After my article exposing the farce of our Kosovo mission ran in American Legion Magazine last month, I heard from a soldier in Kosovo who was incredulous that someone was actually and finally talking about the region. I proceeded to publish two letters from him in this space, about his experiences and observations there, some of which confirm the free run that jihadists have in Kosovo, the fact that Albanians are being radicalized, and the notion that we should not have intervened in Kosovo as we did. Only there since November, the National Guard soldier stopped short of confirming the ethnic cleansing and slow genocide of Kosovo’s Christians that I’ve described in my articles.
Unfortunately for the deniers, the facts are also now chronicled in a book by a member of the international mission in Kosovo, entitled Hiding Genocide in Kosovo—a Crime Against God and Humanity.
But a National Guard soldier named Nicki Fellenzer, who runs a blog and also read the Legion article, found the piece to be at odds with her experiences in Kosovo. She (along with fellow military blogger Brad Staggs), wrote that my commentary was “filled with wild accusations, inaccuracies, distortions and downright lies that serve only to hurt our peacekeeping mission in Kosovo and shed a negative light on the Soldiers who are carrying out said mission…We're disappointed in [Julia Gorin]...for holding [her] agenda as more important than the troops who are sworn to protect [her] freedom to promote it.”
In her attempted deconstruction of my argument and unnamed agenda, Fellenzer made the fantastical claim that the KLA no longer exists (something that causes Albanians to erupt in laughter when they hear it) while dutifully recording some standard written quotes from military bureaucrats about the goodness of the U.S. mission in Kosovo. She also cited in-house intelligence analysts at Camp Bondsteel where she’s based as saying that the destruction of 150 churches and monasteries since 1999 is vandalism and not ethnically motivated.
Anyone who has even the first clue about Kosovo knows the diminishment that the administrative and military internationals in Kosovo have been practicing since 1999, to make things look not nearly as disastrous as they are, so that we can move toward Kosovo independence and wash our hands of the ethnically pure, narcoterrorist mafia-state we’ve helped create.
Upon seeing the press release of a blog post, the National Guard soldier whose letters I published explained that “the person who wrote that response [to your article] barely goes outside the wire [of Camp Bondsteel]…I'd like to know how many times she's pulled an 8 to 16 hour patrol, a 36 hour LRP/LRS (long-range patrol or long range surveillance).”
Someone posted two articles on Fellenzer’s blog in response to her press release, along with my extensively documented American Thinker article. One would expect that the mountain of evidence contained in that body of work might have inspired Ms. Fellenzer to give some measured consideration to the possibility that the truth is at least somewhere in between her and my assessments. Instead, I soon learned that the identity of my troop (whose published letter was one of the three articles that had been posted), had been found out and he was in “some deep s--t”, as he wrote me in our final communication.
He was promptly labeled a “stressed” soldier, diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and his perceptions were deemed to be clouded by past abuse and a recent death in the family (both of which he had shared with me and are irrelevant to the realities he observed on the ground). Fellenzer’s update was as follows:
The Battalion Commander of the Soldier in question had a conversation with the troop upon seeing this letter. According to the conversation account, the Soldier is currently in combat stress counseling--not because of anything he has encountered here, but because of problems back home. "I believe he's a good troop," writes the Battalion Commander, "but was manipulated by Gorin while he is under tremendous amount of stress due to personal tragedy at home"...
And third, he's quite obviously angry and embittered. According to the Soldier's conversation with his Battalion Commander, his grandfather, who raised him, has recently passed, his father is in jail, and he grew up in a pretty "screwed up environment."The Soldier has held these feelings of anger and frustration inside, and had not shared them with anyone who could help, choosing instead to confide in a stranger on the other end of the internet--a stranger with a strong political agenda and lack of caring for the Soldiers who defend her right to spew propaganda at their expense. "At the end of our conversation," reports the Battalion Commander, "I encouraged him to see a counselor and share his feelings with his chain-of-command and not hold it to himself. He agrees, and is under counseling at this time."
So the whistleblower is crazy, and the journalist is predatory. Sound familiar?
According to Fellenzer’s update, our soldier was full of “admissions”:
The Soldier also admitted he knew of no U.S. Soldiers killed in Kosovo on our rotation. He further conceded that he knew of no Serbs who were hurt in our area of operations, nor any that have been denied freedom of movement....
I don’t know of anyone making the claim that U.S. soldiers have been killed in Kosovo, much less on Fellenzer’s rotation; I certainly didn’t. I wrote that KFOR soldiers were shot at by Albanian fighters (specifically, UK soldiers were). No Serbs were hurt in Fellenzer’s area of operations? And none are denied freedom of movement there? Either Ms.Fellenzer’s area of operations is an oasis-like exception to the Kosovo rule (and with Bondsteel there, this is a distinct possibility), or she is yet again talking about just her rotation. Or she doesn’t have a clue.
Regardless, I don’t write articles about Fellenzer’s area of operations. I write articles about Kosovo. And so, occasionally, does retired New York cop Bob Leifels, who served with the International Police Task Force in Bosnia and who paid a visit to Kosovo last August, where, in his words:
the state of affairs stood out as when I worked for the UN, [and] the right of FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT was enforced and guaranteed to all (except Serbs).
In Bosnia we had a rather large operation with SFOR (NATO Stabilization Force) etc escorting buses from Muslim Federation to the RS [Serb Republic] in order for them to visit their old homes and such. Several Serbs approached me and asked if I could organize such an excursion for them into the Federation. The official response from UNHCR was “we don’ t do that.” Nice.
It gets even nicer; from Fellenzer: “[I]n most of the province, Kosovo Serbians are free to leave their enclaves, drive to their destinations, take vacations and walks,” wrote Fellenzer, who cited an Orthodox military chaplain as “concurring” that in her area of operations, there are “no concentration camp-like conditions”. She added, “He does see some areas of Kosovo where Serbian Orthodox priests and nuns could not travel alone, and in those cases, KFOR troops do provide escort and protection.”
In May I met Father Jovan Culibrk, a monk from Kosovo who described how he has to call the KFOR base every time he wants to go from one parish to another, and Italian NATO troops arrive in two armored vehicles to escort him. “If I didn’t have them,” he said, “ I’d last as long as a rabbi in Gaza.” (Culibrk’s fellow monk Father Hariton was beheaded in June, 1999, the month of our “victory,” and Father Puljic was abducted that July and is presumed dead.)
Not that we need Father Jovan’s confirmation. For, unlike Fellenzer’s rosy days inside Camp Bondsteel—whose confines she didn’t leave even to “debunk” me--anyone who forces himself to watch the DVD Days Made of Fear will see what Fellenzer casually refers to as “some areas of Kosovo where…KFOR troops do provide escort and protection”: The KFOR guard escorting one nun is poised to shoot, looking around 360 degrees for snipers whose presence is assumed. She moves in short sprints, and his body has hers covered at every step.
At the same time, monks in the documentary show drawings done for them by the Albanian children whom their monasteries sheltered during the 1999 assault by NATO, and we see the Christian Orthodox Albanian man who visits the Kosovo churches from Albania to be with his “Serbian brothers” during high holidays.
Such are the exceptional, heartwarming relationships in the province, which will be of no political consequence as the last of the Serbs are cleansed during the impending, internationally sanctioned final solution for the Serb-Orthodox heartland. As Father Sava Janjic, whose Decani Monastery and two nearby churches repeatedly came under mortar attack in 2002--said:
In this monastery we sheltered 200 Albanians during the [NATO] bombing period and organised humanitarian aid, which is something which even Albanians now recognise, though they are not ready to do anything for us now, when they are in a position to help.
