it was the Montenegrin capital, Podgorica (it wasn’t). And finally a thin punk who could not have been over 20, and who, I soon realized, had been encouraging the voice behind me, said in perfect English, “I don’t understand English.” At the end of the rest period all three people filed back into the bus and avoided looking at me.
Muhammad woke up and asked me what was going on. I told him, “Someone back here is making Wahhabi speeches.” He grinned as if in disbelief, but said, “I’m not surprised.”
The befuddled Mr. Schwartz continued: “But I am known in the Balkans as an opponent of radical Islam…I had repeatedly been recognized during this trip on the streets and in mosques in
Albania and Kosovo, and was previously warmly greeted.”
When good will is acquired by doing someone’s bidding, pro-Americanism is won for the wrong reasons, and the gratitude will turn the moment we stop furthering that party’s agenda. In Kosovo, it began happening as early as 2000, when the Kosovars started calling for the UN and NATO “occupiers” to get out. Nor do the American and British flags hanging upside-down from Pristina’s Victory Hotel bode well for the future of pro-Americanism in “Kosova”. Meanwhile, the Wahhabi Muslims who started flooding Kosovo upon our intervention have been making sure that young Albanians sour on us anyway. In an article titled “Behind Kosovo’s Façade,” Balkans observer Russell Gordon writes:
In many areas young Kosovo Albanians are being converted to the Wahabist faction, and are highly visible in their telltale short haircuts, beards, and ankle-length pants. As well, many Arabs are present from the
Middle East and France….Moreover, anti-Western jihadist sermons are now a regular feature at many of the new mosques. Western military intelligence officials have stated that the findings of their investigations into the jihadist terror networks is routinely ignored or blocked by NATO, UN and US officials.
And yet, just one year before his eye-opening bus ride, Mr. Schwartz wrote what many Albanians still claim:
There are not now and never have been, in recent times, ‘Muslim militants’ in Kosovo, aside from a handful of individuals and some Saudi and other Gulf Arab-state cells operating through relief agencies…No ‘international Islamist factions’ are present in Kosovo or presently involved with Kosovo. No ‘international Islamist factions’ were involved in the Kosovo war…Kosovar Muslims are extremely anti-Islamist and pro-American.
Kosovo is the most heavily-policed, militarily-occupied region in
Europe. It does not now and has never had a ‘fundamentalist minority’ in the sense the term is now understood, and no serious evidence to the contrary can be produced.
So what happened? Did the Albanians whom Mr. Schwartz encountered on his bus trip turn fundamentalist overnight? Not according to a 1992 report by the Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, as Insight Magazine reported:
…Islam experienced an unexpected renaissance in communist Yugoslavia in the mid-1970s…According to a TFTUW report, the Yugoslav government in Belgrade was concerned about what it saw as evidence that within its 40 percent Muslim population there were ‘’Muslim terrorists operating against the West'’ and that ‘’Yugoslav Muslim youths were drawn into cooperation with and emulation of Arab terrorists.'’
Our NATO invasion only sped up a process that was already well underway. Here was the scene in 1980s Kosovo, as reported by almost every major paper at the time. From a 1987
New York Times article:
…Slavic Orthodox churches have been attacked, and flags have been torn down. Wells have been poisoned and crops burned. Slavic boys have been knifed, and some young ethnic Albanians have been told by their elders to rape Serbian girls.
The goal of the radical nationalists among them, one said in an interview, is an ‘’ethnic
Albania that includes western
Montenegro, part of southern
Serbia, Kosovo and
As Slavs flee the protracted violence, Kosovo is becoming what ethnic Albanian nationalists have been demanding for years, and especially strongly since the bloody rioting by ethnic Albanians in Pristina in 1981 — an ‘’ethnically pure'’ Albanian region, a “Republic of Kosovo” in all but name.
Last summer, the authorities in Kosovo said they documented 40 ethnic Albanian attacks on Slavs in two months…Officials in
Belgrade view the ethnic Albanian challenge as imperiling the foundations of the multinational experiment called federal
Yugoslavia, which consists of six republics and two provinces.
