Thursday, August 31, 2006
source: BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom
Text of report in English by Belgrade-based Radio B92 text website on 28 August
Belgrade, 28 August: According to [Belgrade-based] daily Blic, any drugs, in any amount, can be ordered from Albanian dealers in Kosovo. Citing sources from within the Serbian Internal Affairs Minister, Blic writes that the common practice in these drug transactions is to have one person from the group which ordered the drugs stay with the group that is supplying the drugs until the transaction is completed. "In bootlegging a professional driver that does not know what kind of risks he is getting into is usually hired. He is told that he must transport some products and is paid by the job and that is where it ends for him," the daily's sources claim. "However, the main job is done by someone who is always observing and is involved in the narcotics web, someone who known who the drugs are being sent to and who will take the money," the unnamed source said. Such was the scenario last Monday [21 August], when two Albanians, a driver and a passenger with 45 kilograms of heroin hidden in the truck's spare tire, started their trip from Presevo to Italy. The truck crossed the Serbian and Croatian borders easily and was not uncovered until reaching the Slovenia-Italy border, at which point the trailer, which was otherwise completely empty, was searched after being deemed suspicious. This was the largest drug confiscation action this year in Slovenia. The driver and the passenger remain the authorities' main link in the investigation of the supply-and-demand chain of drug smuggling within the Balkans. The Blic source said that the Albanian mafia and drug dealers, according to FBI statistics, are the leading suppliers on the world market, passing the Colombian cartel, the Italian mafia, Japanese Yakuza and the Chinese Triad. "The centres of narcotics distribution are Pristina, Pec and Prizren, and marijuana, heroin, hashish, cocaine and other drugs arrive to Kosovo from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, through Albania and Macedonia. Forty per cent of heroin in the US and Europe comes from Kosovo, and five tons of the drug arrive to the western European market every month," the source claims. An increasing in heroin production in Afghanistan has also helped the Albanian drug mafia over the past several months. Serbia is located right in the middle of the so-called Balkan route, through which drugs from Bulgaria are smuggled towards Croatia, Slovenia, Italy and Austria. Such a position enables Serbian dealers to have an active role in getting drugs from Bulgaria and Turkey, as well as from Kosovo Albanians. The drugs arrive from Veliki Trnovac, Presevo and Bujanovac, while the main Serbian drug dealers are located in Novi Pazar. "A portion of the drugs remains here, while the majority is transferred to West Europe, through tested links between Serbs who live there or businesspeople who are secure in their dealings. Serbs have in that way taken over a majority of drug dealings in Slovenia and control the heroin market in Denmark. The strings are being pulled by a Serb in Slovenia, who is one of the most influential drug dealers who has ties that reach as far as the Columbian cartel, while the ties in Denmark stem from the time of the Zemun Clan. The Serbian police has confiscated 233 kilograms of heroin this year and has cut off nine smuggling channels," Blic's source states.
Source: Radio B92 text website, Belgrade, in English 0936 gmt 28 Aug 06
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Jay Leno: I got an invitation to [Bill Clinton’s 60th birthday] party. You see, it says you are cordially invited to the party. It runs from 8:00 to whenever Hillary shows up. ... President Bush said the United States is still under the threat of attack and will continue to be right up until Election Day. ... I don’t want to say President Bush’s approval rating is dropping, but I understand there’s a sign outside of Crawford, Texas, that now says, “Home of Cindy Sheehan.” ... There’s a hurricane watch for tropical storm Ernesto. Let me tell you something. These hurricanes are getting smart. They know a Hispanic hurricane has a better chance of getting into the country. ... This is finally a happy story in the Middle East. In the Gaza strip, Palestinian militants released those two Fox News journalists. They were released unharmed... The Palestinians said they just couldn’t take any more of the pro-Bush stories. ... The formation of the new international peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon was dealt a setback when the French government only committed to sending 400 troops instead of the thousands of troops they originally agreed to send. Actually, it’s not their fault. It turns out the French only have 400 troops that can walk forward.
But who in fact is Hamad? An Islamist who deliberately learned German at a language school in Tripoli so that he could enter the country as a student, essentially under the radar of counterterrorism officials, and calmly go about preparing an underhanded terrorist attack? Or did a young man, hungry for education, arrive in Germany on Jan. 2, 2006 and, for some unknown reason, suddenly and without attracting attention, turn into a killer?
By last Friday, investigators still hadn't found answers to these questions. ... The arrest of Youssef Hajdib, 21, promptly set off a security debate over the consequences of the presumed change in the overall threat of terrorism in Germany. Legislators called for more surveillance cameras in public areas (although even London's dense network of such cameras failed to prevent the 2005 bombings in that city), beefing up the country's police forces and internal intelligence agency and speeding up a planned effort to link all security-related information to a central counterterrorism database. One member of the German parliament, the Bundestag, even proposed stationing armed "rail marshals" on German trains in the future.
But whatever Schäuble and his counterparts in the state governments decide at a conference of interior ministers scheduled for Monday, and whatever measures they take, the one thing that has investigators especially concerned is that would-be attackers may not necessarily be members of a local "domestic terrorist organization," but simply Muslim fanatics acting entirely on their own. This presumed new breed of independent terrorists, officials believe, appear out of nowhere and form miniature cells of their own. Instead of a network and commanders, all they need is a reason to strike, bomb-building instructions they can easily download from the Internet and the conviction that they are acting on behalf of a greater cause. In some sense, these self-made terrorists may also believe that they are part of al-Qaida, which has long since transformed itself from being only a terrorist organization, instead encompassing an entire ideology.
This sounds familiar to the experiences of the British in the successful 7/7 London plot and the foiled sky-attack mission that the British uncovered this month, as well as the Toronto cell of homegrown jihadis. In this case, though Hamad and Hajdib aren't homegrown. They both came to Germany as students, in a manner similar to some of the 9/11 hijackers. If the Germans want to try detecting these plots early, they may want to start looking at their student-visa programs from Muslim nations.
Hamad's family tells the same story that British families and neighbors told about the suspects in the sky plot. Hamad only wanted to study languages, his mother tells Der Spiegel. "We have a pure son," she tells the reporter -- from behind her veil. His parents sent him to a Christian school, an unusual bit of background for a jihadi, but it did little to blunt his radicalism.
Besides, his parents hardly set a great example. Lebanese officials had a tap on the father, who belongs to the same Hizb-al-Tahrir group that claimed to have established the new Caliphate in Gaza. They heard him tell his son to get out of Germany as soon as he came under suspicion of the bombing attempt.
One might think that German security forces would have some investigation into the background of student visa applicants. If they had asked the Lebanese government, they might have discovered that Jihad Hamad came from a family tradition of jihadism. This additional information renders the mother's tearful insistence that her boy couldn't possibly be an extremist -- a claim made behind a veil -- almost laughable, if the subject wasn't so deadly serious.
Western nations have to understand that Islamofascists do not target them for their foreign policy; they target the West because it isn't Islamic. We need to start taking that threat seriously and performing tough investigations before offering visas to people from nations known to house terrorist organizations. Allowing the son of a Hizb-al-Tahrir officer into the country on a student visa seems very foolish, and if the Germans want to stop terrorist attacks, it has to stop that kind of foolishness as a first step towards sanity.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Monday, August 28, 2006
TEHRAN (AFP) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the Holocaust may have been invented by the victorious Allied powers in World War II to embarrass Germany, the semi-official news agency Mehr has reported.
The remarks by the outspoken Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly questioned the veracity of the Holocaust, came in a letter sent to Merkel in July whose contents have not been disclosed until now.
"Is it not a reasonable possibility that some countries that had won the war made up this excuse to constantly embarrass the defeated people ... to bar their progress," Ahmadinejad said in the letter on Monday.
"The question is if these countries, especially Britain, felt responsible for the Holocaust survivors, why they did not settle them in their own countries?" it said.
It is not the first time Ahmadinejad has voiced doubt about the mass slaughter of six million Jews under Nazi Germany, previously describing the Holocaust as a "myth" used to justify the creation of Israel.
"By promoting the necessity of settlement of Holocaust survivors in the occupied Palestine, they have created a constant threat in the Middle East," he said, referring to Israel.
Merkel on July 21 indicated that she would not formally respond to the letter, saying it contained "totally unacceptable" criticism of Israel and "constantly put in question" the Jewish state's right to exist.
Ahmadinejad in his letter also praised the German people as a nation with potential in science, art, philosophy and politics, but "who are not allowed to play their constructive role in the world."
"Undoubtedly, we, our two governments and nations, can make big steps to resolve the existing global problems... together we can convince some powers that respecting nations' rights is in best interest of everybody," Ahmadinejad said.
Posted by Marisol
Sunday, August 27, 2006
BERLIN (Reuters) - German authorities issued an arrest warrant on Saturday for a Syrian suspect in a failed plot to detonate bombs on German trains last month.
A spokesman for the Federal Prosecutors Office said a Syrian man taken into temporary custody on Friday in the city of Konstanz was questioned by a custodial judge for several hours before the warrant was issued.
The prosecutors office said the 23-year-old, a student in Konstanz identified as Fadi A.S., was believed to have done Internet research with other suspects on how to build a bomb like the two suitcase devices that failed to explode. Fadi A.S. is also believed to have helped others involved in the foiled attack flee through Turkey and Syria to Lebanon. ...
German prosecutors believe Fadi A.S. has links to one of the two main suspects, Youssef Mohamad E.H. The 21-year-old Lebanese man was the first to be arrested, a week ago in the northern town of Kiel, and is now in a Berlin prison. Youssef Mohamad E.H. was identified on security camera footage that appeared to show him dragging a suitcase on to a train in Cologne last month.
On Friday a senior Lebanese judicial source in Beirut said authorities had arrested a fourth suspect. The Lebanese source said the 24-year-old Lebanese man, with the initials K. H. D., was arrested based on information provided by Jihad Hamad, a 20-year-old who had turned himself in to Lebanese authorities on Thursday.
Suitcases like those in the footage were found packed with propane gas tanks and crude detonating devices on trains in the Dortmund and Koblenz. The explosives failed to detonate.
