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Kosovo – The Epicenter of Islamofascism? By: Julia Gorin
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, August 16, 2007


Gorin's Flawed View of Kosovo Albanians
By Ray Robison

It is very true that good people, well meaning people can come down flatly wrong on a divisive issue. Such is the case with the blog storm Julia Gorin is leading against the Kosovo Albanians. Never one to be short-winded Julia Gorin has laid out a stream-of-consciousness argument for FrontPage warning of a looming Islamic extremist epicenter from not Egypt, not Saudi Arabia, not Pakistan but Kosovo. The real harm here is that some other mostly reasonable people have begun to be swayed.

First I will make the obligatory upfront concessions. There are Islamic extremists in Kosovo. There have been for years as evidenced by the Clinton Administration’s germination of a controversial policy called “rendition”. It was in Bosnia and Kosovo that the rendition of Islamic terrorists to nations like Egypt - which would obviously employ torture and in some cases murderous interrogation methods - began.

The reason the U.S. rendition policy became necessary is because the Islamic terrorists were not from Kosovo. They were sent back to Egypt in most cases because they were Egyptians. Now an argument can be made that these Arab jihadists, veterans of the Afghan mujahideen were supported locally by some Albanian Islamic extremists. But to mischaracterize this very slight support as an underlying current of Islamic extremism in Kosovo is absurd. Most Kosovars did not have the sophistication to understand that these Muslim fighters (al Qaeda and others) were bent on destroying the West and establishing an Islamic caliphate. Before 9/11, how many of our own relatively well informed citizens understood that? How many of us don’t understand that even now?

In addition, Kosovars have consistently expressed a closer identity to the West than towards fellow Muslims in Asia. I have to believe them considering my own experiences in Kosovo with the 101st Airborne.

In Kosovo, there is a certain level of endemic ethnically and religiously motivated fighting, criminal activity, and general strife. Look at the history of the region. Local tensions have existed going back hundreds of years and stem from the regions locality, so close to where the West (Europe) and Asia are in geographical contact.

Gorin generously sprinkles her writings with a one-sided view of apparent attacks against Christian Serbs in Kosovo. I could easily challenge the validity of many of her sources but you can research them just as well and come to the same realization I have, they are mostly not from legitimate media or government sources. Of course, that doesn’t eliminate them from consideration, but should be a signal to hit the “About” button on the organization’s website. You might find them quite surprising as I did when finding one to be an “Objectivism” website based on the writings of Ayn Rand.

Gorin would have you believe that nearly every single western media organization, UN member-nation and most of the American soldiers in Kosovo (except for the one she culled from the conspiracy) is out to enable Muslim extremists to begin the final solution of Muslim world-wide dominance beginning in Kosovo. From her writings it would seem that a lack of endorsement for her position from these entities is a badge of honor and actually proves her point. But she has left one coconspirator out: the Serb people themselves stormed the offices of government to remove the author of the Kosovo Muslim’s oppression, Slobodan Milosevic. Since these good people removed the oppressor of the Albanian Kosovars themselves, Gorin must put them in the same Islamofascist sympathizer category with nearly everyone but her.

So let me qualify again, in all cases from either side, the fairly limited amount of attacks that occur in Kosovo are wrong. But they should not be the sole elements by which we judge these conflicting viewpoints.

There are two issues at hand which Gorin continues to commingle as the self-appointed Paul Revere of Albanian Muslim extremism. The challenge for us is to determine whether Kosovar Muslims are a danger to us or are acting as an aggressor against a helpless people. We should never ally ourselves with an aggressor “nation” against an innocent population or one that is a threat to ourselves. So we can rely on dubious and biased reports on websites or perhaps we can just think for ourselves.