But Fellenzer’s denial knows no bounds:
Members of the Joint Implementation Commission in Kosovo…[travel] throughout the Multi National Task Force (East)’s area of operations, and they…have been guests at the homes of both Serbian and Albanian citizens of Kosovo. Not one member of the JIC team has ever seen Serbian enclaves surrounded by barbed-wire, NATO-guarded perimeters.
Tell that to Sherrie Gossett, managing editor of The New Individualist--though again, we don’t know if her February article applies to Fellenzer’s area of operations, since nothing else seems to:
In many areas, only those incapable of fleeing--the elderly, the poor, or the handicapped--remain, living in ghettoes circled by barbed wire and manned by NATO KFOR checkpoints. Many eke out an existence on the edge of survival, like those who now live in shipping containers donated by Russia. Moderate Albanians have been targeted as well, including those who had been content with Serbia’s rule or who enjoy socializing with Serbs. Political rivals have been assassinated and, in at least one case, dismembered. Many Serbs cannot move about without armed escorts.
But Fellenzer wants Americans to believe that:
It is also patently false that due to NATO’s (and the National Guard’s) avoidance of incendiary situations “Serbian nuns continue to be killed and how Serbian property continues to be seized by Albanian squatters, how churches and monasteries continue to be destroyed, as Saudi-financed mosques take their place.
Again, from Gossett:
Today, the property rights of minorities have disappeared as ethnic Albanians help themselves to what’s left of the former owners’ cars, homes, furnishings, and businesses. According to UNMIK’s Housing and Property Department, over 700,000 housing units in Kosovo have been illegally occupied, along with an unknown number of businesses.
Like two other soldiers who wrote me in response to the Legion article, Fellenzer also objected to my saying that KFOR troops are directed to flee when fired upon rather than return fire, which would call attention to the region as unstable. There’s an important difference between her objections and those of the two other Kosovo soldiers, however. For those two soldiers, it was the only objection to my depiction of Kosovo. The first wrote:
In Julia Gorin's article…there is one glaring mistake. We do not run when fired upon. EVER. In fact, we haven't been fired upon at all. But if it does happen, the last thing we would do is not return fire. Just wanted to clear that up.
The second wrote:
I am a soldier that is currently serving in Kosovo as one of the 1500 guardsmen that you mention about in your article "The 'Successful War' We Lost In Kosovo". I enjoyed reading your article. There is just one error that I would like to correct in your article. I have been serving in the military now for over 15 years. Never in all of my extensive training did any of my instructors teach me how to flee from anything. We are spending more time policing our municipalities than we should be, due to the local law enforcement sitting on their hands and turning a blind eye. I am a firm believer that at some point you need to stop looking for someone to do the work for you and decide to do it yourself.
I responded to both soldiers--as I do now to Fellenzer--with the following:
So far, and thankfully, American KFOR soldiers have not been fired upon. But UK soldiers in Kosovo indeed have been--as early as 2001. These are just some links which, in addition to other types of incidents, demonstrate that NATO and Albanians have exchanged gunfire. Additionally, in early 2001, before America decided to stake her future on a Greater Albania rather than engage armed Albanians, we had headlines like this: U.S. troops in Kosovo border clash:
U.S. troops have shot and wounded two rebel fighters in Kosovo, near the increasingly tense border with Macedonia…Nato troops could be sucked into combating the ethnic Albanian insurgency in Macedonia…Fighters from the rebel National Army have told the BBC that if any of those arrested were to be extradited to Macedonia, the organization would consider American K-For troops to be legitimate targets.
Kosovo Attacks Stir U.S. Concern (The Washington Post, March 2000):
A senior Pentagon official warned yesterday that U.S. troops in Kosovo this spring may have to fight their former allies, ethnic Albanian guerrillas who are rearming themselves and threatening cross-border attacks against Serbia.
"This has got to cease and desist, and if not, ultimately it is going to lead to confrontation between the Albanians and KFOR," said the official…
But today if an Albanian dies from a rubber bullet at a protest gone bad, the UN police chief in Kosovo gets fired. As this article hints, the goal is to have zero flare-ups--to avoid firefights at all cost:
Regrouping of Armed Groups Intensified near Drenica, Pec and Djakovica--International representatives have observed intensification of regrouping of armed groups in black uniforms with the insignia of the Kosovo Liberation Army in the past few days in the areas of Drenica, Pec and Djakovica, writes Belgrade daily Vecernje Novosti…
Novosti writes that UNMIK and KFOR forces have received strict orders “not to get involved in conflicts or disagreements with the armed groups and, when they observe them, to abandon their mission and return to their base”.
Fellenzer herself confirms the existence of such policies: “In 2004, during the riots that took place in Kosovo, some NATO troops were instructed not to return fire if fired upon. This, however, is not the case today, as Ms. Gorin claims.” Here she has said no less than what I have, but somehow, coming from me it’s a lie, and I’m impugning American troops.
If Fellenzer weren’t suggesting an altogether different reality from the reality in Kosovo, I might admit one error: a mildly clearer wording of hyperbole. It would have been better to word “hardly an exaggeration” as “not the biggest exaggeration” in reference to saying that a Serb a day is killed--though this apt hyperbole gets no objection from anyone who has been in Kosovo or followed its evolution for more than the length of Ms. Fellenzer’s rotation. Or I could have written “attacked” instead of “killed.” The facts are closer to this hyperbole than Fellenzer's. Especially since “over 200,000 Serbs have fled Kosovo since it was put under UN control and some 3,000 have been killed or listed as missing, according to the International Red Cross. It believes about 1,500 have been murdered.”
THROW MOMMA SUPERIOR FROM THE TRAIN
Meanwhile, Fellenzer’s objection to my saying that “nuns continue to be killed” in Kosovo is based on the fact that the only recent case of a nun-killing happened on a train while it was in Serbia proper, and that the three Albanian men from the nun’s compartment are merely suspected, as no one has been apprehended for the crime.
Indeed, the killed nun--unlike the raped nuns--wasn’t in Kosovo when she was killed. No, she was in Presevo Valley, the next target of Albanian usurpation, where the least of the recent excitement was Kosovo Albanians shooting at a former Serb mayor, and attacking a police checkpoint at a base where some KFOR troops stay. Further, the “inaccuracy” is based on a technicality, given that the KLA calls Presevo Valley "Kosova Lindore" ("East Kosova") and it is considered part of "Ethnic Albania". So in the minds of Albanians, the nun was killed in Kosovo. Further, if it’s unfair to assume Albanian culpability in a case where a nun wasn’t even mugged but simply murdered, then perhaps Ms. Fellenzer could point me toward another ethnic group in the region that has a history of killing monks and attacking/raping nuns.
As for the fact that “no one has been apprehended for the crime” -- now Ms. Fellenzer is starting to get the picture and might understand why one of the articles I’ve been working on is entitled, “Shoot a Serb; it’s Legal.”
In trying to debunk the nun-killing, Fellenzer gets the details of the crime from a website run by a woman named Svetlana Novko. Here is what Novko emailed me in response to Fellenzer’s blog post:
…[T]he fact is that [Fellenzer] and a few of her buddies are not the only sources "on the ground" that the world has to rely on. And thank God. For Ms. Fellenzer is either irreparably blinded by her good wishes, or she rarely leaves the safety of Camp Bondsteel to see what's actually going on around her.
In addition to international diplomats, including the UN Security Council ambassadors who recently visited the Serbian province and reported that the UNMIK chief's rose-colored Kosovo reports barely relate to the desperate situations on the ground (quite in line with Ms. Fellenzer's ode to the "multiethnic" paradise that Kosovo became under her Veteran Soldier's gaze), the Swedish contingent serving under KFOR reports in detail about the confusion that ensued when a bloodthirsty Albanian mob surged throughout Kosovo province in March 2004, when “in the presence of 17,000 NATO troops and 4,000 UN police Albanian hooligans fell upon their minorities. 900 people were wounded, 19 died, some thirty churches [35 to be exact] were destroyed, 700 houses burnt down, 4,500 put to flight... When NATO and independent institutes analyzed the debacle on the 17th of March it became clear that the most responsible action an officer could undertake was to break the rules. But that only Swedes and Italians did so.