A poll on Saturday by RTL television found that 73 percent of Germans expect Germany will face further terror attacks.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Sarajevo, 25 August (AKI) - Bosnian Serb leaders slapped back at their Muslim colleague, Sulejman Tihic today, for saying that if they didn’t like the country, they could pack up and leave. The row, seen as a part of political game before October's parliamentary elections, centres on Muslim demands for the abolition of the Bosnian Serb entity, Republika Srpska (RS) and Serb threats to hold a referendum on independence if Muslims persisted in their demands. Tihic, a Muslim member of Bosnia’s three-man rotating state presidency, said on Thursday that those who want to secede form Bosnia can pack up and leave, "but can’t take away an inch of Bosnian territory". According to the Dayton peace accord that ended civil war in Bosnia, the country was divided into two entities, a Muslim-Croat federation and RS, but the international community, which safeguards peace in Bosnia, has been gradually stripping entities of their state prerogatives, stepping up Muslim demands for abolition of RS. Borisav Paravac, a Serb member of the state presidency, slammed back at Tihic, saying his statement was an "irresponsible and scandalous act". "Bosnia isn’t his private property," said Paravac, adding that RS covers 49 per cent of Bosnia’s territory and that Serbs are one of three constituent peoples, with equal rights. RS Prime Minister Milorad Dodik retorted that Tihic’s statement represented a drastic example of "hate and chauvinism" which will only further inflame ethnic passions in Bosnia. "In Tihic’s statement one can easily recognize an Islamic concept which sees Bosnia as its exclusive right," said Dodik. "Serbs are constituent people in Bosnia claim the same right to the country and to live in it," said Dodik. The high representative of the international community in Bosnia Christian Schwarz Schilling (an Islamists' friend!,FAM) last week appealed to the leaders of all three nationalities to stop "inflammatory rhetoric", but the quarrels continue relentlessly as the election date draws closer.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Aug. 25 (Bloomberg) — Germans are beginning to awaken to a new reality: Their country is no longer one of the apparently safe havens in the post-Sept. 11 world.
“It’s never really bothered me what people next to me in the train are doing,” said Juergen Darsch, 36, a graphic artist, at Berlin’s Friedrichstrasse rail station. But ever since a Lebanese student was arrested Aug. 19 on suspicion of helping plant bombs on German trains, “you look around more carefully. That’s something I really don’t want to live with.”
Police arrested the student, identified only as 21-year-old Youssef Mohamad E. H., after the discovery of bombs placed inside suitcases on two trains in western Germany that they say would have killed a “large number” of people. A second suspect, Jihad H., also Lebanese, turned himself in to police in Tripoli, Lebanon, yesterday.
Germany, under then-Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, refused to join the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and had been spared the sort of fear engendered by attacks carried out by Islamic terrorists in London, Madrid, Istanbul and Mumbai. Now the public is confronted with stepped-up security checks at train stations and travel delays as suspicious suitcases are cleared away, with the promise of more measures to come.
While the bombers failed to blow up the trains, they managed to “blow away any lingering illusions that Germany is an island not on terrorists’ maps,” Margret Johannsen, a senior research fellow at Hamburg University’s Institute for Peace and Security Policy, said in a telephone interview.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
BERLIN - The second main suspect in a failed plot to bomb two German trains turned himself in to authorities in his native Lebanon on Thursday, German federal prosecutors said.
Jihad Hamad, 20, was arrested after turning himself in to police in Tripoli, prosecutors said in a statement. The other main suspect, a 21-year-old Lebanese student identified as Youssef Mohamad el Hajdib, was arrested in Germany on Saturday.
The men are suspected of planting crude bombs July 31 on two trains at Cologne station, where they were seen in grainy surveillance camera footage pulling wheeled suitcases.
The detonators on the bombs went off, but failed to ignite the devices, authorities have said. The bombs were found later in the day on regional trains in Koblenz and Dortmund.
El Hajdib's arrest came after a tip-off from Lebanese intelligence, according to German authorities. It was not immediately clear whether they were also involved in Hamad's decision to turn himself in.
Posted by Robert
This just in: The Lebanese men suspected of having deposited bombs on German trains last month were hired hands — in the employ of the German government itself.
That, at least, is what one 27-year-old from Saudi Arabia believes. “It’s all a Protestant crusade,” the man explains. “All of northern Germany is Protestant, isn’t it? And so is President Bush.” Then the man launches into a melange of confusing arguments and historical facts. The bubonic plague, Martin Luther and former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl all make a cameo. It’s all connected somehow, the man is sure of it.
The young Saudi Arabian’s views may make little sense from a Western point of view, but you can meet him and talk to him at a street corner in the middle of Hamburg, right by the central station. Foreigners from all over the world live in this neighborhood, called St. Georg, and a large number of them are Muslim. Several mosques have been built in the neighborhood. Many nearby stores carry no alcohol — but they do have electronic memory aides for Koran students on offer.
And then there are the conspiracy theories. They are everywhere — dozens of them — including some to explain away Germany’s recent terror scare. The others — some mutually contradictory — have pat explanations for what’s really going on in the world.
The Saudi Arabian’s crusade theory is being hotly debated on Steindamm, one of the main streets in the neighborhood. “It’s not about religion, it’s about money,” says an Algerian wearing a Lacoste shirt. A man from Tunisia immediately agrees and asks, “Why else have German soldiers been sent to Congo?”
In their struggle for money and oil, Western states will use whatever means they can, according to the theory. That the USA knew about the September 11, 2001 attacks before they happened but chose not to prevent them is a widespread view. “We think the United States needed those attacks so they could start the Iraq war,” explains Mahran Abdulwahab, a Lebanese graphic designer with a Hamburg accent.
Asked what they think of the suspects arrested for the foiled train attacks, many respond with remarks like: “They’re crazy.” Few have more to say. Abdulwahab also thinks such attacks are sheer madness. “It only harms people like us who live here,” he says. But even he — whose views are quite moderate and who even had a Jewish girlfriend once — can’t help claiming you’ll never get the whole truth from the Western media because “their reporting is just too pro-Jewish.” Many such anti-Semitic remarks — and worse — can be heard around Hamburg’s central station.
Or on television. Just a few days ago, a 17-year-old Kurd from Bonn espoused the following theory on SPIEGEL TV: “What happened first,” he said, talking about the recent conflict in Lebanon, “was that the Jews raped a child, or something like that.” Later he claimed to have learned from a credible source that Jews once systematically shot six-year-olds in a kindergarten. “They let the teacher live so she would become mentally ill,” the young man said.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
One of the suspects in the failed Islamic terror plot to bomb German trains may have been connected with the Imam Ali Mosque in Hamburg—believed by German intelligence to be a meeting place for Hizballah supporters: German police identify second train bomb suspect.
The online version of newsweekly Der Spiegel said that the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the domestic intelligence service, was following a lead to a mosque in the northern city of Hamburg because Youssef Mohammed E.H. had a poster of the institution hanging in his dormitory in Kiel.
The Imam Ali Mosque is believed to be a meeting point for supporters of the Lebanese Shiite Muslim militia Hezbollah.
A spokesman for the mosque denied any contact with Youssef Mohammed E.H.
“We do not know this person at all,” he said.
[To read part one of "German Train Terror," click here.]
Friendly, inconspicuous and pious.
It is a description people worldwide have grown accustomed to concerning Islamist terrorists after they reveal their dark, secret side. So it is not surprising that is what fellow students are saying about Youssef Mohamed E., a 22-year-old Lebanese studying in Germany and the latest terrorist arrested for trying to commit mass murder against the infidel in Europe. Youssef E. was apprehended last Saturday in the northern German city of Kiel for trying to blow up two German trains with suitcase bombs three weeks ago. Ironically, he was seized at Kiel’s main train station, trying to flee the city – and possibly the country.
In a vastly under-reported terrorist attack, last July 31 at Cologne’s main train station Youssef E. (German law prevents the publication of last names) and an accomplice placed a suitcase containing an 11-litre propane gas tank and gas bottles for ignition in two regional trains that carry about 120 passengers each. The bombs were set to explode simultaneously at about 2:30 p.m., shortly before their arrival at their respective destinations of Hamm and Dortmund. Only the failure to rig the bombs properly prevented by a hair’s breadth a catastrophe that would have seen Germany experience a horrific London or Madrid-like commuter bombing. Both bombs were discovered when the unattended suitcases were later opened.
In the hope of identifying the suspects, a video was released to the German public last week showing the Lebanese national in the Cologne train station with one suitcase and his accomplice, who is still at large, with the other. Youssef E. was wearing a German national soccer team sweater with the number 13 on the back. He is later shown stopping at an information booth in the station but minus the suitcase. His DNA and fingerprints were found on materials concerning the suitcase that went to Dortmund. A shopping receipt and a shopping bag with Arabic writing on them were also part of the suitcase contents. But German newspapers report it was actually a foreign intelligence agency which provided the decisive piece of evidence that identified the Lebanese student.
German investigators believe that Youssef E. and his henchman in no way were acting alone and are part of a terrorist group that hadn’t yet appeared on the radar screen of German anti-terrorist agencies. Monika Harms, an attorney with Germany’s Federal Prosecutors Office, said that for two bombs to go off at the same time in two different trains requires good logistical preparation which leads to the suspicion that a terrorist organization is involved. After Youssef E. arrived in Germany to study in 2004, he had stayed in the state of North Rhineland-Westphalia where the suitcase bomb plot was to unfold.
The Federal Prosecutors Office also reported that the Lebanese was a student at a technical university in Kiel, but he may actually only have been taking preparation courses at a college. Before his arrest, the Lebanese student apparently intended to study mechatronics, a subject that combines electrical and mechanical engineering. His physics teacher described him to a German newspaper as “completely inconspicuous” and not that intelligent, which, he says, now makes him happy or otherwise the bombs may have exploded.
In his student residence, Youssef E. shared an apartment with four other students, three of them German. The last student, a Moroccan, is missing and is suspected of being the accomplice who placed the bomb on the train to Hamm.
Fellow students said Yousef E. prayed often, either in the student residence’s basement prayer room or at a mosque. According to one student, although he wore t-shirts and jeans, he would change into long, white clothes before going to pray. A German student who shared his apartment said the Lebanese had many visitors, Arabs and North Africans, and distributed pamphlets about the prophet Mohammed. Students in the residence also reported that Youssef E. had revealed his brother had died in the recent war in Lebanon, providing a possible motive for his act of terrorism.