As for the allegations of genocide and regional ethnic cleansing leveled by Gorin how many of you are really ready to accept that every American soldier in Kosovo is simply keeping their mouths shut (under orders according to Gorin) to a U.S. funded ethnic cleansing campaign? For those of you with your hands in the air I refer you to The New Republic debacle in which a soldier just got himself in a heap of trouble for writing “journalistic” pieces about fictitious bad behavior by US soldiers. (Note: Fellow Gorin challenger Patrick Poole also made this point to me) So your reasoning here if you believe Gorin has to be that while one soldier in Iraq can make up entire stories about prohibited activity and get it published in The New Republic all of the soldiers in Kosovo (except the one Gorin released from the conspiracy) are just letting genocide go unreported. Riiiggghhhttt.

So how about the Kosovars as barbarians at the U.S-Western gates? Okay, I could post all kinds of sources to refute this, but again, let’s do some reasoning. Aside from the Fort Dix Six, which were notably US citizens and residents, how many Kosovars are being reported in attacks against the U.S.? How about on the front lines fighting with al Qaeda in Iraq? Running off to join the Taliban? Are there a few? Certainly but there are also white kids from California doing it as well aren’t there? Should we consider California residents our enemy because of the Islamic terrorists hatched in suburban families there?

Albanian Muslims are not an enemy in the war against Islamic extremists. Ask yourself how the CIA managed to round up so many (close to 100 if I remember correctly) al Qaeda fighters for those renditions. Do you think they likely had help from Albanian Muslims? Makes a lot of sense to me especially in the hindsight of how difficult it has been to identify and capture these people in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Anybody remember Kosovars burning U.S. flags? Yelling for the infidels to get out? Even a slight jab with the old “Great Satan” slogan so popular among most Muslim nations?

Can we figure out for ourselves why we do not see such a thing from Kosovo or do we need to follow those links to dubious sources to make up our own minds.

If a person wants to prosecute a religious war under the guise of national security nothing I can say will make a difference. But for those of you still on the fence all I ask is that you remember we have enough Muslim enemies and we need all the Muslim friends we can get to help stem the tide of Islamic extremism. The Kosovars are on our side. We must develop and retain that friendship in our own interests if not for theirs. General Petraeus in Iraq has provided a spectacular example of the need to engage the local population to root out and destroy al Qaeda in their midst. Can we not take that as a lesson in our dealings with all Muslim populations? I think we should.

Ray Robison is a former army officer, Gulf War veteran, served with the Iraqi Survey Group to document Saddam’s crimes and continued that work for Fox News with the Saddam Dossier, is a veteran of the 2nd Kosovo rotation in 2000, author of the ebook Both In One Trench: Saddam’s Support to Islamic Terrorism and currently works in Army research.

*

Response to Robison
By Julia Gorin

Ray Robison insists that most of the terrorists operating in Kosovo have been Middle Eastern “foreigners”. In addition to the well known fact that KLA trained in bin Laden camps and vice versa (e.g. David Hicks), Jesse Petrilla recently related an important point made by an American sergeant major in Bosnia, which also applies to Kosovo: “[When] anyone brings up the fact of Islamic war crimes, these leaders use the excuse that it was just foreign fighters and not them, when in fact they were the ones who brought those foreign fighters to the land.”

The U.S. has been playing a similar Balkans game, starting with the Clinton administration, as Chris Deliso writes in his new book The Coming Balkan Caliphate: “[T]he United States both cracked down on extremists and allied itself with Islamic leaders in the Tirana government funding these radicals.”

In Kosovo, the KLA which represented the aspirations of most Kosovo Albanians, as the New York Times reported in 1999, and which now comprises Kosovo’s uncompromising nationalist leadership is whom we continue to bank on in Kosovo. In the desperation Robison shares with our policymakers to make an exception of the Balkans so we can find that dreamy moderate-Muslim ally, he misses the point: the Balkans policies we pursued, which never took a new direction after 9/11, have created a safe haven for militants and promoted Islamization of the region. As Petrilla put it, the Balkans are a picture of “the ever expanding Middle East into Europe.” Deliso sums it up in his book:

The outright favoritism and support [the U.S.] had provided to the Bosnian Muslims in a complex civil war had the disastrous effect of transubstantiating the holy war from Southeast Asia to the heart of Europe. Indeed… the Bosnian jihad had essentially created a global empire for terror. To fulfill its extreme pro-Muslim Balkan policy, the United States was actually cooperating…with state sponsors of terrorism such as Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran, and Pakistan. With European allies like Germany and Austria, the United States aided and abetted their secret services, their banks, and their charities and thus created the terror network in both Balkan and Western European countries that would later provide the logistical support and some of the manpower for the 9/11 attacks…

We couldn’t admit our Bosnia mistake, and so we duplicated it in Kosovo. Now we can’t admit the Kosovo mistake, and so we are seeing it through to the end, which will be our end.

But Robison, still married to his obsolescing picture of the secular Albanian people, writes today that “Kosovars have consistently expressed a closer identity to the West than towards fellow Muslims in Asia.” He is laboring under the delusion that Western secularism holds a bigger pull for Muslims than Islam does. If that’s the case, why did the Bosnian war—in which the West unequivocally sided with Islamist ambitions and in which 5,000 Albanian volunteers fought—reinvigorate Islam in Bosnia and breed “a new generation of homegrown jihadis,” as Deliso writes? The Kosovo that Robison remembers isn’t today’s Kosovo or the Kosovo of the future that we’ve sponsored. It was “blatantly clear” to Petrilla that the allegiance of the dozens of Kosovars he spoke to “was to the east, towards Mecca, and certainly not to the [W]est. Where will their allegiances be once they get their way and have an independent state? Considering the continual bombardment of Saudi money and Wahhabist indoctrination in most every mosque and every school in Kosovo?”

The Coming Balkan Caliphate goes to this point:

The prevailing narrative of the media and Western governments, which predicts that once the last territorial disputes are settled, the Balkan states will all fall into line, becoming well-behaved, compact, and pro-Western countries, is short-sighted…it is contradicted by visible trends on the ground…Because of [Islamists’] activities, the Balkans will increasingly come to be identified as a spawning ground for terrorists, dotted with no-go areas and concealed urban command centers.

Albanian hands aren’t as clean of Islamism and terrorism as Robison would like readers to think. In a 2005 documentary, Albanian-American citizen and KLA gunrunner Florin Krasniqi (originally smuggled into this country across the Mexican border) unapologetically admitted to working with al Qaeda in fighting for Kosovo independence. Conversely, in 1998 at the 16th Islamic Conference in Pakistan, Kosovo Albanian separatism was called “jihad”, and the same year a rally in London for the Kosovo jihad was backed by over 50 indigenous Islamic groups, according to Deliso. One KLA volunteer interviewed in Albania stated that Kosovo would be his “eighth jihad”.

In Vitina, Kosovo, the Medina Mosque has been dubbed by foreign visitors as “the bin Laden Mosque” because of the bin Laden photos that adorned its walls until recently, presumably because the Americans complained. But not to worry: the mosque was financed by Turkey, also just a “moderate” Muslim state.

In the midst of Albania’s working with American intelligence in the 1990s to nab the bad guys, a “deeply embarrassing truth” was exposed, writes Deliso. “Albania had acquired a reputation among jihadis. According to [terrorist-slash-informer] Abu Omar, they considered Albania a “safe hotel”—“a country where fundamentalist Muslims believe they could live without fear of political repression.” (This answers Robison’s befuddlement over the Albanians helping the CIA round up al Qaeda fighters; is Robison so naïve as to be unfamiliar with the double game that all Muslim governments play with the West?) Deliso has more:

[I]n the immediate aftermath of the [9/11] attacks, tight-lipped U.S. government sources disclosed an explosive fact: that there was a definite connection between the 9/11 plotters and Albania-based Islamic terrorists. Further, these officials attested that KLA members had indeed been trained at al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan…