“All over Kosovo military officers discovered that they were not heading an army but something more resembling of a sanatorium on picnic. Each group of patients had its own pack of guidelines. Americans were not allowed to fight against civilians. Slovaks were not allowed to use truncheons. Germans were forbidden to cross the street, because that was the limit of their section. And so on...
“When two hundred Albanian extremists, armed with Molotov cocktails reached the 16th century monastery they sent out a negotiator with a white flag. He informed the German KFOR soldiers that not a hair would be touched on their helmets if only they moved aside and let them burn in peace. If they remained in place they would face death. So, the Germans rolled away their armoured vehicles and then watched the monastery burning from afar.”
I remember the way we all felt when Father Sava (Janjic) of Decani Monastery was sending us panic-stricken emails saying: Please write to your senators, congressmen, to everyone you know with influence to tell American troops to GET OUT OF CAMP BONDSTEEL AND END THE CARNAGE, or there will be no Serbs left…God only knows what their orders are in case the same thing happens again.
Regarding all that "law and order" being kept by Soldier Nicki and Bondsteel intelligence analyst Sgt. Tara Vayda, who claims that the worst ethnically motivated violence “during our stay in Kosovo has been Kosovo-Albanian teens throwing rocks at Kosovo-Serbian-associated busses or a Serbian elderly couple,” writer Chris Deliso explained from Kosovo in November 2006:
[A]s one disenchanted UNMIK official put it, “These high UN staffers don't want to endanger their next international posting by taking on the criminals and terrorists, and above all they can't admit that the mission has been a huge failure and created a new base for Islamic terrorists. The outside world is not told of what they are bringing on here.”
[I]f you ask any top official in or involved with Kosovo to speak on the record about security issues, the answers are inevitably the same. They can be boiled down to the following: despite some isolated incidents, the security situation in Kosovo is stable, and it is heading toward a happy future as a thriving, multi-ethnic country.
This is precisely the tone of Fellenzer’s blog post. As for Fellenzer’s claim that no churches or monasteries have been attacked since 2004, Deliso wrote:
On Oct. 7  in Pristina, "children found a hand grenade in the premises of an Orthodox church." Luckily authorities were able to dispose of it safely. In three separate attacks on churches on Oct. 30 in Stimlje, Kacanik, and Djakovica, "unknown persons" tried to set one church on fire, broke into another, and stole the protective fence from the third.
Such is the “vandalism” that Fellenzer dismisses with the following sentence: “The last incident of vandalism of a church in our area [again--her area] involved a broken window from a projectile being thrown four months ago.”
The following incident may or may not be the “vandalism” she’s referring to, though in this case the damage was a bit more than a broken window--Rocket propelled anti-tank grenade fired at monastery:
Foreign diplomats condemned a rocket attack against one of the most revered Serb Orthodox monasteries in Kosovo, while NATO peacekeepers increased security around the World Heritage site.
Peacekeepers and police found a grenade launcher on the hillside overlooking the Decane monastery, and a rocket engine was discovered lodged in the outer wall of the building…
The anti-tank weapon damaged a part of the roof of the wall around the monastery in western Kosovo, NATO said…The Decane monastery compound has been attacked in the past, but it was spared the worst outbreak of violence in the aftermath of the 1998-99 war when ethnic Albanian mobs targeted the Serb minority and damaged or destroyed some 30 churches.
Hints that there will be more non-ethnically-motivated “vandalism”: Serbian Church Condemns Calls for Destruction of Churches . Back to Deliso:
The question of whether Albanian militants, whose acronym and political demands were prolifically sprayed around Kosovo in October, could mount a serious threat to stability was revealed on Oct. 1 when police discovered, in the central Kosovo mountains of Malisevo, "68 anti-tank and 97 anti-personnel mines, as well as 20 hand grenades and 1,500 rounds of small arms ammunition…400 kg of explosives were found in the same area." This is hardly the only contraband arms depot in Kosovo. According to one of my police sources, whole warehouses of rockets can be found in southwestern Kosovo, for example…
What the outside world does not realize is that the rule of these favored UN bureaucrats is creating a Kosovo in which not even they, let alone the rest of us, will be allowed free passage in a future of corrupt police, xenophobic nationalist villages, and Islamist-dominated "no-go areas."
No one is attacking or blaming The Soldiers (especially not the real ones), but the politicians behind the veritable CONSPIRACY of silence and cover-up who have created the mess and are now doing their best to shove it under the rug and make it permanently forgotten by severing Kosovo from Serbia and letting it float further down the Stix.
“No one can disarm Albanians. That’s just NATO propaganda.” — Florin Krasniqi, arms smuggler for the KLA, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, 2005
Fellenzer also believes the KLA is dead. She would have you believe the next source she quotes:
“[The] KLA is not alive and well. It no longer exists as a military organization,” says Multi-National Task Force (East) Chief of Staff, Col. Damon Igou. “However, there are legitimate government institutions that employ some of the former members of the KLA. The KPS (Kosovo Police Service), and an organization similar to our National Guard, the KPC (Kosovo Protection Corps). These organizations are multi-ethnic, professional and legitimate and employ many former members of the KLA that meet their rigorous standards.”
Tell that to Gossett:
Eventually, KLA members were absorbed into the “Kosovo Protection Corps” (KPC), put on the UN payroll, and tasked with providing emergency response and rebuilding. “We believe the Kosovo Protection Corps will make a useful contribution to the restoration of peace and security for all the communities of Kosovo and its progress toward democracy,” declared Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, all brightly.
However, the UN later reported that KPC members had acted as de facto police officers, torturing or killing local citizens, illegally detaining others, extorting “liberation taxes” from businesses, and threatening UN police who attempted to intervene.
Meanwhile, other KLA “veterans” are threatening daily to take up arms and “act as soldiers” if there are further delays on independence:
KLA war veterans running out of patience, urge prompt Kosovo status solution
(Text of report by Radio-Television Kosovo TV on 20 June)
[Announcer] The Kosova Liberation Army War Veterans held a meeting in Decan [Decani] and announced there would be a general mobilization if Kosova's status continues to be postponed…
[Reporter] The war veterans from all Albanian ethnic territories warned that the procrastination of Kosova's status definition may have serious consequences for the country and may lead to a new war in Kosova. They called for a prompt status definition, otherwise--as they said--their patience is running out. This was said at the meeting of war veterans from Dukagjini, Albania, Preshevo Valley, Macedonia and Montenegro that was held in Decan…
[Reporter] According to the veterans, this ultimatum is addressed to all those who do not support independence of Kosova and intend to separate the Albanian territories…
[Mushkolaj] In Kosova, we will oppose the poor UNMIK [United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosova] policies which, over the last eight years, have led to the present situation.
And their brothers in Macedonia, where three of the Ft. Dix plotters originated, are on standby:
Macedonian Albanian veterans prepared to fight for Kosovo (Text of report by Macedonian newspaper Dnevnik on 10 July)
I am prepared to lead 10,000 former ONA (National Liberation Army, NLA) members from Macedonia to demonstrate solidarity by joining their brothers of the UCK (Kosovo Liberation Army) and, if necessary, using arms to gain Kosovo's independence, Fazli Veliu has told Dnevnik. He is the chairman of the ONA Veterans' Association and a DUI (Democratic Union for Integration - BDI in Albanian) deputy in the Macedonian Assembly.
