Kosovo has been a troublesome region of West Balkan for the last half millennium. The latest events, which have resulted in NATO occupation of the southern province of Serbia, marked the culmination of the violence that includes both domestic and international agencies.
Many authors have dealt with the Kosovo affair, but none of them endeavored to present a complete picture of the case. This book attempts to provide a broad and objective analysis of the problem from the historical, anthropological, political and sociological points of view. The emphasis is on the sociological side of the conflicts.
Only by understanding the differences of the mental structures and civilizations of the populations involved can one hope to achieve a just and sustainable solution. It is shown that the Kosovo affair is a part of the perennial issue of montagnards versus plane people.
This forms the background of the conflicts West Balkan has witnessed in the last decades. The Kosovo case cannot be considered isolated from the global political situation and this book provides bold, even provocative, examinations of the principal players from outside.
It provides also a detailed account of the political situation in Serbia for the last half century, with a detailed account of the struggle to overthrow Milosevic’s regime.
Editor: Little did I know when I posted a short news storyabout the ‘invasion of Hungary’ last evening that the situation in Kosovo has become untenable and a mass exodus was so advanced. ‘Pungentpeppers’ has again pulled many threads together to give us the big picture of what is happening in Eastern Europe. Is the US responsible? An Austrian political leader says so!
Mass exodus from Muslim Kosovo into Europe
~150,000 or more Kosovars on the move since summer
~Hungarian Police catch 1,000 Kosovars daily – a small fraction of the total
~Hungarian mayor calls for fence as Kosovars overwhelm village
~Austrian politician blames America for Kosovar march into Austria
~Kosovar Muslim extremists active in the U.S., Germany and Iraq
~Kosovar culture is Albanian. Many follow the “Kanun”, Code of Honor and Blood Feuds
Kosovo is witnessing an exodus of Biblical proportions
Since the beginning of the year an estimated 50,000 people have left the Muslim state. This current surge is on top of an estimated additional 100,000 Kosovars who departed for Europe as of the middle of last year.
Kosovar migrants – young adults, families, and young teens – are fleeing neither famine, nor war. Their quest is employment and “a better life” in European countries. More than half of able-bodied Kosovars are unemployed in a country where only the right connections can guarantee a job.
Every night busloads full of Kosovars cross the Serbian countryside and stop just outside Hungary.
After a rest, the travelers form groups to cross the Hungarian border on foot.
During a recent six-day period, nearly 8,000 Kosovars were detained at the Hungarian border after trying to illegally enter the country. The police estimate they catch only 20% of them.
The mayor of a Hungarian village is calling for a fence as migrants overwhelm his village
“Many [migrants] have smart phones and follow their progress by GPS. Few of my constituents, whose doors they knock on in the middle of the night, can afford phones like those.
“I cannot understand why in mid-winter they set out to walk tens of kilometres in freezing conditions. Every week we have to call the ambulances to fight for the lives of babies with hypothermia.” (The BBC).
“There are so many migrants on the buses from here to Szeged that our own residents are unable to get to their jobs on time,” Toroczkai said. (WRAL.com)
The Kosovars don’t want to stay in Hungary. Most of them will head towards Germany, Austria and other European countries.
An Austrian politician, named Johann Gudenus, says the U.S. needs to accept responsibility for the influx (here).
“Now it is clear that Kosovo’s secession from Serbia, as well as its hasty recognition as an independent state, was a mistake. The current wave of refugees confirms that Kosovo cannot endure as a state,” Gudenus said.
He recalled that the creation of “the state of Kosovo” was the wish of the United States, adding that international law was not respected during the process of gaining independence because there was no referendum, and that is why the U.S. must take responsibility.
He also said that Austria’s reception capacities are packed, adding that if the country continues to accept economic refugees, “it will not be able to accept those who need protection.”
Gudenus said it is also necessary to ask why there is “a striking number of Muslims” among immigrants in Austria lately, and named Chechens, Afghans, “Kosovars,” and others.
Worries About Extremism: A Sampling of Terror Plots Involving Islamic Radicals From Kosovo
In 2014, a Kosovar (who had previously worked at Camp Bondsteel, a U.S. military base) took part in a suicide attack that killed 52 Iraqi soldiers. (Juliagorin.com)
In 2013, in Raleigh, NC, a Kosovar was sentenced to life for a beheading plot. He was one of several other Kosovars involved in the Triangle Terror group that plotted to attack the Marine base at Quantico, Va., and other targets overseas. (WRAL.com)
In 2012. The terrorist who plotted to blow up bridges in Tampa, Florida, was a Kosovar. (Tampa Bay Times)
In 2011, two American airmen in Germany were murdered by a Kosovar who shouted “Allahu Akbar” when he opened fire on a military bus. (ABC News)
Old Traditions, Such as Blood Feuds, Sometimes Travel With Them
Kosovars are ethnically Albanian, and thus share with Albanians the same traditions regarding honor and blood feuds. For example, a Kosovar family in Ireland has asked for asylum on the basis of a blood feud. (Irish Times)
The blood feuds travel – as the Swedes have discovered. The attempted brutal murder of a 12-year-old boy in Borås, Sweden, on New Year’s Eve, 2013, was linked to an Albanian Blood Feud that migrated to Sweden. The boy survived, but spent six weeks in the hospital recovering – and bears many scars. (Expressen.se)
Future of Europe: Kosovization and Jihadization?
Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic, a professor at Mykolas Romeris University, Vilnius, Lithuania, warns that Europe is in danger of “Kosovization” and “Jihadization” and draws on the Kosovo experience:
In 1455, Kosovo was only 2% Albanian. The Albanian percentage of the total population grew to 30% by 1878, 50% by 1913, 70% by 1945, 90% by 1991, and today Albanians are the vast majority in Kosovo at 97% of the population. (In Serbia)
Back in 1878, the idea of a Muslim Albanian majority in the traditional Serb homeland of Kosovo may have sounded preposterous. However, the Albanian population grew due to high birth rates. As the Albanians’ numbers increased, they allied themselves with other Albanians outside Kosovo, and forced Serbs out of the region. As a result, Kosovo – once overwhelming Serb – is now an almost 100% ethnic Albanian state.
Because all Muslims, whatever their ethnic background, are taught to consider themselves as one “Ummah” – or one Islamic Nation – Europe is in danger of suffering a Kosovo-like fate.
Those who don’t learn from the past, are condemned to repeat it
Editor’s note: For more on the US role with Kosovar refugees see one of the most outrageous chapters of the Clinton Administration’s refugee program history (during Clinton’s phony-baloney war in the region)—we told you about it here in 2012. The contractors wanted warm bodies to resettle and Clinton and Gore wanted a “humanitarian” photo op!
PRISTINA, Kosovo — Every Friday, just yards from a statue of Bill Clinton with arm aloft in a cheery wave, hundreds of young bearded men make a show of kneeling to pray on the sidewalk outside an improvised mosque in a former furniture store.
The mosque is one of scores built here with Saudi government money and blamed for spreading Wahhabism — the conservative ideology dominant in Saudi Arabia — in the 17 years since an American-led intervention wrested tiny Kosovo from Serbian oppression.
Since then — much of that time under the watch of American officials — Saudi money and influence have transformed this once-tolerant Muslim society at the hem of Europe into a font of Islamic extremism and a pipeline for jihadists.
Kosovo now finds itself, like the rest of Europe, fending off the threat of radical Islam. Over the last two years, the police have identified 314 Kosovars — including two suicide bombers, 44 women and 28 children — who have gone abroad to join the Islamic State, the highest number per capita in Europe.
They were radicalized and recruited, Kosovo investigators say, by a corps of extremist clerics and secretive associations funded by Saudi Arabia and other conservative Arab gulf states using an obscure, labyrinthine network of donations from charities, private individuals and government ministries.
“They promoted political Islam,” said Fatos Makolli, the director of Kosovo’s counterterrorism police. “They spent a lot of money to promote it through different programs mainly with young, vulnerable people, and they brought in a lot of Wahhabi and Salafi literature. They brought these people closer to radical political Islam, which resulted in their radicalization.”
After two years of investigations, the police have charged 67 people, arrested 14 imams and shut down 19 Muslim organizations for acting against the Constitution, inciting hatred and recruiting for terrorism. The most recent sentences, which included a 10-year prison term, were handed down on Friday.
It is a stunning turnabout for a land of 1.8 million people that not long ago was among the most pro-American Muslim societies in the world. Americans were welcomed as liberators after leading months of NATO bombing in 1999 that spawned an independent Kosovo.
After the war, United Nations officials administered the territory and American forces helped keep the peace. The Saudis arrived, too, bringing millions of euros in aid to a poor and war-ravaged land.
But where the Americans saw a chance to create a new democracy, the Saudis saw a new land to spread Wahhabism.
“There is no evidence that any organization gave money directly to people to go to Syria,” Mr. Makolli said. “The issue is they supported thinkers who promote violence and jihad in the name of protecting Islam.”
Kosovo now has over 800 mosques, 240 of them built since the war and blamed for helping indoctrinate a new generation in Wahhabism. They are part of what moderate imams and officials here describe as a deliberate, long-term strategy by Saudi Arabia to reshape Islam in its image, not only in Kosovo but around the world.
Saudi diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks in 2015 reveal a system of funding for mosques, Islamic centers and Saudi-trained clerics that spans Asia, Africa and Europe. In New Delhi alone, 140 Muslim preachers are listed as on the Saudi Consulate’s payroll.
All around Kosovo, families are grappling with the aftermath of years of proselytizing by Saudi-trained preachers. Some daughters refuse to shake hands with or talk to male relatives. Some sons have gone off to jihad. Religious vigilantes have threatened — or committed — violence against academics, journalists and politicians.
The Balkans, Europe’s historical fault line, have yet to heal from the ethnic wars of the 1990s. But they are now infected with a new intolerance, moderate imams and officials in the region warn.
How Kosovo and the very nature of its society was fundamentally recast is a story of a decades-long global ambition by Saudi Arabia to spread its hard-line version of Islam — heavily funded and systematically applied, including with threats and intimidation by followers.
The Missionaries Arrive
After the war ended in 1999, Idriz Bilalli, the imam of the central mosque in Podujevo, welcomed any help he could get.
Podujevo, home to about 90,000 people in northeast Kosovo, was a reasonably prosperous town with high schools and small businesses in an area hugged by farmland and forests. It was known for its strong Muslim tradition even in a land where people long wore their religion lightly.
After decades of Communist rule when Kosovo was part of Yugoslavia, men and women mingle freely, schools are coeducational, and girls rarely wear the veil. Still, Serbian paramilitary forces burned down 218 mosques as part of their war against Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians, who are 95 percent Muslim. Mr. Bilalli needed help to rebuild.
When two imams in their 30s, Fadil Musliu and Fadil Sogojeva, who were studying for master’s degrees in Saudi Arabia, showed up after the war with money to organize summer religion courses, Mr. Bilalli agreed to help.
The imams were just two of some 200 Kosovars who took advantage of scholarships after the war to study Islam in Saudi Arabia. Many, like them, returned with missionary zeal.
Soon, under Mr. Musliu’s tutelage, pupils started adopting a rigid manner of prayer, foreign to the moderate Islamic traditions of this part of Europe. Mr. Bilalli recognized the influence, and he grew concerned.
“This is Wahhabism coming into our society,” Mr. Bilalli, 52, said in a recent interview.
Mr. Bilalli trained at the University of Medina in Saudi Arabia in the late 1980s, and as a student he had been warned by a Kosovar professor to guard against the cultural differences of Wahhabism. He understood there was a campaign of proselytizing, pushed by the Saudis.
“The first thing the Wahhabis do is to take members of our congregation, who understand Islam in the traditional Kosovo way that we had for generations, and try to draw them away from this understanding,” he said. “Once they get them away from the traditional congregation, then they start bombarding them with radical thoughts and ideas.”
“The main goal of their activity is to create conflict between people,” he said. “This first creates division, and then hatred, and then it can come to what happened in Arab countries, where war starts because of these conflicting ideas.”
From the outset, the newly arriving clerics sought to overtake the Islamic Community of Kosovo, an organization that for generations has been the custodian of the tolerant form of Islam that was practiced in the region, townspeople and officials say.
Muslims in Kosovo, which was a part of the Ottoman Empire for 500 years, follow the Hanafi school of Islam, traditionally a liberal version that is accepting of other religions.
But all around the country, a new breed of radical preachers was setting up in neighborhood mosques, often newly built with Saudi money.
In some cases, centuries-old buildings were bulldozed, including a historic library in Gjakova and several 400-year-old mosques, as well as shrines, graveyards and Dervish monasteries, all considered idolatrous in Wahhabi teaching.
From their bases, the Saudi-trained imams propagated Wahhabism’s tenets: the supremacy of Sharia law as well as ideas of violent jihad and takfirism, which authorizes the killing of Muslims considered heretics for not following its interpretation of Islam.
The Saudi-sponsored charities often paid salaries and overhead costs, and financed courses in religion, as well as English and computer classes, moderate imams and investigators explained.
But the charitable assistance often had conditions attached. Families were given monthly stipends on the condition that they attended sermons in the mosque and that women and girls wore the veil, human rights activists said.
“People were so needy, there was no one who did not join,” recalled Ajnishahe Halimi, a politician who campaigned to have a radical Albanian imam expelled after families complained of abuse.
Within a few years of the war’s end, the older generation of traditional clerics began to encounter aggression from young Wahhabis.
Paradoxically, some of the most serious tensions built in Gjilan, an eastern Kosovo town of about 90,000, where up to 7,000 American troops were stationed as part of Kosovo’s United Nations-run peacekeeping force at Camp Bondsteel.
“They came in the name of aid,” one moderate imam in Gjilan, Enver Rexhepi, said of the Arab charities. “But they came with a background of different intentions, and that’s where the Islamic religion started splitting here.”
One day in 2004, he recalled, he was threatened by one of the most aggressive young Wahhabis, Zekirja Qazimi, a former madrasa student then in his early 20s.
Inside his mosque, Mr. Rexhepi had long displayed an Albanian flag. Emblazoned with a double-headed eagle, it was a popular symbol of Kosovo’s liberation struggle.
But strict Muslim fundamentalists consider the depiction of any living being as idolatrous. Mr. Qazimi tore the flag down. Mr. Rexhepi put it back.
“It will not go long like this,” Mr. Qazimi told him angrily, Mr. Rexhepi recounted.
Within days, Mr. Rexhepi was abducted and savagely beaten by masked men in woods above Gjilan. He later accused Mr. Qazimi of having been behind the attack, but police investigations went nowhere.
Ten years later, in 2014, after two young Kosovars blew themselves up in suicide bombings in Iraq and Turkey, investigators began an extensive investigation into the sources of radicalism. Mr. Qazimi was arrested hiding in the same woods. On Friday, a court sentenced him to 10 years in prison after he faced charges of inciting hatred and recruiting for a terrorist organization.
Before Mr. Qazimi was arrested, his influence was profound, under what investigators now say was the sway of Egyptian-based extremists and the patronage of Saudi and other gulf Arab sponsors.
By the mid-2000s, Saudi money and Saudi-trained clerics were already exerting influence over the Islamic Community of Kosovo. The leadership quietly condoned the drift toward conservatism, critics of the organization say.
Mr. Qazimi was appointed first to a village mosque, and then to El-Kuddus mosque on the edge of Gjilan. Few could counter him, not even Mustafa Bajrami, his former teacher, who was elected head of the Islamic Community of Gjilan in 2012.
Mr. Bajrami comes from a prominent religious family — his father was the first chief mufti of Yugoslavia during the Communist period. He holds a doctorate in Islamic studies. Yet he remembers pupils began rebelling against him whenever he spoke against Wahhabism.
He soon realized that the students were being taught beliefs that differed from the traditional moderate curriculum by several radical imams in lectures after hours. He banned the use of mosques after official prayer times.
Hostility only grew. He would notice a dismissive gesture in the congregation during his sermons, or someone would curse his wife, or mutter “apostate” or “infidel” as he passed.
In the village, Mr. Qazimi’s influence eventually became so disruptive that residents demanded his removal after he forbade girls and boys to shake hands. But in Gjilan he continued to draw dozens of young people to his after-hours classes.
“They were moving 100 percent according to lessons they were taking from Zekirja Qazimi,” Mr. Bajrami said in an interview. “One hundred percent, in an ideological way.”
Over time, the Saudi-trained imams expanded their work.
By 2004, Mr. Musliu, one of the master’s degree students from Podujevo who studied in Saudi Arabia, had graduated and was imam of a mosque in the capital, Pristina.
In Podujevo, he set up a local charitable organization called Devotshmeria, or Devotion, which taught religion classes and offered social programs for women, orphans and the poor. It was funded by Al Waqf al Islami, a Saudi organization that was one of the 19 eventually closed by investigators.
Mr. Musliu put a cousin, Jetmir Rrahmani, in charge.
“Then I knew something was starting that would not bring any good,” said Mr. Bilalli, the moderate cleric who had started out teaching with him. In 2004, they had a core of 20 Wahhabis.
“That was only the beginning,” Mr. Bilalli said. “They started multiplying.”
Mr. Bilalli began a vigorous campaign against the spread of unauthorized mosques and Wahhabi teaching. In 2008, he was elected head of the Islamic Community of Podujevo and instituted religion classes for women, in an effort to undercut Devotshmeria.
As he sought to curb the extremists, Mr. Bilalli received death threats, including a note left in the mosque’s alms box. An anonymous telephone caller vowed to make him and his family disappear, he said.
“Anyone who opposes them, they see as an enemy,” Mr. Bilalli said.
He appealed to the leadership of the Islamic Community of Kosovo. But by then it was heavily influenced by Arab gulf sponsors, he said, and he received little support.
When Mr. Bilalli formed a union of fellow moderates, the Islamic Community of Kosovo removed him from his post. His successor, Bekim Jashari, equally concerned by the Saudi influence, nevertheless kept up the fight.
“I spent 10 years in Arab countries and specialized in sectarianism within Islam,” Mr. Jashari said. “It’s very important to stop Arab sectarianism from being introduced to Kosovo.”
Mr. Jashari had a couple of brief successes. He blocked the Saudi-trained imam Mr. Sogojeva from opening a new mosque, and stopped a payment of 20,000 euros, about $22,400, intended for it from the Saudi charity Al Waqf al Islami.
He also began a website, Speak Now, to counter Wahhabi teaching. But he remains so concerned about Wahhabi preachers that he never lets his 19-year-old son attend prayers on his own.
The radical imams Mr. Musliu and Mr. Sogojeva still preach in Pristina, where for prayers they draw crowds of young men who glare at foreign reporters.
Mr. Sogojeva dresses in a traditional robe and banded cleric’s hat, but his newly built mosque is an incongruous modern multistory building. He admonished his congregation with a rapid-fire list of dos and don’ts in a recent Friday sermon.
Neither imam seems to lack funds.
In an interview, Mr. Musliu insisted that he was financed by local donations, but confirmed that he had received Saudi funding for his early religion courses.
The instruction, he said, is not out of line with Kosovo’s traditions. The increase in religiosity among young people was natural after Kosovo gained its freedom, he said.
“Those who are not believers and do not read enough, they feel a bit shocked,” he said. “But we coordinated with other imams, and everything was in line with Islam.”
A Tilt Toward Terrorism
The influence of the radical clerics reached its apex with the war in Syria, as they extolled the virtues of jihad and used speeches and radio and television talks shows to urge young people to go there.
Mr. Qazimi, who was given the 10-year prison sentence, even organized a summer camp for his young followers.
“It is obligated for every Muslim to participate in jihad,” he told them in one videotaped talk. “The Prophet Muhammad says that if someone has a chance to take part in jihad and doesn’t, he will die with great sins.”
“The blood of infidels is the best drink for us Muslims,” he said in another recording.
Among his recruits, investigators say, were three former civilian employees of American contracting companies at Camp Bondsteel, where American troops are stationed. They included Lavdrim Muhaxheri, an Islamic State leader who was filmed executing a man in Syria with a rocket-propelled grenade.
After the suicide bombings, the authorities opened a broad investigation and found that the Saudi charity Al Waqf al Islami had been supporting associations set up by preachers like Mr. Qazimi in almost every regional town.
Al Waqf al Islami was established in the Balkans in 1989. Most of its financing came from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain, Kosovo investigators said in recent interviews. Unexplained gaps in its ledgers deepened suspicions that the group was surreptitiously funding clerics who were radicalizing young people, they said.
Investigators from Kosovo’s Financial Intelligence Unit found that Al Waqf al Islami, which had an office in central Pristina and a staff of 12, ran through €10 million from 2000 through 2012. Yet they found little paperwork to explain much of the spending.
More than €1 million went to mosque building. But one and a half times that amount was disbursed in unspecified cash withdrawals, which may have also gone to enriching its staff, the investigators said.
Only 7 percent of the budget was shown to have gone to caring for orphans, the charity’s stated mission.
By the summer of 2014, the Kosovo police shut down Al Waqf al Islami, along with 12 other Islamic charities, and arrested 40 people.
The charity’s head offices, in Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands, have since changed their name to Al Waqf, apparently separating themselves from the Balkans operation.
Asked about the accusations in a telephone interview, Nasr el Damanhoury, the director of Al Waqf in the Netherlands, said he had no direct knowledge of his group’s operations in Kosovo or the Balkans.
The charity has ceased all work outside the Netherlands since he took over in 2013, he said. His predecessor had returned to Morocco and could not be reached, and Saudi board members would not comment, he said.
“Our organization has never supported extremism,” Mr. Damanhoury said. “I have known it since 1989. I joined them three years ago. They have always been a mild group.”
Why the Kosovar authorities — and American and United Nations overseers — did not act sooner to forestall the spread of extremism is a question being intensely debated.
As early as 2004, the prime minister at the time, Bajram Rexhepi, tried to introduce a law to ban extremist sects. But, he said in a recent interview at his home in northern Kosovo, European officials told him that it would violate freedom of religion.
“It was not in their interest, they did not want to irritate some Islamic countries,” Mr. Rexhepi said. “They simply did not do anything.”
Not everyone was unaware of the dangers, however.
At a meeting in 2003, Richard C. Holbrooke, once the United States special envoy to the Balkans, warned Kosovar leaders not to work with the Saudi Joint Relief Committee for Kosovo, an umbrella organization of Saudi charities whose name still appears on many of the mosques built since the war, along with that of the former Saudi interior minister, Prince Naif bin Abdul-Aziz.
A year later, it was among several Saudi organizations that were shut down in Kosovo when it came under suspicion as a front for Al Qaeda. Another was Al-Haramain, which in 2004 was designated by the United States Treasury Department as having links to terrorism.
Yet even as some organizations were shut down, others kept working. Staff and equipment from Al-Haramain shifted to Al Waqf al Islami, moderate imams familiar with their activities said.
In recent years, Saudi Arabia appears to have reduced its aid to Kosovo. Kosovo Central Bank figures show grants from Saudi Arabia averaging €100,000 a year for the past five years.
It is now money from Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates — which each average approximately €1 million a year — that propagates the same hard-line version of Islam. The payments come from foundations or individuals, or sometimes from the Ministry of Zakat (Almsgiving) from the various governments, Kosovo’s investigators say.
But payments are often diverted through a second country to obscure their origin and destination, they said. One transfer of nearly €500,000 from a Saudi individual was frozen in 2014 since it was intended for a Kosovo teenager, according to the investigators and a State Department report.
Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations were still raising millions from “deep-pocket donors and charitable organizations” based in the gulf, the Treasury under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, David S. Cohen, said in a speech in 2014 at the Center for a New American Security.
While Saudi Arabia has made progress in stamping out funding for Al Qaeda, sympathetic donors in the kingdom were still funding other terrorist groups, he said.
Today the Islamic Community of Kosovo has been so influenced by the largess of Arab donors that it has seeded prominent positions with radical clerics, its critics say.
Ahmet Sadriu, a spokesman for Islamic Community of Kosovo, said the group held to Kosovo’s traditionally tolerant version of Islam. But calls are growing to overhaul an organization now seen as having been corrupted by outside forces and money.
Kosovo’s interior minister, Skender Hyseni, said he had recently reprimanded some of the senior religious officials.
“I told them they were doing a great disservice to their country,” he said in an interview. “Kosovo is by definition, by Constitution, a secular society. There has always been historically an unspoken interreligious tolerance among Albanians here, and we want to make sure that we keep it that way.”
For some in Kosovo, it may already be too late.
Families have been torn apart. Some of Kosovo’s best and brightest have been caught up in the lure of jihad.
One of Kosovo’s top political science graduates, Albert Berisha, said he left in 2013 to help the Syrian people in the uprising against the government of President Bashar al-Assad. He abandoned his attempt after only two weeks — and he says he never joined the Islamic State — but has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison, pending appeal.
Ismet Sakiqi, an official in the prime minister’s office and a veteran of the liberation struggle, was shaken to find his 22-year-old son, Visar, a law student, arrested on his way through Turkey to Syria with his fiancée. He now visits his son in the same Kosovo prison where he was detained under Serbian rule.
And in the hamlet of Busavate, in the wooded hills of eastern Kosovo, a widower, Shemsi Maliqi, struggles to explain how his family has been divided. One of his sons, Alejhim, 27, has taken his family to join the Islamic State in Syria.
It remains unclear how Alejhim became radicalized. He followed his grandfather, training as an imam in Gjilan, and served in the village mosque for six years. Then, two years ago, he asked his father to help him travel to Egypt to study.
Mr. Maliqi still clings to the hope that his son is studying in Egypt rather than fighting in Syria. But Kosovo’s counterterrorism police recently put out an international arrest warrant for Alejhim.
“Better that he comes back dead than alive,” Mr. Maliqi, a poor farmer, said. “I sent him to school, not to war. I sold my cow for him.”
Alejhim had married a woman from the nearby village of Vrbice who was so conservative that she was veiled up to her eyes and refused to shake hands with her brother-in-law.
