Albania article (updated)

letter to the editor
It is a disgrace that a wonderful site (American Thinker) and a good and thoughtful writer (Patrick Poole) are so wrong on Albania and he ends with the outrageous words "Long live the sons of Scanderberg!"

For their information:  In 1943 the Nazis formed the 21st SS "Skanderbeg" division of Moslem Albanian volunteers to perform an "ethnic cleansing" (of Jews and Serbs) in Yugoslavia. Tens of thousands of Serbs were sent to a Croatian death camp and as noted by Raul Hilberg in The Destruction of the European Jews (1961) Skanderbeg played a major role in the Holocaust, rounding up Jews who were subsequently sent to Bergen-Belsen and various death camps. Furthermore, the Albanians gratified the Nazis with their brutality and were great admirers and conspirators with the Grand Mufti of Palestine....

Please see: http://mideastoutpost.com/archives/000357.html
 
Update: Patrick Poole responds:

It sickens me that I have to defend myself against the accusation that I've somehow engaged in support of Nazism, but that's what I've been forced to after the editors of American Thinker imprudently published Ruth King's email earlier today in response to my article, "Albania and the Perils of the 21st Century". She calls the publication of my article "disgraceful" and ties the ending statement of my article "Long live the sons of Scanderbeg" to the 21st SS "Skanderbeg" Division during WWII, qualifying it as "outrageous", even though there is absolutely no connection between the two whatsoever except in her own mind.

First off, the mention of George Castrioti Scanderbeg in my article unmistakably identifies the actual 15th Century Albanian historical figure, George Castioti Scanderbeg, who was one of the valiant defenders of Western Civilization:

Much of the present religious tension in Albania is being spawned by the foreign attempts to keep the country in the Dar-al-Islam, the House of Islam, land held tenuously since the time of 15 th Century Albanian national hero, George Castrioti Scanderbeg. Scanderbeg, hailed as "Champion of Christendom" by Pope Nicholas V, relentlessly fought the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II to preserve Albania as a bulwark for Christian Europe against Ottoman aggression. Scanderbeg was able to defend the ancient Christian lands of Albania against the relentless campaigns of Islamic imperialism until his death, but his successors were not able to hold out.

She writes:

In 1943 the Nazis formed the 21st SS "Skanderbeg" division of Moslem Albanian volunteers to perform an "ethnic cleansing" (of Jews and Serbs) in Yugoslavia. Tens of thousands of Serbs were sent to a Croatian death camp and as noted by Raul Hilberg in The Destruction of the European Jews (1961) Skanderbeg played a major role in the Holocaust, rounding up Jews who were subsequently sent to Bergen-Belsen and various death camps. Furthermore, the Albanians gratified the Nazis with their brutality and were great admirers and conspirators with the Grand Mufti of Palestine....
Here is the important statement "Skanderbeg played a major role in the Holocaust..."; but the "Scanderbeg" I was praising died five hundred years before the "Skanderbeg" that Ms. King rightfully deplores. Surely she understood this? What's the connection between the two? They were both Albanian and they were both named Scanderbeg. That's it, folks. That's what she claims is "outrageous" and "disgraceful". But because of this thread-bare connection, Ruth King and the American Thinker editors believed it was OK to beat me with the Nazism stick and play a quick game of "six degrees of Adolf Hitler" at the expense of my good name. Thanks.

Ruth King says that I'm "wrong on Albania", but offers no explanation why I'm wrong beyond this. Here's what she left out. Contrary to the impression given by Ms. King that the handful of Albanians that were part of the SS are representative of Albanian sentiment during WWII, in fact the majority of Albanians were active in the resistance to Nazism and the occupying Italian fascists. A number of Albanians, "Sons of Scanderbeg" all, have been honored at Yad Vashem in Israel for their protection of the Jews during the Holocaust. As the Library of Congress notes, by the end of 1944, there were 70,000 anti-fascist forces operating in Albania fighting against the Germans, which eventually killed, wounded, or captured 80,000 Italian and German soldiers while suffering about 28,000 casualties by war's end. The anti-fascist forces dwarfed any contribution to the Axis Powers by Albanians. And what does this have remotely to do with Albania today, since virtually every adult then living is now dead?

We get a glimpse of Ms. King's own motives in her closing statement: "Furthermore, the Albanians gratified the Nazis with their brutality and were great admirers and conspirators with the Grand Mufti of Palestine..." The Albanians "gratified the Nazis with their brutality"? They were "great admirers and conspirators"? Exactly who is guilty of the race-baiting here? And what does any of this do with the substance of my article? Let me be clear: I unreservedly reject Ms. King's attempts to try to impute to the Albanian people today the sins of a small minority of Albanians, all of whom are now dead and by no means represented the views of Albanians even back then, in order to grind the mill of her thinly-veiled racism and pro-Serbian sentiments.

If anything about this episode is disgraceful it's that my friends at American Thinker gave air so quickly to such a bigoted crank as Ms. King to casually besmirch the reputation of one of the many (unpaid!) writers who make their publication possible, and to have my name associated with the horrors of Nazism without the slightest editorial pause on their part. This isn't debate; this is bush-league. Honestly, I thought I deserved better from their hands. I would certainly hope an apology would be forthcoming.
It is a disgrace that a wonderful site (American Thinker) and a good and thoughtful writer (Patrick Poole) are so wrong on Albania and he ends with the outrageous words "Long live the sons of Scanderberg!"