Veliu's message follows the UCK veterans' demand that the negotiating team should not accept any postponement of the Kosovo status resolution, or else they would act as UCK soldiers…
According to him, he could organize some 10,000 former ONA members, which is as many as those who fought in Macedonia in 2001.
If the KLA “no longer exists as a military organization," Fellenzer needs to inform the KLA about its non-existence. As Novko writes,
Officially, the KLA/UCK was ‘disbanded’, but in reality it is ruling the province, starting from its provisional "prime minister", KLA-born war criminal Agim Ceku, and other KLA terrorists-turned-politicians like Ramush Haradinaj, the previous provisional “prime minister” who is currently on trial for war crimes. Also, there is the KLA’s Hashim Thaci, now an "MP.”
As an MP, Thaci probably wouldn’t threaten his American friends, but he did give them this warning last month: "Enough is enough. The time was yesterday. Today is already too late. Tomorrow is dangerous." Still, Fellenzer insists that I’m making all this up because of my “predatory” pundit’s “obvious political agenda.”
THE GORIN AGENDA
Ah yes, my agenda. My nefarious agenda that we should be fighting the terrorists instead of helping them. That we shouldn’t be staking our future on a Greater Albania, whose “nominal” Muslim loyalties face toward Mecca, as Jesse Petrilla--founder of the United American Committee--wrote in his recent article, “My Trip to Bosnia and Kosovo.” Is it a devious agenda to convince Americans to discontinue helping Muslims cleanse Christians from Kosovo, and to quit sacrificing a small Christian community in the hopes of winning jihadist good will?
My “agenda” has gotten me banned from major newspapers, and has my more famous colleagues telling me, “Cut this out. You’re not doing yourself any favors.” Yes, it’s all about me. Which is why, according to Fellenzer, I endangered American troops:
[Gorin] quite obviously gave no thought to the possible consequences of publishing sensitive information...In her zeal to impugn our mission in Kosovo, Gorin used an angry, stressed, frustrated Soldier's words to prop her agenda…Gorin took the words of a frustrated, angry Soldier and used them to support her political stance....
Before printing the soldier’s email, I sent him the following questions:
Let me ask you: what you told me in the previous letter about preparedness, would that be detrimental to print--like, would it be advertising to the KLA that you guys are not in fighting mode--or isn’t that stuff that they know anyway?
Please, please mention the armor issue. When someone says they will start shooting, I won't want to wait until the shooting starts to be prepared.
This soldier believed publishing this information would be better for the troops, not worse. Furthermore, if the letters were more detrimental to the soldiers than beneficial, I would have been promptly besieged with emails from patriots, veterans and other military-savvy folks upon the first letter’s publication weeks ago, and again upon the second letter’s publication.
As for our soldier, today he is keeping his mouth shut, and the rest who were going to come forward will be doing the same. In her update, Fellenzer reported more about the commander’s conversation with the troop, in which our soldier makes further “admissions”:
Further, he writes, "During my discussion with him, I told him that since he feels so threaten[ed] and unsafe in Kosovo that I am going to reassign him to a safer job inside the wire for his own safety concern."
The Soldier's reply was a resounding, NO! "Please do not do that sir," he replied, "I do want to go out and patrol with my squad, I know this sounds contradicting [sic.] from my conversation with Ms Gorin," he further admitted.
This "contradicts" nothing; it confirms his own bravery. The first thing I learned about this soldier is that he absolutely must feel useful at all times and thrives on being in the thick of the action and making a difference. And he wants to know what’s going on. If he wanted to be shielded from reality, he’d be inside Bondsteel like Ms. Fellenzer. That’s why, if you ask Ms. Fellenzer, she’ll tell you:
While there's evidence that there were a lot of Serbs killed pre-2005, this is untrue today… [W]e have kept the situation stable and secure in Kosovo on our watch. To claim otherwise…to twist the facts, publish outright lies and accuse our brave troops of turning their backs on genocide that is allegedly going on right under our noses is unforgivable and unacceptable, as well as outrageous and disrespectful to those who serve.
Following are some truly twisted facts, which according to Fellenzer aren’t happening:
Grenade Explodes in Serb Classroom in Kosovo (November, 2006)
Explosion slightly damages Serb house in Kosovo's tense north (March 2007)
…the third blast in the area in less than a week, officials said. No one was injured. The explosive device was detonated outside the Serb house in the Serb-dominated part of Kosovska Mitrovica, some 45 kilometers (30 miles) north of the province's capital, Pristina…[U.N. police spokesman Larry] Miller said the motive remained unclear and no suspects were arrested. Another explosion occurred near a Serb house and the Serbian government center Tuesday, damaging three cars and shattered the windows of a shop nearby. Last week, a hand grenade exploded in the yard of a Serb house.
More on one of those other explosions:
"One of the two explosive devices thrown into the backyard of a house in northern Kosovska Mitrovica detonated, while KFOR special unit recovered and destroyed the second device,"…[Resident Branislav] Lekiae explained…"the bombs followed a day-long protest of his Albanian neighbors who complained against the construction works on their new Serbian neighbor's house." The UNMIK spokesperson refused to speculate on the possible reasons behind the bombing attack.
Kosovo Serbs victims of fresh attacks and robberies (March 2007)
[A] group of armed ethnic Albanians stopped Slavisa Stolic, a Serb, who was driving home. The attackers evicted Stolic from his car and stole his Golf…Minutes later, ethnic Albanian robbers drove another Golf, owned by Professor Dejan Mitic, from his courtyard in Laplje Selo to the nearest gas station. There, they demanded from attendant Zoran Dragovic to fill up the tank and, afterwards, pistol-butted him on the head. Luckily, Dragovic managed to escape to the first Serb house and call the police…The [International Press Center of the Coordination Center for Kosovo-Metohija] said that recently there has been a rise in intimidation, seizures of Serb property, kidnappings and death threats to the Kosovo-Metohija Serbs.
Albanians attack Serbs, steal cattle near border with Kosovo (April 2007, Serbian TV)
[Presenter] A group of [ethnic] Albanians from Podujevo have attacked the Zdravkovic family from the Velika Braina village in the Medvedja municipality. The village is situated close to the administrative border with Kosovo-Metohija. [Reporter Danijela Simic-Kocic] Three armed Albanians, from the Podujevo municipality area, wearing masks and army uniforms attacked 64-year-old Branislav Zdravkovic and his 69-year-old sister Draguna Cvetkovic in the Velika Braina village while they were tending their cattle on their property. They said that the Albanians first of all insulted and threatened them and then started to hit them. Zdravkovic and his sister managed to get away, while the Albanians stole their flock of 150 sheep, 10 cows and some goats.
Following are just some of the “outdated” incidents from what, according to Ms. Fellenzer, is ancient Kosovo history, or pre-2006:
Official sees "coordination" in shooting of Kosovo Serb police in ambush (September 2005)
[Presenter] New incidents have taken place in Kosovo. A member of the Kosovo Police Service, Sasa Durlevic, was wounded last night on a road in the vicinity of Strpce. Fire was opened from an ambush set up in the woods in the vicinity of an Albanian village, only one kilometre from a Kfor checkpoint. The target was a police vehicle which, beside Durlevic, carried two other ethnic Serb members of the police…Durlevic was then taken to a hospital in the US Camp Bondsteel near Urosevac by a Ukrainian Kfor vehicle, where he was treated and is now not in a life threatening situation.
From Reuters on this:
The attack happened in a region where two Serb men were shot and killed [and two others wounded] two weeks ago. The latest attack took place shortly before midnight on the main road near the Serb region of Strpce in southern Kosovo…
And this AP item was posted on a military blog: Ax-attack on Elderly Serb Couple in Kosovo (March 2005)
Nedeljko and Nevenka Vucic, 71 and 73, were attacked outside their home in the village of Crkolez, some 50 kilometers northwest of province's capital Pristina…U.N. police spokesman Larry Miller also confirmed the attack. The woman's injuries were life threatening…The man suffered from concussions, was stabbed around his spine, had his ribs broken and his right ear cut off, Bozovic said. The woman suffered head injuries, concussions and chest fractures...The couple lived with another 160 Serbs in the village of Crkolez, which is surrounded by ethnic Albanian villages.