The wife’s mother angrily refused to be interviewed. Her daughter did what was expected and followed her husband to Syria, she said.
Secretly, Alejhim drew three others — his sister; his best friend, who married his sister; and his wife’s sister — to follow him to Syria, too. The others have since returned, but remain radical and estranged from the family.
Alejhim’s uncle, Fehmi Maliqi, like the rest of the family, is dismayed. “It’s a catastrophe,” he said.
Information available to experts on international terrorism indicate that Bosnia Herzegovina is presently one of the epicentres of extremist Islamic circles in Europe, as it represents a hub for potential Islamic terrorists – the so called “white” or “European” Al-Qaeda .
Money from Islamic countries that is laundered through “humanitarian” organizations finances the religious education of at least 100,000 young Bosnian Muslims. In addition to such education, which follows the interpretations of Wahhabi Islam, there is another type of “training” in various officially registered camps throughout the B-H Federation. There, the young and carefully selected Wahhabis attend “additional courses” in marksmanship, explosives and martial arts.
Organizations such as “Furqan,” the “Active Islamic Youth,” the “Muslim Youth Council” and others – differing only in name and primary donors, but otherwise interchangeable – teach young Muslims computer and Internet skills, so they could establish contacts with their coreligionists worldwide. Knowing all this, the former head of UN Mission in Bosnia Jacques Paul Klein has stated that some 200 mujahid’din in Bosnia did not represent a danger, because they can be easily controlled. Klein knew it would be a lot more difficult to stop the spread of young Bosnian Wahhabis throughout Europe, youths who consider Osama Bin Laden and the mujahid’din role models. Nowadays there is still a strong presence of a variety of extremist Islamic groups in Bosnia-Herzegovina, under the pretext of charity funds and related philanthropic establishments. Thus it is not of surprise that the U.K Foreign Office has previously warranted concern safety for every British national traveling there, especially in relation to potential terrorist incidents.
According to EU reports, many Islamic charities that have been banned still operate in BiH – including Al Hаramain, Al Maysed Al Aqsa, and Benevolence International Foundation (BIF). All these organizations were banned in BiH (after direct political pressure from the West) but there are indications they remain active. Specifically noted was BIF, which was blacklisted in the U.S. In August 2002, the Federal Banking Agency approved the merger of Vakufska and Depozitna banks, owned by Yasin Al-Qadi (44.3%) and “Mahmal Investments” (44.2%), which has been under investigation by intelligence agencies for years, on suspicion of funding terrorism.
Between 1998 and 2000, “Енгра д.о.о” was conducting financial transactions on behalf of an organization linked to Bin-Laden, through accounts with Depozitna and Vakufska banks of Sarajevo (Zenica branch).
Moreover certain connections can be outlined for the financial institutions that are linked to Islamic causes in Turkey, such as the Al Baraka Finance and the link between Faisal Bank (Now named Family Finance) which has its roots in Saudi Arabia and the core of the Islamic elite of that country. The former is linked to Islamic-Balkan affairs. Vakufska Banka (Islamic bank in Bosnia) has several partners in Europe and especially in Turkey, where the bank is above all the main correspondent of Al Baraka Turkish Finance House. Mohamed Galeb Kalaje Zouaydi, financial head of al-Qaida in Spain, and financier of the Hamburg cell, transferred to UBL Courier for Europe, Mohamed Baiahah (aka Abu Khaled), and $97,000 US on July 2000, through al Baraka Turkish Finance House in Turkey. According to the Spanish police documentation, Muhamed Galeb Kalaje Zouaydi used several times Al Baraka Turkish Finance House to transfer money to al-Qaida operatives.
The involvement of extremists with the local banking system, is the main source of capital for functions, such as proving up to 500 Euros to local men and woman in order to wear the appropriate attire in their daily lives and in short to recruit them into becoming followers in Wahhabism. The sum is substantial in Bosnia, but also in Kosovo and FYROM where similar phenomena have been recorded by the local media. Moreover the locals that are been recruited and converted from moderate Islam to its extremist form, have also other benefits, such as scholarships for their offspring, as well as a wider network of support, which is much needed in societies with high unemployment and poverty.
The main areas in Bosnia, where in particular the Wahhabis have managed to spread considerably their reach are: Serici, Zeljezno, Polje Pojska, Mehurici, Bocinja, Travnik, Gornja Maoca, Grmusa, Velika Kladusa, and Debeljak.
The World Islamic League (Rabita), which is mostly controlled by Saudi Arabian religious circles, has invested substantially in the Western Balkans and in January 2006 it financed with 150,000 USD youth programs by bringing that capital from Mecca through Munich and into the Societe Generale banking outlet in the Novi Pazar city of Serbia, where radicalism has increased over the past decade.
In Albania recently it was made public by the media, that quite a few international terrorism supporters were active in the country and in neighbouring countries such as Bosnia over the past decades. The most well-known one is Yasin Abdullah Ezzedine Qadi the owner of the Muwafaq Company. He has also involved in the “cell” foundation Makhtab al-Khidamat that was related to Osama Bin Laden in the 90’s. According to UN sources the foundation was implicated in 1995 in transferring weaponry from Albania to Bosnia Herzegovina in order to support the Muslim side and under the direction of the Al Qaeda’s terrorist network.
Another notable figure mentioned in the Albanian press, is Abdul Latif Saleh, who had obtained Albanian citizenship and was associate of Bin Laden. Through the Al Haraiman foundation’s branch in Albania he was promoting radical Islam in the country and also laundered capital to be used for international subversive activities.
Another nine figures associated with the aforementioned are: Adb Al Wahab Abd Al Hafiz; Abderrahmane Kifane; Ali El-Heit; Fethi Ben Hassen Ben Salem Al-Haddad; Farid Aider; Abdelhadi Ben Debka; Moustafa Abbes; Othman Deramchi; Yacine Ahmed Nacer. They were active in Albania but also toured across several countries and coordinated the expansion of the terrorist network by facilitating amongst other the trafficking of Islamists from Asia to Europe and the forging of travel documents, as well as, money laundering operations.
Safet Ekrem Durguti was the head of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation in the region and was cooperating with Jemaah Islamiyah, Al-Al-Islmaiya Itihadd, the Egyptian Jihad and the Lashkar-e- Tayyiba. He was active for a number of years in Albania and also promoted Bin Laden’s reach in the Balkans.
A UN report has also identified the Aqeel Abdulaziz Aqeel Al-Aqeel and Suliman Hamd Suleiman Al-Buthe, as formerly Albanian -based heads of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation in Tirana and direct supporters of terrorist acts.
Furthermore, Yassin Kadi, also controlled a number of other companies in the Balkans, such as: Lox Holl LTD, Caravan Construction: Caravan Albania, Cavallo SHPK, Twaik East, Karavan Durres Street Project, Camel SHPK, Medicare Co SHPK, Medicare LTD, Albanian Snacks, Alintin Albania Office, Albanian International and Development by Morgan and Morgan Trust Corporation LTD address: Road Town; Parsea Estate P.O. Box 3149 British Virgin Islands, Alintid beton, Emane SHPK.
In late March 2010, an international Wahhabi organization has launched a campaign in Bosnia-Herzegovina calling on non-Muslims to convert to Islam.
The organization, which calls itself “Poziv u Raj” (Invitation To Heaven), has been putting up slick billboards and posters and distributing leaflets in Sarajevo, Bihac, Sanski Most, Maglaj, Zenica, Travnik, Tuzla, and Tesanj.
The group also has been organizing public lectures in Bosnian cities and towns by a Greek man and a German man who recently converted to Islam. The organization maintains its core base in Germany and has a reach in several countries in Europe by actively trying to infiltrate moderate Muslim organizations.
According to a past report by Juan Carlos Antúnez, the Bosnian Wahhabi movement is currently comprised of two main streams:
– A Salafi / Wahhabi stream loyal to the B-H Islamic Community;
– A Salafi / Wahhabi stream outside the control of the B-H Islamic Community. This stream can also be divided into two main groups: Missionary and Jihadi.
It seems that for the long-term purposes of further subversion of radical elements of the Bosnian Wahhabi networks into B-H, the infiltration of the religious structure of the mainstream Muslim community is needed.
Hajrudin Somun the former ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Turkey noted in an article in the Zaman newspaper, that “Wahhabis began spreading their interpretation of Islam in poor villages, opening dozens of Quran schools and preparing to take over the country’s Islamic Community. Two prominent Kosovo imams were brutally attacked by Wahhabis in January 2009. First, Osman Musliu, who tried to prevent them from occupying the Zabel Mosque, was attacked.
He said he “doubted that Serbia had damaged Kosovo as badly as the Wahhabi infiltration.” A few days later, Kosovska Mitrovica imam Hamit Kamberi was beaten by the “people in short pants” so fiercely that he lost his consciousness”. Literally hundreds of similar incidents took place over the past decade in Kosovo, Bosnia, FYROM, and Southern Serbia and there are unverified information for such cases in Montenegro, Bulgaria and Albania.
Anes Alic reporting for the ISN, comments on the “Bosnian Muslim cleric Muhamed Porca, who has served as the head of the Vienna-based Al-Tawhid Mosque since 1993. Bosnian intelligence believes he is the main source of financial and ideological support for the Bosnian Wahhabi movement.
Imamovic also runs an extremist website putvjernika.com, which glorifies jihad and tabulates number of dead Americans in the war on terror. Imamovic has previously attracted public attention by his statement on the website that suicide attacks are not forbidden by Islam, and that they should be used in “exceptional circumstances.”
The “Green traverse” theory that was made especially known in the early 90’s seems to have become a reality due to the growing influence of radicals in the Balkans, coupled with the chronic corruption issues in the region that facilitates organized crime operations that feed with capital groups of extremists and especially in the sectors of human trafficking and narcotics. Already the media attention in the issue is becoming stronger and that may well prove to be a factor of importance if one adds the increasing international competition regarding the future geopolitical direction of the whole of the Balkan region.
The series of long-scale Christian national movements in the Balkans, triggered off by 1804 Serbian revolution, decided more than in the earlier centuries, the fate of Serbs and made ethnic Albanians (about 70% of whom were Muslims) the main guardians of Turkish order in the European provinces of Ottoman Empire. At a time when the Eastern question was again being raised, particularly in the final quarter of 19th and the first decade of 20th century, Islamic Albanians were the chief instrument of Turkey’s policy in crushing the liberation movements of other Balkan states. After the congress of Berlin (1878) an Albanian national movement flared up, and both the Sultan and Austria-Hungary, a power whose occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina heralded its further expansion deep into the Balkans, endeavored, with varying degrees of success, to instrumentalize this movement. While the Porte used the ethnic Albanians as Islam’s shock cutting edge against Christians in the frontier regions towards Serbia and Montenegro, particularly in Kosovo, Metohia and the nearby areas, Austria-Hungary’s design was to use the Albanians national movement against the liberatory aspirations of the two Serbian states that were impeding the German Drang nach Osten. In a rift between two only seemingly contrary strivings, Serbia and Montenegro, although independent since 1878, were powerless (at least until the Balkan wars 1912-1913) without the support of Russia or other Great Power to effect the position of their compatriots within the borders of Ottoman Empire.
During the Serbian revolution, which ended with the creation of the autonomous Principality of Serbia within the Ottoman empire (1830), Kosovo and Metohia acquired special political importance. The hereditary ethnic Albanian pashas, who had until then been mostly renegades from the central authorities in Constantinople, feared that the flames of rebellion might spread to regions they controlled thus they became champions for the defense the integrity of the Turkish Empire and leaders of many military campaigns against the Serbian insurgents, at the core of the Serbian revolution was the Kosovo covenant, embodied in the “revenge of Kosovo”, a fresh, decisive battle against the Turkish invaders in the field of Kosovo. In 1806 the insurgents were preparing, like Prince Lazar in his day, to come out in Kosovo and weigh their forces against the Turks, However, detachments of Serbian insurgents reached only the fringes of northern Kosovo. Metohia, Old Raska (Sandzak), Kosovo and northern Macedonia remained outside the borders of the Serbian principality. In order to highlight their importance in the national and political ideologies of the renewed Serbian state, they were given a new collective name. It was not by chance that Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic, the father of modern Serbian literacy, named the central lands of the Nemanjic state – Old Serbia.
Fearing the renewed Serbian state, Kosovo pashas engaged in ruthless persecution in an effort to reduce number of Serbs living in their spacious holdings. The French travel writer F.C.H.L Pouqueville was astounded by the utter anarchy and ferocity of the local pashas towards the Christians. Jashar-pasha Gjinolli of Prishtina was one of the worst, destroying several churches in Kosovo, seizing monastic lands and killing monks. In just a few years of sweeping terror, he evicted more than seventy Serbian villages between Vucitrn and Gnjilane, dividing up the seized land among the local Islamized population and mountain folk that had settled there from northern Albania. The fertile plains of Kosovo became desolate meadows as the Malisor highlanders, unused to farming knew not to cultivate.
The revolt of the ethnic Albanian pashas against the reforms introduced by the sultans and fierce clashes with regular Turkish troops in the thirties and forties of the 19th century, emphasized the anarchy in Kosovo and Metohia, causing fresh suffering among the Serbs and the further devastation of the ancient monasteries. Since neither Serbian nor Montenegro, two semi-independent Serbian states, were able to give any significant help to the gravely endangered people, Serbian leaders form the Pristina and Vucitrn regions turned to the Russian tsar in seeking protection from their oppressors. They set out that they were forced to choose between converting to Islam or fleeing for Serbia as the violence, especially killings, the persecution of monks, the raping of women and minors, had exceeded all bounds. Pogroms marked the decades to come, especially in period of the Crimean War (1853-1856) when anti-Slav sentiments reached their peak in the ottoman empire: ethnic Albanians and the Cherkeses, whom the Turks had resettled in Kosovo, joined the Ottoman troops in persecuting Orthodox Serbs.
The brotherhood of Decani and the Pec Patriarchate turned to the authorities of Serbia for protection. Pointing to the widespread violence and increasing banditry, and to more frequent and persisted attempts by Catholic missionaires to compel the impoverished and spiritually discouraged monk communities to concede to union. Prior Serafim Ristic of Decani loged complaints with both the sultan and Russian tsar and in his book Plac Stare Srbije (Zemun 1864) he penned hundreds of examples of violence perpetrated by the ethnic Albanians and Turks against the Serbs, naming the perpetrators, victims and type of crime. In Metohia alone he recorded over one hundred cases in which the Turkish authorities, police and judiciary tolerated and abetted robbery, bribery, murder, arson, the desecration of churches, the seizure of property and livestock, the rape of women and children, and the harassment of monks and priests. Both ethnic Albanians and Turks viewed assaults against Serbs as acts pleasing to Allah acts that punishing infidels for not believing in true God: kidnapping and Islamizing girls were a way for true Muslims to approach Allah. Ethnic Albanian outlaws (kayaks) became heroes among their fellow-tribesmen for fulfilling their religious obligations in the right way and spreading the militant glory of their clan and tribe.
Eloquent testimonies to the scope of the violence against the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohia, ranging from blackmail and robbery to rape and murder, come from many foreign travel-writers, from A. F. Hilferding to G. M. McKenzie – A. P. Irby. The Russian consul in Prizren observed that ethnic Albanians were settling the Prizren district underhidered and were trying, with the Turks, to eradicate Christians from Kosovo and Metohia. Throughout the 19th century there was no public safety on the roads of Metohia and Kosovo. One could travel the roads which were controlled by tribal bands, only with strong armed escort. The Serbian peasant had no protection in the field where he could be assaulted and robbed by an outlaw or bandit, and if he tried to resist, he could be killed without the perpetrator having to face charges for the crime. Serbs, as non-Muslims, were not entitled to carry arms. Those who possessed and used arms in self-defence afterwards had to run for their life. Only the luckiest managed to reach the Serbian or Montenegrin border and find permanent refuge there. They were usually followed by large families called family cooperatives (zadruga), comprising as many as 30-50 members, which were unable to defend themselves against the numerous relatives of the ethnic Albanian seeking vengeance for his death in a conflict with an elder of their clan.
Economic pressure, especially the forced reducing of free peasants to serf, was fostered by ethnic Albanian feudal lords with a view to creating large land-holdings. In the upheavals of war (1859, 1863) the Turkish authorities tried to restrict enterprising Serbian merchants and craftsmen who flourished in Pristina, Pec and Prizren, setting ablaze entire quarters where they worked and had their shops. But it was the hardest in rural areas, because ethnic Albanians, bond together by tight communities of blood brotherhoods or in tribes, and relatively socially homogeneous, were able to support their fellow tribesman without too much effort, simply by terrorizing Serbs and seizing their property and livestock. Suppression in driving of the Serbian peasantry, space was made for their relatives from northern Albania to move in, whereby increased their own prestige among other tribes. Unused to life in the plains and to hard field-work, the settled ethnic Albanians preferred looting to farming.
Despite the hardships, the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohia assembled in religious-school communes which financed the opening of schools and the education of children, collected donations for the restoration of churches and monasteries and, when possible, tried to improve relations with the Turkish authorities. In addition to monastic schools, the first Serbian secular schools started opening in Kosovo from mid-1830s, and in 1871 a Seminary (Bogoslovija) opened in Prizren. Unable to help politically, the Serbia systematically aided churches and schools from the 1840s onwards, sending teachers and encouraging the best students to continue with their studies. The Prizren seminary the hub of activity on national affairs, educated teachers and priests for all the Serbian lands under Turkish dominion, and unbeknownst to authorities, established contact on a regular basis with the government in Belgrade, wherefrom it received means and instructions for political action.
Ethnic circumstances in Kosovo and Metohia in the early 19th century can be reconstructed on the basis of data obtained from the books written by foreign travel writers and ethnographers who journeyed across European Turkey. Joseph Miller’s studies show that in late 1830s, 56,200 Christians and 80,150 Muslims lived in Metohia; 11,740 of the Muslims were Islamized Serbs, and 2,700 of the Christians were Catholic Albanians. However, clear picture of the ethnic structure during this period cannot be obtained until one takes into account the fact that from 1815 to 1837 some 320 families, numbering ten to 30 members each, fled Kosovo and Metohia ahead of ethnic Albanian violence. According to Hilferding’s figures, Pec numbered 4,000 Muslim and 800 Christian families, Pristina numbered 1,200 Muslim, 900 Orthodox and 100 Catholic families with a population of 12,000.3
Russian consul Yastrebov recorded (for a 1867-1874 period) the following figures for 226 villages in Metohia: 4,646 Muslim ethnic Albanian homes, 1,861 Orthodox and 3,740 Islamized Serbs and 142 homes of Catholic Albanians. Despite the massive departure of the population for Serbia, available data show that until Eastern crisis (1875-1878), Serbs formed the largest ethnic group in Kosovo and Metohia, largely owing to a high birth rate.
The biggest demographics upheaval in Kosovo and Metohia occurred during the Eastern crisis, especially during the 1876-1878 Serbo-Turkish wars, when the question of Old Serbia started being internationalized. The Ottoman empire lost a good deal of territory in its wars with Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Austria-Hungary occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the second war with the Turks, Serbian troops liberated parts of Kosovo: their advance guard reached Pristina via Gnjilane and at the Gracanica monastery held a memorial service for the medieval heroes of Kosovo battle… After Russia and Turkey called a truce, Serbian troops were forced to withdraw from Kosovo. Serbian delegations from Old Serbia sent petitions to the Serbian Prince, the Russian tsar and participants of the Congress of Berlin, requesting that these lands merge with Serbia. Approximately 30,000 ethnic Albanians retreated from the liberated areas (partly under duress), seeking refuge in Kosovo and in Metohia, while tens of thousands of Serbs fled Kosovo and Metohia for Serbia ahead of unleashed bashibozouks, irregular auxiliaries of Ottoman troops.4
On the eve of the Congress of Berlin in the summer of 1878, when the great powers were deciding on the fate of the Balkan nations, the Albanian League was formed in Prizren, on the periphery of ethnic Albanian living space. The League called for the preservation of Ottoman Empire in its entirety within the prewar boundaries and for the creation of autonomous Albanian vilayet out of the vilayets of Kosovo, Scutari, Janina and Monster (Bitolj), regions where ethnic Albanians accounted for 44% of overall population. The territorial aspirations of the Albanian movement as defined in 1878, became part of all subsequent national programs. The new sultan Abdulhamid II (1878-1909) supported the League’s pro-Ottoman and pro-Islamic attitude. Breaking with the reformatory policy of his predecessors, sultan adopted pan-Islamism as the ruling principle of his reign. Unsatisfied with the decisions taken at the Congress, the League put up an armed opposition to concession of regions of Plav and Gusinje to Montenegro, and its detachments committed countless acts of violence against the Serbs, whose very existence posed a permanent threat to Albanian national interests. In 1881, Turkey employed force to crush the League, whose radical wing was striving towards an independent Albanian state to show that it was capable of implementing the adopted reforms. Notwithstanding, under the system of Turkish rule in the Balkans, ethnic Albanians continued to occupy the most prominent seats in the decades to come.
Surrounded by his influential guard of ethnic Albanians, the Abdulhamid II became increasingly lenient toward Islamized Albanian tribes who used force in quelling Christian movements: they were exempt from providing recruits, paying the most of the regular taxes and allowed at times to refuse the orders of local authorities. This lenient policy towards the ethnic Albanians and tolerance for the violence committed against the Serbian population created a feeling of superiority in the lower strata of Albanian society. The knowledge that no matter what the offense they would not be held responsible, encouraged ethnic Albanians to ignore all the lesser authorities. Social stratification resulted on increasing number of renegades who lived solely off banditry or as outlaws. The policy of failing to punish ethnic Albanians led to total anarchy which, escaping all control, increasingly worried the authorities in Constantinople. Anarchy received fresh impetus at the end of the 19th century when Austria-Hungary, seeking a way to expand towards the Bay of Salonika, encouraged ethnic Albanians to clash with the Serbs and disobey the local authorities. Ruling circles in Vienna saw the ethnic Albanians as a permanent wedge between the two Serbian states and, with the collapse of the system of Turkish rule, a bridge enabling the Dual Monarchy to extend in the Vardar valley. Thus, Kosovo and Metohia became the hub of great power confrontation for supremacy in the Balkans.
The only protection for the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohia until the end of 1880s came from Russian diplomats, Russia being the traditional guardian of the Orthodox and Slav population in the Ottoman Empire Russia’s waning influence in the Balkans following the Congress of Berlin had an unfavorable impact on the Serbs in Turkey. Owing to Milan and Alexander Obrenovic’s Austrophile policy, Serbia lost valuable Russian support at the Porte in its efforts to protect Serbian population In Kosovo and Metohia, Serbs were regarded as a rebellious, treasonous element, every move they made was carefully watched and any signs of rebellion were ruthlessly punished. A military tribunal was established in Pristina in 1882 which in its five years of work sent hundreds of national leaders to prison.
The persistent efforts of Serbian officials to reach agreement with ethnic Albanian tribal chiefs in Kosovo and Metohia, and thus help curb the anarchy failed to stem the tide of violence. Belgrade officials did not get a true picture of the persecutions until a Serbian consulate was opened in Pristina in 1889, five centuries after a battle in Kosovo. The government was informed that ethnic Albanians were systematically mounting attacks on a isolated Serbian villages and driving people to eriction with treats and murders: “Go to Serbia -you can’t survive here!”. The assassination of the first Serbian Consul in the streets of Pristina revealed the depth of ethnic Albanian intolerance. Until 1905, not a single Serbian diplomat from Pristina could visit the town of Pec or tour Metohia, the hotbed of the anarchy. Consuls in Pristina (who included the well-known writers Branislav Nusic and Milan M. Rakic) wrote, aside to their regular reports, indepth descriptions of the situation in Kosovo and Metohia. Serbia’s sole diplomatic success was the election of a Serbian candidate as the Raska-Prizren Metropolitan in 1896, following a series of anti-Serbian orientated Greek Bishops who had been enthroned in Prizren since 1830.
Outright campaigns of terror were mounted after a Greaco-Turkish war in 1897, when it appeared that the Serbs would suffer the same fate as the Armenians in Asia Minor whom the Kurds had wiped out with blessing from the sultan. Serbian diplomats launched a campaign at the Porte for the protection of their compatriots, submitting extensive documentation on four hundred crimes of murder, blackmail, theft, rape, seizure of land, arson of churches. They demanded that energetic measures be taken against the perpetrators and that the investigation be carried out by a joint Serbo-Turkish committee. But, without the support of Russia, the whole effort came to naught. The prime minister of Serbia observed with resignation that 60,000 people had fled Old Serbia for Serbia in the period from 1880 to 1889. In Belgrade, a Blue Book was printed for the 1899 Peace Conference in the Hague, containing diplomatic correspondence on acts of violence committed by ethnic Albanians in Old Serbia, but Austria-Hungary prevented Serbian diplomats from raising the question before the international public. In the ensuing years the Serbian government attempted to secretly supply Serbs in Kosovo with arms. The first larger caches of guns were discovered, and 190l saw another pogrom in Ibarski Kolasin (northern Kosovo), which ended only when Russian diplomats intervened.
The widespread anarchy reached a critical point in 1902 when the Serbian government with the support of Montenegrin diplomacy again raised the issue of the protection of the Serbs in Turkey, demanding that the law be applied equally to all subjects of Empire, and that an end be put to the policy of indulging ethnic Albanians, that they be disarmed and that Turkish garrisons be reinforced in areas with a mixed Serbian-ethnic Albanian population. Russia, and then France, supported Serbia’s demands. The two most interested parties, Austria-Hungary and Russia, agreed in 1897 to maintain the status quo in the Balkans, although they initiated a reform plan to rearrange Turkey’s European provinces. Fearing for their privileges, ethnic Albanians launched a major uprising in 1903; it began with new assaults against Serbs and ended with the assassination of the newly appointed Russian consul in Mitrovica, accepted as a protector of the Serbs in Kosovo.