For their information:  In 1943 the Nazis formed the 21st SS "Skanderbeg" division of Moslem Albanian volunteers to perform an "ethnic cleansing" (of Jews and Serbs) in Yugoslavia. Tens of thousands of Serbs were sent to a Croatian death camp and as noted by Raul Hilberg in The Destruction of the European Jews (1961) Skanderbeg played a major role in the Holocaust, rounding up Jews who were subsequently sent to Bergen-Belsen and various death camps. Furthermore, the Albanians gratified the Nazis with their brutality and were great admirers and conspirators with the Grand Mufti of Palestine....

Please see: http://mideastoutpost.com/archives/000357.html
 
Update: Patrick Poole responds:

It sickens me that I have to defend myself against the accusation that I've somehow engaged in support of Nazism, but that's what I've been forced to after the editors of American Thinker imprudently published Ruth King's email earlier today in response to my article, "Albania and the Perils of the 21st Century". She calls the publication of my article "disgraceful" and ties the ending statement of my article "Long live the sons of Scanderbeg" to the 21st SS "Skanderbeg" Division during WWII, qualifying it as "outrageous", even though there is absolutely no connection between the two whatsoever except in her own mind.

First off, the mention of George Castrioti Scanderbeg in my article unmistakably identifies the actual 15th Century Albanian historical figure, George Castioti Scanderbeg, who was one of the valiant defenders of Western Civilization:

Much of the present religious tension in Albania is being spawned by the foreign attempts to keep the country in the Dar-al-Islam, the House of Islam, land held tenuously since the time of 15 th Century Albanian national hero, George Castrioti Scanderbeg. Scanderbeg, hailed as "Champion of Christendom" by Pope Nicholas V, relentlessly fought the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II to preserve Albania as a bulwark for Christian Europe against Ottoman aggression. Scanderbeg was able to defend the ancient Christian lands of Albania against the relentless campaigns of Islamic imperialism until his death, but his successors were not able to hold out.

She writes:

In 1943 the Nazis formed the 21st SS "Skanderbeg" division of Moslem Albanian volunteers to perform an "ethnic cleansing" (of Jews and Serbs) in Yugoslavia. Tens of thousands of Serbs were sent to a Croatian death camp and as noted by Raul Hilberg in The Destruction of the European Jews (1961) Skanderbeg played a major role in the Holocaust, rounding up Jews who were subsequently sent to Bergen-Belsen and various death camps. Furthermore, the Albanians gratified the Nazis with their brutality and were great admirers and conspirators with the Grand Mufti of Palestine....
Here is the important statement "Skanderbeg played a major role in the Holocaust..."; but the "Scanderbeg" I was praising died five hundred years before the "Skanderbeg" that Ms. King rightfully deplores. Surely she understood this? What's the connection between the two? They were both Albanian and they were both named Scanderbeg. That's it, folks. That's what she claims is "outrageous" and "disgraceful". But because of this thread-bare connection, Ruth King and the American Thinker editors believed it was OK to beat me with the Nazism stick and play a quick game of "six degrees of Adolf Hitler" at the expense of my good name. Thanks.

Ruth King says that I'm "wrong on Albania", but offers no explanation why I'm wrong beyond this. Here's what she left out. Contrary to the impression given by Ms. King that the handful of Albanians that were part of the SS are representative of Albanian sentiment during WWII, in fact the majority of Albanians were active in the resistance to Nazism and the occupying Italian fascists. A number of Albanians, "Sons of Scanderbeg" all, have been honored at Yad Vashem in Israel for their protection of the Jews during the Holocaust. As the Library of Congress notes, by the end of 1944, there were 70,000 anti-fascist forces operating in Albania fighting against the Germans, which eventually killed, wounded, or captured 80,000 Italian and German soldiers while suffering about 28,000 casualties by war's end. The anti-fascist forces dwarfed any contribution to the Axis Powers by Albanians. And what does this have remotely to do with Albania today, since virtually every adult then living is now dead?

We get a glimpse of Ms. King's own motives in her closing statement: "Furthermore, the Albanians gratified the Nazis with their brutality and were great admirers and conspirators with the Grand Mufti of Palestine..." The Albanians "gratified the Nazis with their brutality"? They were "great admirers and conspirators"? Exactly who is guilty of the race-baiting here? And what does any of this do with the substance of my article? Let me be clear: I unreservedly reject Ms. King's attempts to try to impute to the Albanian people today the sins of a small minority of Albanians, all of whom are now dead and by no means represented the views of Albanians even back then, in order to grind the mill of her thinly-veiled racism and pro-Serbian sentiments.

If anything about this episode is disgraceful it's that my friends at American Thinker gave air so quickly to such a bigoted crank as Ms. King to casually besmirch the reputation of one of the many (unpaid!) writers who make their publication possible, and to have my name associated with the horrors of Nazism without the slightest editorial pause on their part. This isn't debate; this is bush-league. Honestly, I thought I deserved better from their hands. I would certainly hope an apology would be forthcoming.