Daily Stabs of Violence in Kosovo Rattle U.N. (March 2005)
Like West Bank Jews who occasionally get fired upon while trying to commemorate their dead--Attack on Serbs Visiting Cemetery (November, 2005):
A bus with forty Serbian people inside was pelted with stones while trying to visit a cemetery in Djakovica this weekend…Many of the monuments that have been desecrated recently have been successfully restored and a fence has been put in place around the cemetery. A commemoration ceremony for the deceased was held in front of what remains of the Holy Prince Lazar church. While the Serbian refugees were visiting the grave sites, several cars drove around the cemetery grounds playing Albanian music very loudly.
While the Serbs were lining up to get back onto the bus before leaving, a group of Albanians, mostly younger individuals, threw stones at the Serbs and shouted obscenities at them. The bus was then escorted by a unit of the UNMIK police and the Kosovo Police Service away from the scene of the attack.
There was a similar incident in November 2006:
Albanians used cars and tree trunks to block the road used by Serbs visiting the graves of their loved ones…“After one of the buses stopped, one of the extremists drove a tractor into it, frontally hitting the bus”, the [Kosovo Coordinating Center] statement reads. The statement also says that the police subsequently arrested the tractor driver. “Several dozen Albanians gathered immediately, and assaulted the police and the Serbs in the bus, so the police decided to set the extremist free, and he then joined other extremists, continuing to attack the bus. The driver managed to turn the vehicle around and leave the site, so no one sustained injuries”.
BUT IT’S NOT IN MY SECTOR!
One of the aforementioned articles on Fellenzer’s site that were posted to dispute her attempt to debunk me was the Petrilla piece, part of which read:
From Pristina I headed for Gracanica, a small enclave of Christian Serbs [whose] ancestors have been living in Kosovo for thousands of years. Gracanica Monastery has been the site of Christian churches since the 6th century, yet when I arrived I was struck by the towering concrete walls adorned with coiled barbed wire and machine gun nests, all required now for the protection of the nuns and bishops who live there. The outside was also spotted with vehicle blockers reminiscent of Normandy Beach, with KFOR guards and vehicles patrolling to protect the Christians from Islamist attacks.
I visited with the nuns in the monastery, who told me their stories, how much they lived in fear of being murdered by radical Muslims. My heart sank as I saw that even though their families had been there for countless years, they knew that their situation would never get better, and that sometime in their lives they would either be murdered or forced to leave.
Fellenzer’s response: “A) It’s not in our sector and B) It’s not the norm.” Further: “The visual of the NATO concentration camps--again--not in our sector. The Chaplain with whom I spoke is aware of ONE church and ONE Serbian enclave that resembles [sic] what she has described. Gorin makes it sound like this is happening all over Kosovo....”
Of course, the main reason this can’t be happening all over Kosovo, and the reason it’s “more true” of the “pre-2005” era, is that there aren’t Serbs all over Kosovo anymore for it to happen to. But let’s hear from this chaplain she mentions, who like Fellenzer has been in Kosovo for about a year. Presumably, the chaplain, 1st Lt. Michael Wikstrom whom Fellenzer quotes in her press release, is the “Friar Michael” who has been in Kosovo one year and who weighs in on her blog with the following:
Since 2004, the violence against the Serbs is almost non-existant [sic.] and I would contend that many of them are safer here than in some parts of Detroit and Chicago. [Thank you for bringing up Detroit. Here’s why one Serb had to move out of there.] I concelebrated with both Vladyka [a term of endearment meaning "Bishop"] Artimije and Vladyka Theodosius two weeks ago at the dedication of the chapel of Sts. Cosmos and Damian in Zociste Monastery.
And thank you for bringing up Zociste Monastery; it was just in the news. From Belgrade’s Tanjug news agency (not linkable anymore, but this military blog linked my item on it):
Bishop of Raska and Prizren Artemije said on Tuesday that the Austrian contingent of Kfor had demanded Serbian flags be taken off the bell tower of Saints Kozmo and Damjan monastery in the village of Zociste near Orahovac, because local Albanians don’t want to see it…[Bishop Artemije] pointed out that no one is preventing ethnic Albanians from using the flag of another state in our state.”He said that Kfor members said ethnic Albanians threatened to attack the monastery, and pointed out that “it is Kfor’s job to protect the monastery, and not to meddle in the issue of the flag”…
“This is a message to expelled Serbs whose houses have allegedly been rebuilt in Zociste. This is a message not to return, because if such a violence is applied on monks, what can returnees hope for if they came to live in the same village with ethnic Albanians as neighbours,” Artemije said.
Some relevant background on the monastery, from the Serbian Blic daily:
Zociste Monastery was completely dynamited in 1999. However, three years ago the monastery elder, Father Petar (Ulemek), received the blessing of Bishop Artemije to begin rebuilding the holy shrine…Zociste Monastery is currently unique in Kosovo and Metohija in that it is the only restored and consecrated holy shrine out of the approximately 150 that have been destroyed (since) 1999.
And from the newspaper Danas:
After the deployment of the UN mission in Kosovo-Metohija, Zociste Monastery (dating back to the 12th century) was first plundered and then dynamited in September 1999; it was set on fire several times subsequently. On 14 July 2002, when the Eparchy of Raska and Prizren launched a drive at the monastery for "Restoring by Prayer Our Desecrated Holy Places," Serbs that attended the liturgy at the devastated monastery barely escaped with their lives from the attacking Albanians, although the German Kfor battalion was securing the monastery.
…[T]he local Albanians perceived as too swift a restoration of the monastery living quarters, as a result of which, in the middle of winter two years ago, the monks had to dismantle a newly built roof; they also had problems with the use of the church bells. Protosyngellos Petar, the prior of Zociste Monastery, explains for Danas that Kfor had first forbidden the monks to ring the church bells in order that their "daily use should not aggravate interethnic relations in the village." Last summer and only after the municipal authorities had given their consent and undertaken to prepare the local population beforehand, Kfor allowed the monastery to ring the bells twice a day--morning and evening.
Lt. Wikstrom/Friar Michael goes on:
Living in the past will not solve the issues folks. Only going forward from here. Yes there are problems, yes there have been mistakes, yes there is hatred and mistrust, but I do not see ANY of the things that Ms. Gorin has stated and I travel Kosovo extensively. I meet with Bp. ARTIMIJE and Bp. THEODOSIUS and many of the priest[s] here regularly and we work together to make life better for the Serbs as well as the Albanians. For some of you leaving your posts here, you may be surprised that many of the monasteries and churches here feed and clothe the Albanians and Romas as well as there [sic.] own.
No—we’d be surprised if Albanians were feeding and clothing Serbs.
[T]he rhetoric needs to be replaced by actions. Serbs need to return to Kosovo. Scaring them off by publishing reports, false reports that those left here face wholesale slaughter on a daily basis is not helping or encouraging them to return. If the idea is to get as many Serbs to return to Kosovo-Metohija then telling them they have a high probability of being murdered and that they will be forced to live in “concentration camps” is not going to do it. Am I wrong?