According to German security officials, there is as yet no evidence connecting the suitcase bomb attack to Hisbollah. They state the Lebanese terrorist group has about 900 sympathizers in Germany but they are disunited. The Essen Institute for Terrorism Research and Security reports that Hisbollah mainly regards Germany as rest and recovery area. But terrorism experts are now expressing the fear that the recent arrest may provoke a revenge attack by other Islamist terrorists.
And such fears are not without foundation. German security agencies have said in the past they don’t really know what is going on in the Islamist scene in their country and have told the government they can’t fight the terrorist groups with the existing laws. Ominously, Interior Minister Wolfgang Schauble, the man responsible for Germany’s internal security, has himself warned his countrymen that they can expect further terrorist attacks and has asked for their help in the search for perpetrators. Even more disturbing for a still shocked German public regarding Islamist terrorists, he said: “We know nothing at all about whom we all have here.”
Stephen Brown is a columnist for Frontpagemag.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A LEBANESE student suspected of trying to paralyse the German railway network with a bomb concealed in a suitcase appeared in court yesterday, as a huge police hunt for a second suspect continued. ...His arrest has thrown the country into panic since it coincides with Berlin's emotionally charged decision to deploy troops in the Middle East for the first time since the Second World War. Suddenly Germans, too, are beginning to feel that they have become a target."The terrorist threat has never before come so close to us," Wolfgang Schauble, the Interior Minister, said. Police patrols on railway stations have been stepped up but the scale of the problem -- 5,700 railway stations and 4.3 million passengers a day -- makes it impossible to impose the security measures being put in place in airports in Britain and elsewhere.
Americans learned this lesson on 9/11, and other nations have been slower to recognize it. Free societies cannot possibly apply the kinds of security procedures that would make mass transit completely safe, not if they want to remain free societies. We can adopt better technology and hopefully screen airline passengers more effectively, but in truth that approach alone always puts us behind the terrorist curve. They only have to be successful once; we have to be successful every single time, and still protect the civil liberties of the travelers in our nations. The only way to effectively fight terrorism is to fight it somewhere else. The Germans have consistently failed to grasp this, but that may come from a lack of attacks on their own assets. This plot has awaken some to the danger of the strict law-enforcement model. If every counterterrorism strategy relies on waiting until the terrorists have come to the Western nations they target, then this war is lost.Germany understood that the terrorists had come to their territory, and so they have even less excuse for their willful myopia on the threat. The 9/11 conspirators came from an al-Qaeda cell in Hamburg, and terrorists used Germany on several occasions for meetings and support tasks. Perhaps the Germans convinced themselves that Islamofascists only hated America, and that as long as they remained publicly neutral on the war, terrorists would bypass them in favor of more attacks on America and Britain.This obviously has failed, and for obvious reasons. Radical Islamists do not just hate America -- they hate Western culture and its freedoms. They hate sexual expression, voting, secular humanism, modern art, pork, the exposure of skin on women, and the economic success of others. Any nation which exhibits these characteristics will find themselves in the crosshairs of al-Qaeda and other Islamist terrorist groups. Appeasement works just as well as it did in the 1930s, a lesson the Germans should understand better than almost anyone.Maybe the Germans will start taking seriously this war and the forward strategy of the US to engage and kill terrorists where they live rather than where we live. We're not going to just sit around and try to catch them in the act of killing us, and hope our timing is good. That strategy has shown itself over and over again to be a loser, and the Germans have provided just another example of this.
But I know that a lot of Germans were not surprised at all.
BERLIN - A Lebanese student suspected of planting a train bomb that failed to explode had contacts in Hamburg, authorities said Tuesday, the latest link to the northern port city where three of the Sept. 11 suicide pilots prepared for their attacks.
The planned attack here stunned Germans who thought the country’s vehement opposition to the Iraq war would insulate it from becoming a terror target almost five years after the attacks on Washington and New York.
The main suspect, identified by authorities as 21-year-old Youssef Mohamad el Hajdib, was arrested Saturday in Kiel, about 30 miles north of Hamburg, on suspicion of placing one of two suitcase bombs in German trains on July 31.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Given the ongoing relevance of National Socialism to radical Islamism, it is worth reviewing a couple of salient facts about the Hitler period in Germany. While neither of these topics are secrets, they tend not to be emphasized because they are based on
(a) the now discredited race theory of National Socialism (although similar ideas were fashionable as eugenics in large parts of Europe and the U.S. in the first half of the 20th century); and
(b) Hitler’s “great man” view of history, which is not the way historians tend to view events in the post-modern world.
National Socialist race theory. Winston Churchill summed this up admirably in The Gathering Storm, where he outlined the main thesis of Mein Kampf. Essentially, this book, which means “My Struggle,” takes a Darwinist view of the fate of nations. Man is a fighting animal, therefore the nation is a fighting unit: it must fight for its existence. In order to do this effectively, it must be free of foreign defilements, here seen as the Jews, which, being an “international race,” weaken the national will to fight. The people are not moved by reason but rather by the driving force of “fanatic and hysterical passions” – hence the central role of propaganda. The world is moving toward a great and final upheaval in which the German race must prevail.
With suitable alteration for time, place and personalities, does this sound like anyone you know? It sounds to me a lot like Mahmood Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, to say nothing of Ayatollah Khamenei, Ruler of the Iran Supreme Council. So we have been here before – the Third Reich – where the radical Middle East is now.
Proceeding through the Muslim Brotherhood and the Ba’ath Parties of Syria and Iraq, and under the sponsorship of the Grand Mufti, the ideas of the Third Reich never died in the Middle East. They had to exist in the shadows for a while due to the revulsion the Nazis created in the still-vigorous civilized world, but as that world has become less vigorous in its European component and as Nazi ideas have become more apposite in the minds of Islamic radicals, they are back, with the very same centerpiece, the extermination of the Jews, serving the purpose of a “driving force of fanatic and hysterical passions.”
The Great Man theory of history. Hitler’s German biographer, Joachim Fest, characterized Hitler as the last of the great warrior/conquerors – in the line of Cyrus the Great (founder of the Persian Empire), Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Genghiz Khan, and Napoleon (a list that is meant to be illustrative, not exhaustive). Fest meant that a component – not the only component – of Hitler’s wars was glory, an obsolete concept now, but one that the ancients understood perfectly – “to ride in glory through the gates of Persepolis.” Indeed, for a while Hitler styled himself Grofaz, the German acronym for “Greatest Warlord of All Time.”
Glory was a component of Hitler’s makeup, but so also was policy. Hitler had a very definite view of the important of race – especially Teutonic racial purity – as necessary to secure his goals. Which were “living room in the East” – meaning acquiring all of the Soviet Union east of the Urals, securing its natural resource base for Greater Germany and turning the Slavs into a helot – slave – population serving the warrior Teutonic race, which would then direct world affairs. Whether one characterizes this conception as “crazy” it was a conception, and one similar historically to that of the ancient Spartans.
National Socialist society was organized around the leadership principle – Fuhrerprinzip – a critical aspect of the Nazi State. It meant rule by a great man. The Fuhrer was the great man who stood at the top of the edifice. Other great men proved their worth by “working toward the Fuhrer.” The concept of “working toward the Fuhrer” meant that ambitious subordinates would be competing for the Fuhrer’s attention, which allowed him to divide and rule. But they would also be anticipating his wishes based on the direction he outlined for the nation, so that a great deal got done without explicit orders and without explicitly burdening the Fuhrer with responsibility for every action.
Given the Fuhrerprinzip of the National Socialist State – the rule by a great man – a very important point regarding war comes to the fore, which is often overlooked even now about Nazi Germany. On April 29, 1939, Hitler celebrated his 50th birthday. Because Hitler saw himself as critical to the historic mission of National Socialism – to establishing the Teutonic race at the apex of world power through war – the clock was running. It was essential that the necessary war to defeat the Slavs and gain territory in the East be undertaken while he was still young and vigorous enough to direct it.
What does this mean? That no amount of diplomacy was going to deflect Hitler from his course. Indeed, he was heard to curse the prime ministers of Britain and France because they “stole” from him the war he was trying to start over Czechoslovakia. As history knows, he overcame this obstacle.
The history of National Socialism, Hitler, and the Fuhrerprinzip suggest the limits of negotiation with Ahmadinejad, Khamenei, and the entire radical Islamist venture in Iran. There is good reason to think that Ahmadinejad, with his millennial Shia theology, is pursuing a timetable independent of whatever countervailing offers are or will be made by the West. If this is true, then the sooner he is out of office, the better it is for us.
Greg Richards is a frequent contributor.