The 1903 restoration of democracy in Serbia under new King Petar I Karadjordjevic marked an end to Austrophile policy and the turning towards Russia. In response, Austria-Hungary stepped up its propaganda efforts among ethnic Albanians. At the request of the Dual Monarchy, Kosovo and Metohia were exempt from the Great Powers Reform action (1903-1908). A new wave of persecution ensued: in 1904,108 people fled for Serbia from Kosovo alone. Out of 146 different cases of violence, 46 ended in murder; a group of ethnic Albanians raped a seven-year-old girl. In 1905, out of 281 registrated cases of violence, 65 were murders, and at just one wedding, ethnic Albanians killed nine wedding guests.
The Young Turk revolution in 1908, which ended the “Age of Oppression” (as Turkish historiography refers to the reign of Abdulhamid II), brought no changes in relations between ethnic Albanians and Serbs. The Serbs’ first political organization was created under the auspices of the Young Turk regime, but the ethnic Albanian revolt against the new authorities’ pan-Turkish policy triggered off a fresh wave of violence. In the second half of 1911 alone, Old Serbia registrated 128 cases of theft, 35 acts of arson, 41 instances of banditry, 53 cases of extortion, 30 instances of blackmail, 19 cases of intimidation, 35 murders, 37 attempted murders, 58 armed attacks on property, 27 fights and cases of abuse, 13 attempts at Islamization, and 18 cases of the infliction of serious bodily injury. Approximately 400,000 people fled Old Serbia (Kosovo, Metohia, Raska, northern and northwest Macedonia) for Serbia ahead of ethnic Albanian and Turkish violence, and about 150,000 people fled Kosovo and Metohia, a third of the overall Serbian population in these parts. Despite the persecution and the steady outflow of people. Serbs still accounted for almost half the population in Kosovo and Metohia in 1912. According to Jovan Cvijic’s findings, published in 1911, there were 14,048 Serbian homes in Kosovo, 3, 826 in Pec and its environs, and 2,400 Serbian homes with roughly 200,000 inhabitants in the Prizren region. Comparing this statistics dating from the middle of the century, when there were approximately 400,000 Serbs living in Kosovo and Metohia, Cvijic’s estimate that by 1912 about 150,000 refugees had fled to Serbia seems quite acceptable.
The Serbian and Montenegrin governments aided the ethnic Albanian rebels against Young Turks up to a point: they took in refugees and gave them arms with a view to undermining Turkish rule in the Balkans, dispelling Austro-Hungarian influence on their leaders and curbing the violence against Serbs. But it was all in vain as intolerance for the Serbs ran deep in all Albanian national movements. Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria and Greece realized that the issue of Christian survival in Turkey had to be resolved by arms. Since Turkey refused to guarantee the Christians the same rights it had promised the ethnic Albanian insurgents, the Balkan allies declared war in the fall of 1912.
Kosovo is Clinton Country: a 10-foot-high statue of Bill overlooks “Bill Clinton Boulevard” in the capital city of Pristina. Hillary is also memorialized in what has become the crime capital of Europe: right off the street named for her husband is a store named “Hillary,” featuring women’s clothing modeled after the putative Democratic party nominee for President. Pantsuits figure prominently. As Vice puts it: “While former President Bill Clinton has had a boulevard named after him, it’s without a doubt that his wife’s the real star out here.” Why is that?
As Gail Sheehy pointed out in her biography of Hillary, it was Mrs. Clinton who hectored her husband into bowing to a chorus of neoconservative and liberal interventionist voices and finally giving the order to bomb the former Yugoslavia. Traveling to Kosovo when Serbs in the northern part of the country were demanding some form of local autonomy to stave off violent attacks by Kosovar ultra-nationalists, Mrs. Clinton reassured her hosts that the US would stand behind Pristina: “For me, my family and my fellow Americans this is more than a foreign policy issue, it is personal.” She then physically embraced Kosovo President and Mafia chieftain Hacim Thaci – who has since been credibly accused by the Council of Europe of stealing human organs from Serb victims and selling them on the black market.
Hillary owns Kosovo – she is not only personally responsible for its evolution from a province of the former Yugoslavia into a Mafia state, she is also the mother of the policy that made its very existence possible and which she carried into her years as Secretary of State under Barack Obama.
As the “Arab Spring” threatened to topple regimes throughout the Middle East, Mrs. Clinton decided to get on board the revolutionary choo-choo train and hitch her wagon to “moderate” Islamists who seemed like the wave of the future. She dumped Egyptian despot Hosni Mubarak, whom she had previously described as a friend of the family, and supported the Muslim Brotherhood’s bid for power. In Libya, she sided with Islamist rebels out to overthrow Moammar Ghaddafi, celebrating his gruesome death by declaring “We came, we saw, he died.” And in Syria, she plotted with Gen. David Petraeus to get around President Obama’s reluctance to step into the Syrian quagmire by arming Syrian rebels allied with al-Qaeda and other terrorist gangs.
The Clintonian legacy of enabling Islamist terrorists extends to present day Kosovo, where the New York Times has revealed an extensive network of ISIS-affiliated madrassas – indoctrination centers – funded by the Saudis, the Qataris, and the Kuwaitis. The Times reports:
“Every Friday, just yards from a statue of Bill Clinton with arm aloft in a cheery wave, hundreds of young bearded men make a show of kneeling to pray on the sidewalk outside an improvised mosque in a former furniture store.”
“The mosque is one of scores built here with Saudi government money and blamed for spreading Wahhabism” in the 17 years since the war ended with Kosovo’s independence, says the Times.
“Since then – much of that time under the watch of American officials – Saudi money and influence have transformed this once-tolerant Muslim society at the hem of Europe into a font of Islamic extremism and a pipeline for jihadists.”
Kosovo is jihadi heaven. The Times informs us that “Over the last two years, the police have identified 314 Kosovars – including two suicide bombers, 44 women and 28 children – who have gone abroad to join the Islamic State, the highest number per capita in Europe.”
The Wahabist ideology carried by radical imams is directly financed by the Saudis, the Qataris, the Kuwaitis, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman. All of these countries, by the way, are major donors to the Clinton Foundation.
Hillary Clinton’s Islamist-friendly foreign policy created a terrorist base in Kosovo, and her friends the Saudis are instrumental in setting up the conditions whereby ISIS has gained a foothold in the heart of Europe. At sprawling Camp Bondesteel, where US troops have been stationed since the “liberation,” radical imams recruited three Kosovar employees, including Lavdrim Muhaxheri, who is today a commander of the Islamic State: his claim to fame is that he was videotaped executing a Syrian by blowing him to bits with a rocket-propelled grenade. (“I did not do anything less or more than what KLA soldiers did during the war,” he declared in an interview with an Albanian newspaper.)
After ignoring the problem for years, the authorities are making a show of rounding up terrorist suspects: five were recently arrested and given long sentences, but there are hundreds more where that came from.
Kosovo today is a fulcrum of terrorism, violence, crime, and virulent nationalism. The Parliament is in chaos as Albanian ultra-nationalists demanding union with Albania shut down sessions with smoke bombs and mob action. This is the legacy of the Clintons in the Balkans: a terrorist state run by Mafia chieftains that has become the epicenter of radical Islamism in the midst of Europe.
This is “blowback” with a vengeance, and Hillary Clinton and husband Bill have their fingerprints all over this outrage: but of course the “mainstream” media isn’t holding them to account. The Times story on the rise of ISIS in Kosovo never mentions the dubious duo, and is vague when it reports on the three employees of Camp Bondesteel who wound up in Syria’s terrorist camps. Who are the other two besides Muhaxheri? Did they receive any military training? This Reuters report confirms that NATO brought Muhaxheri to Iraq, where he worked for two years at a military base.
And there’s more where he came from. As Reuters informs us:
“Thousands of Kosovars have moved on from Bondsteel to work with U.S. contractors on bases in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade, earning the kind of money they can only dream of in Kosovo.”
The terrorist pipeline runs from Kosovo, to Iraq and Afghanistan, and then on to Syria – where they fill the ranks of ISIS and al-Qaeda.
Could there be a more perfect illustration of how the principle of “blowback” works, and how we’re creating an army of Frankenstein monsters?
All this brings back memories of Antiwar.com’s first days: this site was born as a protest against US intervention in the former Yugoslavia. Back then we warned again and again (and again!) about the specter of Islamist extremism as the energizing ideology of the Albanian separatists, both in Kosovo and Bosnia.
We were right on target.
That’s the great advantage of being a regular reader of Antiwar.com – we bring you the news before it happens. That’s years before it happens.
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NOTES IN THE MARGIN
You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.
Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of Antiwar.com, and a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute. He is a contributing editor at The American Conservative, and writes a monthly column for Chronicles. He is the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement [Center for Libertarian Studies, 1993; Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2000], and An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard [Prometheus Books, 2000].
The last open armed conflict in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – FYROM (former Socialist Republic of Macedonia as one of six federal republics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) in the May 2015 was just an expected continuation of constant tensions between the ethnic Albanians and the Macedonian Slavs during the last quarter of century.[i] However, these tensions are time to time transformed into the open armed conflicts of the Albanian extremists, usually coming from Kosovo, with the Macedonian security forces.
The most notable conflict incidents in Macedonia after the Kosovo War in 1998−1999, when the Kosovo Albanians started to export Kosovo revolution to Macedonia, up to 2015 are recorded in 2001 that was ended by the EU/USA sponsored Ohrid Agreement, in 2007 when on November 7th, Macedonian special police forces liquidated six armed Albanians from the neighboring Kosovo on the Shara Mt. in the North Macedonia – the region known from 1991 as the most nationalistic and separatist Albanian area at the Balkans after Kosovo and in 2008 after the parliamentary elections in June.
In the 2007 case, for instance, police found a large amount of hidden arms and ammunition on one location at the Shara Mt. (brought from Kosovo). The Balkan political analysts are kin to speculate that what is happening in Macedonia after 1999 is just a continuation of the export of the 1998-99 Kosovo revolution. 1998−1999. It basically means that Macedonia is scheduled by the Kosovo Albanian “revolutionaries” (i.e., by the political leadership of the Kosovo Liberation Army−the KLA) to be the next Balkan country which will experience a “Kosovo syndrome” that was successfully finished by the proclamation of the Kosovo independence in February 2008. It is as well as assumed that Montenegro is going to be the third Balkan country infected by the process of Kosovization.
The pre-1991 “Macedonian Question”
Macedonia always was the crossroad of the Balkans having a vital strategic position at the peninsula. The geostrategic importance of Macedonia was probably expressed the best by the German kanzellar Otto von Bismarck: “Those who control the valley of the River Vardar are the masters of the Balkans”.[ii]
A whole historic-geographic territory of Macedonia was formerly part of the Ottoman Empire from 1371 to 1912. Macedonia was the first Yugoslav land to be occupied by the Ottomans and the last one to be liberated from the Ottoman yoke. Before the Ottoman lordship, Macedonia was governed by the Byzantine Empire, Bulgaria and Serbia. A Bulgarian sponsored the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (the IMRO) was established in 1893 in Thessaloniki with the ultimate political goal to include whole Macedonia into Bulgaria. After the Balkans Wars of 1912−1913 a territory of historic-geographic Macedonia was partitioned between Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria. During WWI Macedonia became a scene of fierce fighting between the Central Powers and the Entente (the Macedonian front). Allied forces landed at Thessaloniki in October 1915 to be soon accompanied with approximately 150.000 Serbian soldiers who escaped from the occupied Serbia. In September 1918 under the French General Franchet d’Esperey, a joint British, French and Serbian army advanced against Bulgaria and soon liberated Serbia.[iii]
After the WWI the Treaty of Neuilly confirmed the Vardar Macedonia as a part of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, while the Aegean Macedonia with Thessaloniki remained the Greek and the Pirin Macedonia the Bulgarian. In the 1920s a large population movement transformed the ethnic composition of the population of the historic-geographic Macedonia. The crucial exchange of population occurred after the Treaty of Lausanne as some 350.000 Muslims from Macedonia were exchanged with Turkey by around 1.200.000 ethnic Greeks from Anatolia. In the interwar time a Bulgarian sponsored IMRO terrorism activity increased in the Yugoslav Macedonia seeking to destabilize the country in order to finally annex Macedonia into Bulgaria.[iv] After 1945 the Vardar Macedonia became a socialist republic within the Yugoslav federation with recognized a separate Macedonian nationality, Macedonian language and alphabet which was standardized for the first time in history. Up to 1991 the Yugoslav authorities fostered Macedonian self-identity and nationalism at the expense of the Serb and Bulgarian national interests.[v] Therefore, for the very reason to keep a territorial integrity of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia, her Albanian minority was not granted a status of an autonomous province like the Kosovo Albanians in Serbia who had, according to the last Yugoslav constitution in 1974, their own president, government, assembly, police, university and academy of sciences – a state within the state.
The post-1991 “Macedonian Question”
During the violent destruction of ex-Yugoslavia, in November 1991 the Socialist Republic of Macedonia proclaimed independence that was firstly recognized by Bulgaria. However, Bulgaria never recognized a separate Macedonian language and ethnicity as for Bulgarians up to today all Macedonian Slavs are ethnolinguistic Bulgarians.[vi] Of course, when Skopje decided to declare independence, the Macedonians decided at the same time to deal alone with the Albanian nationalism and separatism in Macedonia without help by the Serbs.
The government in Skopje believed that the West will protect a territorial integrity of Macedonia and therefore yet in 1991 NATO’s troops were invited to be deployed in this newly proclaimed independent state which became internationally recognized in 1993 but with a provisional state’s name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – a unique case in world history. Nevertheless, a new Macedonian constitution, a constitutional state’s name (the Republic of Macedonia) and the state’s symbols created immediately extremely tense and hostile relationships with a neighboring Greece as Skopje developed rival (and unjust) claims to the ethnohistorical heritage of the ancient Macedonians and the Kingdom of Macedonia.[vii] Greece and the FYROM recognized each other five years after the Macedonian official proclamation of independence when Greece lifted economic blockade against the FYROM as well.
However, the crucial challenge to the post-1991 “Macedonian Question” is coming from the ethnic breakdown of the country and historical background of interethnic relations between the Macedonian Slavs and the Macedonian Albanians. The later are the biggest and most nationalistic ethnic minority in the FYROM composing today about 30% of total population. Their number increased during the Kosovo War in 1998−1999, especially during the NATO’s “a prominent example of unauthorized humanitarian intervention”[viii] against Serbia and Montenegro, as the Kosovo Albanians, formally as the refugees, came to Macedonia followed by their compatriots from Albania – a country out of any warfare at that time. Majority of those Albanian “refugees”[ix] in fact never returned back to their homeland. Inter-ethnic tensions between the Macedonian Slavs and the Macedonian Albanians soon became increased due to both worsening economic situation and the uncompromised Albanian nationalism as an effect of the exported “Kosovo syndrome”.
The “Kosovo syndrome”
The export of the Kosovo revolution after 1999 as a direct outcome of the “Kosovo syndrome” to neighboring Macedonia is in direct connection with much serious regional problem of creation of a Greater Albania from 1878 up today. After June 1999 when the NATO’s troops occupied and divided Kosovo into five occupation zones, transforming this region into their colony,[x] West Macedonia became a stronghold for the rebel Albanian terrorist forces which in fact came from Kosovo.
The Macedonian Albanian separatism backed by the KLA paramilitary troops in the area of Tetovo, Kumanovo and Gostivar in the North-West Macedonia became directly encouraged by the fact that neighboring Kosovo Albanians finally succeeded to separate Kosovo from the rest of Serbia with direct NATO’s and EU military and diplomatic support. The same or very similar scenario was drawn now and for the West Macedonia with Skopje as a capital of the Albanian independent state of the Republic of Ilirida – a state proclaimed by the local Albanian nationalists twice after the destruction of ex-Yugoslavia: in 1992 and in September 2014. Of course, an ultimate goal is pan-Albanian unification with Tirana as a capital of a Greater Albania as it was during the WWII. Here it has to be stressed that between Kosovo, West Macedonia and Albania in fact there is no cross-border checking as it is formally controlled by the Albanians themselves, if it is controlled at all. Therefore, in practice a Greater Albania already exists. Furthermore, the traffic connections between Tirana and Prishtina are planned to be radically improved as the Kosovo Albanian government recently agreed with the government of Albania to connect their two capitals with a modern highway probably financially sponsored by the western economies.
The “Macedonian Question” has always been at the heart of Balkan politics and of interest to the Great Powers. Macedonia – the small, landlocked territory of the South Balkans has been contested during the last 150 years by all of its four neighbors – Serbia, Bulgaria, Albania and Greece. A Socialist Yugoslavia of Josip Broz Tito claimed to have solved the “Macedonian Question” by the establishment of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia as a part of the Yugoslav Federation from 1945 to 1991. Nonetheless, the destruction of the second Yugoslavia in 1991 reopened the issue of the future of the territory of the Vardar Macedonia – a Serbian-Yugoslav part of a geographic-historic Macedonia given to the Kingdom of Serbia by the Bucharest Peace Treaty on August 10th, 1913.[xi] A successor “Republic of Macedonia” has been proclaimed as an independent state in November 1991 but it has not received immediately universal international recognition either of its formal political independence or of its state-flag and state-name.
Basically, after 1991 up today there are three main problems in regard to the “Macedonian Question”:
Will Macedonian state’s territory be divided between the Slavic Macedonians and the ethnic Albanians (who are 30% of Macedonia’s population)?;
Will all members of the international community recognize the name of “Republic of Macedonia” (according to the Macedonian Constitution of 1991) or they will continue to call this country as it is today officially named by the UNO – the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (the FYROM); and
Will the FYROM have territorial claims on other parts of geographic-historic Macedonia included into Greece (the “Aegean Macedonia”) and Bulgaria (the “Pirin Macedonia”) after the Second Balkan War in 1913?
The Macedonian independence from 1991 created an extremely tense relationship with the Greek government, since Macedonia developed rival claims for ethnicity and statehood. This rivalry was epitomized in a dispute about the state’s name, as Greece objected to the use of Macedonia, whose historical heritage it claimed. These two countries eventually recognized each other in 1995, and the Greek economic blockade against Macedonia was lifted.
Nevertheless, the crucial problem in this country is that the ethnic make up of the FYROM continued to change as the Albanian refugees poured in from Kosovo and Albania increasing the size of the Albanian minority de facto to 30%.
Tensions were increased through the worsening economic situation, which escalated as a result of international sanctions and the war against its main trading partner – ex-Yugoslavia. As the situation in Kosovo escalated and war erupted in 1998−1999, Macedonia became an important stronghold for the moderate Albanian opposition from Kosovo, but also for the rebel KLA. Extremely encouraged by the recognition of the Albanian required rights in Kosovo from June 1999 by the West, the Albanian minority in the West Macedonia became more assertive and politically aggressive.
Following violent clashes in 2001 between the Macedonian police forces and the (Kosovo) Albanian rebels, NATO followed the plea of the pro-western Macedonian government and increased its presence in this South Balkan country. A higher scale of a civil war was narrowly avoided in 2001 when the Macedonian parliament in Skopje agreed, but under direct western (EU/US) pressure and blackmailing, great concessions granting linguistic and limited political autonomy to the Albanian minority in Macedonia.
In return, the KLA rebels in Macedonia (under the official name of the Albanian National Army – the ANA) agreed to give up their arms to NATO’s troops – a gesture that was done more for the TV screens as the main guns’ arsenal of the KLA was returned back to Kosovo to be activated in Macedonia once again on May 9−10th, 2015. This happened regardless of the presence of NATO’s peace-keeping troops in Macedonia which came in the early 1990s following the plea of the Macedonian government after violent clashes between the Macedonian police and Albanian rebels.
The “Macedonian Question” after the 2001 KLA rebellion in Macedonia primarily was dependent on solving the “Kosovo Question”. In the other words, it was logically expected that in the case of “international” (i.e., the western) recognition of Kosovo and by the west sponsored quasi-independence after February 17th, 2008, the Albanians from the West FYROM (likely followed by their compatriots from the East Montenegro) will follow a Kosovo example of regional revolution for the sake of getting territorial-national independence with a final aim to be united with a motherland Albania as it was clearly noticed even in 1997 by the late Kosovo Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova and more recently in May 2015 confirmed by the PM of Albania, Edi Rama.
Now we are witnessing a process of practical realization of the Greater Albania project that was designed for the first time by the Albanian First Prizren League in 1878. Or better to say, we are today dealing with the revival of a Greater Albania created by Mussolini in 1941 – a real state that existed until the end of the WWII. A difference is only that the WWII Greater Albania was sponsored by the western nazifascism while a present-day Greater Albania is backed by the western self-proclaimed liberal democracies.
The present Macedonian government of Nikola Gruevski (PM from 2006 and a leader of the VMRO-DPMNE) which has confronted the KLA, is punished (May 2015) by US-NATO for two reasons:
A Macedonian policy not to introduce sanctions against Russia.
A Macedonian wish to join Russia’s sponsored “Turkish Stream” of supplying Europe with the Siberian gas.
As the current Greek government is becoming closer to Russia, the Kosovization of Macedonia could be used against Greece, as a means to undermine the Greek pro-Russian policy. Namely, a summer holiday tourism is for Greece one of the most important incomes for the national budget per year. As a huge number of the European tourists are coming to Greece by the highway that is crossing Serbia, Macedonia and exactly the Kumanovo area it can be expected that in the case of conflict situation in the FYROM, the tourist industry in Greece will be affected.
European tourists travelling by land will have to cross conflict areas in Macedonia.
The conflict in Macedonia could spill over into Greece itself and most probably into Serbia.
Finally, the armed KLA rebellion in May 2015 against the state of Macedonia was used as a means to destabilize the government in Skopje in the form of a Colored Revolution, similar to Belgrade in October 2000. As in Serbia after October 2000, a new post-revolution Macedonian government sponsored by the West would be instrumental into transforming Macedonia into another client state of the post-Cold War NATO’s World Order. The success of the US-NATO plan very much depends on the role played by Russia.[xii]
[i] On this issue, see [L. Danforth, The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World, Princeton, 1995].
[ii] M. Glenny, The Balkans: Nationalism, War and the Great Powers, 1804−1999, New York: Viking, 1999, 156.
[iii] On the Macedonian front, see [G. W. Price, The Story of the Salonika Army, London 1918].
[iv] On the terrorism by IMRO, see [A. Londres, Terror in the Balkans, London, 1935].
[v] On this issue, see [S. E. Palmer, R. King, Yugoslav Communism and the Macedonian Question, Connecticut, 1971].
[vi] On the question of ethnic background of the Macedonians, see [H. N. Brailsford, Macedonia – Its Races and Their Future, London, 1906; H. Poulton, Who Are the Macedonians?, London, 1995]. On the Bulgarian standpoint, see [Macedonia: Documents and Material, Sofia, 1974].
[vii] On the Greek point of view, see [N. K. Martis, The Falsification of Macedonian History, Athens, 1984]. The fact is that the ancient “Macedonians were located between the Thracians and the Greeks, inhabiting the fertile plains drained by the Vardar and Struma rivers. From antiquity to the present the question has been debated as to whether these early Macedonians were Greeks or barbarians” [L. S. Stavrianos, The Balkans since 1453, New York: Rinehart & Company, Inc., 1958, 18]. However, the Macedonian kings and aristocracy have been the Greeks in language, culture and outlook who were inviting the Greeks of learning from Greek world to their courts. On the Macedonian point of view, see [S. Konechni, V. Georgieva, Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Macedonia, Skopje, 1998].
[viii] J. L. Holzgrefe, R. O. Keohane (eds.), Humanitarian Intervention. Ethical, Legal, and Political Dilemmas, Cambridge−New York, Cambridge University Press, 2005, 1. On the legal aspect of the humanitarian intervention, see [Ch. Gray, International Law and the Use of Force. Fully Updated Second Edition, Oxford−New York, Oxford University Press, 2004].
[ix] Majority of the Kosovo Albanian “refugees” during the Kosovo War 1998−1999 were not real refugees as they left their homes under the agreement with the KLA in order to show to the mainstream western mass media how the Serbian government is oppressive against the Kosovo ethnic Albanians.
[x] H. Hofbauer, Eksperiment Kosovo: Povratak kolonijalizma, Beograd: Albatros Plus, 2009.
[xi] В. Ћоровић, Наше победе, Београд: Култура, 1990, 82.
[xii] On the NATO, Balkans and Russia after 1991, see [V. B. Sotirović, “The NATO’s World Order, the Balkans and the Russian National Interest”, International Journal of Politics & Law Research, Vol. 3, № 1, Sciknow Publications Ltd., New York, NY, 2015]
Kosovo Parliament announced the independent state of the Republic of Kosovo in February 2008 as a democratic and multicultural political community.
Here we present a photo from November 2015 on which you can see heavily damaged Serbian Orthodox church and totally destroyed Serbian Orthodox tombstones in the southern part of the town of Kosovska Mitrovica inhabited by the Muslim Albanians.
BELGRADE – Serbia organized an exhibition of cultural and historical heritage of Kosovo and Metohija in Paris, the headquarters of UNESCO, to serve as a reminder to the West of how they let it be destroyed since the 2000s.
There is a lot of Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija. Now, Kosovo is an independent state, partially recognized by Western countries. But the world was shocked by anti-Serbian riots organized by Albanians during the Kosovo unrest in 2004. Many Serbian monuments were damaged in the chaos.
Albanian extremists living in Kosovo, since the 2000s, have continued to raid and damage Serbian cultural heritage monuments under the guise of a political crisis. Last year, President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic showed a film to foreign ambassadors about the anti-Serb riots in March 2004 in a bid to prevent Kosovo’s entry into UNESCO. The diplomats were shocked.