You’re not wrong, Lt. and indeed, as Ms. Fellenzer reported, “we have aided 74 Serbian Kosovars in their return into Srpski Babus, helping to provide infrastructure, food and CIMIC support.” But the question is, why am I a liar for reporting Serb Returnee Killed in Central Kosovo (June 2006):
A Serb returnee was found shot dead inside his house in a central Kosovo town Tuesday, police and Serb officials said. The 68 year-old Serb, identified as Dragan Popovic, was discovered by police after the officers received a report of a body found in a house in the town of Klina, 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of Kosovo's capital, Pristina, Kosovo's police said in a statement…He was last seen late Monday returning to his home from a shop. Nothing was touched in the house, the Serb officials said…Police have no suspects and have not yet established a motive for the apparent killing. Several Serbs have returned to Klina recently, after fleeing the aftermath of the province's 1998-1999…Separately, vandals damaged sixteen graveside monuments in the Serb village of Staro Gracko, 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of the province's capital, Pristina, police said.
And here’s me “living in the past”--this past September, to be exact:
An explosion in western Kosovo injured four Serbs late Tuesday, the fourth bombing in the last five days, police said. The blast occurred outside a home in the small town of Kline [Klina], about 60 kilometers (40 miles) west of the capital…Three other bombings in the province since Friday only damaged cars, with no reports of injuries…Today, only about 100,000 [Serbs] remain [in Kosovo], most living in small, isolated enclaves scattered around the province.
Police said the victims were former refugees who had returned to Klina a year ago having fled Kosovo after the 1998-99 war...At least half the Serb population fled a wave of revenge attacks after the war, and those who stayed live mainly in isolated enclaves. U.N. officials say the rate of attacks against Serbs has fallen, but they fear fresh violence as a decision nears on Kosovo's "final status."
And here’s another Serb refugee return story that I’m a liar for telling readers about, because it’s “exceptional”:
After fleeing almost seven years ago, [Zoran] Stanisic, along with his mother, moved back to Pristina five months ago…“I’ve found both my business and living places broken in to…Since I am one of the few Serbs living in Pristina, it’s funny that this is the second time this month that someone has probably tried to send us a message.” …Stanisic said that he trusted the promises of the international community, the Kosovo Government and the Return Ministry, that the minimum conditions of normal living would be given to him, which encouraged him to return to Pristina.
“When winter came, we had nothing, so we were forced to temporarily get out of the way, and wait to see whether their promises would be fulfilled or not. It looks as if there is nothing for Serbs in this city, and Serbs are ordained to live in enclaves, concentration camps, and behind barbed wire.” …Until 1999, about 40,000 Serbs lived in Pristina. There are currently 150 living there now. Zoran Stanisic is now living in Gracanica, because, as he stated, he cannot live in his Pristina apartment.
More on all that freedom of movement Fellenzer assures us that Serbs have, from the former cop Leifels who served in Bosnia:
I visited a friend in Kosovo (Gracanica) last August…I took a bus from Novi Sad to Gracanica. I took a private bus run by Serbs as there are no public transports to that region from Serbia to the Serbian enclaves. When I crossed the border into the Albanian section I noticed a lot of new construction and new cars, etc. Everything was well lighted and the region appeared upbeat and in the process of new construction everywhere. Then all of a sudden everything got pitch black (it was nighttime). It was then that I realized I had entered Gracanica. None of the homes or buildings had electricity. My friends told me that it was like that in most or all of the Serbian enclaves. In addition there was no public transportation in or out of those areas. Miraculously the power came on in the morning and remained until I departed. My friend joked that it was because local intel heard an American was in town. We all laughed but then got serious. Was it paranoia or reality?
Note: Electricity cutoffs are a problem in some of the Albanian villages as well, but as this following item illustrates, Serb villages are generally not a priority in Balkan states/provinces where they are a minority: 70 villages in Bosnia, home to 15,000 Serb returnees, have reportedly been without electricity for several years.…
Back to Serbian freedom of movement, from Douglas Bandow’s June 2006 article, “Blind Eyes over Kosovo”:
Unfortunately, any Serb who travels outside of few remaining enclaves does so at his own risk. At the quasi-border dividing Serbia from Kosovo (which nominally remains part of Serbia), drivers routinely replace their Serbian license plates with ones marked Kosovo to disguise their identities. To do otherwise would risk not only their cars but their lives.
Even foreigners are at risk. Some British tourists recently were roughed up [fired upon, actually] and their car was destroyed because the vehicle had been rented in Belgrade. Had they been Serbian their lives probably would have been forfeited. More than 900 Serbs have been murdered since the allies took control and ethnic killings continue in the territory. But you will look long and hard to find an ethnic Albanian jailed for committing the crimes.
The Serbian paper Politika recently reported on Serb “resourcefulness” with regard to getting around these “bumps” in the road, plus a few other details:
…one resorts to special measures: one either switches license plates--Novi Pazar license plates are the best for the purpose--or rents a car with original Kosovo license plates for travelling deeper into Kosmet [Kosovo-Metohija]…Serbian convoys under escort and with "appropriate" license plates generally pass through without stopping. They are escorted mostly by people of Albanian origin, extremely polite and professional in what they do, so that their presence makes a traveller from Serbia feel much safer…
“Every American soldier I meet in Kosovo,” Father Culibrk related to me in May, “says the same thing: ‘We came here to protect Albanians. But after a week we realize it is Serbs who need protecting.” He says the same of the Spanish KFOR contingent and described how every new rotation of troops has to figure this out for itself in what is a constantly repeating process.
TROOPS “DEFECATING”…ON FELLOW TROOPS?
But don’t expect any of this reality, unseen by Fellenzer from the confines of Camp Bondsteel, to sink in. “This woman claims to be Republican,” Fellenzer wrote of me. “She claims to be conservative. And then she takes a large, steamy dump on the troops. It’s inexcusable!”
That's a delightful image. But did the troop I spoke with defecate on his fellow troops? What about the other two soldiers whom I quoted earlier as disagreeing with exactly one aspect of my Legion article (and for whom I provided evidence for my claim and didn’t hear back)? How about that military blogger posting about the bludgeoned septuagenarians, and his fellow troops who read his blog? How about James Jatras, who was brought up in a military family and served on the Senate Republican Policy Committee for 15 years and posted the soldier’s letters on the American Council for Kosovo site? Would he defecate on our troops and compromise their safety? And what about this police officer--is he about to defecate on the troops?:
I read the anonymous letter from the U.S. soldier. I came to the UN mission here as a police officer in aug 99 and stayed 1 year. I recently returned. There are many of us here who concur with his assessment. I had my own recent experience with a Jihadist here. They move freely here. I would be happy to share my story with you. But as the soldier, I most likely will have to remain anonymous.
And what about the former NATO officer, who wrote the following entry in the visitors’ book in the Patriarchate of Pec in May, 2006, as excerpted from Hiding Genocide in Kosovo:
Christians have abandoned God although God has never abandoned them. This holy place is an eternal testimony to the greatness of God. We internationals have a moral obligation towards this holy church in the midst of evil. Sufferings of Christians here is unbearable and unacceptable. We are committing here in Kosovo a crime against God and humanity.
Are all these people “stressed,” “angry,” or otherwise disturbed? And is Fellenzer going to hunt them all down? Because there are others who wanted to talk. These would be the others who, according to her, wanted to “endanger” themselves and their fellow troops. I don’t expect to hear from any of the 1,500 National Guard troops stationed in Kosovo at this point, thanks to the clampdown.
But people finish their rotations. They finish their service all together. And when they do, they’ll know where to find me. Or Scott Taylor. Or Sherrie Gossett. Or Cliff Kincaid. Or Chris Deliso. Or Gregory Copley. Or Mary Mostert. Or Joseph Farah. Or Don Feder. Or Andrew Bostom and Robert Spencer, who serve in an unpaid capacity on the advisory board of the American Council for Kosovo, with people as devious as Gorin.