By Michael Djordjevic
Addressing a joint session of Congress on Sept. 1, 1990, President George H.W. Bush proclaimed the advent of the New World Order. A new era of peace, prosperity, transnationalism and integration was ahead for long-suffering humankind.The new system was based on the notion that nation-states are destructive to the progress of humankind because nationalism, like cancer, spreads and causes conflicts. Therefore, dominant and enduring international institutions should be empowered to coordinate worldwide efforts in the political, social and economic realms.The collapse of communism presented the world with unforeseen problems. As the Cold War ended, many countries and people began to reclaim their individual national identity, traditions and self-interest. Future historians may well conclude that the Yugoslav civil-religious war (1991-1998) tested the viability of this new order. "Yugoslav carnage poses painful questions for the Western Alliance and the United Nations," possibly "foretelling a failure of the New World Order," said the May 15, 1992, New York Times.Overwhelmed with realities of history and tradition, of nationalism and religion, of their own convictions and biases, the architects of the new order failed to implement their vision and successfully deal with its very first challenge. Simply, America was not ready for the New World (dis)Order.The proponents of the new order saw the Yugoslav tragedy as a laboratory and a test for the New World Order concepts and collective actions by such supranational bodies as the United Nations, the European Union and NATO. Conceivably, they believed that by interfering in Yugoslav internal affairs and against Serbian nationalism they could set up an early example of how to stamp out national aspirations and interests, establish democracy and multiethnic-multireligious societies and states by collective mechanism of the New World Order. But it did not work out that way. Neither is it working now in Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo, nor will it work in the Israeli-Palestinian clash.In the ebb-and-flood tides of the struggle between Christianity and Islam beginning in the 8th century and continuing to the 20th century, each side had two major advances and two major reverses, approximately four centuries apart. We are now witnessing the fifth cycle, which is for the first time simultaneous. The West has been moving into the East economically and militarily. The Islamic tide almost invisibly is seeping into the West not by arms or economic power, but via steady immigration, settlement, threat of or actual violence and ongoing demographic expansion.The struggle for the New World Order is unfolding in the Middle East with conventional warfare and suicide bombers, and within the ramparts of Western civilization as a new guerrilla type of combat threatening the foundations of democracy, free-market economies and pluralistic open society. This cunning and cancerous model was successfully used in Kosovo over the past 90 years.There are currently two specific historical and geopolitical cases whose resolution will have an important long-term impact on this ongoing clash of civilizations — Kosovo and Israel. Although the dynamics and characteristics of the two conundrums are varied, they have basic common implications for the West. Serbs and Jews are fighting to preserve their ancestral land and the spring of their metaphysics. The Serbs have historically been the "Guardians of the Gate" of Europe against Islam, while the Jews are the only outpost of the Judeo-Christian civilization and its core values in the Islamic Middle East. Both are struggling for survival, their common and historical enemy being Islam.No other issue dominates so pervasively and antagonistically the U.S.-Islam relationship as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Its fair resolution is the prerequisite for peace between the West and Islam. As amply manifested in Kosovo and in the Middle East, ever-increasing concessions to radical Islamist alone will not end the clash. In addition to complex and difficult geostrategic decisions, the West must also candidly face the legacy of past flawed policies.The West should stop blaming the Serbs for something they have not done — attempting to establish "Greater Serbia," and the Israelis for something they cannot do — give up Jerusalem along with their future security and survival. Solutions to grave world problems cannot be achieved by willfully disregarding the historical and legitimate aspirations of nations and people. Moreover, democracy, tolerance, the rule of law and respect for human rights and for religious and cultural diversity cannot be secured and sustained by double standards.The survival of the West is doubtful, if dependent, upon global institutions and pursued only by economic and military power. As in the past, the current fight is not just about oil or other material riches. It is essentially and foremost a deadly contest of ideas and metaphysical beliefs.We have received a "wake-up call" not only from Osama bin Laden but, more importantly, from the ayatollahs and imams.
American Council for Kosovo
Monday, August 21, 2006
A judge on Sunday ordered that a Lebanese student (photo) suspected of planting one of two bombs that failed to explode on German trains be held in custody pending possible terrorism charges, federal prosecutors said.
The 21-year-old was detained Saturday in the northern port city of Kiel, where he lived and studied. Prosecutors say he was identified with the help of surveillance footage from Cologne station, where the suitcase bombs allegedly were planted July 31, and DNA traces on the cases.
A judge at the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe issued a formal arrest warrant against the man Sunday, allowing him to be kept in custody, federal prosecutors said in a statement.
He was identified only as Youssef Mohamad E.H.He is being held on suspicion of membership in a German-based terrorist organization, attempted murder and attempting to cause an explosion. Prosecutors alleged that the aim was "to kill a large number of people."
Investigators are still seeking a second suspect - another man seen with heavy luggage in the grainy video footage from Cologne.
The devices, made with gas canisters, were found on board trains in Dortmund and Koblenz. They apparently were supposed to explode simultaneously, 10 minutes before the trains arrived at their destinations, but failed to go off.
The arrested student allegedly planted the bomb on the Koblenz-bound train, but got off before the planned detonation. Prosecutors said the second suspect apparently boarded the other train.
Investigators have said it was possible the would-be attackers might have wanted to send a message related to fighting in the Middle East, but were tightlipped on possible motives after the suspect's arrest.
Prosecutors note that the alleged plot would have required complex logistical preparation, and say they suspect that the arrested man was part of a larger group.
His apartment at a student residence in Kiel was searched, along with an adjoining workshop, but no explosive components were found, prosecutors said Sunday.
Please dear Crocodile, eat me last!
Last Wednesday, the German newsmagazine FOCUS printed an article, which I have translated. My English hasn’t deteriorated, it IS badly written, but the content is stunning nevertheless:
Internet Curse against Islam Critic...
The German Office for the Protection of the Constitution consider a curse at an Internet platform for Muslims as a license to kill. German judges don’t even want to see it as defamation.
How subtle will a supposed call for the murder of an Islam critic have to be so that German judges won’t even recognise it as a defamation of the target? The case, which the Higher Regional Court Oldenburg will have to settle within the next couple of weeks is a potential lecture about the limits of the freedom of opinion and speech.
Yavuz Özoguz from Delmenhorst [near Bremen] hosts one of the busiest Internet platforms for Muslims in Germany. He says that Muslim-Markt can boast 50,000 to 70,000 visitors per week. 2005 he had written a prayer in one of his Internet fora, which cursed the author and Islam-critic Hans-Peter Raddatz. The disputed lines go like this: “And if Mr. Raddatz is a hatemonger [literally: Hassprediger=preacher of hate] and liar, then the almighty creator may punish him for his crimes…” [I add the German text for clarity: “Und wenn Herr Raddatz ein Hassprediger und Lügner ist, dann möge der allmächtige Schöpfer ihn für seine Verbrechen bestrafen …”]
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Saturday, August 19, 2006
By Michael Djordjevic
With the fall of communism and emergence of America as the only world superpower, the hope for peace, freedom and progress was high. Nonetheless, in the twilight of the old order lurked a new global danger: fundamentalist Islam. This new challenge to world peace and stability is rooted in a cosmology older and stronger than ideologies of fascism or communism or ideas of the New World Order.The Balkans have historically been the key battlefield between Islam and European civilization since the battle at Kosovo, where the Ottoman Turks clashed with the Serbs in 1389, to the present. At its apex, the Islamic tide reached and was stopped at the gates of Vienna (1683). It was finally pushed out in the Balkan War of 1912, when the combined armies of Greece, Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria were stopped at the Gates of Istanbul (Constantinople) by the intervention of the great European powers of that period.Although not admitted in the capitals of the West, the real and the first clash with this revived expansionist force took place in the Balkans in the 1990s. In reality we have fought on the side of our enemies.As in Bosnia before, now in Kosovo, the West has again failed to deal with the basic and overarching Balkan problem — the Serbian Question. Simply, this issue originated from the fact that with the fall of Yugoslavia, nearly overnight one-third of the Serbs found themselves in a new sovereign state hastily recognized by the EU and then the United States. Due to years of experience of genocide and ethnic cleansing during WW II by the Croats, Bosnian and Albanian Muslims, the large Serbian minorities in these two countries demanded self-determination. This was denied as the West took the stand that "borders are inviolable." Yet now the Albanians in Kosovo are encouraged to violate the Serbian borders via self-determination, while the Bosnian Serbs in the entity of Republika Srpska are still denied the same right.Kosovo, a province in Serbia, is about 15 percent of her territory. Within only two generations (1929-1980) from 15 percent of Kosovo population, Albanians reached 80 percent; the Serbs declined from 60 percent to 18 percent in the same period. This is a clear-cut example of what open borders, a high birthrate and wrong politics can produce.After Serbia was bombed to submission in a "humanitarian" war in 1999, Kosovo was given to the United Nations for administration — with catastrophic results. Quickly, the province was methodically and ethically cleansed. It is now monoethnic. More than 150 Christian churches and old monasteries have been destroyed, while some 200 new mosques and a number of schools for the young were feverishly built by Wahhabi funds. Violent and corrupt, Kosovo has become a den of thieves, arm smugglers and white slavers and the key narcotics transfer point to Europe.Threatening violence, the Islamists demand independence from Serbia. America and Europe are seriously considering forcing Serbia to cede her land in contravention to all international norms and laws and U.N. Resolution 1244. This would be the second Moslem sovereign state created in the Balkans in one decade by the international community. As correctly asserted, "even as Western societies worry about the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, the international community's ill-conceived policies for Kosovo...may prove to be directly responsible for production of Europe's own Taliban."Independence for Kosovo will likely pave the tormenting road to "Greater Albania," thus assuring a permanent instability and turmoil in the Balkans. The idea of a "Greater Albania" is essentially a mono-ethnic nationalistic construct originated in 1878 by the Albanian League. To many Albanians, an independent and monoethnic Kosovo is nothing but a phase of the process leading to fulfillment of these nationalistic aspirations. Of course, changing the now existing borders of four sovereign states in the volatile Balkans is nothing short of creating conditions for permanent instability and new cycles of wars. These conflicts would readily and easily be exploited by outside parties, particularly terrorists and international criminal networks.So long as we fail to recognize Serbia's legitimate interests and continue to violate the moral norms and international legal system, the Kosovo problem cannot be solved. As Ambassador Jack Matlock correctly concluded in the New York Times in 1999: "Neither partition nor independence nor indefinite foreign occupation will win in the long run without the acquiescence of the Serbian people." As the Serbs have already waited five centuries to regain the cradle of their civilization and identity, they will certainly try to do so again, and in much shorter time.Michael Djordjevich, an American of Serbian origin, founded and served as the first president of the Serbian Unity Congress.