It is unknown whether the ambassadors understood that Serbian heritage in Kosovo does not belong to any particular time or any particular generation, but to all of mankind. The attempt to push Kosovo into UNESCO failed, however, the savagery of Albanian extremists continues today.
Art historian and former director of the National Museum in Belgrade, Nikola Kusovac, said that those who decide the fate of the most significant monuments obviously do not understand that it is thanks to these shrines that the Serbs maintain their identity and their roots. These monuments have a lasting value, Kusovac told Sputnik.
“It is ridiculous even to think that the hand of the one who destroyed and burned this heritage for years could now protect it. Their own heritage is limited to just the walls that they built around their homes. All those who do not have evidence of the creative spirit, now want to usurp those created by Serbian hands,” Kusovac told Sputnik. The most recent episode was a fight with Kosovo police who were agitated by the fact that Serbs originally from the Kosovo town of Musutiste wanted to visit a ruined church of the Virgin Protectoress (Church of the Virgin Hodegetria), which is under UNESCO protection, as well as to visit graves of their relatives.
As the photo demonstrates, not much is left of the church, a symbol for not just Serbia but for Christians in the entire region.
In 1905, archaeologist and art historian Gabriel Millet visited the Serbian lands and wrote that a new world had opened up before him. He immediately understood the specifics of Serbian Byzantine art and wrote that the monuments of Serbian medieval culture were quite special and unique.
A hundred years later, Millet’s covenants have been forgotten and the Serbian scientific community has once again been forced to show the world precious samples of Serbian cultural heritage.
The Government of Serbia organized the exhibition to attract the attention of UNESCO to protect the Serbian treasures located in Kosovo and Metohija. Almost forty ambassadors of the UNESCO member states observed the beauty of “Serbian Byzantium” in Paris. It was just 20 years ago when West closed its eyes on the fate of this heritage and it seems like it is in no hurry to open them. More than 150 churches and monasteries were damaged in 2004 during mass attacks by Albanian extremists on Serbian shrines.
Among the rubble were monasteries on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Ten medieval architectural monuments were destroyed just in Prizren, among them was the temple of the Mother of God Ljeviška, as well as the previously mentioned Church of the Virgin Hodegetria. The Monastery of the Holy Archangels was also almost completely demolished.
After the demolition, UNESCO included the monasteries of Visoki Dečani, Gračanica and the Patriarchate of Peć into the list. It should be noted that in 2012, 2 million dollars of the funds slated for the restoration of Orthodox churches in Kosovo were allocated by UNESCO Russia.
Shortly after the destruction of the monuments, the Mayor of Venice Massimo Cacciari said it was as if the Cathedral of St Mark’s in Venice had been destroyed or any other such important artifact in Italy or France. Today, slogans of Daesh and other terrorist organizations are now visible on the shrines. Perhaps this slogan best illustrates the extremists’ intentions.
Daesh terrorists destroyed the ancient city of Palmyra because they believed that history began with them.
King Abdullah is being eulogized in the most unrealistic ways possible, from CNN designating him as a “reformer” to Chuck Hagel calling him “a powerful voice for tolerance, moderation and peace — in the Islamic world and across the globe.” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin takes the cake, however, by proclaiming that “his smart policy contributed greatly to Middle East stability.” None of these characterizations are true in any way, as Abdullah’s main legacy isn’t one of reform, tolerance, and regional stability, but of destruction, hate, and regional instability. Every contemporary Mideast problem except for the Israel-Palestine issue can be directly traced back to the deceased despot, and in the wake of his death, it’s worth revisiting the legacy of regional chaos that he leaves behind.
The Method Behind The Madness
Before highlighting the chaos that Abdullah unleashed all across the Mideast, it’s necessary to explore the three primary reasons why he decided to do this in the first place:
Abdullah saw a valuable opportunity to promote his Kingdom’s extreme perversion of Islam, the terrorist ideology of Wahhabism, in the aftermath of the US’ War on Iraq in 2003. Although not officially the King until 2005, he had ruled as regent for nearly a decade prior, thereby meaning that Abdullah’s vision was set into motion around the mid-1990s. This gave him the much-needed time to hone Wahhabist institutions and individuals for more effective destabilizing export abroad, which is precisely what began to happen when terrorists took over the anti-US resistance movement in Iraq. The extreme elements that hijacked the movement started focusing more on inciting a sectarian war (previously dormant for centuries) than on battling the American occupiers, which is exactly what Saudi Arabia wanted as part of its pan-regional grand strategy.
The US is Saudi Arabia’s chief ally, hence why Riyadh had an interest in deflecting attacks against its occupation forces and back toward the resistance itself. However, a more sinister strategy was also at play here, and that was the creation of the so-called ‘Sunni-Shia rivalry’ as a weaponized ideological force against Iran. The Saudis identify the Islamic Republic as being their eternal enemy, and although this was never an objectively foregone conclusion, what is important to emphasize here is that Saudi decision makers hold this mistaken belief and accordingly shape their foreign policy around it.
They have a paranoid idea that majority-Shia Iran wants to harness its influence among its related believers to exert political influence wherever they reside, including in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province. Thus, Abdullah figured that the Saudis could ‘strike first’ by manufacturing an artificial ‘Sunni-Shia rivalry’ in order to ‘justify’ repressions against the Shia in Saudi Arabia and prevent them from attaining power as ‘Iranian proxies’ in Iraq and Bahrain sometime in the future. In countries such as Yemen and Syria where Shia and Shia-affiliated sects constitute an influential minority, the policy was aimed at inciting religious hatred against them in the hopes that they could be eventually relegated to social and political obscurity. Abdullah’s plan was obviously long-term, but given the intensity of the sectarian war that he launched in Iraq and the lessons his intelligence forces gleaned from such activity, his was able to see demonstrable ‘results’ a couple years later after the ‘Arab Spring’ Color Revolutions. Wahhabism flared throughout the Mideast and Shia communities everywhere found themselves in fear of violent sectarian-led attacks. For the Saudis, this was mission accomplished.
The second driving force behind Abdullah’s reign of terror across the Mideast was to spread the influence of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a Saudi-led regional grouping that operates as a multifaceted integrational platform that coordinates military, political, and economic policies. Abdullah’s ambition was to use it as a vehicle for creating regional satellite states, either formally integrated into the organization (such as Bahrain) or living under its military shadow (as it envisioned Yemen to be). Pertaining to Syria and Iraq, Abdullah sought to make them submissive to the GCC’s dictates, in that Syria was unsuccessfully bullied into allowing a gas pipeline to transit its territory (and its subsequent refusal is credited with initiating the war) and Iraq was targeted for trilateral fragmentation so that it could never rival the Saudis again.
Lead From Behind:
Finally, the US understood the regional value that Abdullah’s goals could have for its global grand strategy, and therefore threw all of its weight behind his destabilizing activities. The American vision for adapting to the multipolar world is to delegate zones of regional responsibility to its close allies (or group thereof), and Saudi Arabia is the Lead From Behind partner for the Gulf. The US wants to use the Saudis and their GCC minions as military proxies for any future conflict with Iran, hence why it and its NATO allies are arming them to the teeth. The US seems to have also fallen for Abdullah’s scam of the ‘Sunni-Shia rivalry’ and his paranoid fears of Iranian interference via this ‘mechanism’, which explains its blind support for the dead ruler’s actions in Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, and Yemen. Instead of the US directly confronting Iran, it simply outsources this responsibility to Saudi Arabia and the GCC, which share the same delusional belief as the US and Israel have about a hidden Iranian hand guiding all sorts of Mideast mischief.
Abdullah’s Hit List
While the story of Pandora’s Box may only be a legend, Abdullah’s Mideast application of it is most certainly not. The former King opened the gates of hell when he unleashed his sectarian war on the masses in an attempt to transform his country into the region’s unrivaled hegemon. Thus, the following should be read as Abdullah’s ‘hit list’:
Abdullah took personal offense to President Assad’s refusal to betray his Iranian allies and kowtow to the Gulf Monarchies, and thus targeted him for elimination. Of course, the US was also planning President Assad’s removal even before then, but this gave Abdullah an even greater reason to work with them to bring his sectarian plans into play in the Levant. He had intended for Syria to be a peripheral satellite of the GCC, but President Assad’s loyalty to his Iranian partners frightened the King and brought about hallucinations of a ‘Shia alliance’ aimed against his country’s interests. Abdullah wasn’t apt enough to identify it for what it properly was – the Axis of Resistance – but instead, given his fixation with Iran, he only saw a sectarian element to it that he became obsessed with destroying. Since Iraq stood between the two and happened to be run by Maliki (a Shiite) at the time, the Saudis instinctively began plans for sucking them into the oncoming destabilization by restarting the sectarian civil war that previously devastated the country.
For a while, it seemed like Iraq would successfully resist the Saudi-inspired destabilization that was ravaging Syria, since Maliki’s strong arm kept everything together between his country’s Sunni and Shia citizens. However, that was not to last, as ISIL began its massive surge across the Syrian border and into Iraq last summer, whereby it acquired unimaginable territorial conquests in an extremely short period of time. This was the final aspect of Abdullah’s northern-directed foreign policy, since he ultimately succeeded in having the Wahhabist militants destabilize Iraq and reignite the sectarian war, which in turn led to Maliki’s soft-coup removal from power and the country’s de-facto fragmentation into three identity-dominated entities.
Finally, Saudi Arabia’s southern neighbor wasn’t spared from Abdullah’s militant ambitions, although it experienced them in a different way. Given that Yemen is the geopolitical Achilles’ heel of the Kingdom, large-scale destabilization there poses the high risk of spilling over the border and boomeranging back into Saudi Arabia, hence Abdullah’s reluctance for all-out conflict there on par with Syria. Also, the government there was favorably affiliated with the Saudis and comfortably kept under their thumb. However, Abdullah’s obsession over sectarianism meant that he continued to view the Shiite Houthis in the north as proxy agents of Iranian influence, and he was paranoid that if they were able to create a more inclusive and democratic government, then Saudi Arabia might be left with a hostile state on its borders.
When the Houthis rebelled against President Hadi’s GCC-approved plan to arbitrarily federalize the country into six units and dilute their already miniscule representation, the government was forced to concede to a UN-mediated power-sharing agreement. The thing is, that was all just a time-buying ploy, whereby the Saudis sought to retain their man in Sanaa while finding a way to slowly destroy the Houthis. When they finally ordered Hadi to backtrack on the agreement and carry out a pro-Saudi coup, everything disastrously fell to pieces and Riyadh’s agent in Yemen stepped down from the presidency. This left the Houthis as the only real political force still active in the country, which in turn exacerbated Saudi Arabia’s fears of an Iranian conspiracy. Yemen is now on the cusp of a greater conflict, as the Kingdom, convinced of a hidden Iranian hand behind its monstrously failed coup attempt, desperately contemplates its next power move along its vulnerable and exposed southern border.
Bonus – The Hitman:
Last but not least, Abdullah, following the template of his American advisors, also sought to outsource some of his country’s regional activity to a degree, ergo the creation of ISIL. Although they deny it, the Saudis created it and were absolutely instrumental in helping the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization come to power. So important has ISIL been to achieving Saudi objectives in Syria and Iraq that it can even be said to function as the ‘hitman’ taking out the members of Abdullah’s ‘hit list’. However, just like with any mercenary gunman, the Wahhbist Frankenstein might finally be turning on its masters, which would present an ironic twist of fate for Abdullah’s lasting legacy.
As the mainstream media shamelessly ‘mourns’ Abdullah’s passing, millions of his victims across the Mideast are celebrating the death of what they rightfully view to have been the world’s number one terrorist. Never before in modern times has one man had such a wide-ranging effect of death and destruction across the region. Bush’s War on Iraq may have been indirectly responsible ending the lives of between half a million to one million Iraqis, but one needs to be reminded that most of the violent deaths that occurred weren’t perpetrated by Americans (although that definitely doesn’t excuse them), but by anti-government/occupation forces and ‘unknown actors’ (read: Saudi-supported sectarian terrorists).
The salient point is that Abdullah’s brainchild, the artificial ‘Sunni-Shia rivalry’, cooked up in order to advance his Kingdom’s Wahhabism, spread the GCC’s power, and (as he saw it) supposedly contain and rollback Iran, has resulted in countless deaths that the mainstream media never attributed to him, to say nothing of the hundreds of thousands of casualties and millions of displaced people due to the Saudi-sponsoredWar on Syria. This weaponized ideology doesn’t seem set to stop killing for quite some time (if at all), and since it has already proven the capability to outlive its creator, it should deservedly be attributed as Abdullah’s actual legacy.
About the author:
Andrew Korybko is the political analyst and journalist for Sputnik who currently lives and studies in Moscow, exclusively for ORIENTAL REVIEW.
Makia Freeman is the editor of alternative news / independent media site The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at Tools For Freedom.com (FaceBook here), writing on many aspects of truth and freedom, from exposing aspects of the worldwide conspiracy to suggesting solutions for how humanity can create a new system of peace and abundance.
ISIS is a US-Israeli creation, a fact as clear as the sky is blue. It’s a truth as black and white as the colors on their flag. For many alternative news readers, this may be patently obvious, but this article is written for the large majority of people in the world who still have no idea who is really behind the rise of ISIS. No matter which name they go by – ISIS, ISIL, IS or Daesh – the group has been deliberately engineered by the US and Israel to achieve certain geopolitical goals. They are a religious, fundamentalist, Sunni terrorist organization created to terrorize and overthrow certain secular or Shiite Arab nations such as Syria and Iraq, but they are not just “Islamic”. They may be Muslims, and they may be advocating an Islamic State, but they are very much working towards the goals of Zionism.
It’s amazing how many people still struggle to get that point. We have been inundated with propaganda surrounding the fraudulent war on terror, notably terms such as Islamic terrorism and radical Islam, but more accurate phrases would be Zio-Islamic terrorism and radical Zio-Islam. Secret military agencies such as the CIA and the Mossad pull the strings. Here is a list of the top 10 ‘indications’ thatISIS is a US-Israeli creation.
ISIS is a US-Israeli Creation: Indication #1: ISIS Foreknowledge via Leaked DIA Doc
The DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) is 1 of 16 US military intelligence agencies. According to a leaked document obtained by Judicial Watch, the DIA wrote on August 12, 2012 that:
“there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime …”
This was written before ISIS came on to the world stage. Clearly ISIS was no random uprising, but rather a carefully groomed and orchestrated controlled opposition group.
The “supporting powers to the opposition” referred to are Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the GCC nations such as Qatar, who are in turn being supported by the US-UK-Israeli axis in their struggle to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. As I outlined in this article Syrian Ground War About to Begin? WW3 Inches Closer, the US is backing the Sunni nations while Russia, China and Iran are backing the Shia nations, so there is the definite potential for this to erupt into World War 3. Below are screenshots of the actual DIA document:
ISIS is a US-Israeli Creation: Indication #2: ISIS Never Attacks Israel
It is more than highly strange and suspicious that ISIS never attacks Israel – it is another indication that ISIS is controlled by Israel. If ISIS were a genuine and independent uprising that was not covertly orchestrated by the US and Israel, why would they not try to attack the Zionist regime, which has attacked almost of all of its Muslim neighbors ever since its inception in 1948? Israel has attacked Egypt, Syria and Lebanon, and of course has decimated Palestine. It has systemically tried to divide and conquer its Arab neighbors. It continually complains of Islamic terrorism. Yet, when ISIS comes on the scene as the bloody and barbaric king of Islamic terrorism, it finds no fault with Israel and sees no reason to target a regime which has perpetrated massive injustice against Muslims? This stretches credibility to a snapping point.
ISIS is a US-Israeli Creation: Indication #3: Toyota Trucks
Where did ISIS get an entire fleet of matching Toyota pick-up trucks? Why do so many of its photo shots feature a fleet of matching Toyotas – matching in both model and color? As this Information Clearing House article humorously states:
“The official story is ISIS stole them from the “Good Terrorists” (Al Nusra), who were originally given their cool wheels by the US government. Which would seem to beg a couple of enquiries. Not least of which is – why are the US giving any terrorists matching fleets of luxury SUVs? And for that matter, how many fleets are we talking about?
So, exactly how many trucks did the US supply? Where are ISIS currently garaging this impressive collection? And why do they all have to be Toyotas? Is it a terrorist thing, or simply a US Govt preference? Do Toyota mind the brand-association? Or the fact that so many of the ISIS drive-by photo-ops look like perverted car ads?”
Some of these trucks were actually used vehicles that got sent from the US and Canada over to Syria. This Texan plumber discovered to his horror that his old truck was being used in the war, replete with his business name still on the door!
ISIS is a US-Israeli Creation: Indication #4: ISIS’ First Class Social Media Skills
The issue of the Toyotas leads us to the next question about ISIS. Who’s handling their publicity? How have they managed to get so many photos of Toyota truck drive bys? How have they managed to master Western social media so well to spread their message, propaganda and threats? How have they managed to produce slick videos depicting (fake) beheadings? How does a barbaric group of killers, who speak a language very different to English, who espouse fundamentalist, religious ideals (such as Sharia law), and often criticize all things Western, manage to develop such excellent social media skills?
ISIS is a US-Israeli Creation: Indication #5: Israeli Group SITE First to Release ISIS Footage
ISIS is a US-Israeli Creation: Indication #6: ISIS Leader Baghdadi a Mossad Agent
Although this indication is hard to confirm, there were reports apparently originating from Edward Snowden that the leader of ISIS (Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi) was actually an Israeli Mossad agent by the name of Simon Elliot or Elliot Shimon: [GR Editor’s note: this source and quotation are yet to be fully verified, including the source originating from Eduard Snowden]
“Simon Elliot (Elliot Shimon) aka Al-Baghdadi was born of two Jewish parents and is a Mossad agent. We offer below three translations that want to assert that the Caliph Al-Baghdadi is a full Mossad agent and that he was born Jewish father and mother:
The real name of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is “Simon Elliott.” The so-called “Elliot” was recruited by the Israeli Mossad and was trained in espionage and psychological warfare against Arab and Islamic societies. This information was attributed to Edward Snowden …”
Bashar Assad, President of Syria. The US has been actively plotting strategies to destabilize and overthrow his government.
ISIS is a US-Israeli Creation: Indication #7: Leaked Cables Showing US Plotting Syrian Overthrow
Julian Assange of Wikileaks did a great job in capturing information about what was happening in Syria years before the “Arab springs” and current war started in 2011. He reveals how William Roebuck, then chargé d’affaires at the US embassy in Damascus, was plotting to destablize the Syrian government. The following quotes from Roebuck’s cables to Washington show how he was outlining the vulnerabilities of Assad:
— THE ALLIANCE WITH TEHRAN: Bashar is walking a fine line in his increasingly strong relations with Iran, seeking necessary support while not completely alienating Syria,s moderate Sunni Arab neighbors by being perceived as aiding Persian and fundamentalist Shia interests. Bashar’s decision to not attend the Talabani ) Ahmadinejad summit in Tehran following FM Moallem,s trip to Iraq can be seen as a manifestation of Bashar’s sensitivity to the Arab optic on his Iranian alliance.
— Possible action:
— PLAY ON SUNNI FEARS OF IRANIAN INFLUENCE: There are fears in Syria that the Iranians are active in both Shia proselytizing and conversion of, mostly poor, Sunnis. Though often exaggerated, such fears reflect an element of the Sunni community in Syria that is increasingly upset by and focused on the spread of Iranian influence in their country through activities ranging from mosque construction to business. Both the local Egyptian and Saudi missions here, (as well as prominent Syrian Sunni religious leaders), are giving increasing attention to the matter and we should coordinate more closely with their governments on ways to better publicize and focus regional attention on the issue.”
ISIS is a US-Israeli Creation: Indication #8: Russia Bombs ISIS, US Protects ISIS
Before Russia militarily entered Syria, the US claims it was “attacking” ISIS, yet Russia was able to do in a few months what the US has been unable to do for years. Why? Is the US military that incompetent, or this is further proof that the US has been funding and supporting ISIS all this time? At one point there were even reports that US soldiers were told not to fire on ISIS targets, even if they had a clear view of them, as this Free Beacon article reports:
“U.S. military pilots who have returned from the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq are confirming that they were blocked from dropping 75 percent of their ordnance on terror targets because they could not get clearance to launch a strike, according to a leading member of Congress.”
ISIS is a US-Israeli Creation: Indication #9: ISIS Always the Excuse for Further Intervention
Finally, consider this: why is ISIS always the perfect excuse for further military intervention in Syria? Given the history of foreign meddling in Syria, particularly by the US and Israel in the last 70 years, isn’t it rather convenient that the specter of ISIS is the justification offered for proposed no-fly zones, air strikes and ground troops? How would the US and Israel conquer the Middle East without their pet Frankenstein ISIS?
Share this article with those who haven’t yet awoken to the truth about ISIS. Many have already seen through the propaganda. Once enough of us do, the usefulness of this ridiculous, dangerous and vaudevillian terrorist group will expire – and maybe a critical mass of people will pull back the curtain and, for once, get a glimpse of the true puppetmasters.
ISIS is a US-Israeli Creation: Indication #10: ISIS is an Acronym for Mossad. [The Israeli Secret Intelligence Service. Interesting Coincidence]
ISIS itself is an acronym, not just for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, but for Israeli Secret Intelligence Service! This is another way to describe the Mossad, the shady Zionist spy agency whose motto is “by way of deception, thou shalt do war”. In this video (below), the 2 authors being interviewed (Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman) admit that the acronym ISIS = Mossad.
Makia Freeman is the editor of alternative news / independent media site The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com (FaceBook here), writing on many aspects of truth and freedom, from exposing aspects of the worldwide conspiracy to suggesting solutions for how humanity can create a new system of peace and abundance.
Serbia entered on December 14th, 2015 a final stage of the negotiations to become a full member of the European Union’s (the EU). The western (the USA/EU) client Serbia’s Government is currently under the direct pressure from Brussels to recognize an independence of the narco-mafia Kosovo’s quasi state for the exchange to join the EU but not before 2020. It is only a question of weeks that a western colony of Serbia has to finally declare its position towards Kosovo’s independence. The President of Serbian Academy of Science and Arts, like all other western bots in Serbia, already publicly announced his official position in regard to this question: Serbia’s Government has to finally inform the Serbian nation that Kosovo is not any more an integral part of Serbia and therefore the recognition of Kosovo’s independence by Belgrade is only way towards a prosperous future of the country that is within the EU (and the NATO’s pact as well).
In the following paragraphs we would like to present the most important features of the “Kosovo Question” for the better understanding of the present political situation in which the Serb nation is questioned by the western “democracies” upon both its own national identity and national pride.
The southeastern province of the Republic of Serbia – under the administrative title of Kosovo-Metochia (in the English only Kosovo), was at the very end of the 20th century in the center of international relations and global politics too due to the NATO’s 78 days of the “humanitarian” military intervention against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (The FRY which was composed by Serbia and Montenegro) in 1999 (March 24th–June 10th). As it was not approved and verified by the General Assembly or the Security Council of the United Nations, the US-led operation “Merciful Angel” opened among the academicians a fundamental question of the purpose and nature of the “humanitarian” interventions in the world like it was previously in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1995, Rwanda in 1994 or Somalia in 1991−1995. More precisely, it provoked dilemmas of the misusing ethical, legal and political aspects of armed “humanitarian” interventions as the responsibility to protect for the very reason that it became finally obvious in 2008 that the NATO’s “humanitarian” military intervention in 1999 was primarily aimed to lay the foundation for Kosovo’s independence and its separation from Serbia with transformation of the province into the US−EU’s political-economic colony.
Kosovo as contested land between the Serbs and the Albanians
The province of Kosovo-Metochia (Kosova in the Albanian), as historically contested land between the Serbs and the Albanians, did not, does not and will not have an equal significance for those two nations. For the Albanians, Kosovo was all the time just a provincial land populated by them without any cultural or historical importance except for the single historical event that the first Albanian nationalistic political league was proclaimed in the town of Prizren in Metochia (the western part of Kosovo) in 1878 and existed only till 1881. However, both Kosovo as a province and the town of Prizren were chosen to host the First (pan-Albanian) Prizren League only for the very propaganda reason – to emphasize allegedly predominantly the “Albanian” character of both Kosovo and Prizren regardless to the very fact that at that time the Serbs were a majority of population either in Kosovo or in Prizren. Kosovo was never part of Albania and the Albanians from Albania had no important cultural, political or economic links with Kosovo’s Albanians regardless the fact that the overwhelming majority of Kosovo Albanians originally came from the North Albania after the First Great Serbian Migration from Kosovo in 1690.
However, quite contrary to the Albanian case, Kosovo-Metochia is the focal point of the Serbian nationhood, statehood, traditions, customs, history, culture, church and above all of the ethno-national identity. It was exactly Kosovo-Metochia to be the central administrative-cultural part of the medieval Serbia with the capital in Prizren. The administrative center of the medieval and later Ottoman-time Serbian Orthodox Church was also in Kosovo-Metochia in the town of Peć (Ipek in the Turkish; Pejë in the Albanian). Before the Muslim Kosovo’s Albanians started to demolish the Serbian Christian Orthodox churches and monasteries after June 1999, there were around 1.500 Serbian Christian shrines in this province. Kosovo-Metochia is even today called by the Serbs as the “Serbian Holy Land” while the town of Prizren is known for the Serbs as the “Serbian Jerusalem” and the “Imperial town” (Tsarigrad) in which there was an imperial court of the Emperor Stefan Dushan of Serbia (1346−1355). The Serbs, differently to the Albanians, have a plenty of national folk songs and legends about Kosovo-Metochia, especially in regard to the Kosovo Battle of 1389 in which they lost state independence to the Ottoman Turks.
