Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Book: The Krajina Chronicle

The Lord Byron Foundation for Balkan Studies has just published two new books: "Saving Peace in Bosnia" (PDF), earlier this month , and the just announced "The Krajina Chronicle: A History of Serbs in Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia", by Srdja Trifkovic.

It promises to be an interesting book, filling in a major gap in the Western understanding of the Balkans. I'm currently working on a review of "Saving Peace in Bosnia", and hope to have a review of the "Krajina Chronicle" here soon as well.

Monday, February 22, 2010

About That Triumphant Air War...

I found this interesting tidbit buried in an AP story about the new Israeli drones on Sunday:

During NATO's aerial onslaught against Serbia in 1999, for example, Serbian quickly forces [sic - should be "forces quickly"] shot down 42 U.S. drones, drastically reducing the effectiveness of the bombing campaign.

This is the first such admission in the West to date.

Back in 1999, the Serbian media (and a handful of proto-bloggers and internet ur-journalists) claimed that Yugoslav AA defenses had shot down a number of NATO aircraft. NATO spokescritters routinely dismissed these claims as propaganda. In some instances, though, such as when the footage of the wrecked F-117 traveled around the world, denial was impossible.

Still, those who knew a thing or two about military operations thought it odd that NATO aircraft kept on flying at very high altitudes. Or that the Apache helicopters never saw combat, but rather mysteriously "crashed" into nonexistent power lines in northern Albania.

Now we have admission that Serbian air defenses did hurt the Alliance after all. And it comes from the same media that shamelessly repeated NATO lies at the time, over ten years ago. Better late than never, I suppose.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Serbs, Enemies of Allah

From a 2006 BBC report on the trial of Abu Hamza al-Masri, charged with soliciting murder, stirring up racial hatred, and possession of terrorist materials:

He went on to tell his audience that there was no liquid loved more by Allah "than the the liquid of blood".

"Whether you do it by the lamb, or you do it by a Serb, you do it by a Jew, you do it by any enemies of Allah," he said.

That drop of blood "is very dear."

This is from the sermon Abu Hamza gave in October 2000.

He was convicted in 2007 and is currently in British prison. Odd how nobody has picked up so far on this inclusion of Serbs into the lofty ranks of "enemies of Allah." Hardly news to me, of course, but there's still plenty of people (including many Serbs) in denial. But there we have it, from the horse's mouth. Good to know.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

No Human Rights For You!

In a couple of months - April, to be exact - Amnesty International will organize a "Human Rights Arts Festival" in Silver Spring, Maryland. A first event of this kind, the purpose of the festival is to "bring together artists, local businesses and politicians to use socially transformative art to raise awareness of human rights and justice issues, as well as the important work of Amnesty International".

Human rights and justice issues? Sounds like a good venue to present the plight of the non-Albanians precariously surviving in the "Independent State of Kosovo," right? At least that's what the folks at RAS thought, when they recommended
Boris Malagurski's documentary "Kosovo: Can You Imagine?" as one of the films to be featured at the festival.

Nothing doing, came the reply from AI. The film "does not fit with the
atmosphere" they wanted to create, described as "advocating for a cause without advocating against another people." The movie, AI argued, "seems to be clearly anti-Albanian."

Zvezdana Scott of RAS replied to this dismissal with the following note, which she allowed me to make public:

Human rights are not violated without a perpetrator violating those rights, and it is puzzling to me as to why you believe this film is anti-Albanian. Is any film dealing with the topic of the Holocaust - anti-German perhaps? Or is this film supposedly anti-Albanian simply because it does not talk about crimes committed against Albanians during the 1990s, something that has generated more media attention than any crimes against Serbs for the last century.

This is not an anti-Albanian film, and I would love to hear your arguments as to why you classify it as such. The film is against what is happening to the Serbs in Kosovo, and the only ones currently responsible for such a state are representatives of the Albanian ethnic group who do have the power to change things, as well as the international community which is doing little to help.

I'm sure most people within that same community often react such as yourself - because the Serbs were thoroughly demonized during the 1990s, it has become irrelevant whether they have the same rights as Albanians or not, and anyone who voices their opinion in favor of even-handedness towards the Serbs - must be anti-Albanian by default. I suggest you look at the film once again and take a bold step because it's not easy breaking from the mainstream. The people want to see something new, original and different from what they've been fed for the last decade.

No thank you, replied the AI official. Not interested.

So there you have it, folks. "Human rights" are great when you can use them as an excuse to launch a war of aggression or three, occupy someone's territory, condone ethnic cleansing (and excuse it as "revenge attacks"), and deliberately turn the other way when an entire people and its heritage are systematically obliterated - so long as the people thus targeted are Serbs.

Any attempt to protest this sort of treatment is labeled "Islamophobic" or "anti-Albanian" or "anti-Croat" or whatever. Having been declared inhuman, how dare they claim to have human rights!? The nerve of these people! Why can't they just die already!?

Many "human rights" groups have eagerly supported the demonization of Serbs. Amnesty International seemed to be an exception, given that they actually dared accuse NATO of war crimes during its 1999 assault on Serbia. Turns out they weren't all that different after all.

Now, you can either take AI's word that pointing out what the KLA has done with occupied Kosovo is "anti-Albanian", or you can watch Malagurski's film, and judge for yourself.