Text of report in English by independent internet news agency Kosova
11 August: Kosova [Kosovo]
Prime Minister Agim Ceku has welcomed the decision of the District Court in Gjilan to Gen Selim Krasniqi and other Kosova Liberation Army [UCK] members to be defended in freedom.Ceku voiced full confidence in the innocence of the former UCK and later on Kosova Protection Corps [TMK] members."This is a good thing for Kosova and I never stopped believing in their innocence," said Ceku.On the other hand, the UCK war associations evaluate this trial a politically motivated and directed by Belgrade."All this political war, conducted against the values of our people, has only one purpose: the denial of values," reads a statement released by the UCK war associations.UCK associations also called for the immediate release of all former UCK fighters which are being held in UNMIK [UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo] prisons.Ethnic Albanians Convicted of War CrimesAn ethnic Albanian rebel commander and two of his wartime associates were convicted Thursday of war crimes against fellow ethnic Albanians during Kosovo's war.A panel of international judges convicted and sentenced Selim Krasniqi and two other former rebel fighters to seven years in prison for detaining and beating fellow ethnic Albanians who allegedly collaborated with Serb authorities, the U.N.-run justice department said.The crimes were committed between June and July 1998, when former rebels organized and ran a detention center in the basement of a school building in the central Kosovo village of Drenovac.One defendant in the case was acquitted, charges against two others were dropped and one suspect was not apprehended.The 11-month trial was adjourned several times and a witness in the case was shot to death in a market in central Kosovo.The case was handled by U.N.-appointed international judges and prosecutors who deal with sensitive cases in the province. Most of the prosecution witnesses had their identities withheld for fear of retribution.Krasniqi, the most senior former fighter in the group, was arrested in 2004 by U.N. special police units and NATO-led peacekeepers. At the time, he was serving as regional commander of the Kosovo Protection Corps, a civil emergency unit created after the disbanding of the rebel Kosovo Liberation Army.Since Kosovo came under U.N. administration in 1999, local courts have tried several former ethnic Albanian rebels for war crimes allegedly committed against Serbs and fellow ethnic Albanians suspected of collaborating with the Serb regime.The war in 1998-99 pitted ethnic Albanian rebels against Serb forces loyal to the former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. It ended in mid-1999 after NATO air strikes forced the Serb military to pull out of Kosovo, leaving United Nations and NATO in control.
American Council for Kosovo
Friday, August 18, 2006
German police have ruled out blackmail as the reason why two bombs were left on trains on 31 July - and now believe it was a failed terror attack.
The bombs were in identical black cases on trains in Dortmund and Koblenz.
They had been timed to explode 10 minutes before the trains arrived, said federal crime chief Joerg Ziercke.
"We are now working on the basis that this was the work of a terrorist group... and was an attempt to kill a large number of people," he said.
Police want to trace two men seen on CCTV wheeling cases at Cologne station....
The devices consisted of gas canisters, alarm clocks, wires, batteries and a flammable liquid in soft drink bottles.
A handwritten note in Arabic, listing groceries, a telephone number in Lebanon and packets of starch labelled in Arabic and English, were also found.
The present technological, cultural and financial strength of Europe is a façade that conceals a deep underlying moral and demographic weakness. The symptoms of the malaise are apparent in the unprecedented demographic collapse and in the loss of a sense of place and history that go hand-in-hand with the expansion of the European Union.
The emerging transnational hyper-state is actively indoctrinating its subject-population into believing and accepting that the demographic shift in favor of Muslim aliens is actually a blessing that enriches the Old Continent’s culturally deprived and morally unsustainable societies. Europe is losing the ability to define and defend itself, to the benefit of unassimilable multitudes filled with contempt for the host-society.Many Muslims in Europe already consider themselves de facto autonomous, a community of believers opposed to the broader society of infidels. Jihadist networks now exist in every country west of the former Iron Curtain save Iceland. They are centered on mosques and Islamic centers often financed by Saudi money. Muslim population of Europe, which stands at some 20 million as of this writing, will double by 2025 and at that time it will account for a third of all live births in the “Old Europe” (the 15-nation core of the European Union).Most Muslims in Europe live in a parallel universe that has very little to do with the host country. Their mindset has nothing but contempt for the liberal concept of “tolerance” and “diversity,” and they possess a disdainful and hostile attitude to the host-society. Such hostility is clearly manifested in hard-core anti-Semitism – in its raw, unadulterated variety that is repugnant to most Europeans but regarded as normal, legitimate, and divinely ordained by most Muslims. But since the dictum of the multiculturalist ruling elite is that Islam is peaceful, tolerant, and as European as the Sistine Chapel, the truth must not be spoken.In 2002, the European Union initiated a study on anti-Semitism in its member-countries. When the report was completed in February 2003, however, the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) decided not to publish the 112-page study. Its finding that Muslims were major perpetrators of anti-Semitic acts in the EU was judged “inflammatory.” The EUMC board member for Denmark, for instance, said the study was “unsatisfactory” and that some members had felt anti-Islamic sentiment and that this should be addressed too. The Danish border member clearly ignored the fact that in the previous two years the EUMC had published three reports on anti-Islamic attitudes in Europe.Eventually another group, the Vienna-based Center for Research of Anti-Semitism, released the study which showed that there are “an increasing number of anti-Semitic attacks, committed frequently by young Arabs/Muslims in most EU member countries.” In the sample month (May 15-June 15, 2002), the study found that physical attacks on Jews and the desecration and destruction of synagogues were acts “often committed by young Muslim perpetrators.” Many of these attacks occurred either during or after pro-Palestinian demonstrations, which were also used by radical Islamists for hate speech and verbal abuse. France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK in particular, witnessed numerous physical attacks and insults directed against Jews and vandalism of Jewish institutions (synagogues, shops, cemeteries). In these countries, the violent attacks on Jews and/or synagogues were reported to be committed often by members of the Muslim-Arab minority, frequently youths.
That anti-Semitic offenders in some cases are drawn from Muslim minorities in Europe – whether they be radical Islamist groups or young males of North African descent – is certainly a new development for most [EU] Member States, one that offers reason for concern for European governments and also the great majority of its citizens.The European Union hated this, and the EUMC came up with a revised version of the suppressed Report the following year, this time with the transparent objective of shifting the blame for anti-Semitic incidents away from the main culprits. Beate Winkler, director of the EUMC, thus told the European Parliament in Strasbourg that the most common perpetrator “appears to be young, disaffected white European, often stimulated by extreme right wing groups.” Young Muslims were relegated to “a further source of antisemitism in some countries,” with “antisemitic groups on the extreme right” allegedly playing a part even in stirring up Muslim opinion.This oral summary by Ms. Winkler in fact contradicted the findings of the report she had just presented to the European Parliament. Furthermore, Victor Weitzel, co-author of the accompanying report on Jewish perceptions of anti-Semitism in the EU, complained that the EUMC exerted great pressure to play down the role of Islamic anti-Semitism in the attacks: “Everything is being tilted to ensure nice soft conclusions.”The term “Islamic anti-Semitism” may sound illogical as both Jews and Arabs are supposedly of the same or racially similar Semitic stock, but “anti-Semitism” was never meant to brand all Semitic peoples in the same category. It has always denoted, and was meant to denote, different types and degrees of animosity to the Jews. It has found a perfect fit in Islam, where scriptural odium is fully coupled with anti-Jewish attitudes on ethnic and geopolitical grounds. And yet the existence and implications of Islamic anti-Semitism are denied by Europe’s Islamophile elite class. The utopian character of the denial is anchored in the myth of an Islamic golden age of tolerance, “inclusive and cosmopolitan, cosmopolitan here meaning an ease with different cultures: still so rare and threatened a value in the new millennium as in centuries past.”The situational morality of the Western elite class demands that no phenomena be judged as such. They don’t treat “anti-Semitism” as a function of objective behavior but in accordance with the place of the actor within the ideological system. In this scheme of things, anti-Semitism — including hard-core Holocaust denial — is a grave sin, except when practiced by a protected group sanctified by its anti-Western otherness, i.e. by Muslim immigrants and their Western-born offspring.The roots of this scandal may be traced to the E.U. Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation N° 1162 (19 September 1991) on “the contribution of the Islamic civilization to European culture.” A decade later, in its General policy recommendation n° 5: Combating intolerance and discrimination against Muslims, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance emphasized “Islam’s positive contribution to the continuing development of European societies, of which it is an integral part.” It expressed concern “at signs that religious intolerance towards Islam” and expressed strong regret “that Islam is sometimes portrayed inaccurately [as] a threat.” The Commission warned that “this prejudice may manifest itself in different guises, in particular through negative general attitudes.” It then came to the point, and called on the E.U. member states to adopt measures that would effectively outlaw any serious debate about Islam and introduce pro-Muslim “affirmative action” that would far exceed some of the worst excesses of similar programs in the United States.E.U. Commission Against Racism And Intolerance: recommendations to member states:
• ensure that Muslim communities are not discriminated against as to the circumstances in which they organize and practice their religion;
• impose sanctions in cases of discrimination on grounds of religion;
• remove “unnecessary legal or administrative obstacles to the construction of sufficient numbers of appropriate places of worship for the practice of Islam”;
• ensure that public institutions make provision in their everyday practice for cultural and other requirements of the Muslim community;
• prevent discrimination on religious grounds regarding access to citizenship;
• eliminate any discrimination on grounds religion in access to education;
• legislate against religious discrimination in employment and at the workplace;
• encourage employers to devise and implement “codes of conduct” to combat religious discrimination and “to work towards the goal of workplaces representative of the diversity of the society in question” (i.e. apply affirmative action for Muslims);
• prevent Muslims’ “discrimination connected with social exclusion”;
• pay special attention to the situation of Muslim women who may suffer both from discrimination against women in general and that against Muslims;
• modify curricula to prevent “distorted interpretations of religious and cultural history” and “portrayal of Islam on perceptions of hostility and menace”;
• ensure that religious instruction in schools respects cultural pluralism and make provision for teacher training to this effect;
• interact with local Muslim communities to facilitate their selection of Imams;
• raise awareness among the population of those areas where particular care is needed to avoid social and cultural conflict;
• encourage debate in the media on the image which they convey of Islam and on their responsibility to avoid perpetuating prejudice and bias;
• provide for the monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of all measures to combat intolerance and discrimination against Muslims.The diligence with which individual E.U. member countries translate this appalling list into national legislation, and the instances of “Islamophobia” all over the Union, are being tracked by the Vienna-based European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia – the same institution that has doctored its own data on anti-Semitism – and summarized in its reports such as Islamophobia in the Member States of the European Union (May 2002).In recent years, a notable trend in the Monitoring Center’s documents is to include “anti-Semitism and Islamophobia” under the same heading, with the definition of “Islamophobia” so broad as to preclude any possibility of meaningful discussion of Islam. The implication that Islamophobia thus defined and anti-Semitism are equally repulsive and deserving of similar legal sanction is a regular feature of the EU race relations industry output. It also routinely refers to “institutional Islamophobia” as an inherent social and cultural sickness of most European societies that needs to be rooted out by education, re-education, and legislation.Such posture plays right into the hands of Islamic activists, the European Union’s Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia and a host of similar governmental bodies. Also, NGOs all over the EU have a symbiotic relationship with the jihadist fifth column. The rampant insanity emanating from Brussels grows more unrestrained with each new attack, resulting in calls for more understanding of the “underlying causes” of terrorism (racism, Iraq, poverty etc.) and the insistence on greater inclusiveness and more stringent anti-Islamophobic legislation.An ideological commitment to neoliberal globalization has turned multiculturalism and effectively open-ended Third World (overwhelmingly Muslim) immigration into two inviolable Euro-givens. The result is the inherent inability of Brussels to defend Europe from the threat of a resurgent and aggressive Islam, and to prevent the resurgence of anti-Semitism within its boundaries. Cynically defeatist, self-absorbed and unaccountable to anyone but their own corrupt class, the Eurocrats are just as bad as jihad’s fellow-travelers; they are its active abettors and facilitators.