Nevertheless, there is nothing similar in the Albanian case with regard to Kosovo. For instance, there is no single Albanian church or monastery in this province from the medieval time or any important monument as the witness of the Albanian ethnic presence in the province before the time of the rule by the Ottoman Sultanate. Even the Muslim mosques from the Ottoman time (1455−1912) claimed by the Albanians to belong to the Albanian national heritage, were in fact built by the Ottoman authorities but not by the ethnic Albanians. The Albanian national folk songs are not mentioning the medieval Kosovo that is one of the crucial evidences that they simply have nothing in common with the pre-Ottoman Kosovo. All Kosovo’s place-names are of the Slavic (Serb) origin but not of the Albanian. The Albanians during the last 50 years are just renaming or adapting the original place-names according to their vocabulary what is making a wrong impression that the province is authentically the Albanian. We have not to forget the very fact that the word Kosovo is of the Slavic (the Serb) origin meaning a kind of eagle (kos) while the same word means simply nothing in the Albanian language. Finally, in the Serbian tradition Kosovo-Metochia was always a part of the “Old Serbia” while in the Albanian tradition Kosovo was never called as any kind of Albania.
The province became contested between the Serbs and the Albanians when the later started to migrate from the North Albania to Kosovo-Metochia after 1690 with getting a privileged status as the Muslims by the Ottoman authorities. A Muslim Albanian terror against the Christian Serbs at the Ottoman time resulted in the Abanization of the province to such extent that the ethnic structure of Kosovo-Metochia became drastically changed in the 20th century. A very high Muslim Albanian birthrate played an important role in the process of Kosovo’s Albanization too. Therefore, after the WWII the ethnic breakdown of the Albanians in the province was around 67 percent. The new and primarily anti-Serb Communist authorities of the Socialist Yugoslavia legally forbade to some 100.000 WWII Serb refugees from Kosovo-Metochia to return to their homes after the collapse of the Greater Albania in 1945 of which Kosovo was an integral part. A Croat-Slovenian Communist dictator of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito (1892−1980), granted to the province of Kosovo-Metochia a considerable political autonomous status in 1974 with a separate Government, Provincial Assembly, President, Academy of Science, security forces, independent university in Prishtina and even military defense system for the fundamental political reason to prepare Kosovo’s independence after the death of his Titoslavia. Therefore, Kosovo-Metochia in the Socialist Yugoslavia was just formally part of Serbia as the province was from political-administrative point of view an independent as all Yugoslav republics. A fully Albanian-governed Kosovo from 1974 to 1989 resulted in both destruction of the Christian (Serb) cultural monuments and continuation of mass expulsion of the ethnic Serbs and Montenegrins from the province to such extent that according to some estimations there were around 200.000 Serbs and Montenegrins expelled from the province after the WWII up to the abolition of political autonomy of the province (i.e. independence) by Serbia’s authority in 1989 with the legal and legitimate verification by the Provincial Assembly of Kosovo-Metochia and the reintegration of Kosovo-Metochia into Serbia. At the same period of time, there were around 300.000 Albanians who illegally came to live in Kosovo-Metochia from Albania. Consequently, in 1991 there were only 10 percent of the Serbs and Montenegrins who left to live in Kosovo-Metochia out of a total number of the inhabitants of the province.
Fighting Kosovo’s Albanian political terrorism and territorial secession
The revocation of Kosovo’s political autonomy in 1989 by Serbia’s central Government was aimed primarily to stop further ethnic Albanian terror against the Serbs and Montenegrins and to prevent secession of the province from Serbia that will result in the recreation of the WWII Greater Albania with the legalization of the policy of Albanian ethnic cleansing of all non-Albanian population what practically happened in Kosovo after June 1999 when the NATO’s troops occupied the province and brought to the power a classical terrorist political-military organization – the Kosovo’s Liberation Army (the KLA). Nevertheless, the Western mainstream media as well academia presented Serbia’s fighting Kosovo’s Albanian political terrorism and territorial secession after 1989 as Belgrade policy of discrimination against the Albanian population which became deprived of political and economic rights and opportunities. The fact was that such “discrimination” was primarily a result of the Albanian policy of boycotting Serbia’s state institutions and even job places offered to them in order to present their living conditions in Kosovo as the governmental-sponsored minority rights oppression.
In the Western mainstream mass media and even in academic writings, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, a political leader of Kosovo’s Albanians in the 1990s, was described as a person who led a non-violent resistance movement against Miloshevic’s policy of ethnic discrimination of Kosovo’s Albanians. I. Rugova was even called as a “Balkan Gandhi”. In the 1990s there were established in Kosovo the Albanian parallel and illegal social, educational and political structures and institutions as a state within the state. The Albanians under the leadership of Rugova even three times proclaimed the independence of Kosovo. However, these proclamations of independence were at that time totally ignored by the West and the rest of the world. Therefore, Rugova-led Kosovo’s Albanian national-political movement failed to promote and advance the Kosovo’s Albanian struggle for secession from Serbia and independence of the province with a very possibility to incorporate it into a Greater Albania. I. Rugova himself, coming from the Muslim Albanian Kosovo’s clan that originally migrated to Kosovo from Albania, was active in political writings on the “Kosovo Question” as a way to present the Albanian viewpoint on the problem to the Western audience and therefore, as a former French student, he published his crucial political writing in the French language in 1994.
One of the crucial questions in regard to the Kosovo problem in the 1990s is why the Western “democracies” did not recognize self-proclaimed Kosovo’s independence? The fact was that the “Kosovo Question” was absolutely ignored by the US-designed Dayton Accords of 1995 which were dealing only with the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. A part to the answer is probably laying in the fact that Rugova-led Albanian secession movement was in essence illegal and even terroristic. It is known that Rugova himself was a sponsor of a terroristic party’s militia which was responsible for violent actions against Serbia’s authorities and non-Albanian ethnic groups in Kosovo. For instance, in July 1988, from the graves of the village of Grace graveyard (between Prishtina and Vuchitrn) were excavated and taken to pieces the bodies of two Serbian babies of the Petrovic’s family. Nevertheless, as a response to Rugova’s unsuccessful independence policy, it was established the notorious KLA which by 1997 openly advocated a full-scale of terror against everything what was Serbian in Kosovo.
The KLA had two main open political aims:
To get an independence for Kosovo from Serbia with possibility to include the province into a Greater Albania.
To ethnically clean the province from all non-Albanians especially from the Serbs and Montenegrins.
However, the hidden task of the KLA was to wage an Islamic Holy War (the Jihad) against the Christianity in Kosovo by committing the Islamic terror similarly to the case of the present-day Islamic State (the ISIS/ISIL) in the Middle East. Surely, the KLA was and is a part of the policy of radicalization of the Islam at the Balkans after 1991 following the pattern of the governmental (Islamic) Party of Democratic Action (the PDA) in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
That the KLA was established as a terroristic organization is even confirmed by the Western scholars and the US administration too. On the focal point of the Kosovo’s War in 1998−1999 we can read in the following sentence:
“Aware that it lacked popular support, and was weak compared to the Serbian authorities, the KLA deliberately provoked Serbian police and Interior Ministry attacks on Albanian civilians, with the aim of garnering international support, specifically military intervention”.
It was true that the KLA realized very well that the more Albanian civilians were killed as a matter of the KLA’s “hit-and-run” guerilla warfare strategy, the Western (the NATO’s) military intervention against the FRY was becoming a reality. In the other words, the KLA with his Commander-In-Chief Hashim Thaci were quite aware that any armed action against Serbia’s authorities and Serbian civilians would bring retaliation against the Kosovo Albanian civilians as the KLA was using them in fact as a “human shield”. That was in fact the price which the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo had to pay for their “independence” under the KLA’s governance after the war. That was the same strategy used by Croatia’s Government and Bosnian-Herzegovinian Muslim authorities in the process of divorce from Yugoslavia in the 1990s. However, as violence in Kosovo escalated in 1998 the EU’s authorities and the US’s Government began to support diplomatically an Albanian course – a policy which brought Serbia’s Government and the leadership of the KLA to the ceasefire and withdrawal of certain Serbian police detachments and the Yugoslav military troops from Kosovo followed by the deployment of the “international” (the Western) monitors (the Kosovo Verification Mission, the KVM) under the formal authority of the OSCE. However, it was in fact informal deployment of the NATO’s troops in Kosovo. The KVM was authorized by the UN’s Security Council Resolution 1199 on September 23rd, 1998. That was the beginning of a real territorial-administrative secession of Kosovo-Metochia from Serbia sponsored by the West for the only and very reason that Serbia did not want to join the NATO and to sell her economic infrastructure to the Western companies according to the pattern of “transition” of the Central and South-East European countries after the Cold War. The punishment came in the face of the Western-sponsored KLA.
 The FRY became renamed in February 2003 into the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro (the SCG) and finally the federation ended in June 2006 when both Serbia and Montenegro became independent states.
 On the “humanitarian” military interventions, see [J. L. Holzgrefe, R. O. Keohane (eds.), Humanitarian Intervention: Ethical, Legal, and Political Dilemmas, Cambridge−New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003; T. B. Seybolt, Humanitarian Military Intervention: The Conditions for Success and Failure, Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press, 2007; D. Fassin, M. Pandolfi, Contemporary States of Emergency: The Politics of Military and Humanitarian Interventions, New York: Zone Books, 2010; A. Hehir, The Responsibility to Protect: Rhetoric, Reality and the Future of Humanitarian Intervention, London−New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012; G. Th. Weiss, Humanitarian Intervention, Cambridge, UK−Malden, MA, USA: 2012; A. Hehir, Humanitarian Intervention: An Introduction, London−New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013; B. Simms, D. J. B. Trim (eds.), Humanitarian Intervention: A History, Cambridge−New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013; D. E. Scheid (ed.), The Ethics of Armed Humanitarian Intervention, Cambridge−New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014].
 H. Hofbauer, Eksperiment Kosovo: Povratak kolonijalizma, Beograd: Albatros Plus, 2009.
 On the First Prizren League, from the Albanian viewpoint, see [S. Pollo, S. Pulaha, (eds.), The Albanian League of Prizren, 1878−1881. Documents, Vol. I−II, Tirana, 1878].
 In 1878 the Serbs were about 60 percent of Kosovo population and 70 percent of Prizren inhabitants.
 On the First Great Serbian Migration from Kosovo in 1690, see [С. Чакић, Велика сеоба Срба 1689/90 и патријарх Арсеније III Црнојевић, Нови Сад: Добра вест, 1990].
 On the Serbian Christian heritage of Kosovo-Metochia, see [M. Vasiljvec, The Christian Heritage of Kosovo and Metohija: The Historical and Spiritual Heartland of the Serbian People, Sebastian Press, 2015].
 On the Kosovo Battle of 1389 in the Serbian popular tradition, see [Р. Пековић (уредник), Косовска битка: Мит, легенда и стварност, Београд: Литера, 1987; R. Mihaljčić, The Battle of Kosovo in History and in Popular Tradition, Belgrade: BIGZ, 1989; Р. Михаљчић, Јунаци косовске легенде, Београд: БИГЗ, 1989]. The President of Serbia – Slobodan Miloshevic, started his patriotic policy of unification of the Republic of Serbia and promulgation of the human rights for the Kosovo Serbs exactly on the 600 years anniversary of the Kosovo Battle that was celebrated on June 28th, 1989 in Gazimestan near Prishtina as the place of the battle in 1389. However, this event was commonly seen by the Western academia and policy-makers as an expression of the Serb nationalism [R. W. Mansbach, K. L. Taylor, Introduction to Global Politics, London−New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2012, 429] and even as the Serb proclamation of the war to the rest of Yugoslavia.
 Р. Самарџић et al, Косово и Метохија у српској историји, Београд: Друштво за чување споменика и неговање традиција ослободилачких ратова Србије до 1918. године у Београду−Српска књижевна задруга, 1989, 5; Д. Т. Батаковић, Косово и Метохија: Историја и идеологија, Београд: Чигоја штампа, 2007, 17−29.
 See, for instance, a Memorandum by Kosovo and Macedonian Serbs to the international peace conference in The Hague in 1899 [Д. Т. Батаковић, Косово и Метохија у српско-арбанашким односима, Београд: Чигоја штампа, 2006, 118−123].
 From Josip Broz Tito, however, the Serbs in Croatia or Bosnia-Herzegovina did not receive any kind of political-territorial autonomy as Kosovo Albanians or Vojvodina Hungarians enjoyed in Serbia. Nevertheless, for the matter of comparison with Kosovo Albanians in Serbia, the Kurds in Turkey are not even recognized as a separate ethno-linguistic group.
 For instance, the Muslim Albanians tried to set arson on the Serbian Patriarchate of Pec’s church in the West Kosovo (Metochia) in 1981, but just accidentally only the dormitory was burnt.
 J. Palmowski (ed.), A Dictionary of Contemporary World History From 1900 to the Present Day, Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, 428.
 On the history of Kosovo from the Western perspective, see [N. Malcolm, Kosovo: A Short History, New York: New York University, 1999; T. Judah, Kosovo: What Everyone Needs to Know, Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press, 2008].
 T. B. Seybolt, Humanitarian Military Intervention: The Conditions for Success and Failure, Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press, 2007, 79.
 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869−1948) was an Indian national leader against the British colonial occupation of India. He became well-known as a leader who organized an Indian civil disobedience movement against the British colonial authorities which finally led to the independence of India. On his biography, see [J. Lelyveld, Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and his Struggle with India, New York: Knopf Borzoi Books, 2011].
 I. Rugova, La Question du Kosovo, Fayard, 1994. It has to be noticed that Rugova’s father and grandfather were shot to death by the Yugoslav Communist authorities at the very end of the WWII as the Nazi collaborators during the war.
 On the Dayton Accords, see [D. Chollet, The Road to the Dayton Accords: A Study of American Statecraft, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005].
 On this issue, see more in [В. Б. Сотировић, Огледи из Југославологије, Виљнус: приватно издање, 2013, 190−196].
 We cannot forget as well that the KLA-led “March Pogrom” of Serbs in Kosovo (March 17−19th, 2004) was executed when I. Rugova was a “President” of Kosovo. The pogrom was in fact “…a systematic ethnic cleansing of the remaining Serbs…together with destruction of houses, other property, cultural monuments and Orthodox Christian religious sites” [D. Kojadinović (ed.), The March Pogrom, Belgrade: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia−Museum in Priština (displaced), 2004, 8].
 On the threat of radical Islam to the Balkans and Europe after 1991, see [Sh. Shay, Islamic Terror and the Balkans, Transaction Publishers, 2006; Ch. Deliso, The Coming Balkan Caliphate: The Threat of Radical Islam to Europe and the West, Westport, CT: Praeger Security International, 2007].
 T. B. Seybolt, Humanitarian Military Intervention: The Conditions for Success and Failure, Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press, 2007, 79.
Kacanik, KOSOVO – A plume of smoke hangs over our table in the corner of a dark, shabby café in this rugged town in southern Kosovo. The lanky 19-year-old sitting next to me is chain-smoking through half a pack of L&Ms, his hands trembling as he recalls how he joined one of the world’s most brutal militant Islamist groups.
Through his neatly trimmed beard, Adem, who asks me not to use his real name for fear of arrest, says he had never even left Kosovo. But two years ago, he found himself on the perilous and far-off Turkey-Syria border — a major entry point for foreigners seeking to join the ranks of Islamic State (IS).
He was taken by IS recruiters to a Turkish village, where he waited to be smuggled into a war zone. After a two-week training camp in the Syrian city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Syrian and Iraqi territory that the group calls its “caliphate,” he would be assigned to a fighting unit.
Hours before the recruiters were to sneak him across the border, however, Adem turned back and made his way home.
“I realized that what was going on in Syria had nothing to do with Islam,” says Adem, who keeps looking over his shoulder as if he might be found out at any moment by Kosovar authorities. He looks like any other teenager, in skinny jeans and a silver chain hanging over his T-shirt.
Jihadist Capital Of The Balkans
The government estimates that more than 300 Kosovars have traveled to the Middle East to wage jihad, or Islamic holy war. That makes this predominately Muslim country of under 2 million people, which unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, Europe’s biggest contributor per capita of IS foot soldiers.
Kacanik in particular has gained a reputation as the jihadist capital of the Balkans. In the past three years, at least 24 men from its population of 30,000 have left to fight for extremist groups like IS or Al-Qaeda in Syria and Iraq.
Adem’s own path toward radicalization began when he received a Facebook invitation to attend a sermon hosted by an imam from a nearby town. He says he was “curious” about Islam. For the next five months, Adem attended sermons and Koran classes at a makeshift mosque where he and other young men lived.
The sermons were organized by Rinia Islame (Islamic Youth in Albanian), an Islamic charity operating in Kacanik. It is one among dozens of secretive organizations funded by Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states that promote an extreme version of Islam. The groups are accused of brainwashing youth and recruiting them for extremist causes abroad.
Adem says the sermons he attended were “very strict and harsh.” “They told us not to shake hands with women and don’t go to cafes or bars,” he says.
There are indeed mounting outward signs of Islamic fundamentalism in Kacanik, where it is no longer uncommon to see women in Islamic veils or men with untrimmed beards and calf-length trousers, none of which has much real tradition in the country.
As Adem tells it, the sermons worked their way up from Koran lessons, to the meaning of jihad, to the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.
“My family doesn’t practice religion very much,” says Adem, who lives with his parents and two sisters in a crammed flat in Kacanik. “Only my grandfather and I.”
He says his family picked up on signs that he was becoming radicalized. “They said that if I want to practice religion, I can do it — I can pray — but not become a radical.”
The sermons attended by Adem were given by Zeqirja Qazimi, a notorious imam who was jailed for 10 years on May 20 after he and six associates were convicted for fighting for IS militants in Syria from 2012 to 2014 and for trying to gather IS recruits.
“Imam Zekerija Qazimi came from Gjilan,” says Adem, referring to a town in eastern Kosovo. “He was telling us about jihad.”
Qazimi also posted a video on YouTube in which he said that the “blood of infidels is the best drink for us.” Local media reported that Qazimi was responsible for recruiting 11 Kosovar fighters to IS; three were said to have been killed in Syria.
When I ask whether Adem has been threatened since turning his back on the extremists who radicalized him, his answer belies the bloodthirsty reputation of a group that routinely kills captives en masse and is said to ruthlessly execute suspected traitors. “I’ve never felt danger,” he says. “It was my decision.”
The Middle Eastern-funded charities have penetrated poor, rural communities like Kacanik that have been neglected by the government and where unemployment is around 40 percent, making young men easy targets for indoctrination.
The Islamic charities often run schools, dormitories, and welfare programs. But they also push a hard-line agenda that appears to have gained at least a minor foothold in Kacanik.
Fertile Ground For Extremism
Adem believes the Arab-funded charities targeted poor families, and often single mothers. He says in exchange for attending the sermons, the charity would give students accommodations, expense money, and new clothes and shoes.
“There were many people who attended the sermons,” says Adem, who had just finished high school and was jobless when he started attending the classes. “There were people in poor economic conditions.”
“These charities were not registered and they worked with certain radical individuals and they have manipulated the poor,” says Kacanik Mayor Besim Ilazi.
Ilazi, a tall, balding man, points at derelict buildings and defunct factories at the foot of the green hills around Kacanik and adds, “The economy is the main reason why some people joined.”
Locals also point to the town’s proximity to Macedonia as one of the reasons Kacanik has become such a hotbed for radicalism. Macedonia is a short 30-minute drive away, and locals say hard-line ethnic Albanian preachers often visit Kosovar communities to deliver sermons.
Radical Charities Going Underground
In late 2014, Kosovar officials closed 14 charities — including the one that provided religious classes to Adem — when they were suspected of having ties to Islamic extremist groups. Under a new law, Kosovo can jail citizens for up to 15 years if they participate in foreign wars.
Kosovo authorities say around 50 homegrown jihadists have been killed in fighting in Syria and Iraq, and around 120 have returned to Kosovo. More than 100 people in Kosovo have been arrested or are under investigation for recruiting or fighting abroad on behalf of IS.
Ilazi insists the government crackdown has largely driven Kacanik’s radical fringe out of the town. But he also acknowledges that some extremists have simply gone underground and continue to operate in “private houses.”
Locals talk of cabins in the woods where the extremists hold meetings and sermons. One local points to a rocky hill in the distance. “Over there is where they meet at night,” he says, talking on condition of anonymity. “No one can go there because they have armed guards.”
“The radicals were allowed to operate freely for too long.”
Florim Neziraj, head of the Islamic Community of Kosovo in Kacanik
Recruits ‘Never Came Back’
Adem, sipping Turkish coffee from a tiny cup, says that several months after attending religious classes some of the young men “left and never came back,” referring to locals who went to Syria to fight.
“We were in a small place and we heard everything,” says Adem. “Yes, there were people who went to Syria. I saw them leave Kacanik.”
Florim Neziraj is the head of the local branch of the Islamic Community of Kosovo, the main officially sanctioned Islamic organization in the country. The young, ginger-haired imam has been leading efforts to prevent young men from joining radical Islamic groups.
“Those who have gone to Syria are often very young,” says Neziraj, who is wearing a tight navy suit and sporting a trimmed beard. “They come from the best families in Kacanik. You couldn’t say anything bad about them. We saw no signs of radicalization. They were manipulated and fell victim to certain individuals.”
Neziraj argues that blame must be apportioned to the government, which he says “neglected the problem” of radicalization. “The radicals were allowed to operate freely for too long,” he adds.
Kosovo has traditionally been a secular state with a liberal Muslim population, with bars on the same street as mosques. But less tolerant voices have flourished, including among the radical Islamic charities, which have thrived since arriving after the war ended in Kosovo in 1999.
Neziraj says many such charities came under the guise of “humanitarian organizations,” often building schools and hospitals. But he says these charities were often bent on “indoctrinating the youth.”
He fears it might be too late to tackle spreading radicalism.
One product of the radicalization in Kacanik is Lavdrim Muhaxheri, a 25-year-old IS recruiter who fights in Syria. He has been described as one of IS’s top leaders.
Last year, Muhaxheri sent shockwaves around Kosovo when he posted photos on Facebook of himself beheading a prisoner in Syria. Another post purportedly showed him executing a Syrian man with a rocket-propelled grenade.
Adem is reluctant to talk about Kacanik’s most notorious former resident, but admits he saw Muhaxheri attending the local mosque for prayers, saying he looked “normal.”
He says Muhaxheri’s path is a lesson for young men in Kacanik thinking of fighting in Syria.
“I live a normal life again, but I’m one of the lucky ones,” Adem tells me between cigarettes in the café, where he now works as a waiter. “Not everyone who takes the wrong path can find their way again.”
But for the older tombs, he said, “I think the bones should stay in their graves.”
About the author:Frud Bezhan is a Prague-based correspondent for RFE/RLSource: RFE/RLJoin the debate on our Twitter Timeline!
The measures being taken by the government of President François Hollande in response to Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris constitute an unprecedented attack on democratic rights.
The Socialist Party (PS) government has declared a state of emergency and mobilized more than 100,000 security personnel throughout the country, including regular police, gendarmes, paramilitary riot police and military forces. It is impossible to walk the streets of any major city without running into individuals decked out in camouflage or dressed in black, toting automatic rifles. These paramilitary forces have been given the power to raid any home and arrest or kill anyone declared a threat, with no opposition from within the political or media establishment.
Now Hollande is proposing to amend the French Constitution to allow the president to decree emergency rule, extendable indefinitely, and vastly expand the powers granted to the army and police. The proposal, published online, provides the legal basis for transforming France into a presidential dictatorship.
The existing 1955 law grants the president and the security forces far-ranging powers during a state of emergency. They can carry out warrantless searches and seizures, impose curfews and ban public assemblies, detain and order the house arrest of anyone “whose activity proves dangerous to security and public order,” and dissolve any organization linked to people under house arrest that “participates in, facilitates or incites” disturbances of public order.
The changes introduced by the Socialist Party’s constitutional amendment make the law even more ominous. President Hollande has declared that he intends to renew it as long as France faces a threat from any terrorist group similar to ISIS, i.e., for an indefinite period of time.
An examination of the amendment makes clear, however, that the measures are not about fighting ISIS, which in any case emerged from the NATO powers’ own policy of sponsoring Islamist militias as proxy forces to wage war for regime-change in Syria. The horrific attacks in Paris are the pretext for implementing dictatorial measures that cannot be rationally explained by the threat posed by ISIS.
Under the cover of fighting ISIS, the French state is giving itself absolute powers against anyone it calls a threat to “security and public order.” This vague, all-embracing category has long been used against the constitutionally-protected right to strike and protest—as in the Socialist Party’s decision last year to ban protests against the Israeli state’s war in Gaza.
The legal changes introduced by the PS document effectively make any expression of oppositional sentiment potential grounds for arrest. Instead of allowing police to detain persons whose “activity proves dangerous for public security and order,” the amended law allows them to detain anyone “who gives reason to believe that his behavior constitutes a threat to security and public order.” The PS explains that this allows police to target “people who attracted the attention of police or intelligence services by their behavior, friendships, statements, or plans.”
The implications of these proposals are immense. To arrest and detain someone, police will have to do no more than assert that they believe that this person might conceivably disturb public order at some future time, based on something this person said or posted on social media, or on someone with whom he associated.
A statement suggesting sympathy with calls for strike action against a wage cut or factory closure, for a protest against war, or for any number of legal activities would be grounds for detention and house arrest.
It is worth recalling that the law the PS is now proposing to expand was drafted in 1955 to provide the legal framework for France to carry out mass torture and repression in a failed attempt to crush the Algerian people’s struggle for independence in the 1954-1962 war against French colonial rule. This brutal war cost the lives of between 250,000 and 400,000 Algerians. It anticipated and fed into deep social tensions within France that erupted in the general strike of May-June 1968.
The current moves to effectively dismantle democratic rights in France are motivated by a similar crisis of class rule. First, as its ultimately unsuccessful attempt to ban last year’s Gaza war protests showed, the PS government is desperate to suppress all opposition to the militarist policies of French imperialism. In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, Hollande has moved rapidly to expand France’s bombing campaign in Syria, part of the efforts of the French ruling class to assert its interests on a world stage.
