Disputing Julia Gorin (updated)

letter to the editor
How disappointing to see The American Thinker sully its good name by publishing the clumsy lies of Julia Gorin. ["Why do They Love Us?" - ed.]

Both her main arguments are false :

The Albanians have  appreciated the US since the time of President Wilson,  as he seemed to be less cynically inclined to deny them their national rights than others, who  let Serbia and Greece steal half their territories in 1913 and were willing to let them steal even more after 1918. In pushing for Kosovo's independence,  the US is merely insisting that democracy and the rule of law take hold in that part of Europe, too. And Gorin is merely  trying to manipulate the conservatives' dislike of Clinton against a policy which is longstanding and bipartisan, a pure expression of Americanism.

The Albanians have nothing to do with Muslim Nazism either,  which is more developed in Western Europe and even the United States than in Albania or Kosovo.  The Albanians' national hero is Scanderberg,  a Catholic whom two Popes called "the Athlete of the Christ" for a quarter-century's resistance against Ottoman invasion in the 15th century. That is why the red of the Albanian flag, Skanderbeg's flag, refers to the blood of the CHRISTIAN martyrs. No other people on earth has a more relaxed attitude towards religion,  and nowhere are relations better between Muslims and Christians. If Ms Gorin knew more about the Serbs than their propgaanda,  she would know that the Serbian writer and linguist Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic already mentioned that fact in 1849. The other Albanian hero is Mother Theresa, born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, another Catholic.

As a twelve-year student of Serbo-Croat,  I can certify that Ms Gorin's statements in no respect differ from those of Serb "nationalist" propaganda,  so that they are only accidentally related to the facts.  I have even been found her prose helpful to keep informed of the latest Serb propaganda lies,  as I prefer reading from
honest Serbs when reading in Serbian

Update: Our contributor Ray Robison writes:

It’s not often that I see a piece on American Thinker that I have to respond to. Julia Gorin writes Why Do They Love Us which provides nothing but rhetoric about how the Albanian’s love us because we have somehow fallen into their insidious jihadist trap and the lure of praise keeps us there. Nonsense. What a partisan fabrication.
Let’s look at Gorin’s sources if you want to know how you are being hoodwinked by this con artist.
One of the articles that Gorin cites comes from a website of something called CNW group. If you read the “about us” portion you find that this is not a news service but a press distribution service. This “story” is actually a press release from something called The Centre for Peace in the Balkans. Read its 'about' page:

March 24th, 1999 marks a sad day in the history and political framework of the world.

On this day, against their own charter and without debate or a directive from the United Nations, the US led NATO military alliance bombarded Serbia and Montenegro for 78 days. NATO’s deadly armada left the civilian infrastructure of Yugoslavia in ruins, millions of innocent civilians homeless and thousands dead. The effects of the NATO aggression will be felt by the people of Southeastern Europe for decades to come.

This organization is nothing but a front. Millions of civilians displayed and thousands are dead because of NATO jets firing missiles at tanks? This is an extremist Serb group probably the same people who were raping and murdering the Kosovars in the first place. It is like Gorin has cited a Nazi website to attack the Jews. I can’t speak to the content but you should not believe anything from a source such as this which shrouds its’ hateful claims in trappings to make it appear as a news item.

Gorin also cites this Reuters story. The story leads with the statement that:
Three synchronized explosions in Kosovo's capital city were aimed at blocking the path to independence from Serbia, the province's ethnic Albanian president and prime minister said on Sunday.
I don’t know where Gorin comes from or what flim-flam artistry correspondence course she graduated from but in my book it is pretty obvious that in the very story she cites the Serbs are again attacking the Kosovars. That is evidence that we are enabling jihadists? What the …?

Another Guardian article actually does touch upon the very real issue of Albanian extremists who are probably working with Islamic terrorists. But these are very few in number. Are we now going to go after Oklahoma because Timothy McVeigh is evidence of terrorists operating there? Or can we apply a little reason and realize that these extremists in Kosovo are not operating with support from the people and in fact are proudly denounced by the people of Kosovo. You won’t get that with the Palestinians.

Gorin cites a Guardian article in which one of these “rebel leaders”:
…called for the area to be included in Kosovo under K-For administration. But Nato, the UN and the US have called on his group to disband and respect current borders.
So just think about that for a moment. Here we have a commander of the extremists actually calling for western dictate over land he occupies. Can anybody with a straight face say this smacks of Islamic extremism? He did not say “we will behead infidels” or “the infidels must stop involving themselves in our region”. He said he wanted NATO involvement.