Serge Trifkovic received his PhD from the University of Southampton in England and pursued postdoctoral research at the Hoover Institution at Stanford. His past journalistic outlets have included the BBC World Service, the Voice of America, CNN International, MSNBC, U.S. News & World Report, The Washington Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Times of London, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He is foreign affairs editor of Chronicles.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
By Michael Djordjevich
Together with the Middle East, the border lands of southeast Europe known as the Balkans have been a region of the world where seminal events and trends in human history have taken place. It has been called many names, including "the powder keg of Europe" or "the graveyard of empires." The conflicts in the region have also been a mirror of history.Long before Samuel Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations," in the period between the 14th and 19th centuries, the incessant ebb and flow in the conflict between Islam and the West took place in the Balkans. Early in the 20th century, Serbian gun shots in Sarajevo ushered in World War I, Communism and Nazism. At the end of the century, Bosnian Muslim fundamentalists fired gun shots in Sarajevo, killing several Christian Serbs at a wedding party and began a bloody war in Bosnia among Christian Serbs and Croats and Muslims. This war may have well reflected in earnest the renewed clash of civilizations.The Berlin Wall fell at the end of 1989. The Soviet Union imploded and the end of Communism as a global force followed. Balkan countries joined the trend. However, the pivotal and largest state, Yugoslavia, rapidly descended into a bloody civil-religious war and dissolution. This decade-long war at the end of 20th century mirrored a number of important political, legal, religious and geopolitical precedents for the post-Communist world. Of particular significance are those involving America, the European Union and the United Nations.At first, the United States favored the preservation of Yugoslavia, or at least its peaceful and orderly dissolution. Changing this position abruptly, America did not oppose Germany's drive for the dismemberment of Yugoslavia and then sided with Islamists in Bosnia. Secretary of State James Baker said "we have no dog in this fight" -- but in the end America was the top dog in the fight.The international community's engagement in the Balkans have so far been a textbook illustration of the dangers of contradictory policies, chronic indecisions, confusion and ignorance about historical forces in play, double standards and flawed precedents. America was not prepared for the peace and the role of the only superpower in the world. Our leadership has failed in this task so far.Apparently, not much has been learned from this experience. We could replace the location, inserting Iraq instead of the Balkans, and the aforementioned assessment would be similar today.The Balkan mirror also shows the impotence and irrelevance of the United Nations. Any country and any people would be foolhardy to place their destiny in the hands of this inept institution. With America's complicity, the United Nations did nothing when its embargo on arms shipments was violated by Iran sending planeloads of arms to Bosnian Muslims. Subsequently, when veteran jihadists came to the country to fight Serbs, the West was also supportive.The Serbian province of Kosovo has been ethnically cleansed from Serbs, Roma and other non-Albanians while 150 churches and many medieval monasteries have been destroyed during 10 years of U.N. governance.The mirror showed the duplicitous methods by which world media influenced world opinion. With few exceptions, it has abused its power and professional responsibility, failing to heed Ed Murrow's admonition to examine all sides of a story and aim to elucidate, not advocate. It did the latter and in general continues to advocate an Islamic agenda in Bosnia and Kosovo.The Balkan realities also show a great adaptability of Islamists to present a worldly, democratic face. Readily accepted by the West, Bosnian leader and fundamentalist Islamist Alija Izetbegovic was tolerated and praised as a democrat. Nevertheless, in his book "The Islamic Declaration" Izetbegovic asserted absolute validity of dominance of Islam: "There can be neither peace nor coexistence between Islamic religion and non-Islamic social and political institutions," he wrote. Later in the war, Mr. Izetbegovic was influenced and financially and militarily supported by fundamentalist Islamists (including Osama bin Laden). Similarly, some Kosovo leaders, previously called terrorists and thugs by U.S. special envoy Robert Gelbard, are now afforded respect in the United Nations and elsewhere.The ugliest and most dangerous reflection in the mirror is that of double-standards. As we are facing challenges and dangers of radical Islam and terrorism worldwide, let's not dismiss the Balkan experience. Our policies must contain moral dimensions. International agreements, legal precedents and evenhanded treatment of warring people were not followed in the Yugoslav tragedy. If we are to get out of the Middle East quagmire we must change these policies. Failing to realize that by endeavoring to resolve complex problems by double standards, we more often than not double them in the end.In addition, the Balkan Mirror has provided important and troubling reflections upon Islam and the new world (dis)order.Michael Djordjevich, an American of Serbian origin, founded and was the first president of the Serbian Unity Congress.
American Council for Kosovo
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Jay Leno: As I'm sure you've heard by now, the airlines are saying no more hair gels, shampoos, make-up or hair spray allowed in carry-on bags. Who's attacking us? Drag queens? ... They also said men cannot carry on shaving cream. Why? When was the last time you saw an Islamic militant guy with a can of shaving cream? ... On some flights the only thing airlines are letting you take on are a passport and cash. The passport, of course, for identification and the cash so they can sell you a bottle of water for $20. ... The terrorists called the liquid potion they were making, "Mother of Satan." Which is what Mel Gibson now calls tequila. ... See, that offends me, "Mother of Satan." Why did they have to bring Satan's mother into this? You can't blame the mom for the way the kids turned out. I'm sure Mrs. Satan did the best she could. ... Officials say the terrorists targeted United, American and Continental airlines. You know what that means. Even terrorists won't fly Southwest. It's just too cramped. There's no legroom. ... British authorities said they were able to detect the terrorist plot using a surveillance program that The New York Times hadn't got around to exposing yet. ... Now they're saying all this terrorist activity could lead to higher oil prices. When asked why, the oil companies said, "Cause everything leads to higher oil prices." ... In fact, the price of crude oil could hit 80 dollars a barrel. That's beyond crude. That's obscene. ... To give you an idea how expensive gas is getting, in Pennsylvania Amish country there has been a rash of horse and buggy jackings.
By Nathan Burchfiel
A prominent Serbian Orthodox bishop Thursday said the U.S. was allowing Islamic extremists to wage war on Christians in Kosovo by deciding not to oppose Kosovo's independence.Kosovo is an autonomous province in Serbia with a population of about 2 million, most who are ethnic Albanian and Muslim. It is currently administered by the United Nations Interim Administrative Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), but negotiations which began this year are expected to eventually result in independence for the province.However, Dr. Artemije Radosavljevic on Thursday issued a warning about the prospect of and independent Kosovo."At a time when America is leading the free world in a global struggle against jihad terror, Kosovo-Metohija must not continue to be an exception, where for reasons we do not understand, American officials have taken the side of the criminals and jihadists," Artemije said during a news conference in Washington, D.C.Artemije, the bishop of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija, has traveled to the United States on several occasions to meet with government officials and urge them to oppose independence for Kosovo.He told reporters that the region has become a "black hole of corruption and crime" since it became a protectorate of the United Nations in 1999, following NATO bombings that were intended to encourage then-Serbian President Slobodan Milosovic to withdraw his forces from Kosovo.Since 1999, the Kosovar Albanians have targeted Serbian Orthodox Christians, according to Artemije, allegedly burning down more than 150 churches, driving more than 220,000 Christians from the region and killing thousands more.Granting Kosovo independence from Serbia would make Serbian Christians more vulnerable to violence from the region's Muslim majority."Detaching Kosovo from democratic Serbia," Artemije said, "would mean a virtual sentence of extinction for my people in the province and create a rogue state in which the terrorists are the government."He added that there have been thousands of Christians captured and killed by Muslim extremists, including numerous videotaped beheadings. "Why are jihad beheadings an outrage in the rest of the world, but not when they're happening in Kosovo to Christian Serbs?" Artemije asked.Artemije said he has had several meetings with Bush administration officials and members of Congress during his current visit, but a spokesman declined to name the individuals with whom the bishop met. Artemije told reporters that his current trip to the U.S. has been more successful than the one he took in February of this year."There certainly has been movement forward judging by the number of meetings, the quality of meetings, the atmosphere in which the talks where held and the obvious presence of a desire to help," he said.In an October 2005 report titled: "Why Independence for Kosovo?" prepared by Muhamedin Kullashi and Besnik Pula - intellectuals from the city of Prishtina -- they argued that independence is the "only historically justified and politically viable solution that will guarantee peace, stability and development in the Balkans.""Placing sovereignty in Prishtina's hands will finally enable Kosovo's integration into regional, European and global institutions, and allow its emergence from the institutional, political and diplomatic isolation imposed by the international administration of UNMIK, as a result of the unresolved status," they wrote.Muhamedin and Besnik also claimed that "the key generator of conflict in Kosovo was Serbia's aggressive and repressive policy against the local Albanian population, and not any hatred or lack of trust between ethnic communities.""With its aggression and campaign of ethnic cleansing in 1999, Serbia lost any legitimacy to rule over Kosovo in any shape or form," they wrote.U.S. State Department spokesman Terry Davidson told Cybercast News Service that the United States has "not said explicitly that we're for independence or against independence. It just has to be something that takes the various interests into account and protects the minority populations as well."He said further information could be found in the remarks that Ambassador Frank Wisner, the U.S. representative to the Kosovo Status Talks, made during interviews with Voice of America radio on June 23."The issue today is to put in place the structure of a Kosovo that will be stable," Wisner said last month, one that "will provide the basis of a functioning society that can evolve into a full partner in a greater European and Western community."Wisner told Voice of America that, "Whatever the future will be in terms of final status -- whether Kosovo will be independent or something else -- Kosovo Serbs are going to need protections that will guarantee them their full rights."He also declined to offer an opinion on whether Kosovo should be granted independence from Serbia, but said the region's final status would be addressed "during 2006."