Second, bourgeois democracy can no longer handle and adjudicate the immense and increasingly uncontrollable social tensions of contemporary capitalist society. In all of the advanced capitalist countries, including France, the state is controlled by tiny, super-wealthy elites who view rising discontent among broad masses of workers with hatred and fear.
The Hollande government epitomizes the domination of the financial aristocracy. Elected on promises that “austerity was not our destiny,” Hollande soon proved to be a pro-austerity politician presiding over surging unemployment and a “zero growth” economy.
The PS turned to a strategy of trying to divert social opposition to reactionary domestic policies by means of a foreign policy based on militarism and war. As Hollande launched a war in Mali in 2013, one official told Le Point that the PS hoped it would be their version of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s Falkland Islands war: a “military adventure that ensured her re-election in 1983.” Wars across France’s old colonial empire, however, have only contributed to the growing social tensions within France.
The political dynamic in France is mirrored in every major capitalist country. Since the “war on terror” began in 2001, governments throughout the world, led by the United States, have sought to erode and dismantle basic democratic rights. They have participated in the “extraordinary rendition” of prisoners for torture, mass warrantless wiretapping and extra-judicial drone murder. The domestic deployment of heavily-armed military units is now common.
From the police suppression of the 2011 youth riots in London to last year’s heavily-armed crackdown on protests against the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, these measures are ever more clearly directed at the suppression of class struggle.
There is virtually no constituency for the defense of democratic rights within the political or corporate establishment. That task falls to the working class, which retains a deep commitment to democratic principles. However, there is no room for political complacency. The ruling class is moving very far with dictatorial measures to deal with internal crises for which it has no solution.
The defense of democratic rights and opposition to police-state forms of rule must be rooted in the independent political mobilization of the working class, based on a struggle against imperialist war and social inequality and their source in the capitalist system.
By Alex Lantier
Original source of the article: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/11/19/pers-n19.html
In the immediate wake of the 9/11 attacks, George W. Bush stated in no uncertain terms that “State sponsors of terrorism” would be considered as “terrorists”.
“We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them”.
But there is always an “Exception that the Proves the Rule” and that is George W. Bush himself.
When George W. Bush respectfully kisses King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, does this mean that Dubya could–by some stretch of the imagination– be considered a “suspected terrorist”, who should never have been elected president of the United States of America?
The answer is negative: Kissing “State sponsors of terrorism” on the mouth is not defined by the FBI as “suspicious behavior”.
The Global War on Terrorism’s “New Normal“: “Good Guy” Terrorists
Establishing political ties with “State sponsors of terrorism” is now considered to be part of a “New Normal”, a humanitarian endeavor intent upon spreading American democracy Worldwide.
NATO calls it “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P).
John Kerry concurs: financial aid to Syria’s Al Nusra, an affiliate of Al Qaeda is part of an R2P mandate.
There are now “‘good guy terrorists” and “bad guy terrorists”.
Al Nusra “Good Guy Terrorists” supported by John Kerry
The Bush and bin Laden Families
Now let us turn our attention to the Bin Laden Family.
The Bushes and bin Ladens are long-time friends.
We know that the late Osama bin Laden was a “bad guy”: “Enemy Number One”.
He is a disgrace to members of the bin Laden family, who reluctantly provided him with “pocket money”, which was used to develop Al Qaeda (The Base). He is referred to as a “Black Sheep”.
There is nothing wrong, therefore, in socializing and doing business with family members of terror mastermind Osama bin Laden, including the late Salem bin Laden and Shafiq bin Laden of the Carlyle Group.
Its all part of a “good guys project” of going after Osama, the “Black Sheep”, and waging the “Global War on Terrorism”.
Confirmed by the Washington Post, “fellow investors” of the Carlyle Group Osama’s brother Shafiq bin Laden and former President H.G.W. Bush met at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel one day before 9/11 (see image below):
It didn’t help that as the World Trade Center burned on Sept. 11, 2001, the news interrupted a Carlyle business conference at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel here attended by a brother of Osama bin Laden [Shafiq bin Laden]. Former president Bush [senior, seem image above], a fellow investor, had been with him at the conference the previous day. (Greg Schneider, Pairing the Powerful With the Rich, Washington Post, March 16, 2003)
Shafiq bin Laden, Osama’s brother and member of the Carlyle Group meets George H. W. Bush at Ritz Carlton on September 10, 2001 (Source: Michael Moore, Fahrenheit 911)
Launched on September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush is the political architect of the “Global War on Terrorism” commonly referred to as GWOT.
On the evening of September 11, 2001, president George W. Bush pronounced a historic speech in which he defined the relationship between “terrorists’ and “state sponsors of terrorism”:
The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I’ve directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.
In a subsequent address to the joint session of the House of Representatives and the Senate on September 20, 2001:
“We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. (Applause.) From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime [state sponsor of terrorism].
“Every nation in every region now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” – President George W. Bush, 20 September 2001
Now let us pause and reflect
Bush seems to be caught up in the contradictions of his own political rhetoric, the “either you are with us or you are with the terrorists” conundrum:
“I am with myself and I am also with the terrorists”
The House of Saud provides financial aid to the terrorists. And so does the bin Laden family. Worst Case scenario: There may be a “conflict of interest”.
The U.S. government has warned that it will treat regimes that harbor or assist terrorist organizations the same way that it treats the organizations themselves. Yet if Washington is serious about that policy, it ought to regard Saudi Arabia as a prime sponsor of international terrorism. Indeed, that country should have been included for years on the U.S. State Department’s annual list of governments guilty of sponsoring terrorism.
The One Trillion Dollar Foreign Policy Question
What is ultimately involved is that the US government is the ultimate “state sponsor” of those who sponsor terrorism.
The US government supports the House of Saud. In turn, the Saudi monarchy supports Al Qaeda.
It follows pari passu: the US government is a “State sponsor of Terrorism”. QED.
“Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”
Bear in mind Dubya is asking the question.
And now we are asking you, our readers, the question:
Is Dubya “with us”, or “with the terrorists.” either/or, both or neither?
Genocidal corporate media presstitutes follow the all-too-familiar script of blaming the victim for the crimes perpetrated by aggressor nations.
NATO terrorists, for example, are invading and occupying Syria, and the Syria government is blamed for the ensuing disasters, but the presstitutes omit this this from their narratives and instead find creative ways to blame the al Assad government whose duty it is to protect Syria, its sovereignty, and its territorial integrity. When terrorists are occupying cities, as they do in Syria, innocent people will always be victimized, including during government operations to clear out the terrorist infestations, but the presstitutes blame the Syrian government, not the NATO terrorists.
President Assad is fraudulently demonized for a war perpetrated by aggressors who are tasked with destroying Syria so the West can further the destruction under a fraudulent Responsibility To Protect (R2P) mandate, wherein criminal West promises to save Syrians from the West’s own terrorists. It’s basically a mafia –style protection racket writ large: If Assad steps down, we’ll “protect you” and replace him with a Wahhabi stooge government, and everyone will be happy.
The reality of course, is that if the Western terrorists win the war, Syria will be totally destroyed, much like Libya, Iraq, and the Ukraine.
The crimes of the aggressors have been well-documented for years, and all but ignored by the presstitutes.
A 2012 Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) memo stated unequivocally that the U.S support for ISIS was willful. In an interview with Mehdi Hasan, MIchael T. Flynn, former director of the DIA, was blunt.
To Hasan’s question,
In 2012 the U.S. was helping coordinate arms transfers to those same groups [Salafists, Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda in Iraq], why did you not stop that if you’re worried about the rise of quote-unquote Islamic extremists?
Flynn responded, “ I hate to say it’s not my job…but that…my job was to…was to to ensure that the accuracy of our intelligence that was being presented was as good as it could be.
Meanwhile, UN Security Council Resolution 1373 states clearly that,
(A)ll States shall: (a) Refrain from providing any form of support, active or passive, to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts, including by suppressing recruitment of members of terrorist groups and eliminating the supply of weapons to terrorists.
All of this evidence assigns guilt directly to the West for the disaster befalling Syria. The West’s actions contradict international law, and they expose the lies of the presstitute media that typically vilifies the Assad government rather than the real perpetrators (including themselves).
When President Obama secretly authorized the Central Intelligence Agency to begin arming Syria’s embattled rebels in 2013, the spy agency knew it would have a willing partner to help pay for the covert operation. It was the same partner the C.I.A. has relied on for decades for money and discretion in far-off conflicts: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Financing terrorists is also a violation of UN Resolutions (and international law). UN Resolution 2199 “urges”,
States to prevent the terrorist groups from gaining access to international financial institutions and reaffirmed States’ obligations to prevent the groups from acquiring arms and related materiel, along with its call to enhance coordination at the national, regional and international level for that purpose.
Add to this the fact that now Israel is publicly admitting that it prefers ISIS to the Syrian government, and we see that the presstitute narratives are falling apart yet again.
Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s media advisor correctly assesses the damage committed by Western media outlets that propagate false narratives about Syria:
The false narrative, propagated about Syria was as dangerous to the Syrian people and the safety and security of Syrians as the terrorist acts perpetrated by terrorists because it isolated the reality in Syria from the public understanding in the West and the world at large and it prevented creating a level of understanding between western countries and the Syrian people about what is going on.
What will be the next story advanced by the genocidal media to account for the clear criminality of the West and its terrorists?
How many more thousands of innocent people will lose their lives because of the Western lies, and the grovelling presstitute media echo chambers covering for the criminality of the Western foreign policies?
By Mark Taliano
The original source of this article is Global Research
Back in the 1990s something happened in central Bosnia-Herzegovina that inspired people to this day and helps explain why that country now has more men fighting in Syria and Iraq (over 300), as a proportion of its population, than most in Europe.
The formation of a “Mujahideen Battalion” in 1992, composed mainly of Arab volunteers in central Bosnia, was a landmark. Today the dynamic of jihad has been reversed and it is Bosnians who are travelling to Arab lands.
“There is a war between the West and Islam,” says Aimen Dean, who, as a young Saudi Arabian volunteer, travelled to fight in central Bosnia in 1994. “Bosnia gave the modern jihadist movement that narrative. It is the cradle.”
Conventional wisdom holds that it was the fight against the Soviet Union’s occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s that created the modern notion of jihad or “holy war”. Aimen Dean’s point is that the West and the Salafists (or adherents to a strict form of Islam going back to observance in the Middle Ages) were on the same side in Afghanistan, but became enemies in Bosnia.
At first, in 1992, it was just a few dozen militants who went to defend their co-religionists in Bosnia, as Serbian paramilitaries drove them from their homes in the west and east of the country. But it was in early 1993, when it became a three-way fight against Catholic Croatians as well as the Serbs, that the Mujahideen Battalion swelled to the hundreds and started to hunt non-believers more actively.
The UK Parliament just confirmed what the alternative media has been saying for years.
Specifically, a new report from the bipartisan House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee – based on interviews with all of the key British decision-makers, review of documents, and on-the-ground investigations in Africa – found that the Libyan war was based on lies, that it destroyed the country, and that it spread terrorism far and wide.
The War Based On Bogus Intelligence … Like the Iraq War
Initially, the report finds that the threat to civilians from Libyan government forces was dramatically overstated:
Former French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé, who introduced Resolution 1973 [imposing a no-fly zone over Libya, and laying the groundwork for overthrowing the government], asserted in his speech to the Security Council that “the situation on the ground is more alarming than ever, marked by the violent re-conquest of cities”. He stressed the urgency of the situation, arguing that “We have very little time left—perhaps only a matter of hours.” Subsequent analysis suggested that the immediate threat to civilians was being publicly overstated and that the reconquest of cities had not resulted in mass civilian casualties.
The proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi [which was the basis for the West’s war to overthrow Gaddafi] was not supported by the available evidence. The Gaddafi regime had retaken towns from the rebels without attacking civilians in early February 2011 …. Gaddafi regime forces targeted male combatants in a civil war and did not indiscriminately attack civilians. More widely, Muammar Gaddafi’s 40-year record of appalling human rights abuses did not include large-scale attacks on Libyan civilians.
On 17 March 2011, Muammar Gaddafi announced to the rebels in Benghazi, “Throw away your weapons, exactly like your brothers in Ajdabiya and other places did. They laid down their arms and they are safe. We never pursued them at all.” Subsequent investigation revealed that when Gaddafi regime forces retook Ajdabiya in February 2011, they did not attack civilians. Muammar Gaddafi also attempted to appease protesters in Benghazi with an offer of development aid before finally deploying troops.
An Amnesty International investigation in June 2011 could not corroborate allegations of mass human rights violations by Gaddafi regime troops. However, it uncovered evidence that rebels in Benghazi made false claims and manufactured evidence. The investigation concluded that
much Western media coverage has from the outset presented a very one-sided view of the logic of events, portraying the protest movement as entirely peaceful and repeatedly suggesting that the regime’s security forces were unaccountably massacring unarmed demonstrators who presented no security challenge.
In short, the scale of the threat to civilians was presented with unjustified certainty. US intelligence officials reportedly described the intervention as “an intelligence-light decision”.
The U.S. supported opposition which overthrew Libya’s Gadaffi was largely comprised of Al Qaeda terrorists. According to a 2007 report by West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center’s center, the Libyan city of Benghazi was one of Al Qaeda’s main headquarters – and bases for sending Al Qaeda fighters into Iraq – prior to the overthrow of Gaddafi:
“There is no question that al Qaeda’s Libyan franchise, Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, is a part of the opposition,” Bruce Riedel, former CIA officer and a leading expert on terrorism, told Hindustan Times.
It has always been Qaddafi’s biggest enemy and its stronghold is Benghazi.
(Incidentally, Gaddafi was on the verge of invading Benghazi in 2011, 4 years after the West Point report cited Benghazi as a hotbed of Al Qaeda terrorists. Gaddafi claimed – rightly it turns out – that Benghazi was an Al Qaeda stronghold and a main source of the Libyan rebellion. But NATO planes stopped him, and protected Benghazi.)
A self-selected group of former top military officers, CIA insiders and think-tankers, declared Tuesday in Washington that a seven-month review of the deadly 2012 terrorist attack has determined that it could have been prevented – if the U.S. hadn’t been helping to arm al-Qaeda militias throughout Libya a year earlier.
‘The United States switched sides in the war on terror with what we did in Libya, knowingly facilitating the provision of weapons to known al-Qaeda militias and figures,’ Clare Lopez, a member of the commission and a former CIA officer, told MailOnline.
She blamed the Obama administration for failing to stop half of a $1 billion United Arab Emirates arms shipment from reaching al-Qaeda-linked militants.
‘Remember, these weapons that came into Benghazi were permitted to enter by our armed forces who were blockading the approaches from air and sea,’ Lopez claimed. ‘They were permitted to come in. … [They] knew these weapons were coming in, and that was allowed..
‘The intelligence community was part of that, the Department of State was part of that, and certainly that means that the top leadership of the United States, our national security leadership, and potentially Congress – if they were briefed on this – also knew about this.’
‘The White House and senior Congressional members,’ the group wrote in an interim report released Tuesday, ‘deliberately and knowingly pursued a policy that provided material support to terrorist organizations in order to topple a ruler [Muammar Gaddafi] who had been working closely with the West actively to suppress al-Qaeda.’
‘Some look at it as treason,’ said Wayne Simmons, a former CIA officer who participated in the commission’s research.
The West and Its Allies Directly Supported and Armed the Rebels
The UK report confirms that the West and its allies directly supported and armed the rebels:
The combat performance of rebel ground forces was enhanced by personnel and intelligence provided by states such as the UK, France, Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. For example, Lord Richards told us that the UK “had a few people embedded” with the rebel forces.
Resolution 1973 called on United Nations member states to ensure the “strict implementation of the arms embargo”. However, we were told that the international community turned a blind eye to the supply of weapons to the rebels. Lord Richards highlighted “the degree to which the Emiratis and the Qataris … played a major role in the success of the ground operation.” For example, Qatar supplied French Milan antitank missiles to certain rebel groups. We were told that Qatar channelled its weapons to favoured militias rather than to the rebels as a whole.
A further insight into French motivations was provided in a freedom of information disclosure by the United States State Department in December 2015. On 2 April 2011, Sidney Blumenthal, adviser and unofficial intelligence analyst to the then United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, reported this conversation with French intelligence officers to the Secretary of State:
According to these individuals Sarkozy’s plans are driven by the following issues:
A desire to gain a greater share of Libya oil production,
Increase French influence in North Africa,
Improve his internal political situation in France,
Provide the French military with an opportunity to reassert its position in the world,
Address the concern of his advisors over Qaddafi’s long term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in Francophone Africa.
The sum of four of the five factors identified by Sidney Blumenthal equated to the French national interest. The fifth factor was President Sarkozy’s political self-interest.
Gaddafi Tried to Step Down … But the West Insisted On Violent Regime Change
Gaddafi had offered to hand over power, but the West instead wanted violent regime change. (The British report notes: “By the summer of 2011, the limited intervention to protect civilians had drifted into an opportunist policy of regime change.”)
The Parliamentary report notes that Gaddaffi may have been attempting to flee the country when he was killed:
Muammar Gaddafi might have been seeking an exit from Libya in February and March 2011. On 21 February 2011, for example, Lord Hague told reporters that he had seen credible information that Muammar Gaddafi was on his way to exile in Venezuela. Concerted action after the telephone calls conducted by Mr Blair might have led to Muammar Gaddafi’s abdication and to a negotiated solution in Libya. It was therefore important to keep the lines of communication open. However, we saw no evidence that the then Prime Minister David Cameron attempted to exploit Mr Blair’s contacts.
Political options were available if the UK Government had adhered to the spirit of Resolution 1973, implemented its original campaign plan and influenced its coalition allies to pause military action when Benghazi was secured in March 2011. Political engagement might have delivered civilian protection, regime change and reform at lesser cost to the UK and to Libya. If political engagement had been unsuccessful, the UK and its coalition allies would not have lost anything. Instead, the UK Government focused exclusively on military intervention. In particular, we saw no evidence that it tried to exploit former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s contacts and influence with the Gaddafi regime.
Well, the House of Commons report confirms that the Libyan war haswrecked the country:
The Libyan economy generated some $75 billion of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010. This economy produced an average annual per capita income of approximately $12,250, which was comparable to the average income in some European countries. [The former Indian representative to the U.N. notes that, before the war, Libya had less of its population in poverty than the Netherlands. Libyans had access to free health care, education, electricity and interest-free loans, and women had great freedoms that were applauded by the U.N. Human Rights Council]. Libyan Government revenue greatly exceeded expenditure in the 2000s. … The United Nations Human Development Report 2010—a United Nations aggregate measure of health, education and income—ranked Libya as the 53rd most advanced country in the world for human development and as the most advanced country in Africa.
In 2014, the most recent year for which reliable figures are available … the average Libyan’s annual income had decreased from $12,250 in 2010 to $7,820. Since 2014, Libya’s economic predicament has reportedly deteriorated. Libya is likely to experience a budget deficit of some 60% of GDP in 2016. The requirement to finance that deficit is rapidly depleting net foreign reserves, which halved from $107 billion in 2013 to $56.8 billion by the end of 2015. Production of crude oil fell to its lowest recorded level in 2015, while oil prices collapsed in the second half of 2014. Inflation increased to 9.2% driven by a 13.7% increase in food prices including a fivefold increase in the price of flour. The United Nations ranked Libya as the world’s 94th most advanced country in its 2015 index of human development, a decline from 53rd place in 2010.
In 2016, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimated that out of a total Libyan population of 6.3 million, 3 million people have been impacted by the armed conflict and political instability, and that 2.4 million people require protection and some form of humanitarian assistance. In its World Report 2016, Human Rights Watch stated that Libya is
heading towards a humanitarian crisis, with almost 400,000 people internally displaced and increasing disruption to basic services, such as power and fuel supplies. Forces engaged in the conflict continued with impunity to arbitrarily detain, torture, unlawfully kill, indiscriminately attack, abduct and disappear, and forcefully displace people from their homes. The domestic criminal justice system collapsed in most parts of the country, exacerbating the human rights crisis
People-trafficking gangs exploited the lack of effective government after 2011, making Libya a key transit route for illegal migration into Europe and the location of a migrant crisis. In addition to other extremist militant groups, ISIL emerged in Libya in 2014, seizing control of territory around Sirte and setting up terrorist training centres. Human Rights Watch documented unlawful executions by ISIL in Sirte of at least 49 people by methods including decapitation and shooting. The civil war between west and east has waxed and waned with sporadic outbreaks of violence since 2014. In April 2016, United States President Barack Obama described post-intervention Libya as a “shit show”. It is difficult to disagree with this pithy assessment.
The Parliamentary report confirms that the Libyan war – like the Iraq war – has ended up spreading terrorism around the globe:
Libyan weapons and ammunition were trafficked across North and West Africa and the Middle East.
The United Nations Panel of Experts appointed to examine the impact of Resolution 1973 identified the presence of ex-Libyan weapons in Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Gaza, Mali, Niger, Tunisia and Syria. The panel concluded that “arms originating from Libya have significantly reinforced the military capacity of terrorist groups operating in Algeria, Egypt, Mali and Tunisia.” In the 2010-15 Parliament, our predecessor Committee noted that the failure to secure the Gaddafi regime’s arms caches had led to “a proliferation of small arms and light weapons, and some heavier artillery, across North and West Africa”. It identified that Libyan small arms had apparently ended up in the hands of Boko Haram militants.
In January 2014, Egyptian Islamist insurgents used an ex-Libyan MANPAD to shoot down an Egyptian Army helicopter in the Sinai.
The FCO told us that “Political instability in Libya has led to a permissive environment for terrorist groups in which to operate, including ISIL [i.e. ISIS] affiliated groups”. Professor Patrick Porter, Professor of Strategic Studies at the University of Exeter, agreed with the FCO analysis, stating that “a lack of effective government is creating opportunities for the Islamic State.”
ISIL has used its presence in Libya to train terrorists. For example, Sefeddine Rezgui, the gunman who killed Western holidaymakers in Tunisia in June 2015, was trained by ISIL at its base in Sabratha along with the two gunmen who killed 22 tourists at the Bardo museum in Tunis. ISIL’s plans may extend beyond terrorism. Vice-Admiral Clive Johnstone, a Royal Navy officer and NATO commander, commented that
We know they [ISIL] have ambitions to go offshore … There is a horrible opportunity in the future that a misdirected, untargeted round of a very high quality weapons system will just happen to target a cruise liner, or an oil platform, or a container ship.
And the UK report confirms that the Libyan war has created a tidal wave of refugees:
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimated that some 1 million migrants were present in Libya in June 2016. This estimate comprised 425,000 internally displaced Libyans, 250,000 non-Libyan migrants and 250,000 returnees. Most non-Libyan migrants travelled from West Africa, the Horn of Africa, South Asia and the Middle East. The most common countries of origin for non-Libyan migrants were Niger, Egypt, Chad, Ghana and Sudan. Between 1 January and 31 May 2016, 47,851 migrants arrived in Italy after crossing the Mediterranean from Libya. A similar number of migrants attempted the crossing over the same period in 2015. Despite the increased resources committed to Operation Triton, however, crossing the Mediterranean is becoming increasingly hazardous for migrants transiting through Libya. The IOM recorded 2,061 migrants as dead or missing between 1 January and 31 May 2016, which showed a 15% increase in fatalities compared with the same period in 2015.
In other words – just like the Iraq war – the Libyan war was based on fake intelligence, was carried out for reasons having little to do with national security or protecting civilians, destroyed a nation and created a “shit show”, spread terrorism far and wide, and created waves of refugees.
On 10 August 2016, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump accused president Barak Hussein Obama and Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton of co-founding the jihadist rebel organization ISIS (Islamic State) operating mainly in Syria and Iraq but with operative in many Middle Eastern countries and around the world. Trump used Obama’s full name to provoke a racist-xenophobic response from the public about the Arabic-sounding name rooted in East Africa. Immediately, critics insisted that Trump made outrageous and ignorant comments about complex foreign affairs matters he does not fully comprehend.
The following day Trump clarified that he meant exactly what he said and not that Obama’s foreign policy inadvertently led to the creation of ISIS. Did Obama and Clinton create ISIS, or is this more of Trump right-wing populist hyperbole intended to rise in polls where is far behind Clinton? Considering that Trump has neo-isolationist tendencies, do such comments about Obama and Clinton creating ISIS make sense, or is he indeed an ignorant wealthy right wing populist appealing to the fears and prejudice of many citizens bombarded by media foreign policy distortions on a daily basis?
On the day that Trump accused Obama and Clinton of creating ISIS, Turkish President Erdogan accused the US of protecting Turkish billionaire Fethullah Gulen who lives in Pennsylvania. Erdogan considers Gullen and his ‘movement’ a terrorist organization that was behind the attempted military coup in July 2016. Moreover, the Turkish president considers the US a protector and promoter of terrorism, unless it hands Gulen over to Turkish authorities. Turkey is a NATO member, committed to the same goal as the US of regime change in Syria, and a frontline state to combat ISIS and terrorism; but what is terrorism and who is a terrorist? If Turkey and the US agree on publicly stated policy goals, despite the reality that Turkey itself has had a long-standing backdoor collaborator with ISIS and considers terrorist the Kurdish political organization PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) which the US does not.
Beyond the obvious reality that terrorism is a very subjective political reality that means something very different to each country, there remains the massive confusion within the US political arena because Trump’s accusation is one usually uttered by critics of US foreign policy around the world. Only critics of US foreign policy have been advancing the thesis that ISIS and other jihadist groups would not exist if it were not for the financing, diplomatic, military and logistical support by the US and its European and Middle East allies like Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Turkey. I know of no serious critic rooted in scholarly arguments that would argue what Trump did. In a number of articles, I have pointed out that the US goal of regime change in Syria led the US and its allies to back various rebel groups from which ISIS emerged in the last five years.