In 1994, President Berisha ensured a strong Islamic presence in Albania’s nascent banking sector with the arrival of the Arab-Albanian Islamic Bank, ahead of other Western banks. The Arab-Albanian Islamic Bank oversaw the construction of hundreds of mosques, gave scholarships to Islamic universities abroad, and doled out cash to poor Albanians…

Berisha, who was elected prime minister in 2005, had granted citizenship to 41 foreign extremists in 1992, the same year Bosnia gave bin Laden a passport. More recently, there have been some “unusually strong nationalistic statements by Berisha cabinet members, some of whom have said Kosovo should be annexed to the motherland,” Deliso continues. “A more tangible concern has to do with the return of former SHIK [Albanian intelligence] chief and Islamist supporter, Bashkim Gazidede [who]…was cooperating with al Qaeda—as well as with the Turkish MIT intelligence agency—while in exile.”

Robison asks, “Anybody remember Kosovars burning U.S. flags? Yelling for the infidels to get out?…the old ‘Great Satan’ slogan…?”

Why should they, when Uncle Sam is doing their bidding? The real question here is “What if?” What would happen if the U.S. changed its policy and did not feverishly support Kosovo independence? Nobody discusses the issue with that premise in mind, but this is what has the politicians and UN workers terrified. (Recall the rare candor of the Hungarian EU parliamentarian who in February explained what else drives the West’s Kosovo policy: “We’re afraid of them.”) But giving the Albanians what they demand by violence or threat of violence only encourages further violence. Did concessions to Palestinians engender moderation, or even more radical—and overtly Islamic—violence?

“Give the Albanians Kosovo,” shout the appeasers, while Albanians move on to terrorize Macedonia, Montenegro, southern Serbia and Greece. Does this sound at all familiar from the previous century? (Incidentally, when Macedonia got the upper hand over the Albanian National Army terrorists in 2001, the Bush administration sent in a rescue team for the terrorists. And yet Macedonia also supports an independent Kosovo. Like the rest of the West, it believes it can pacify its own restive Albanians making land claims.)

In the above-named areas, the fight for Albanian “human rights” includes murder, kidnapping and anal broom-raping. But according to Robison, these Albanians are not terrorists—at least not Islamic ones per se.

Yet there are several convergences between Islam and “Albanianism”: they stage massacres; they are majority Muslim (70% in Albania and 99.9% in Kosovo); they have radical ties; any land that an Albanian has ever stepped foot onto is considered “occupied Albanian territory” that needs to be “reclaimed” and “reunified”; after converting to Islam under the Ottomans, Albanians used their social superiority as Muslims to encroach on others’ lands and displace the original inhabitants; they utilize the West as a tool to promote their agenda; to achieve that result they engage in provocations against the host society, which include terrorism; Albanian solidarity trumps Albanian prosperity and security; they persecute gays and they like Michigan.

It’s interesting that Robison doesn’t consider Muslims who attack Serbs to be terrorists. Much of the world also holds Palestinians in a separate class from other Muslims. There is one reason that the world holds the Balkan Muslims, like the Palestinian Muslims, on a higher pedestal than “those” Muslims: discrimination. Against Jews, and Serbs. As usual, Muslim terrorism against non-Americans represents a "struggle for human rights," but when turned against American interests it becomes the greatest evil imaginable. Fortunately, many people today understand that what starts with the Jews, as with the Serbs, moves on to the rest of us.

Throughout the 80s and 90s, non-Islamist Albanians engaged in widespread subversion within Yugoslavia’s army, they attacked Orthodox churches, ambushed police stations, assassinated moderates, poisoned wells and burned crops. They’ve done all this, yet Robison says, “The challenge for us is to determine whether Kosovar Muslims are a danger to us…Aside from the fort Dix Six, which were notably US citizens and residents, how many Kosovars are being reported in attacks against the U.S.?”