American Council for Kosovo
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
By James Morrison
Christian leaders from Kosovo today hope to focus attention on attacks against Serbs by extremists in the Muslim-controlled province of the former Yugoslavia.Bishop Artemije of Kosovo and Metohija and Rada Trajkovic and Dragan Velic of the Serbian National Council will hold a 10 a.m. press conference at the National Press Club to expose the "unremitting violence from jihad terrorist and criminal elements against the Christian Serb population," said Darren Spinck of the American Council for Kosovo, which announced the event yesterday.Metohija refers to the Orthodox Church-owned land within Kosovo."Kosovo's black hole of corruption and organized crime — including trafficking in drugs, weapons and slaves — will lead to the extinction of Kosovo's Christian Serbs if America and Europe allow Kosovo independence," he said.The United Nations is mediating talks between representatives of Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority who are demanding independence for the province and leaders of the Serbian government, which opposes independence but has had no control over Kosovo since the United Nations took responsibility for the region after the civil wars of the 1990s.
American Council for Kosovo
Since October last year 230 attacks against Serbs and other non-Albanians have been committed in Kosovo. This is what the Coordination Center for Kosovo announced cited by Serbian news agency TANJUG.3 people have been killed and 25 have been wounded in the attacks. 21 of the attacks were committed with a firearm. In 32 of the cases the perpetrators used explosive devices and in other 32 cases they threw stones at people, houses and cars. Meanwhile, there were also 9 physical attacks, 113 thefts and 3 attacks against religious sites.
source: FOCUS News Agency
The largest heroin depot is in Kosovo, says Dusan Bogosavlevic, director of the Anti-drugs department with the Serbian Office for Combating Organized Crime, Blic newspaper reports. Bogosavlevic explained that there were three different roads for drugs."Cocaine from South America reaches two destinations in Europe – Spain and Portugese Island. Then it is transferred to Western European countries", he explained. In his words cocaine from Spain arrives in Serbia and 20% of it remains there, while the rest 80% goes to Italy, Germany, etc.Bogosavlevic stresses that there were two ways for distribution of heroin – one from Afghanistan through Turkey, and the other - from Afghanistan through the countries from the former Soviet Union to Western Europe. Marihuana is the third kind of drugs that is distributed on Serbian market from Albania through Skadarsko Lake and Montenegro.
American Council for Kosovo
Monday, August 14, 2006
Serbia's president said Sunday that Serbs in Kosovo live in fear, despite promises from U.N. authorities and ethnic Albanian leaders to protect their rights as a minority in the troubled province.President Boris Tadic issued a statement to mark the third anniversary of an attack on Serb teenagers in Kosovo, when gunmen killed two and wounded four while the teens were swimming in a river in the western village of Gorazdevac."Serbs live in constant fear for their lives and the lives of their families," Tadic said. "The international community must find the perpetrators of this crime and provide security for all."He accused international officials in Kosovo and the local authorities of "doing nothing to solve the murder of the children."Kosovo, with a population of 2 million, is a province of Serbia, but it has been an international protectorate since 1999. The majority ethnic Albanians want independence from Serbia, but Belgrade opposes it. Kosovo's final status will be decided by ongoing U.N.-brokered talks, which began earlier this year.The Serbs in Kosovo - about 100,000 of them remained after Serbia lost control of the province after the 1999 U.S.-led NATO bombing - live in isolated enclaves, without freedom of movement and fearing attacks from extremist ethnic Albanians.Ethnic Albanian leaders recently sought to dispel Serb fears and promise them more rights, but have been unable to curb attacks by extremists who want to drive the remaining Serbs from Kosovo and who seek revenge for the brutal Serb attacks during the 1998-99 Kosovo War.Tadic urged ethnic Albanian leaders to "do something against extremists and criminals in their ranks."There was no immediate comment from Kosovo's leaders.
American Council for Kosovo
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Nobel Prize-winning German writer Guenter Grass, author of the great anti-Nazi novel The Tin Drum, has admitted serving in the Waffen-SS.
He told a German newspaper he had been recruited at the age of 17 into an SS tank division and served in Dresden.
Previously it was only known he had served as a soldier and was wounded and taken prisoner by US forces.
Speaking before the publication of his war memoirs, he said his silence over the years had "weighed" upon him.
"My silence over all these years is one of the reasons I wrote this book [Peeling Onions]," he told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview.
"It had to come out, finally."
Grass, who was born in 1927, is widely admired as a novelist whose books frequently revisit the war years and is also known as an outspoken peace activist.
Few details of the author's service were given other than that he had served in the Waffen SS Frundsberg Panzer Division after failing to get a posting in the submarine service.
The SS, which began as a private bodyguard for Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, grew into a force nearly one million strong and both acted as an elite fighting force and ran death camps in which millions of people were murdered.
The Waffen-SS was the combat section of the organization and extended to 38 divisions. It was declared part of a criminal organisation at the Nuremberg Nazi trials after the war.
"At the time" he had not felt ashamed to be a member, he said but he added: "Later this feeling of shame burdened me."
"For me... the Waffen-SS was nothing frightful but rather an elite unit that they sent where things were hot and which, as people said about it, had the heaviest losses," he said.
"It happened as it did to many of my age. We were in the labour service and all at once, a year later, the call-up notice lay on the table. And only when I got to Dresden did I learn it was the Waffen-SS."
Grass' memoir of his wartime youth is due to be released in September.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Friday, August 11, 2006
11 August 1999
Use this version to print
Although many German-speaking artists took cover during the war in Kosovo, the Austrian writer Peter Handke stood out by sharply criticising NATO's actions from the very beginning as criminal.
"Morality is the new word for despotism", is how he countered all those—such as writers Günter Grass (ex Waffen-SS) , Stefan Heym, Hans Magnus Enzenburger; the cabaret artist Ellen Tiedtke, or Wolfgang Niedekken, the lead singer of the German rock group BAP—who either supported the bombing for moral reasons, kept quiet, or who argued for UN intervention (Handke's interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung, May 15, 1999).
"Pictures and words can be used to create the greatest deception, and earn great amounts of money," is what he said elsewhere about official media reports of mass slaughter being carried out by the Serbs. "No one knows what is going on in Kosovo, because no one can get in.... The refugees are all saying the same things. Why should that make it more credible?" 
Handke turned the tables on the official justifications for the bombings, saying NATO had not prevented a new Auschwitz, but had rather created one. "In those days, it was gas chambers and shooting squads, today it is computerised killers from 15,000 feet." 
Just two days after the first bombs had fallen, Handke issued his first open letter, which spoke of "Green slaughterers".  He demanded that the "German Minister of Death" (Defence Minister Rudolf Scharping), who just months before had sent him birthday wishes, "should return my books to me."  Handke attacked the sociologist and philosopher Jürgen Habermas for lending the war his moral support. He undertook several short journeys to Serbia, and returned the Büchner Prize (the highest award for a German-language author) that he had been awarded in 1973.
The response of the media was to shower him with abuse. It was not only German-speaking colleagues who turned their backs on him. "There are intellectuals who, after hearing his utterances about the war in Yugoslavia, have sworn never to pick up another of his books", wrote Susan Sonntag in New York. The French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut saw in Handke an "ideological monster", whose utterances were based on a "Germanic guilty conscience" and the "conviction that he was an invulnerable genius".
This campaign reached a climax when, in mid-May, the actress Marie Colbin spoke out in an open letter. She told of private arguments, which apparently became violent, from an earlier time when she lived with Handke, with the aim of portraying him as a violent, power-hungry man, and a "vain author ... who enjoyed depicting himself publicly as the 'voice in the wilderness'.” She drew the conclusion that he was "an ideologue of modern Balkan fascism". 
The Berliner Zeitung pointed to Handke's Olympian outlook and naiveté, criticising the literary work of this internationally recognised author as "narcissistically wrapped up in itself", as the attempt to work on a "poetic parallel universe", which he had "increasingly sought to construct as an impenetrable castle against the real world".  The Swiss writer Laederach called Handke's statements on the war in Kosovo a case of "advanced mental fog". The German-Swiss PEN Centre saw in him the "blind inhabitant of an ivory tower", whose "pro-Serbian derailment", as the PEN general secretary put it in the Berliner Zeitung, reveals a "particularly unpalatable cynicism". 
There is, however, nothing in Handke's public statements to indicate that he is a supporter of the Serbian nationalist Slobodan Milosovic, or his politics. Anyone who has followed his writings over recent years can see this clearly. His latest play, about the war in Yugoslavia— Die Fahrt im Einbaum oder Das Stück zum Film vom Krieg ( Journey in a canoe, or the play about the film of the war)—which premiered in June at the Vienna Burgtheater, likewise contains no trace of pro-Serbian sentiment.
Handke told the Austrian magazine News that Milosevic was the "country's elected president" and had to "defend his country's territory". He added, "Anyone in his position in the last ten years would have acted the same way he did. He was left no choice." 
In the interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung quoted above, he said clearly, "I am with the Serbian people, not Milosevic. Anyone who is not a pronounced anti-Serb is despised as being 'pro-Serb'. Whoever mentions Milosevic's name without immediately adding 'slaughterer', 'Balkan Hitler', 'God protect us', is accused of taking sides with Milosovic.” He added, polemically, that "to be called pro-Serb today is an honour."
A few years before, Handke had argued against the demonisation of the Serbs in the Bosnian war. In autumn 1995 he travelled to the "land of so-called aggressors" because all the newspaper articles had unleashed an urge to "look behind the mirror".
"Who can really tell,” he wrote, “what such a thing is like, if one has only been shown a picture?"  When the Süddeutsche Zeitung in January 1996 published the report of his visit, “Justice for Serbia”, he was violently attacked in the media and accused of having a "pro-Serbian" attitude.