The US plan was to gain greater leverage in the Middle East and deny Russia the geopolitical leverage it has historically enjoyed in Syria. This became important especially amid negotiations for a nuclear deal with Iran and the reality that Iran emerged as the dominant player in the Middle East largely because of US military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan where the results have been an unmitigated disaster measured by the criteria and goals that the US set out to accomplish.
Why then did the US pursue policies that in fact create terrorism through destabilization policies of anti-jihadist regimes, a policy replete with contradictions and one ultimately backfiring? Why support jihadist groups in a number of countries from Libya to Yemen, from Syria to Iraq when the result is greater jihadist activity throughout the Middle East and random hits against innocent targets in the West? Post-Cold War US has a need to keep feeding the military industrial complex whose presence in Washington is strong given their lobbying efforts among elected officials. However, that does not explain fully the war on terror on the one hand, and policies that promote terrorism on the other.
Besides the pressure from the defense industries for more government contracts to meet the dangers of our times, which includes ‘Islamic terrorism’, and besides the regional balance of power argument that diplomats advance, there is the question of using the war on terror to maintain the status quo at home in the face of external threats. Conformity to the status quo, especially amid a declining middle class and massive gap between the very rich and the rest of the citizens becomes paramount for the two political parties. This may actually be the biggest argument for creating terrorism than feeding more contracts to the defense industry and various parasitic consulting firms repeating what the hawkish elements in both political parties want to hear about a strong defense as a panacea to all of society’s problems.
The lesson here is not that the term terrorism is generic and meaningless. Now that the Republican presidential candidate has given legitimacy to the theme that the US creates terrorism, a theme that is hardly new among serious analysts of the war on terror, the argument takes center stage no matter how much both Republicans and Democrats try to dismiss it. Trump’s comments reflect a populist frustration with a wayward government pursuing destabilization policies filled with contradictions and lack of clarity both in terms of procedure and outcomes. The lesson here is not just the lengths to which a presidential candidate would go to secure more popular support using rhetoric one would associate with politicians in less developed countries where political opponents have no qualms suggesting it may not be a bad idea to eliminate the other. The lesson is that no matter the propaganda by the media, pundits, politicians, academics, and all who pretend that terrorism came like the blob from another planet are now unable to hide behind this enemy.
About the author:
Jon Kofas is a retired university Professor from Indiana University.
The Syrian battlefield is now witnessing an escalation of the war. This is despite the fact that it is supposed to be a time of cessation of hostilities brokered by the US and Russia.
The Syrian war has two major fronts. The first and most important is in southern Syria, on the borderline with Israel and the occupied territories of the Syrian Golan Heights. This area is divided into two areas: the liberated area of Al-Quneitra, and the occupied area of the Golan Heights where Jabhat Al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda’s base their fighters.
Israel has been attempting to drive the Syrian army out of Al-Quneitra. Israel’s objective is to join this part of the Golan Heights to the territory it controls, thereby creating a buffer zone like the one it once had in southern Lebanon. In order to achieve this objective Israel regularly bombs Syrian military positions in the area, including Syrian Arab Army artillery positions, radar stations, etc.
There is a UN Security Council Resolution (UNSC Resolution number 338) dated 22nd October 1973, which supposedly established a Syrian-Israeli ceasefire in this area. There is also a UN force – UNDOF – set up in 1974, which is supposed to supervise the ceasefire line. However, Israel has forced out most of UNDOF from the area, and in practice Israel simply ignores the terms of Resolution 338 and violates it at will.
By attacking the Syrian Army in Al-Quneitra Jabhat Al-Nusra – Al-Qaeda’s local franchise – is helping Israel. Al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda fighters are attacking Syrian military positions important for the defence of Syria and of the Arab nation from Israeli aggression.
These Al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda attacks would not be possible without air support from Israel. Indeed, Israel has admitted many times that it supports these terrorists, whom it calls “moderate rebels”.
Israeli hospitals actually treat Al-Nusra terrorists, and Israeli ambulances regularly enter Syria to evacuate injured Al-Nusra terrorists via the Jbata crossing in northern Al-Quneitra to the Occupied Palestinian territories. Many of the weapons seized by the Syrian army from the terrorists as they tried to cross into Sweda Province in southern Syria to surround Damascus were made in Israel.
Lately the Syrian Army has carried out a series of successful offensives in the area, defeating the Western and Arab Gulf-backed “rebels”. Over the last few months the position of these so-called “rebels” has become desperate.
For that reason Israel has recently stepped its attacks on Syrian positions inside liberated Al-Quneitra, launching missiles into Syrian territory from its positions in the Israeli occupied section of the Golan Heights.
The Syrian military reported these attacks to the Syrian government. A senior Syrian official visited the area. He ordered the Syrian military in the area act to defend Syrian territory from Israeli attack. The very next day Syrian Air Defence shot down an Israeli F-16 warplane and an Israeli drone. The F16 was brought down on the border line in a place called Bir Ajam, which is under al-Nusra control. The drone was brought down in a place called Sa’sa’, which is inside Syrian army controlled territory.
This action marked a dramatic shift of policy on the part of the Syrian government, decisively responding to the attacks by the Israelis. It represents a direct counter to Israel’s aggression on Syrian land.
At around this time the US and the Russians, after prolonged negotiations, announced a ceasefire, the terms of which are secret.
The general opinion in Syria is that the terms of the ceasefire are secret because the US has longstanding obligations to the “moderate rebels” – who are neither “moderate” nor “rebels” but are actually terrorists – but has had to accede to demands from the Russians that it separates and identifies those fighters it supports from those it does not.
Had the US announced the terms of the ceasefire, the the morale of the fighters would have collapsed, since they would have confirmed that they had in effect been defeated. They might even have rebelled against the US.
However, what followed next shows that the US – the true master of this war, and the one which confers immunity on its chosen terrorists by calling them “moderate rebels” – can never be trusted in any quest for a peaceful solution to the war against Syria. The U.S. broke the ceasefire by striking a Syrian military airbase in Deir Al-Zour, located in the Thardeh Mountains.
This is a tough target for ISIS to capture, and it requires coordination between the US led coalition and ISIS against the Syrian Arab Army to give them the chance to do so. The objective is for ISIS to capture the airbase there, which will give ISIS control of the city and ultimately over the whole province.
The US claims that despite its powerful satellites and other methods of surveillance it could not identify the Syrian Arab Army’s positions and that the attack was a “mistake”.
We – the Arab people of Syria and Iraq – have long become accustomed to such “mistakes”. After all we remember the US-led coalition using similar rhetoric to drop weapons for ISIS in their stronghold along the border with Iraq, which it just so happens is also, interestingly enough, the border of Deir Al-Zour province.
That was the US’s gift to the barbarians of ISIS. Over 100 brave Syrian soldiers were martyred, and Syrian military positions resisting ISIS were destroyed and overrun.
Maybe I have got it the wrong way round. Maybe I should say it another way: What a great gift the barbarians of ISIS have given to the US – giving them the pretext to bomb Syria – the main country of the Resistance Front, and the only Arab country which together with Hezbollah resists Israel!
Meanwhile, Israel bombed a Syrian site in the south of Syria, claiming the life of another Syrian soldier.
Are we to believe this is all just coincidence?
The good news is that the Syrian Arab Army with Russian air support has been able to stop ISIS taking over the airbase near Deir-ez-Zour. However in the fighting the terrorists, who have been given advanced anti-aircraft weapons, managed to down a Syrian airplane.
Syrians deserve the right to counter any aggression against their country and their army. They deserve the right to respond in the same way that they have recently responded to the aggression launched against them by Israel.
I have personally met a Syrian soldier who survived the US coalition bombing in Deir-ez-Zour. He told Syrian Formal TV that US drones were flying over the airbase for more than four and a half hours before the US aircraft made their “mistake”. He said that he originally thought they were scanning the area to help the fight against ISIS. However he gradually realised that the drones were actually undertaking surveillance of the base itself – of its equipment, tanks, ammunition, etc. Later, the US aircraft destroyed all this whilst the ISIS terrorists were screaming Allah Akbar!
That brought back memories of the US led coalition drone that flew over the Presidential Palace in Lattakia, which our air defenses shot down over a year ago.
Would any sovereign country accept foreign powers bombing its army in its own land?
Add to that the Turkish troops in northern Syria who are – under UN cover – wanting to send 40 trucks of who knows what into Syria!
The UN prevented the Syrian authorities from checking these trucks, but they were still labeled “humanitarian aid.” What kind of aid is it really and who is it heading to? “Moderate” suicide bombers? ISIS?
And why are so many areas in Syria that are being besieged by terrorists being ignored by the UN? After all no one asks the ‘international community’ (ie. the US and its friends) to lift the unjust sanctions on Syria to prevent starvation!
Syrians are wondering: is our war really with ISIS and Al-Qaeda or with the US and Israel – the true aggressors and puppet-masters – who have always wanted a long war against Syria in order to break and occupy us?
The writer is a Syrian journalist who regularly writes under the name Syrian Afra’a.
No city in Iraq is more symbolic of the criminal consequences of the US invasion of Iraq than Fallujah. Prior to 2003, the 300,000-strong, prosperous, predominantly Sunni Muslim community on the Euphrates River, one of humanity’s oldest continuous urban settlements, was known as the “city of mosques.” After 13 years of destruction at the hands of the US military and its client state in Baghdad, it is today a labyrinth of ruins, a city of the dead.
Following weeks of air strikes by US, British and Australian bombers, a combination of Iraqi government forces and Shiite militias is reportedly on the verge of a final offensive to seize back Fallujah from some 500 fighters of the Sunni-extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which took control of the city in early 2014. Iraqi special forces units are accompanied by elite troops of the US, British and Australian militaries, who direct air strikes and ground artillery bombardments and provide tactical advice to Iraqi commanders.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein has issued urgent appeals concerning the fate of the estimated 50,000 civilians who are trapped in Fallujah, without food or water. Civilian deaths caused by the offensive have been justified in advance by the US-backed Iraqi government with allegations that the occupiers are using the population as “human shields.” ISIS is accused of murdering dozens of people who have attempted to flee.
Men and teenagers who do escape are being detained by Iraqi government and militia units. According to the UNHCR, they are being subjected to “physical violations and other forms of abuse, apparently in order to elicit forced confessions” of being ISIS members or supporters. The UNHCR has received unconfirmed accounts of at least 21 summary executions.
In the media coverage, the question as to how and why ISIS was able to gain control of the city two years ago is largely ignored. To the extent it is raised, the explanation given is Sunni resentment over the sectarian and discriminatory policies of the Shiite-dominated government— after the withdrawal of American troops in 2011. The Iraqi people as a whole are generally portrayed as incurably divided along Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish lines, incapable of living in harmony together and inherently attracted to extremist ethno-sectarian ideologies.
A review of the tortured history of Fallujah since 2003 makes clear that this narrative is a lie. The current situation in Iraq and neighbouring Syria is the outcome and continuation of the deliberate stoking of sectarian conflict by the American occupation for the purpose of dividing the Iraqi masses and cementing the US grip over the oil-rich Middle East.
After the illegal invasion of Iraq and overthrow of the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein, Fallujah was the scene of one of the first widely reported crimes by American troops against Iraqi civilians. Two hundred youth demanding the reopening of their school were fired on by troops of the US 82nd Airborne Division. Seventeen were murdered and over 70 wounded.
Over the following months, Fallujah emerged as a centre of Iraqi resistance to the US occupation. By early 2004, the city was effectively controlled by armed groups overwhelmingly made up of former members of the Iraqi Army and local Sunni tribes. Religious-based extremists, such as the small grouping calling itself “Al Qaeda in Iraq,” had only a minor presence.
The killing of four Blackwater mercenaries in Fallujah in March 2004 triggered a massive American military response. Across Iraq, the defiance of the people of Fallujah became a clarion call for resistance. In the first week of April, the stand in the city against the occupation was joined by an uprising of tens of thousands of Shiite working class youth in Baghdad and cities across southern Iraq. The armed insurgency against the US forces spread to predominantly Sunni cities such as Ramadi, Tikrit and Mosul.
The dominant feature of the anti-occupation resistance in Iraq in 2004 was that it objectively unified Iraqis of all backgrounds who opposed the US occupation and its local collaborators. However, it lacked any coherent perspective or strategy. In city after city, Iraqi fighters were overwhelmed by the superior firepower of the US military, including in Fallujah in November 2004. After a months-long siege, the city was left depopulated and in rubble. Of its 200 mosques, 60 were destroyed or damaged, along with some 39,000 homes and other buildings.
The other central feature of the US occupation in 2004 was the deployment of US-trained Shiite death squads, such as the Wolf Brigade, against the Sunni population. Thousands of people were murdered. At the same time, Al Qaeda in Iraq escalated sinister bombings of Shiite civilians, which assisted the US occupation in driving a wedge between the two communities. By 2006, US policy had provoked a full-scale sectarian civil war that forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee for safety into areas controlled by the militias of their religious denomination.
The origins of the present savage sectarianism in Iraq lie in the manner by which US imperialism “stabilised” Iraq under the control of its Shiite-dominated puppet state, using the criminal methods of divide-and-rule, mass killings and mass dislocation. In 2011, as it withdrew its forces from Iraq, Washington launched a regime-change war in Libya and began sponsoring a regime-change operation in Syria using the same methods that had triggered civil war in Iraq. In Syria, however, the CIA and US military worked through Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to arm Sunni-based groupings to overthrow the Russian- and Iranian-backed Shiite-dominated government of Bashar al-Assad.
One of the main groupings that benefited from the flow of arms was the remnants of Al Qaeda in Iraq, which sent fighters into Syria and soon emerged as a dominant force in the civil war. In April 2013, strengthened by a flood of foreign Islamist fighters who were permitted to enter Syria from Turkey, it renamed itself the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The ISIS fighters who entered Fallujah in late 2013 and claimed control over the city in January 2014 had been financed, equipped and armed as part of the US intrigues in Syria. ISIS seized other areas of Sunni-dominated western and northern Iraq, most dramatically the city of Mosul, in July 2014. To the extent the Islamist movement received support, it was because it pledged to defend the Sunni population from the consequences of the US invasion, including the depredations and abuses of the US-backed government in Baghdad. Both materially and ideologically, ISIS is the by-product of US policy.
The current onslaught on Fallujah is only the latest chapter in the catastrophe that US imperialism has inflicted on the peoples of Iraq and the Middle East as a whole. It can be ended only through the building of a mass international anti-war movement based on the working class and the fight for socialism.
The American taxpayers have been fleeced for almost seventy years by a so-called «intelligence» agency that has systematically violated the US Constitution, broken practically every federal law on the books, and penetrated virtually every facet of American life. The Central Intelligence Agency’s creation was bemoaned by its creator, President Harry S Truman, who, in a fit of personal angst following the 1963 assassination of President John F Kennedy, wrote in a newspaper column,
“I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations… I, therefore, would like to see the CIA be restored to its original assignment… and that its operational duties be terminated or properly used elsewhere”.
During a presidential election year, two of the three remaining major candidates – Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – have given no indication that they will heed the words of President Truman. For example, Trump has indicated he will give the CIA authority to torture that even the CIA considers illegal.
As for Mrs Clinton, her zeal in supporting the violent overthrow and assassination of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 only gives added impetus to the out-of-control players inside the CIA to commit similar actions in a Clinton administration. Only Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders appears to channel the beliefs of Truman when it comes to reining in the CIA.
It is not known whether Trump, who has made favorable noises to interventionist neo-conservatives within the Republican Party, will stand by his comments that the warin Libya was a mistake. But Trump was one of the cheerleaders urging US intervention in 2011. He said,
“Gaddafi in Libya is killing thousands of people, nobody knows how bad it is, and we’re sitting around. We have soldiers all over the Middle East and not bringing them to stop this horrible carnage… We don’t want to get involved and you’re going to end up with something like you’ve never seen before”.
Trump, Mrs Clinton, and Obama were wrong about Libya and Gaddafi on all counts. Gaddafi was not killing “thousands of people”. That was being done by the jihadist rebels supported by the CIA. The late US ambassador/weapons smuggler in Libya, Christopher Stevens, who was ironically killed by the very same jihadists with whom he was brokering deals to ship Libyan weapons to Syria, ensured that the latest NATO weaponry ended up in radical Islamist hands in Libya. It was these weapons that killed “thousands of people” – Libyan and African guest workers and their families – in a country wracked by a civil war manufactured by Mrs Clinton and CIA director General David Petraeus.
The CIA, in particular, had for decades, fantasized about overthrowing Gaddafi. Never did this most incompetent of US government agencies contemplate the effects of Gaddafi’s ouster: the spread of Saudi-financed jihadist terrorism across the Sahel region of Africa. The CIA’s fanciful notions that Gaddafi’s days were numbered were highlighted in a formerly Secret CIA report titled, “Libya: Will the Revolution Outlast Gaddafi?” Issued in June 1988, the report was obviously intended to bolster those within the Reagan administration who argued for a US military attack on Libya by taking advantage of what the CIA perceived was a weakened Gaddafi government at the end of the 1980s. The CIA, as usual, was extremely off-base in its assessment of Gaddafi’s staying power.
The CIA report states: “Gaddafi’s revolution has largely run its course, and he must rely on coercion to perpetuate his revolutionary vision”. In fact, Libyans had the highest standard of living on the African continent with oil revenues being shared with the entire population. The CIA’s erroneous assessment of Libya in 1988 continued: “Just as Libya in 1969 was ripe for a change to a more nationalistic and activist regime, we believe it now ripe for a return to normality”. The call for “regime change” by the CIA in 1988 was, in fact, a call for the return to the status quo ante of 1968: a Libya governed by a corrupt oligarchy led by a feeble monarch. Today, a motley crew of United Nations-selected Libyan gangsters governs the country as a “paper tiger” entity called the “Government of National Accord”. Meanwhile, jihadists of Ansar al-Sharia govern Benghazi while the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) governs Sirte, Derna, and a swath of territory southeast of Tripoli, the Libyan capital.
Just as the destruction of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Party and military infrastructures in Iraq following the US invasion and occupation led to the complete collapse of the Iraqi nation-state, the destruction of the four key institutions that united Libya under Gaddafi led to “failed state” status for the country. The CIA cited these key institutions in its 1988 report but no effort was made to preserve them after Gaddafi’s assassination by CIA-supported forces.
The four key institutions in Libya were, according to the CIA, the tribally-based security battalions, the regular Armed Forces, the Military Intelligence service, and the revolutionary committees. These institutions were wiped out in order that the CIA’s wish in 1988 could be realized: that Libya would return to the “normality” of 1968: government by a restored monarchy led by a pretender to the al-Senussi family’s throne once occupied by King Idris I. However, Libya became a polyglot of warring tribes and jihadists, many of the latter imported from conflict zones abroad.
Whether governed by a restored monarchy or a military-dominated successor regime, the CIA saw a post-Gaddafi government desiring “a more constructive relationship with the United States and the West”. The CIA added, “Libyan successors probably would turn first to Western Europe for better economic relations and some arms. They also would be likely to seek greater US participation in the Libyan economy”. However, after Gaddafi agreed to abandon his so-called “weapons of mass destruction” chemical and nuclear programs, the United States and Western Europe had a more constructive relationship with Libya and the country was wide open for Western economic investment. After Mrs Clinton, Petraeus, Obama, Britain’s David Cameron, and other Western leaders had their way with Libya, it is now a wasteland. The infrastructures of irrigation, road and air transport, social welfare, public education, health care, and employment for African guest workers lie in ruins. The clearly demented Mrs Clinton’s private e-mails show that she and her cabal of interventionists were clearly overjoyed by the misery that befell Libya and its people. When she was informed of Gaddafi’s brutal assassination, one that involved his sodomization, Clinton uttered the preamble to what may be called the “Hillary Doctrine” – “We came, we saw, he died!“ She followed her declaration with her signature hideous cackling laughter.
The 1988 CIA report does not seem to care much for Gaddafi’s style of governance through some 2000 local “people’s congresses”, described by the CIA as “a hybrid of a New England town meeting and a Bedouin tribal gathering”. This demonstration of the “people’s will” in the Libyan “Jamahiriya“ was anathema to the CIA’s goals for Libya, even Libya’s emulation of New England-style direct democracy.
A system of direct democracy in an Arab Muslim nation defied the CIA’s wish for the region, which was and remains an alliance of pro-US theocratic states governed by corrupt elites that wield power through US-equipped armed forces. The CIA report on Libya admits that initially, Gaddafi’s system of direct democracy and the exercising of the people’s will “actually worked”. Only in the jaundiced view of the United States was such a system of government a threat, not only to US interests and goals, but to those of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Morocco, and other corrupt and theocratic US client states in the region.
There is less talk about the rump-Ukraine in the news these days, especially in the western corporate media, and there is a good reason for that: that short-lived Urkonazi “Banderastan” is falling apart. This is hardly surprising since the entire concept was never viable in the first place. Let’s remember how it all began.
It is crucial to remember that there was no spontaneous revolution or insurrection in the Ukraine, the Euromaidan had nothing to do with Europe and everything to do with the USA. Oh sure, the Ukrainian people were told that it was about “joining the EU”, but that was never even a remote possibility. The sole purpose of the Euromaindan was to prevent the rebirth of a “new Soviet Union”. No matter how ludicrous the notion of a USSR v2 might be, this is what was in the always paranoid, self-deluded and ignorant minds of the US “deep state”. Two of the main spokesmen for that US deep state were very clear about this:
“There is a move to re-Sovietise the region,” (…) “It’s not going to be called that. It’s going to be called a customs union, it will be called Eurasian Union and all of that,” (…) “But let’s make no mistake about it. We know what the goal is and we are trying to figure out effective ways to slow down or prevent it.”
Now, it is absolutely irrelevant to argue about whether Hillary was right or wrong in her interpretation. what matters is that she, and her political masters, really believe is that Putin wants to re-create the Soviet Union.
Without Ukraine Russia ceases to be empire, while with Ukraine – bought off first and subdued afterwards, it automatically turns into empire…According to him, the new world order under the hegemony of the United States is created against Russia and on the fragments of Russia. Ukraine is the Western outpost to prevent the recreation of the Soviet Union.
Again, it does not matter at all whether evil Zbig is right or wrong. What matters is that this was the real cause of the Euromaidan: the Americans wanted to create an anti-Russia right across the Russian border. This anti-Russia would have been an extremely dangerous and destabilizing neighbor for Russia. And if Russia did intervene in the Ukraine, that would have revived a simmering Cold War to new levels, justifying the “protection” of Europe by the USA for the next 50 or 60 years at least. Uncle Sam was in a win-win situation. It was a great plan, except that it never worked, of course.
First, the Russian twice stunned the Americans: first, by using military force where they were never expected to do so (Crimea) and, second, by not using military force were they were expected to do so (the Donbass). This was really bad news for the AngloZionist Empire: Crimea, the undisputed “crown jewel” of the “independent Ukraine” was reunited with Russia without a single fatality, while the Donbass (for sure the richest and most advanced part of the “independent Ukraine”) seceded without any overt Russian military intervention at all. That was not what the US strategists had hoped for.
In total disarray, they ordered the Ukronazi military and death-squads to re-take the secessionist region, and the junta almost did. Only a desperate last ditch resistance by the Novorussians followed by the opening of a vast Voentrog (lit. “military trade”, name of a well known military surplus store, “voentorg” now refers to the covert delivery of military equipment to Novorussia) and a well-organized “northern wind” (the sending of volunteer military specialists) saved the day. After that critical moment, the Ukronazis never had another major success and their operational offensives in Saur Mogila and Debaltsevo ended in total disaster.
Then the junta in Kiev tried everything, from bombings, to random artillery attacks, to the use of phosphorus gas, to terrorist attacks, to even the use of ballistic missiles and, of course, the MH-17 false flag. But nothing worked. The Novorussians had dug in and their tactical skills and morale was vastly superior to the junta’s forces. Worse, the Novorussians succeeded, albeit with great efforts, to eventually turn their volunteer militias into a single conventional military force. Of course, compared to the Russian military, the Donetsk and Lugansk forces are still eons away in terms of capabilities, but compared to the so-called “Ukrainian army” or the Nazi death-squads – they are vastly more capable and sophisticated.
A Nazi collaborator and mass-killer Stepan Bandera – Today he is an icon of Euromaidan Ukraine which is directly sponsored by the imperialistic USA and its colony the EU
Second, the level of mis-management, corruption and plain stupidity shown by the new ruling “elite” (so to speak) was truly of an African quality. For one thing, these nationalist imbeciles committed economic seppuku by severing almost all ties with Russia. While these ties were important to Russia, they were absolutely vital to the Ukraine. Furthernmore, Poroshenko and the coterie of pseudo-nationalist oligarchs around him proceeded to embezzle everything worth embezzling and simply stole all the money which the West provided has “help” to support the New Ukraine.
Third, despite the fact that a huge strategic PSYOP had been organized in the western corporate media to present the Ukronazis as well-intentioned patriots wanting to join Europe and live free, the Ukies were so stupid and overt in their words, actions and symbols that it became more and more clear to the people in the West that far from dealing with some “liberty loving democrats” the West was in bed with bone fide Nazis. Not only that, but the West was now paying to be in bed with them. Not that the European corporate leaders ever were so squeamish as to not be willing to be in bed with psychopathic murderers, but in the Ukrainian case this meant the loss of a much more important market: Russia.
So now, in May 2016, it becomes more and more obvious, if not undeniable, that the entire “Ukrainian project” is a total mess, potentially far worse and far more dangerous than the mess in Libya or Iraq. At least Libya has a tiny population while and Iraq can probably be brought back into some semblance of normalcy by the Iranians, assuming the West stops using Daesh to destabilize the entire region. But the Ukraine has roughly 40 million people left (officially 45M, but between Crimea, the Donbass and those who fled, it is probably well under 40M by now), smack in the center of Europe (at least if, unlike me, you consider “eastern Europe” as part of Europe). And it is falling apart. Fast.