Aside from the fact that all but one member of the Duka family are illegals (smuggled across the Mexican border in 1984), and aside from the Americans who have clashed with ethnic Albanians in the Balkans, John David Powell recently wrote, “Geometry teaches that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. If the charges against the Fort Dix Six stick, then that line leads from ethnic Albanians in the U.S. directly to their terrorist counterparts in Albania and Kosovo…a study published by the International Strategic Studies Association [suggests] a link between the KLA and the Revolutionary Struggle [in Greece]. It also predicts an increase in anti-U.S. activity in Greece led by proponents of an independent Kosovo.”

Supporting the Muslim side at all costs against the Serbs is no longer the simple, consequence-free matter of policy it once seemed. But the Robison ilk is obstinate. “We need all the Muslim friends we can get to help stem the tide of Islamic extremism,” he writes. I understand the value of not alienating the Albanians, but this goal shouldn’t be pursued to the detriment of our policy—both security-wise and morality-wise.

A short quiz: The culprit behind the next Balkan-based plot against the U.S. will most likely come from A) Albanians; B) Bosnians; C) Serbs or D) Duh? What kinds of chumps are we--after being attacked and then targeted for attack this year by a Bosnian and then Albanians, respectively—to still deny that supporting Muslims against Christians backfires? Robison is free to split hairs justifying our Serbophobic, pro-Muslim policies, while Muslims continue splitting more infidel skulls. Meanwhile, the dreaded Bosnian-Serb Republic tipped off Italian and Croatian authorities to a planned rocket attack on world leaders at Pope John Paul II’s funeral in 2005, Deliso reports. (Notice we didn’t hear much about that plot, which was hatched in a “backwater Bosnian village” by mostly Bosnians.) A year later, Serbia caught Madrid train bombing suspect Abdelmajid Bouchar by doing a basic Interpol fingerprint check that other countries he transited through didn’t do. Incidentally, the Madrid bombing (like the London bombing) was facilitated by our spawn, the Balkan terror network, with Bosnia mentioned 300 times in the Spanish indictment and the two main organizers having fought in Bosnia.

Would it horrify Americans to know that their government operates on the basis that militant Islam is not the biggest threat to us? Would Americans be shocked to learn that their government has never moved on from the Cold War—and is actively fanning its flames? This might explain why Naval War College professor and former NSA counterintelligence officer John Schindler’s book is being painted by the anti-American but U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe in Bosnia as “sensationalist” and “hyperbolic”. And also why, as Schindler explains, the US, NATO and EU still maintain that ‘there are no terrorists in Bosnia.’”

Petrilla was “comforted to learn that although our politicians may not get it, the Army certainly understands who the enemy is today.” Which addresses Robison’s skepticism about American soldiers in Kosovo “simply keeping their mouths shut…to a U.S. funded ethnic cleansing campaign”. Must I really explain to a former soldier that theirs is not to wonder why, but to do or die? And yet this doesn’t mean they don’t know any better. Besides, how easily do active-duty troops speak out publicly against their missions?

One recurring theme in my eight years of covering this suppressed story is that there is no limit to the degree people are willing to embarrass themselves in order to be on the wrong side of this issue. Robison writes of my “one-sided view of apparent attacks against Christian Serbs in Kosovo.” I didn’t know there was another side from which to view attacks. (Well-documented attacks, not “apparent” ones.) But that is just a prelude to his next insanity, namely impugning my sources as not being “legitimate media”. Despite my linked sources including Reuters, AP, BBC, NY Times, International Herald Tribune and others, he singles out my citing Sherrie Gossett of the Randian Objectivist Center’s magazine The New Individualist. Gossett was a star reporter for Brent Bozell’s Media Research Center’s CNSNews.com. But apparently, not only is Ayn Rand worthless, so is a major conservative media watchdog group. That a conservative who himself writes for less than “mainstream” sources tries to make his case by denigrating non-mainstream sources is desperation.

******

Because of length restrictions on today’s piece, a supplement on my blog addresses the rest of Ray Robison’s confusion.



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