The federal Secretary for National Defense, Fleet Adm. Branko Mamula… said ethnic Albanian subversives had been preparing for ‘’killing officers and soldiers, poisoning food and water, sabotage, breaking into weapons arsenals and stealing arms and ammunition, desertion and causing flagrant nationalist incidents in army units.'’
Ethnic Albanians already control almost every phase of life in the autonomous
Kosovo, including the police, judiciary, civil service, schools and factories. Non-Albanian visitors almost immediately feel the independence — and suspicion — of the ethnic Albanian authorities.
The hope is that something will be done…to exert the rule of law in Kosovo while drawing ethnic Albanians back into
We certainly precluded that.
Between the plan to kill American soldiers in New Jersey and the Bosnian jihadist in Utah earlier this year — police still don’t have a motive, which usually means it’s jihad — the reevaluation of our Balkan policies almost began. (The Kosovo and
Bosnia connections to the
London bombings apparently weren’t enough). But the reevaluation and the turning of the Kosovo independence tide that it could bring threaten to once again recede into oblivion, as Americans are coaxed into accepting the ubiquitous explanation that the Ft. Dix four were an exception, a fluke, an aberration, and that the genesis of their act has nothing to do with Albanianism, but with a scourge that Albanians, like everyone else, suffer from and are averse to: militant Islam.
“Few ethnic Albanians embrace militant Islam,” assured the aforementioned AP report. “Most are moderate or secular.”
That line, present in every news item about Albanian or Bosnian Muslims for the past decade, has been repeated ad nauseum by the many Albanians interviewed for various follow-up articles to the
Dix story, with many insisting that this kind of religiousness is “not Albanian.” But when you cast your lot with the radicals who help your land grab, when you accept help from them and align your early goals with theirs, do you really think they won’t come to collect?
When Albanians object to depictions of them based on events in recent years, their sentences start with “Albanians have never been…”, or “Albanians historically are not…” — without understanding that they should be speaking in the past tense. However this “nominally” Muslim population started out, there is only one direction for it to go from here. (Besides, the long-existent mosques serving the Albanian communities of
Staten Island and
New Jersey, not to mention the Albanian-American Islamic Cultural Centers that dot the American landscape, belie the “nominal” claim.)
Not being religious, and not being even a “cultural Muslim”, didn’t keep former Kosovo prime minister Ramush Haradinaj (currently on trial for war crimes) from meeting with bin Laden in Tirana in 1995, along with his fellow non-religious Christian-killer (and Albright darling) Hashim Thaci – at the Albanian president’s offices (Sali Berisha, who is now the Albanian prime minister).
And as we know by now, one doesn’t need to be a practicing Muslim to feel aggrieved when Muslims are arrested for plotting or committing terrorism:
“We all have been supporters of
America. We were always thankful to
America for its support during the wars in Kosovo and
Macedonia,” a cousin, Elez Duka, 29, told The Associated Press.
“These are simple, ordinary people and they’ve got nothing to do with terrorism. I expect their release and I expect an apology,” he said, waving his hands. “I see injustice. These are ridiculous charges.”
His indignation captured the mood among Muslims in Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania — places that have repeatedly expressed gratitude to the United States for intervening in the 1998-99 Kosovo war and a 2001 ethnic conflict that pushed Macedonia to the brink of civil war.
“I don’t see that they committed any act or that (the authorities) have facts,” he said. “They live in
America and grew up in the American culture. How can you say they are anti-American? These accusations are totally unfounded. They have recordings of words, not deeds.”
As this report illustrates, even nominally Muslim pro-Americanism is a brittle thing. And as soon as you deviate from the agenda, the honeymoon is over.
The same report quotes Kosovo “Prime Minister” Agim Ceku, who wrote a letter to the U.S. mission in Pristina, “expressing the ‘extraordinary feeling that Kosovo’s people have for the U.S.’ Ceku also denounced what he called ‘the disgusting idea’ that Albanians could be involved in an attack ‘against a nation that has been very generous so far.’”