As my soldier source weighs the possibility that for some bizarre, selfish “political,” “racist and bigoted” agenda, Julia Gorin manipulated him into contacting her and getting his story out, I’ll remember instead his words before he was ensnared: “We all REALLY appreciate what you're doing, and there are a lot more out there, not just the few who choose to contact you.”
At the same time, if the command in Kosovo is in fact clamping down, and soldiers are clamming up, why did I get the following invitation to chat from a Lt. Robert Lozzi, telling me I’ve got it all wrong:
were you ever in kosovo? or are you serbian? your article on kosovo was way off. i am an LT here and you are are completely misinformed about what goes on here. if youd like to really know ask me as well as a serbian and an albanian then write you article. [sic. throughout]
I guess the gag order doesn’t apply to those who give the right story.
About Fellenzer, Ms. Novko explained, “The problem is that most of us are very reluctant to slam American soldiers, because the bottom line is that it really isn't their fault. I think she's well aware of the protection the uniform gives her and is abusing it to peddle the official lies and attack those who are dismantling the myth.”
Indeed, contrary to the rosy picture painted by Ms. Fellenzer, UK Guardian writer Neil Clark in June quoted the Minority Rights Group that "nowhere is there such a level of fear for so many minorities that they will be harassed simply for who they are...nowhere else in Europe is at such a high risk of ethnic cleansing occurring in the near future--or even a risk of genocide."
The American Council for Kosovo website spells it out:
Intermittent reports continue of masked men setting up checkpoints, which in the late 1990s was the first indication of the launch of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army’s terrorist campaign. In particularly ominous developments for potential regional destabilization...Serbian police broke up a Wahhabist cell in Sandzak, north of Kosovo. Since 1999, two-thirds of Kosovo's Christian Serbs have been terrorized from the province, and some 150 churches and monasteries destroyed or desecrated and replaced with hundreds of new mosques propagating the extremist Wahhabist version of Islam. Organized crime rackets, connected to the Albanian mafia's operations throughout Europe, and implicating the highest levels of the UN-supervised Albanian administration, traffic in drugs, weapons, and slaves--women and even children.
About all that stability Ms. Fellenzer has been keeping:
Situation in Kosovo "getting out of control" (July 2007)
UNMIK Chief Joakim Ruecker…said that the Kosovo status solution must be found in an optimal period of time, because…the situation can potentially spiral out of control," the daily writes. Koha Ditore cited one diplomat from a country to which the letter was sent, who said that Ruecker's letter was "a clear cry for help."
THE END GAME
Where is this all heading? Canadian journalist Scott Taylor--who was made to have his feet washed before interviewing an Albanian leader in Macedonia in 2001 (and at that time witnessed U.S. planes dropping off mortars outside the man’s house)--concluded in the June issue of Canadian military magazine Esprit de Corps:
The continual presence of NATO troops and the virtual isolation of the Serbian population from the Albanian majority has given Kosovo the outward appearance of relative stability. However, as the massive pogrom into the Serbian enclaves in March 2004 and the ongoing protests against the international community reveal, Kosovo remains a boiling pot of inter-ethnic hatred...While U.S. President George Bush is backing the Albanian Kosovo independence movement, this is more driven by the hard-pressed American military necessity to close the books on at least one conflict rather than on common sense.
... As the pogrom of [March] 2004 clearly illustrated, the Albanians have no intention of allowing the few remaining Serbs to reside peacefully in their Kosovo enclaves. Should George Bush get his wish and Kosovo becomes truly independent in the near future, the final Serbian residents will be wise to depart with the last of the NATO soldiers. If that transpires, then NATO’s intervention in 1999 to prevent ethnic cleansing will have resulted in the most thoroughly ethnically cleansed region in the entire world. A victory worth remembering.
Europe Prepares to Evacuate 40,000 Kosovo Serbs (April 2006):
Chair of the Serbian National Council for Central Kosovo Rada Trajkovic revealed that the WHO and UN Refugee Agency are preparing a project for the evacuation of 40,000 Serbs who are expected to leave Kosovo after it receives its independence. The project is in its final stage and crisis headquarters that will receive Serbs who would leave Kosovo are being set up, the Montenegrin newspaper Dan reads today.
Trajkovic expressed her regret that the World Health Organization participates in a project for moving Serbians from Kosovo. "I am waiting for an official reaction from Belgrade because instead of creating an environment to keep the Serbs in Kosovo there is a project that proposes [them] leaving it," Trajkovic noted. [UNHCR acknowledged the existence of the plan.]
Everything is in place for the following scenario, sketched out in a short missive from an analyst specializing in the region, who is currently there and asked to not be named:
Expect all of KosMet to be cleansed in a Kosovo Storm operation by November. Yanks and Muslims will say that their patience was overwhelmed by international intransigence about freedom, and that their European destiny couldn't wait. US and others will recognize [Kosovo’s status], then others will follow suit. Almost all Serb politicians have sold out, and are trying to save face, power and position by making statements about sovereignty, declare victory for Serbia, then deny collusion when KosMet, Bujanovac/Presevo, Sandzak/Raska, Western Macedonia, SE Montenegro, Republika Srpska, and Vojvodina either go up in flames, or in the case of the latter two, are simply bought off.
But Ms. Fellenzer doesn’t understand what independence will mean. In her comments section, she wrote:
Do you know what it's like getting phone calls from loved ones scared to death because they read Gorin's crap in the American Legion magazine? Many Soldiers here do. She screwed us for her political agenda. Told lies about us, in particular, that are not true....
I understand that everything feels quiet for now. Aside from the 2004 pogrom and the recent pro-independence protests that turned violent, things have been pretty pleasant for the command at Bondsteel. Things will stay pleasant as long as we continue doing Albanian bidding, which is official U.S. policy. But what happens if and when we stop falling in line, which--according to Fellenzer--we will do if Serbian lives are endangered as they were in the 2004 “warm-up” (which is what many Albanians call it)? Does Fellenzer really not understand what independence will bring on?
With regard to immediate physical danger: if Albanians get or declare independence, it’s bad news for the remaining non-Albanians. If Albanians don’t get independence, it’s bad news for everyone there. Such are the scenarios that our source soldier and others like him worry about. Fellenzer herself scoffs at the idea that U.S. soldiers would turn a blind eye (regardless of the command’s orders?). But if they don’t turn a blind eye, and return violence against Serbs with gunfire or interfere with the impending, final push of ethnic cleansing, what happens then? The answer is that the soldiers’ loved ones have cause to worry.
The following comment posted by “euro106” under a YouTube video is actually a typical one for Kosovo forums, and paints the picture better than Bondsteel flacks are willing to:
f--k you we will deestroy every serbian orthodox church in kosova. dont you wory in 3 years there wont be one orthodox church or any serbians in kosova. and after we get kosova than presheva valley is gona be next thats ours. ulcinj and other places in montenegro and half of macedonia. we gettin all the lands back that was taken from us in 1912 by western powers in london. [sic. throughout]
Fellenzer fails to understand that if we “luck out” and get the non-violent scenario, the soldiers may be either spectators to, or continuing facilitators of, the peaceful final stage of Kosovo’s ethnic cleansing, and Fellenzer will learn that her efforts to help returning Serb refugees were just symbolic formalities. In 1995, there was something called Operation Storm, by which 300,000 Serbs were violently cleansed from Croatia. An Albanian volunteer serving as a colonel in this cleansing campaign was Agim Ceku, the current so-called prime minister of Kosovo.
Of course, if you ask Fellenzer, 1995 was prehistory and therefore has no implications or applications for the future. (What makes you think bin Laden is after us? He hasn’t attacked us since 2001!) Those who ignore “history” are destined to repeat it.