The coup in the Ukraine has been described as a coup of “millionaires against billionaires” and there much truth to this. Oligarchs are clearly one of the key forces in the New Ukraine. The other major forces are the neo-Nazis, mostly from the western Ukraine. The third, and often forgotten, force are the various criminal mobs (ethnic and regional) who, while often closely linked to the oligarchs and Nazis, is still distinct from these two, mainly by different motives and a different mindset. The key thing about all of them is this: they are now all armed to the teeth. That’s right – the oligarchs have their own “security services”, the Nazis have their death-squads while the mobsters all have their gangs of armed thugs. As for the Ukie cops, they are staying out of the way, while the much feared SBU (Ukie KGB), which has never caught a single western spy in its entire history, is so busy kidnapping, torturing and generally terrorizing any anti-Nazi Ukrainian left that they have no time, or inclination, for law and order operations. Even anything, the SBU is basically “for hire” by the oligarchs, Nazis and even mobsters.
As for the Ukrainian armed forces, they are mostly composed of men from the eastern Ukraine and they lack the kind of ideological drive which the death-squads, which are composed of mostly west-Ukrainians, have. They do, however, have more firepower than the death-squads, and that partially explains why neither the regulars nor the death-squads have performed well in combat. What is certain is that neither the regular armed forces nor the death-squads have the means, or the will, to restore law and order, nevermind do something about the economic disaster.
In other words – there is no rule of law left at all and if the country has not entirely gone down the “Somali road” yet, it is mainly by inertia. But as the consequences of the economic collapse become evident, violence will explode.
Now that western aid has more or less dried up, and the country has been robbed blind, the central government has less and less relevance to the regions, each of which is now run by local oligarchs/warlords. This is most likely the first step in the inevitable process of breakup of what is left of the Ukraine with Lvov and Ivano-Frankovsk joining forces to create a mini-Banderastan in the west of the country. Odessa and the southern Ukraine will, sooner or later, want to break free from the control of Kiev and either be independent or join Russia in one way or another, while the central Ukraine will be left with nothing except roaming gangs of thugs à la Mad Max.
As for the Donbass (and Crimea, of course), they are gone forever – and Kiev knows that. The best proof of that awareness in Kiev can be found in the undeniable fact that the Junta has made absolutely zero efforts to try to lure back or somehow attract the people in the breakaway regions of the Ukraine to return to Kiev’s fold. Instead of paying their pensions (which they legally were obliged to), the stole all the pension money of the people in the Donbass. As for Crimea, Kiev imposed a water blockade, a transportation blockade, a food blockade and an electricity blockade. And while Russia provided everything needed for the people of Crimea, that kind of petty and outright nasty harassment will hardly endear the Nazi Junta in Kiev to the people of Crimea. The fact is that Kiev has long given up on the notion of convincing the “vatniki” whom they have always hated and considered as subhuman semi-Asian mongrels anyway.
The new chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, and the number 2 person in the country, Andrei Parubii, an overt Nazi with, according to rumors, mental issues, is now seriously discussing establishing a visa regime with Russia – thereby depriving 4-5 million Ukrainians in Russia from working in Russia and sending money back home. Sounds crazy? It is. But these are the same folks who closed the Ukrainian airspace to Russian airlines which, predictably, resulted in Russia closing her airspace to the Ukrainians. One look at a map will tell you who lost more.
Of course, as the economy comes to a standstill, the ideological struggles will gradually be replaced by even more primitive forms of competition for good and services and, in certain regions, even for food and shelter. When this process will begin the rump-Ukraine will undergo a process of transformation from fascism to ochlocracy at which point the rump-Ukraine will probably break up and a new wave of refugees will flood the EU.
The most amazing thing in all this is that the Ukrainian nationalists really did it all to themselves. If between 1991 and 2014 the Ukraine were run in a corrupt and incompetent manner, after 2014 the new leaders in Kiev embarked on a course which can only be described as suicidal. Seeing the chaos in the Ukraine today, it is hard to believe that in 1991 the Ukraine was a highly developed country, with an immense potential and which seemed poised to immensely benefit from being a natural bridge between the East and the West. The current apocalypse is entirely man-made, driven by hate-filled ideological delusion, fantastic levels of corruption and an apparently total lack of common sense.
The Ukrainians were promised a future looking like Germany and, instead, they got Somalia. There is going to be hell to pay for all those who were involved in this gigantic deception.
According to a new report from researchers at Harvard’s Department of Government, the Chinese government employs millions of people to make posts praising government on their behalf. The internet mercenaries are deemed, collectively, “The 50 Cent Party,” because of rumors they are paid per post (the report concluded they do not appeared to be paid and most are government employees to begin with). They are believed to make 488 million posts per year.
After a blogger leaked hacked official email archives, the long-suspected program was confirmed to be real. Those leaks “reported activities of Internet commentators, including numerous 50c posts from workers claiming credit for completing their assignments, and many other communications.” The posts were often “cheerleading” for government, sometimes to “distract the public, although this activity can be also be used to distract from other events, general negativity, specific grievances, etc.” Posts that reflected positively on government made up the majority of so-called 50 centers’ activity, and the researchers theorized it “is a strategy designed to actively distract and redirect public attention from ongoing criticism, other grievances, or collective action.”
Perhaps such behavior is to be expected of an overarching communist regime, but Hillary Clinton’s internet army made headlines before China’s. As Anti-Media reported last month, the Clinton campaign has invested $1 million to fund an army of internet crusaders to challenge negative conversations about her online. That army, called “Barrier Breakers” and is a division of her organization, Correct the Record, which describes itself as “a strategic research and rapid response team designed to defend Hillary Clinton from baseless attacks.”
According to Correct the Record’s website, Barrier Breakers is intended to “serve as a resource for supporters looking for positive content and push-back to share with their online progressive communities, as well as thanking prominent supporters and committed superdelegates on social media.” (By “committed superdelegates,” perhaps they mean “paid lobbyists.”)
The project is extensive, “including the more than tripling of its digital operation to engage in online messaging both for Secretary Clinton and to push back against attackers on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and Instagram.”
It appears 50 centers and Barrier Breakers are performing the same function: creating potentially artificial perceptions that the Chinese government and Hillary Clinton, respectively, enjoy enthusiastic support (it’s likely some members of both the Chinese and Clinton social media teams do genuinely believe the things they post). But there are differences.
For one, the Chinese government has attempted to keep its operations secret. In contrast, the Clinton campaign has made its intentions public, seizing the opportunity to couch their attempts to control the conversation in proactive language that conflates itself with combating online harassment. “The task force currently combats online political harassment, having already addressed more than 5,000 individuals who have personally attacked Secretary Clinton on Twitter,” they boast. They do not disclose whether task force members’ individual identities are public or private.
Correct the Record claims Hillary supporters are “oftentimes are discouraged from engaging online and are ‘often afraid to voice their thoughts’ because of the fear of online harassment,” using this, evidently, as justification for paying people to post positive sentiments about the candidate, who currently suffers a likeability problem as severe as reviled presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.
The biggest difference between Clinton and the Chinese government in their efforts to sway conversations online concerns the degree of defensive engagement they display: according to the researchers, the Chinese government’s posters “do not step up to defend the government, its leaders, and their policies from criticism, no matter how vitriolic; indeed, they seem to avoid controversial issues entirely,” preferring, rather, to use cheerleading efforts to distract and redirect. “Letting an argument die, or changing the subject, usually works much better than picking an argument and getting someone’s back up,” the researchers explained.
In contrast, Clinton’s Barrier Breakers project openly admits its active engagement in countering anti-Hillary narratives. Referencing “Bernie Bros,” Barrier Breakers vows to use what they’ve learned to “quickly and forcefully [respond] to negative attacks and false narratives.” This reaches beyond the Chinese government’s designs to distract with cheerleading; it’s an unabashed effort to change minds — even as Barrier Breakers fails to elaborate on the “false narratives” they plan to challenge.
Hillary Clinton and the Chinese government are not the only entities who attempt to mold narratives and public perception to their benefit. Donald Trump was caught hiring real-life actors to drum up enthusiasm for his campaign. In the social media sphere, the Israeli government has a student program, called “Hasbara,” meant to counter online speech critical of Israel. British spy agency, GCHQ, which wokrks closely with the NSA, has a program to manipulate online political narratives and destroy the reputations of activist movements. And of course, the American government, namely — that we know of — the military, uses sock puppet accounts to spread pro-American propaganda.
While Barrier Breakers is, perhaps, more permissible than the Chinese government’s program, in that it is not officially sponsored by government, Clinton has given the populace no reason to believe her manipulative practices will cease should she make it to the White House.
I am a lifelong FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt) Democrat and therefore am anything other than prejudiced against the Democratic Party. But, that Party died when Bill Clinton became President and undid FDR’s regulations on the megabanks and FDR’s AFDC income program for children in poor families, and when Clinton replaced that with restoration of Wall Street’s control over America (like before FDR, only a more convoluted form of it).
However, the way in which both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton endanger all people’s lives and property and health and welfare, has to do with something else, something that’s even more evil than what Bill Clinton did, and it’s the Obama-Clinton (that’s Secretary of State and now Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton) foreign policy, to overthrow the leaders of nations who are allied with or supportive of Russia — such as most recently Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, but before that Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovych, and before that Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi. It’s no mere coincidence that all three had had cordial relations with Russia.
George W. Bush’s 2003 overthrow of yet another pro-Russian head-of-state, Saddam Hussein, had already done enormous damage not only to Iraq but to the U.S., and yet Obama and Clinton are at least as determined to surround Russia by enemies, as Bush was; and they now even support the installation, on-and-near Russia’s very borders, of a ‘Ballistic Missile Defense’ system that’s actually designed to disable Russia’s ability to retaliate against a U.S. surprise nuclear attack on Russia — the BMD is astoundingly aggressive, especially considering that whereas in 1991 the Soviet and then Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev terminated both the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact on the basis of an understanding from George Herbert Walker Bush and his agents, that NATO would not move “one inch to the east”, this crucial promise from the U.S. government was violated by Bill Clinton’s extending NATO into the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland; and by Bush’s son Bush then extending NATO into Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia; and by Obama then extending NATO into Albania and Croatia and trying to bring into it also Ukraine and some other nations bordering or near Russia.
American President JFK didn’t allow the Khruschev regime to place nuclear missiles 90 miles from the U.S. in Cuba in 1962, and Russian President Putin can’t stand the Obama regime to place nuclear missiles right on Russia’s borders, but it’s happening now, and it endangers us all — not onlythe Russian people. Post-communist Russia is vastly different than the communist USSR was, and the U.S. government’s treating it even more aggressively than the USSR ever was treated is simply mega-criminal and can be ‘justified’ only on the basis of lies.
The U.S. government accepts the right of self-determination of peoples, so that the residents of Scotland can vote to separate from the UK if they wish, and the residents of Catalonia can vote to separate from Spain if they wish, but where it comes now to the right of the residents of Crimea,who had voted 75% for Viktor Yanukovych and who were disgusted by Obama’s overthrow of him, to separate from the newly-imposed Obama-coup-regime in Kiev (and even the head of Stratfor called it “the most blatant coup in history”), Obama and Clinton reject that same right for the Crimean people. Why do they reject it? They have to do this, in order to support NATO’s war-buildup against Russia, and support their surrounding Russia with extremely dangerous missiles. (In fact, Russia’s alleged ‘seizure’ of Crimea is even the ‘justification’ that Obama gives for his economic sanctions against Russia; so, he’s deep into lying about it.)
The expansion of NATO up to Russia’s borders proves NATO’s (that’s to say, the U.S. aristocracy’s, and its subordinate national aristocracies that are represented in NATO) aggressive intent against Russia. Putin had done everything he could to have friendly relations with America, but now under Obama the relationship has plunged into clearly a pre-war situation, not only in Syria, and Ukraine, and elsewhere on Russia’s borders, but in American propaganda against Russia. The addition of installation now of BMD is flashing to all Russians the extreme-danger signal that the next stop is Moscow, and if Russia therefore launches a surprise nuclear attack against the U.S. at some time before the BMD becomes fully operational, the blame for it belongs to George Herbert Walker Bush, and Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, and all who have lied so viciously against Russia and who so blatantly violated the promise that the George Herbert Walker Bush regime had made to Gorbachev in 1990.
Fair is fair, regardless of the particular nation, and unfair is unfair, regardless of the particular nation; and, in this case,clearly, the U.S. government has been extremely unfair to the Russian people, and so the Russian government’s patience with the lies of the U.S. government and of its NATO stooges, might have a limit that precedes activation of BMD — this would mean a Russian first-strike (and theywon’t warn about it in advance). They don’t want to be just sitting ducks. And they all know that only fools think that disabling an opponent’s ability to retaliate is only a defensive act. Any intelligent person knows that it can be also an extremely aggressive act. And the coup in Ukraine, which started to be organized in the U.S. Embassy in Kiev by no later than 1 March 2013 — a year before the coup itself — was an extremely hostile and aggressive act against not only Yanukovych, but also against Russia. The U.S. went so far as to be one of only three countries voting in the U.N. General Assembly against a resolution condemning “glorification of Nazism” and “neo-Nazism”, because there was a widespread recognition among U.N. representatives, that what the U.S. had recently done in Ukraine was supporting and even putting into place as the new Ukrainian government a specifically anti-Russian form of nazism. Obama couldn’t deny it on the facts, so he simply had his neoconservative U.N. representative Samantha Powers vote “No” on it — and she even cited (the new, post-coup) Ukraine’s vote against it as being her reason for voting against it, as if following those thugs’ leadership was somehow ‘American’. Obama’s reversal of FDR there was simply shocking.
The way in which Obama and Clinton are endangering all of us is that, if Russia waits and the BMD (which itself is ‘justified’ only on the basis of lies) that’s now starting to be installed, turns out to work, then only Russia will immediately be reduced to nuclear char; but, if it doesn’t work, then both sides will be destroyed; and, if Russia doesn’t even wait to find out, but instead strikes first, then only the U.S. and maybe other NATO nations will immediately be destroyed; and, in any case, the level of nuclear contamination of the entire world, and the amount of smoke that will be thrown up into the high atmosphere from the fires and then generate a long-term global freezing (“nuclear winter”) that will be just as extreme and far more sudden than the otherwise global warming, will make life not even worth living.
Obama and Clinton aren’t the only Americans who are pushing this needless vile brinksmanship, but it is needless; it’s entirely unnecessary, and, on the U.S.-NATO side, it’s based clearly upon lies; so, the U.S. government must repudiate it and halt the BMD, right now.
If there’s anything sane that’s still remaining in American politics, this issue will be the central issue of the 2016 Presidential campaign. Because, if things continue drifting in the way that they have been drifting, then the world-as-it’s-always-been-known will soon end, and what replaces it will become hell-on-Earth, everywhere. And America’s leaders will have been the cause of it.
Any Presidential candidate who doesn’t condemn both Obama and Clinton for it, has no rational justification for receiving anyone’s vote. Because, if the next U.S. President doesn’t forthrightly repudiate and reverse this pathological policy, then we’d all better somehow join the aristocracy and buy deep nuclear bunkers, with years of supplies to outlast the first phases of nuclear decay. Except that the people who have already done so are fools for even wanting to live in such a post-war world. (But at least they’re smart enough to recognize that things are heading in this direction.)
The only solution to it is to avoid electing Presidents such as the ones we’ve been electing. Instead, to elect a President who condemns them — and for the sane reasons, not for other, insane, ones. Because this issue is too important to continue any insanity.
There is simply no ‘justification’ for it, other than lies. And it’s the most dangerous policy in the entire world, right now.
On the eve of President Obama’s April 2016 visit to Saudi Arabia, the U.S. Congress began debating the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), that would, inter alia, allow the families of victims of the September 11 attacks to sue the Saudi government for damages. Also in April 2016, the New York Times published that a 2002 congressional inquiry into the 9/11 attacks had found that Saudi officials living in the United States at the time had a hand in the plot. The commission’s conclusions, said the paper, were specified in a report that has not been released publicly.
The JASTA bill, which was passed by the Senate on May 17, 2016, triggered fury in Saudi Arabia, expressed both in statements by the Saudi foreign minister and in scathing attacks on the U.S. in the Saudi press. On April 28, 2016, the London-based Saudi daily Al-Hayat published an exceptionally harsh article on this topic by Saudi legal expert Katib Al-Shammari, who argued that the U.S. itself had planned and carried out 9/11, while placing the blame on a shifting series of others – first Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, then Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, and now Saudi Arabia. He wrote that American threats to reveal documents that supposedly point to Saudi involvement in 9/11 are part of standard U.S. policy of exposing archival documents to use as leverage against various countries – which he calls “victory by means of archives.”
Following are excerpts from Al-Shammari’s article:
“Those who follow American policy see that it is built upon the principle of advance planning and future probabilities. This is because it occasionally presents a certain topic to a country that it does not wish [to bring up] at that time but [that it is] reserving in its archives as an ace to play [at a later date] in order to pressure that country. Anyone revisiting… [statements by] George H.W. Bush regarding Operation Desert Storm might find that he acknowledged that the U.S. Army could have invaded Iraq in the 1990s, but that [the Americans] had preferred to keep Saddam Hussein around as a bargaining chip for [use against] other Gulf states. However, once the Shi’ite wave began to advance, the Americans wanted to get rid of Saddam Hussein, since they no longer saw him as an ace up their sleeve.
“September 11 is one of winning cards in the American archives, because all the wise people in the world who are experts on American policy and who analyze the images and the videos [of 9/11] agree unanimously that what happened in the [Twin] Towers was a purely American action, planned and carried out within the U.S. Proof of this is the sequence of continuous explosions that dramatically ripped through both buildings… Expert structural engineers demolished them with explosives, while the planes crashing [into them] only gave the green light for the detonation – they were not the reason for the collapse. But the U.S. still spreads blame in all directions. [This policy] can be dubbed ‘victory by means of archives.’
“On September 11, the U.S. attained several victories at the same time, that [even] the hawks [who were at that time] in the White House could not have imagined. Some of them can be enumerated as follows:
“1. The U.S. created, in public opinion, an obscure enemy – terrorism – which became what American presidents blamed for all their mistakes, and also became the sole motivation for any dirty operation that American politicians and military figures desire to carry out in any country. [The] terrorism [label] was applied to Muslims, and specifically to Saudi Arabia.
“2. Utilizing this incident [9/11], the U.S. launched a new age of global armament. Everyone wanted to acquire all kinds of weapons to defend themselves and at the same time battle the obscure enemy, terrorism – [even though] up to this very moment we do not know the essence of this terrorism of which the U.S. speaks, except [to say that] that it is Islamic…
“3. The U.S. made the American people choose from two bad options: either live peacefully [but] remain exposed to the danger of death [by terrorism] at any moment, or starve in safety, because [the country’s budget will be spent on sending] the Marines even as far as Mars to defend you.
“Lo and behold, today, we see these archives revealed before us: A New York court accuses the Iranian regime of responsibility for 9/11, and we [also] see a bill [in Congress] accusing Saudi Arabia of being behind it [sic]. This is after the previous Iraqi regime was accused of being behind it. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban were also blamed for it, and we do not know who [will be blamed] tomorrow! But [whoever it is], we will not be surprised at all, since this is the essence of how the American archives, that are civilized and respect freedoms and democracy, operate.
“The nature of the U.S. is that it cannot exist without an enemy… [For example,] after a period during which it did not fight anyone [i.e. following World War II], the U.S. created a new kind of war – the Cold War… Then, when the Soviet era ended, after we Muslims helped the religions and fought Communism on their [the Americans’] behalf, they began to see Muslims as their new enemy! The U.S. saw a need for creating a new enemy – and planned, organized, and carried this out [i.e. blamed Muslims for terrorism]. This will never end until it [the U.S.] accomplishes the goals it has set for itself.
“So why not let these achievements be credited to the American administration, while insurance companies pay for the damages, whether domestic or foreign? This, my dear Arab and Muslim, is the policy of the American archives.”
My loyal readers know that I, myself, have been warning for some time about the likelihood of nuclear war. However, there is a vast difference between me and the Western generals. I see the war as the consequence of the neoconservative drive for US world hegemony. The neoconservative drive for world hegemony is acknowledged by the neoconservatives themselves in their public position papers, and it has a 15 year record of being implemented in America’s many and ongoing wars in the Middle East and Africa. Although the Presstitute media does its best to keep our focus away from the known facts, the facts remain known.
The position of the Western generals is that “Russian aggression” is driving an innocent America/NATO to nuclear war.
Here is General Shirreff’s list of “Russian aggressions”: “He [Putin] has invaded Georgia, he has invaded the Crimea, he has invaded Ukraine. He has used force and got away with it. In a period of tension, an attack on the Baltic states… is entirely plausible.” Shirreff is talking about make-believe happenings that even if real would be taking place inside what were until recently Russia’s long-standing national boundaries.
General Shirreff strikes me as either uninformed or a dissembler. It is the United States and Israel who use force and get away with it. The Russian invasion of the former Russian province, Georgia, was a response to the American puppet government’s invasion of South Ossetia in which the American and israeli trained and equipped Georgian troops killed Russian peace-keeping troops and a large number of South Ossetian civilians while the Russian government was at the Beijing olympics.
It only took a small fraction of the Russian Army a few hours to roll up the American and Israeli trained Georgian Army. Putin had the former Russian province in his hand. He could have hung the American puppet president and reincorporated Georgia back into Russia, where if probably belongs, having spent all of modern history in that location.
But Putin did not see Georgia as a prize, and having made his point, let the Americans have their puppet state back. The president at the time, a scummy scoundrel, was thrown out of the country by Georgians and now serves the American puppet state of Ukraine, like so many others who are not Ukrainian. Apparently, Washington can’t find enough Ukrainians who will sell out their country for Washington and has to bring in foreigners to help Washington rule Ukraine.
There has been, alas, no Russian invasion of Ukraine. Putin would not even accept the pleas of the Russian majority populations in the breakaway provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk to be reincorporated back into Russia where they belong. If Putin actually wanted Ukraine, he doesn’t need to send in an army. He can take back the eastern and southern parts just by accepting the pleas of the people to again be a part of Russia.
The only plea that Putin accepted was that of the Crimeans, who with an extremely high turnout never experienced in “western democracies” voted 97.6 percent to rejoin Russia, where Crimea resided for longer than the US has existed, until Khrushchev, a Ukrainian, transferred Crimea from the Russian Soviet Republic to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic when both were provinces of the Soviet Union.
Little doubt that Putin accepted Crimea’s plea because Russia’s only warm water port and entrance into the Mediterranean Sea is Russia’s naval base in Crimea, and little doubt that Putin refused Donetsk and Luhansk in order to deflect Washington’s propagandistic charges, such as those of former general Shirreff. Putin reasoned, mistakenly in my view, that his refusal to accept Donetsk and Luhansk would reassure Washington’s NATO puppet states and lessen Washington’s influence over Europe. For the corrupt Europeans, facts are of no consequence. Washington’s money prevails.
Putin doesn’t understand the power of Washington’s money. In the entire West only money counts. There is no such thing as Washington’s word, government integrity, truth, or even empirical facts. There are only well-propagated lies. The entire West is a lie. The West exists for one reason only–corporate profits.
The retired general Shirreff claims, without any evidence, which is typical, that Putin “used force and got away with it.”
What force is the general talking about? Can he identify the force? The independent international observers of the Crimean voting report that it was completely fair, that there was no intimidation, no troops or any Russian intimidation present.
The former NATO general Shirreff believes that a Russian attack “on the Baltic states is entirely possible.” For what reason? The Baltic states, former provinces of the Soviet Union, comprise no threat whatsoever to Russia. The Russians have no reason whatsoever to attack the Baltic states. It was Russia that gave the Baltic states their independence. Just as it was Russia that gave Ukraine and Georgia their independence.
Imperial Washington is leveraging the reasonableness of the Russian government to put Russia in a propagandistic light. The Russian government has permitted itself to be put on the defensive and has given the attack to Washington.
Russia has not attacked anyone except the terrorist group ISIS. Allegedly, Washington is opposed to terrorism, but Washington has been using ISIS in an effort to overthrow the Syrian government with terrorism. Russia has put a halt to that. The question before us is whether the Russian government so desires to be accepted by the West that Putin sells out Syria to Washington/Israeli dismemberment in order to show that Russia is a good partner for the West.
If Russia doesn’t get over its affection for the West, Russia will lose its independence.
My understanding is that Russia has been resurrected as a Christian, morally principally country, perhaps the only one on earth. The question that the Russian people and their Russian government need, desperately, to ask themselves is: Do we want to be associated with the War Criminal West that disobeys not only its own laws, but also international laws?
The vast majority of the evil in the world resides in the West. It is the west with its lies and greed that has devastated millions of people in 7 countries during the new 21st century. This is the most threatening beginning of a new millennium in modern times.
Unsatisfied with its looting of the Third World, South America, Greece, Portugal, Latvia, Argentina, and now Brazil and Ukraine, the Western Capitalists have their sights set on Russia, China, India, and South Africa.
What a prize it would be to get Russia with all that vast expanse of Siberia that can be environmentally brutalized and destroyed for capitalist profits. The Russian government’s offering of free land in Siberia had better be limited to Russian citizens Otherwise, the land is likely to be bought up by the West, which will use its ownership of Russia to destroy the country.
The Russians and the Chinese are blinded by the fact that they lived for decades under oppressive and failed regimes. They look to the West as success. Their misreading of the West endangers their independence.
Neither Russia nor China seek conflict. It is a gratuitous and reckless act for Washington to send the message to Russia and China that they must choose vassalage or war.
Muslim populated states of the South-East Europe are the reservoirs of the ISIL Jihadist fighters in the Middle East: Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia. All of these states are the marionettes of the US. This road map was originally published with the article in one Albania’s newspapers in Tirana in October 2015.