That means more is expected, and when those are the terms of “friendship”, the future for a pro-American Kosova doesn’t look bright.
When the architects of our Kosovo war continually boast that not a single American life was lost in their “successful” war, the appropriate response is “Not yet.” The Albanian strategy in Kosovo in fact has been a replay of the Oslo accords: Accept Western/infidel help for as long as it furthers your territorial ambitions; then, once the great powers are no longer willing to carry you to the next stage, revert to “traditional” methods and take up arms against them. This has been the modus operandi of Islamic conquest for the past several decades. So either we’re looking at a striking confluence of methodology between Islam and “Albanianism” -- which is strongly bound by nationalist and clan loyalties -- or its’ no coincidence at all.
Those Albanian weapons, meanwhile, have been turned against the area’s Western benefactors for some time already. When shot at by Albanians in trying to protect Serbs, KFOR troops are directed to flee rather than return fire, which would draw attention to the region and beg the question, “Why are the people we went to war for shooting at us?”
In addition to the intermittent threats to go to war against NATO (which is in addition to actually shooting at peacekeepers since 2001), it turns out that both KLA and its mujahideen accomplices were fighting Americans at the same time that Americans were fighting the Serbs for them. As one American peacekeeper who was deployed to the area admitted last week in an article meant to defend Albanians, “One of our central missions was to protect ancient Christian churches that the Mujahideen were blowing up. Our area experienced the occasional IED and drive by shooting almost never aimed at US forces.”
This would help explain how an Albanian applicant to al Qaeda could claim, “I have Kosovo Liberation Army combat experience against Serb and American forces. I need no further training. I recommend (suicide) operations against (amusement) parks like Disney.” (Emphasis added.)
And, writes Serbianna.com’s Mickey Bozinovich:
[The] recent beating of an American peacekeeper by local Albanian Muslims illustrates the fragility of the American military position in that province if Muslim Albanian drug interests are threatened: an unnamed American soldier was found off duty at a gas station and beaten silly by Muslim Albanians because his unit took part in foiling an unidentified illegal plot.
During a February mission to Brussels, after getting the usual empty assurances of protections for Kosovo’s non-Albanian minority, American Council for Kosovo Director Jim Jatras asked a Hungarian member of the European Parliament, “Isn’t all this talk of protections for Serbs a tacit admission that among the Kosovo Albanians are a lot of violent and intolerant people? Why would you reward their violence with state power?”
Looking Jatras in the eye, the parliamentarian replied, “Because we’re afraid of them.”
Afraid…of pro-American people?
If pro-Americanism is what we so desperately seek, what about the pro-American deed of rescuing 500 American pilots shot down in
Yugoslavia during WWII? The airmen were rescued by the Serb Draza Mihailovich and his anti-Axis guerillas. The late U.S. Major Richard Felman wrote:
A few days after the Germans had seen us bail out and counted ten parachutes, they sent an ultimatum to the Chetnik [Serb] Commander in the hills to either turn over my crew of ten to them or they would wipe out an entire village of 200 women and children…But Gen. [Draza] Mihailovich would hear none of it… He told us how life is just as precious to the Serb as it is to the American.
Mihailovich’s resistance to Nazi forces “would have far-reaching implications for the outcome of the entire war,” explained Aleksandra Rebic, a military daughter who lived down the street from one of the rescued men. Of the 500 Americans rescued, she wrote:
They would be nursed back to health by the Serbs loyal to Mihailovich, who at great risk to themselves, would shelter, feed, and protect these men who were foreigners on their soil. 500 American young men would return home to become fathers and husbands and later grandfathers who would tell their children and grandchildren the story of how their lives had been saved so many thousands of miles away by a man named Draza Mihailovich.