Should that happen, this time Americans--especially those with loved ones in Kosovo--will be watching. Thanks to articles like mine. And should March 2004 be repeated, Americans for the first time will understand what’s going on in Kosovo, and instead of the foggy confusion they felt in 1999 or this past May with the Ft. Dix plot, they might finally call for an end to the U.S. policies which ultimately endanger our troops.
THANKFULLY, SOME SOLDIERS ARE BETTER THAN THEIR MISSIONS
It’s precisely because this flawed mission that our troops have been assigned to is endangering those troops that my soldier wanted to help let the country know. That his fellow soldier would silence him is a shame. Protect the mission at all costs, even America’s. Interestingly, on her blog, Fellenzer herself twice emphasizes that she won’t comment whether we’ve taken the right side. While feeling he's been assigned to a flawed mission, my source continues to do its dangerous work--not only to keep both Albanians and Serbs safe, but also to better see the coming dangers. It’s certainly hard to see it his way from inside the sanitized confines of Camp Bondsteel.
Fellenzer wrote that “there are a number of problems with sending these types of letters to people like Gorin.”
Who are "people like Gorin"? I’m virtually a lone voice calling attention to the disaster eight years in the making. To be unmoved by my description in American Thinker, which Fellenzer claims to have read and which details with meticulous documentation what I’ve gone through in trying to get this story out while she plays in the pastures with ethnically pure children--is cold. She then adds to the abuse I’ve taken for trying to break the story that no one--not journalists, not governments, not military, not artists, not Democrats, not Republicans--wants broken.
“Oh that’s a Julia Gorin piece--it’s propaganda.” I get that a lot, since I’ve been given a reputation for having some kind of ulterior motive. The “reputation” is based solely on the fact that I am the only non-Serb writer in America who isn’t letting up on this issue. It’s also based on a fact that is out of my control, namely that I’ve come to be loved by Serbs who, as Sherrie Gossett can attest, start to weep upon the extraordinary event of meeting an American who knows the truth, much less is willing to tell it.
I do ninety percent of this work without payment, since few publications will touch this subject. What “agenda” could I have when even a 25-page article doesn’t scratch the surface of the Serbs' horror? How am I “predatory” when I have yet to publish a third letter, based on my source’s request that I hold off? If I were a predator, I wouldn’t have double-checked about publicizing the armor issue, and those communications which he requested be off-limits would be in print. Nor did I press him about things he only hinted at but wasn’t ready to speak of.
“Julia Gorin shouldn’t be writing for anyone,” commented one poster on Fellenzer’s blog. Indeed, that’s been the whole idea. What is it about Kosovo that a single voice in the wilderness issuing a warning is one too many?
In her blogged press release, Fellenzer shared another PR story--about recently giving some Legion members the politicians’ tour of Kosovo. Like our politicians, rather than being given the destroyed-church and wire-surrounded-enclave tour of Kosovo, they got to see Camp Bondsteel:
During the third week of July, two members of American Legion Post 178 from Millerton, N.Y., arrived in Kosovo for a stay at Camp Bondsteel. Post Commander Lee Garay and post Treasurer Sid Byron came to Kosovo in order to work with the War Veterans Association to help develop an American Legion-style organization, and based on Ms. Gorin’s piece, they didn’t know what to expect.
“I’ve never had the opportunity, and I’m glad I could come to see first-hand what the military does [in Kosovo],” Garay says. “I was really impressed. First thing we did when we came out of the airport in Kosovo… we stopped and had a game of soccer with some kids.”
Garay knew very quickly what was exaggerated in the article Ms. Gorin wrote. “The stuff they put in the article… I haven’t seen that. I haven’t seen a Serb being shot every day while I’m here, and I haven’t seen any Soldiers running from any fight either.”
Can you believe it? He didn’t see anyone getting killed at Camp Bondsteel! The UNMIK author of Hiding Genocide in Kosovo explains:
The UN observation team representatives were brought to villages where return has been successful (if you would like to call the village of Brestovik near Pec a successful return, where Serbs do not even have freedom of movement), but not to villages where it has failed like Srpski Babush, Zhitinje and Leshtar....
Jesse Petrilla had told me the same about the guided tour that his friend, U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrbacher, R-CA, got of Kosovo, after which the congressman came back raving about the wonderful success of it all. But the press release gets even better. Fellenzer continued:
Everywhere we go, we see smiling faces of children and adults who come up to us and thank us for the job we are doing here.
One wonders how many of those smiling, grateful faces belong to Serbian children. Given these drawings on SerbBlog.com--a source Rush Limbaugh relied on in the days following the Ft. Dix news--it’s not likely.
If there is one place on earth where our heart-pounding patriotism doesn’t belong, it is Kosovo. And contrary to the accusations of “bigotry and racism” by Fellenzer and others, I don’t hate Albanians. I despise any ethnic supremacist. Unfortunately, too many Albanians are supremacists or support them. Doubly unfortunate is that this is whom my country has handed the region to.
If the province’s security organs aren’t able to protect Serbs today, under direct international control, how will they protect them when we reward the violence and threat of violence with independent state power? And what will be the incentive? If Fellenzer and Staggs can’t see this from their proximity to the situation, then perhaps they should take a few steps back, so they get more than the worm’s-eye view.
BUT THE SERBS DON’T HATE US YET, SO THERE’S NO PROBLEM
“Today,” the Fellenzer PR went on, “we work closely with the Serbian military to interdict criminal activity along the ABL [Administrative Boundary Line with Serbia]. How do I know this? Because my entire job consists of working with Serbian Soldiers, whom I like very much, who are professional and real and enjoy working with our Soldiers as well.”
What’s not to like? We defecate on them for eight years and they still don’t hate America. These are true Christians. As the retired police officer Bob Leifels wrote (the first two paragraphs in a letter to me and the latter two in a 2006 article):
When NATO…carpet bombed Serbia I was saddened beyond words. Is this what my grandfather and father fought for in the two World Wars? On September 11th…I thought Serbs would be full of “I told you so.” However, I spoke to a friend of mine who lives in Serbia named Slavica a few days later. She was very worried and concerned for my safety. I asked her why she was so concerned about America? She replied that “if they can do that to America then what will happen to the rest of us.” For once I was speechless.
It has been a mystery to me since Bosnia as to why our government is supposedly fighting a war against terror and on the other hand supporting the KLA, etc. to the point of violating International law and being the instigator and financial supporter of “ethnic cleansing”...
My ancestors fought in several wars to defending [sic] our American values and way of life. I devoted twenty years of service to upholding the rule of law, while trying to make a better and safer New York for all of its citizens. In recent years, however, American power has been misused, at radical variance from our values, employed to run Serbian families out of their homes by the hundreds of thousands. Almost everyday [sic], Serbs and non-Albanian Kosovars are dying at the hands of thugs protected by NATO and KFOR. In winter, the elderly die from an enforced lack of heating in Kosovo enclaves. Now that Kosovo appears headed for independence, the situation is only going to get worse.
Sixty years ago, my father fought against the Nazis, only for his son to witness the extermination of the Serbs - once America’s best Balkan ally in the fight against the Nazis. Now America is helping to ensure the ethnic cleansing of the Serbs, which means rewarding the still militant descendents of the very people who fought against America, on the side of fascism, committing untold atrocities in the process. The US and the EU are accomplishing something right now that even Hitler could not.
But this is what patriotism looks like in Kosovo--at least not questioning it does--according to Fellenzer and Staggs. They deny the brutal fate of Kosovo Christians. Fellenzer and Staggs are disappointed in me? I'm disappointed in the politicians who helped turn the free world’s hard-won values on their head in Kosovo, and in those attempting to muzzle anyone who will blow the whistle on their political agenda.
For those readers whose hearts can take it, on my blog are a few paragraph excerpts from Hiding Genocide in Kosovo—a Crime against God and Humanity, just released by the American Council for Kosovo. (The book can be ordered here.)