The opposite was the case. Anyone who bothered to read his text carefully could not fail but notice that even in his dispute with the young French writer Patrick Besson, Handke expressed concern that in rejecting any generalised media prejudice against Serbs, one had to avoid going over to the opposite extreme, an equally generalised "defence of the Serbs". Such arguments "contained the danger of expressing something which could be likened to the glorification of the Soviet system by certain visitors from the West in the 1930s." 
One reason for the unceasing vilification of Handke is plain to see. Comparing NATO's intervention with that of the Nazis is both a provocation and a withering criticism of all those anti-fascists from the 1968 generation whose moral appeals for decades stressed that war must never again be permitted from German soil. Now, having themselves called for war, they had to conjure up a second Hitler to justify their about-face.
There may, however, be another, more important consideration. Handke has rejected the prevailing opinion in Europe (and especially in Germany) that supports, in the name of national self-determination, the formation of numerous petty states in the Balkans. He has called this policy "absolutely childish”, according to one German Internet newspaper which indignantly quoted Handke's views on the “liberation struggle of the Kosovo Albanians”.  Is this perhaps why Handke has been labeled “pro-Serb”?
Handke clearly sees nothing positive in the division of the Balkans. In 1991, in his book Abshied des Träumers vom Neunten Land ( The Dreamer's Farewell from the Ninth Land), he spoke against the separation of Slovenia from Yugoslavia.
In the account of his travels, entitled Justice for Serbia, to which his critics continually return, his regret over the dissolution of Yugoslavia is evident. In the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Handke expressed his sorrow over the "tragic failure" of what he called "reform-communism" in Yugoslavia. 
His book ends with an extract from the suicide note of a former Tito partisan who, in desperation, killed himself in 1992. "The betrayal, the decline and chaos of our country, the difficult situation into which our people have been thrown, the war ... in Bosnia Herzogovina, the extermination of the Serbian people and my own illness have made my further life senseless."  About his wife, who was Handke's host, he wrote: "Until the end of her life, she would remain a thoroughly convinced Yugoslavian—not Serbian—communist ... even today this is the only possibility she sees for the south Slav people. Before the German invasion in 1941, under the monarchy, there were a few who owned everything. Next to them was only howling poverty. And now, in this special Serbian state—where the powers that be are 'traitors', as in the other new states—this is repeated, with avaricious war profiteers alongside of half-frozen have-nothings." 
As Handke writes in his conclusion, Justice for Sebia is not only directed at a German-reading audience, but is "also for those in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia".  Handke wants to remind the people of the former Yugoslavia that they have a common past. To this end, he is not so concerned with the current theatres of war. He calls to mind unspectacular, inconspicuous, everyday events shared by the various peoples—events which previously would not have been given a second thought.
For example, he recalls how, early in summer, swimmers would swim backwards and forwards between the Bosnian bank and the Serbian; that many people had Muslim friends; how cosmetics from Slovenia were popular, as was Bosnian fruit and vegetables that were shipped over the Drina; that at one time, the buses used to go from Bajina Basta to Tuzla and Srebrenica, and this was nothing special; in contrast to today, it was not unusual to see a car from Skopje/Macedonia parked on the street.
The reader is given an impression of how natural it was that the various languages and dialects existed alongside each other in the Balkans, and how this unconsciously penetrated everyday life—until today. When Sladko, Handke's Serbian travel companion from Germany, visited his parents' village, “despite straining to listen, I suddenly understood nothing—were they even speaking Serbian? No, the family had naturally started speaking Romanian, the conversational and private language of most villagers. Porodin was renowned as such a linguistic island. But did they even consider themselves to be Serbs? 'Of course — what else?'" 
"Why had there been such massive slaughter?" Handke asked. "Who were the aggressors? Were those who provoked a war the same as those who started it? And what did 'starting it' mean?" 
In contrast to the official media reports in Western Europe, he was unable to discover any "Serbian paranoia". He suggested that it was not present on the territory where "three ethnic peoples ... intermingled, not simply in the 'multi-cultural' capital, but rather from village to village, and in the villages themselves, even from house to shack, living side-by-side and in between one another..." He concluded that "legendary grains of sand... were blown up and became as big as rocks" thrown in the anger of war. That happened in "our darkrooms". 
"How could this be compared to any violent dreams of 'Greater Serbia'?" he asked.
"In the end, wasn't it rather a 'Greater Croatia' that proved to be something more real, or more effective, or more massively determined and conclusive, than the illusory grains of sand of Serbian legend, that nowhere and never became a unified concept of power and policy?”
In biting words, he wrote of the new independence of the Slovenian state: "Now... I arrived at the Hotel 'Zlatorog' ... at the valley's end, everything arranged for German speakers, and in the entrance the framed photos of Tito's visit had been removed—not a pity really—and replaced with those of Willy Brandt.... On state television—almost nothing other than German and Austrian channels—over and over again a foreign trade or economic delegation was having native folk songs sung to them. Then the Slovenian President would enter the scene. Wasn't he once a capable and proud functionary? But now he behaves like a waiter, almost like a lackey, who serves up his country to the foreigners who visit, as if he wanted to satisfy every wish of a German employer or customer: the Slovenians aren't this or that, but rather a 'hard working and willing Alpen people'." The first question that Handke heard a customer in the new supermarket ask, was: "Has the Bild [German newspaper] arrived?" 
On his journey in April of this year, Handke lashed out against "the fat German, courtly mendacious French and expansionist American" language of the negotiations, which he followed on the hotel television, and the logic of the NATO attack, "which could bomb both a corn field and a chicken coop, because corn, chicken and eggs could nourish an enemy soldier".
He mused: "It's their own fault? The guilty, isn't it the people of this land themselves.... What does the country say? The country says absolutely nothing, it only becomes quieter, much quieter, and thereby doesn't say anything—which is more enduring. It means: no, we're not to blame." 
Last year, the Austrian cultural journalist Sigfrid Löffler delivered a speech to the Goethe Institute in Montevideo entitled “Peter Handke and the controversy over his text , Justice for Serbia.” She supported Handke and traced the origins of the incessant, malicious press attacks back to a fundamental question that Handke had provoked: "Who will really do justice to the war in Yugoslavia?"
"The storm of disapproval that arose in the press following the publication of Justice for Serbia ... can only be understood if one keeps in mind the really audacious provocation that the poet was undertaking, legitimised by nothing other than the artist's sheer self will. The poet is not only seeking to criticise the predominant media practices and place a question mark over them. He wants to counterpose his poetic experience, his poet's eye, to the picture of the Serbs that the media paints world-wide. Against the superior power of media opinions about this war, he counters with his poetic voice. A single individual opposes the world's entire press: the poet, in and for himself. And he has the nerve to pose the question anew: Which side bears the guilt for the Yugoslavian war of secession?" 
Handke declares that the majority of war journalists "confuse their role as journalist with that of judge, or even demagogue, and ... are just as nasty as the dogs of war on the battlefield." Their words are kept "on the taut leash they are given." Instead of research into the origins [of the war], what counts is only "the sale of naked, randy, market-oriented facts, or bogus facts". 
For Handke, the truth about the war is not one-dimensional, and does not run in a straight line, as the media would have us believe. "The problem—is it only mine?—is more complicated, complicated by many levels of reality, or degrees, and in trying to clarify it, I am aiming at something quite thoroughly real, in which all of the swirling threads of reality enable some sort of context to be vaguely grasped." 
The two film directors in Handke's Journey in a Canoe also experience this. In the end, they abandon their joint film project regarding the war in Yugoslavia. They find the events on the ground too confusing and alien to make a simply drawn story that would move the public, using the tried and tested formula, as they had originally intended, where everything "unfolds nicely according to plan".
At one time, students in Berlin (before they later became writers, lawyers and politicians) occupied the media headquarters of Axel Springer, publisher of the gutter newspaper Bild, in protest "against total manipulation". That was in 1968. Today they look back at their fight against the "power of the media" with some nostalgia, but also with mounting incomprehension. For today they are, above all, more tolerant.
Handke clearly does not belong to this group. He goes his own way, critical and unimpressed by the prevailing opinions. The high standards he has set himself as a "traveller in the cause of truth"—as a journalist from the Berliner Zeitung condescendingly remarked—thereby throwing his international authority as an artist into the balance, deserves respect.
The fact that he presently provides the portrait of an isolated fighter underscores the rapid right-wing development of the intellectual and political milieu from which Handke himself comes, and which in past times brought forth such critical spirits as Jürgen Habermas, Stefan Heym and Gunther Grass. The accusation that he has assumed the role of the "voice in the wilderness" out of pride or to seek publicity is levelled against Handke only because, in reality, the writer is holding the fort alone.
2. SZ 15. May 1999, interview3. Online-Archiv Munzinger, Peter Handke p. 54. SZ 15. May 1999, interview5. Tiroler Tageszeitung Online 21. May 1999,
6. Berliner Zeitung, 3 April 19997. Berliner Zeitung, 31 March 19998. Vienna Online, http://www.vienna.at/pubs/news/loka
9. “Gerechtigkeit für Serbien”(Part 1), SZ 05. January 1996, culture pp. 1, 210. Ebenda, P. 311. Burgenland-Online, see Note 1.12. SZ 15. May 1999, interview13. “Gerechtigkeit für Serbien” (part 2), SZ 13. January 1996, culture p. 414. Ebenda p. 315. Ebenda p. 416. Ebenda p. 117. “Gerechtigkeit für Serbien” (part 1), p. 218. Ebenda, pp. 3-419. Ebenda, p. 420. “Gerechtigkeit für Serbien” (part 2), p. 321. “Der Krieg ist das Gebiet des Zufalls” SZ 05. June 199922. Sigrid Löffler “Peter Handke und die Kontroverse um seine Streitschrift ‚Gerechtigkeit für Serbien” unter http://www.goethe.de/hs/mot/vortra//loef-1d.htm23. “Gerechtigkeit für Serbien” (part 2) p. 4; (part 1) p. 224. “Gerechtigkeit für Serbien” (part 1) p. 2
See Also:After the Slaughter: Political Lessons of the Balkan War[14 June 1999]
Bestiality, humanity and servilityHow Jürgen Habermas defends the Balkan war
[5 June 1999]
Playwright Harold Pinter presents a powerful
case in opposition to NATO bombardment of Serbia[
7 May 1999]