Writes author William Dorich:
The Serbs lost 52% of their adult male population fighting in the First World War as American allies. Twenty-four years later the Serbs were the only people in the Balkans to declare war on Nazi Germany. Hitler bombed the “open city” of
Belgrade on Palm Sunday in 1942, killing 17,000 Serbs in one day. Surrender followed ten days later as the Nazis invaded. The Serbs lost another one-third of their population in the Holocaust again fighting as American allies, especially against their own Croat, Bosnian Muslim and Albanian Nazis.
Then there are always pro-American acts of omission. While we see more and more reports of terrorism being plotted against the
U.S. from the “unlikely” Balkan quarters of
Albania, there seems to be a lack of anti-U.S. Serb terror in the works. Except, of course, in the movies and TV shows we write about them.
But no, we preferred, and prefer, to cast our lot with the Balkans’ most primitive elements — sacrificing friends to make friends of our enemies. Men who severed Christian heads, killed federal employees who were Albanian for “collaborating”, and violently purged their own ranks are the “statesmen” whom Condoleezza Rice and Nicholas Burns meet with regularly, the men we’ve set up as the legitimate rulers of an ethnically pure pro-American Kosovo, and who were honored guests at the 2004 Democratic Convention.
Rather than rule of law, religious freedom, ethnic diversity, equal justice and civil rights, Kosovo is governed by lawless, tribalistic, blood-code-following, clan-oriented mob justice. While reports out of Serbia concern debates in public schools over Evolution versus Intelligent Design theory — similar to our own — a typical report out of Kosovo concerned a debate over whether to kill the KFOR (NATO) mascot because the dog was Serbian.
“We’re defending our way of life,” our leaders told us in 1999. Perversely enshrining those ‘common values,’ a crude replica of the Statue of Liberty overlooks our mono-ethnic handiwork from atop the Victory Hotel where the American flag hangs upside-down just a few yards below. Nearby are
Bill Clinton Boulevard and
Wesley Clark Avenue — tributes cited recently as examples of the area’s pro-Americanism. (There are also streets named for Eliot Engel, Bob Dole and Madeleine Albright.) Meanwhile, the former terrorists whom we installed as the “Kosovo Protection Force” and as the legitimate government of the province attend annual July 4th celebrations at the U.S. Consulate in Pristina. One proposed banner for the competition to design “Kosova’s” new flag mimics the American flag, with the two-headed black Albanian eagle in the corner where the 50 stars would be, plus red and white stripes.
Great. The narco-terrorist gangster state we created is pro-American. Are we so desperate for an endorsement that we must grasp it even if it comes from a terror-friendly horde, our support of whom is already coming home to roost?
Here is a description of the lifestyles of the families of the
Dix suspects from The Washington Post:
…Living among those varied families for the past seven years were the Dukas, a three-generational clan of ethnic Albanians. Their Muslim religious garb, repeated minor run-ins with the law, and a brood of up to 20 children, grandchildren and other relatives…
And from the AP:
…the women in the ethnic Albanian family wore head scarves. They kept farm animals in the backyard until others in the neighborhood of tidy two-story houses complained…Neighbors there said four or five families appeared to be living in the house...
Among Albanians, Bosnians, Croats and Serbs — even with all the documented and imagined crimes attributed to the Serbs — the Serbs were the Balkans’ most civilized element. Add up Serb crimes, multiply them by 10, and they’re still not as scary as the people they were fighting. (Or do we need to get into the skull-crushing, eye-gouging, bloody-knife-licking, using the “Serb-cutter”, raping-and-burning, neck-sawing, beheading and disemboweling that Bosnians, Croats and Albanians engaged in?) So now ask why Serbs were so hated by those they were fighting. And ask why KLA targeted Americans and Serbs together.
Before you accept Albanian pro-Americanism, you must first ask what made Albanians anti-Serb. Then you must look at photos of what the KLA did to its enemies, so that when you’re exchanging niceties and recipes with your Albanian neighbors, keep in mind that, by and large, the KLA terrorists remain their national heroes.