Look, I can only lead a horse to water, I can’t make him drink. If anybody who reads this pro-Serbian phony claim about the imminence of Islamic jihadists opening the door to the west through Kosovo can’t see right through this nonsense, I can’t help you. But if you have read my previous work you know I am all about stopping Islamic extremism. Kosovo is not a significant part of that fight and its’ inhabitants pose no threat to us. Gorin is a con-artist.

Andrew Bostom writes:
 
The two respondents to Ms. Gorin appear utterly clueless about the centuries years of Ottoman jihad which brutalized the indigenous Balkan populations--subjecting them to massacre, pillage, enslavement, and deportation--and then subjected the survivors, primarily Christians, but also Jews to a half millennium of violently imposed dhimmitude. The Islamized Albanians were amongst the most ruthless in imposing this system. The renowned early 20th century sociologist and geographer Jovan Cvijic,* in his detailed psychosocial analysis of the Serbian and other Christian dhimmis under Turkish Muslim rule, described how the fear of recurrent violence accentuated their submission, engendering prototypical dhimmi adaptive behaviors, into the second decade of the 20th century:
[they became]...accustomed to belonging to an inferior, servile class, whose duty it is to make themselves acceptable to the master, to humble themselves before him and to please him.  These people become close-mouthed, secretive, cunning; they lose all confidence in others;  they grow used to hypocrisy and meanness because these are necessary in order for them to live and to avoid violent punishments.

The direct influence of oppression and violence is manifested in almost all the Christians as feelings of fear and apprehension.  Whenever Moslem brigands or evil-doers made their appearance somewhere, entire districts used to live in terror, often for months on end.  There are regions where the Christian population has lived under a reign of fear from birth until death.  In certain parts of Macedonia, they don't tell you how they fought against the Turks or against the Albanians, but rather about the way that they managed to flee from them, or the ruse that they used to escape them.  In Macedonia I heard people say:  "Even in our dreams we flee from the Turks and the Albanians."  It is true that for about twenty years a certain number of them have regained their composure, but the deep-seated feeling has not changed among the masses of people.  Even after the liberation in 1912 one could tell that a large number of Christians had not yet become aware of their new status:  fear could still be read on their faces. 
And it was the faux moderate fundamentalist Muslim (he of the 4 wives and Islamic Declaration) Izetbegovic who spoke openly of his desire to reimpose the Sharia, and indeed rebuild a Caliphate, beginning with Bosnia.

*Jovan Cvijic. La Peninsule Balkanique, Paris, 1918, pp. 387-388 ff. English translation by Michael Miller.

Ray Robison writes:
 
Thanks Andrew, you make two great points

  • 1) Apparently you are the only one who can pick up a book about history in the Balkans. Congrats.
  • 2) Apparently history trumps reality on the ground
I wonder, have you ever been on the ground in Kosovo like this clueless person? Ever seen the internationally designated war crime zones where the Serbs committed their atrocities? Ever been to the beautiful Christian churches that have gone unmolested for centuries until the Arab mujahideen flooded into the region in the mid 1990's in response to the Serb suppression of the Kosovar Muslims. Ever been attacked by a mob of Serbs? Ever seen the church near Vitina where mother Teresa began her mission, a church that has seen no attack by the native Muslim population and was only endangered by the Arab mujahideen?

Do you have anything to back up your conclusions other than ancient history and Serb propaganda?

As a matter of fact, I have read about the history of the region (wow, other people can read a history book, sorry Andrew) and I know atrocities have been the norm in the region for centuries going both ways because the region was the northern boundary for the Ottoman Empire. But here's a clue for you Andrew. There is no Ottoman Empire today.  The people are quite European and moderate in their religion. They are pro-democracy and pro-west.

Running around like Paul Revere warning of a failed caliphate from decades ago may make you fell like you are doing something of value. What you are doing is devaluing a chance to reach out to moderate Muslims to show our fight is with Islamic extremists/terrorists, not Islam. We have had in Kosovo a chance to prove it. We have had a chance to maintain influence in a historically important buffer zone between Europe and Asia. They are on our side. We are you people so eager to run them away? Are you just eager to create a west-east world war to fulfill some kind of biblical apocalypse? And, oh by the way, then you should want to keep the people of the region on our side anyway and not superfluously identify them as the enemy.

Are there native extremists? Sure, we have them as well. We probably have more of them in this country. But this condemning an entire population because of the actions of a very few is utterly foolish. History is important Andrew but let us focus on the facts as they are today in determining who is our enemy and who is our friend. Should we now send the U.S. Army onto the reservations to rout out those darned Indians?

Andrew G. Bostom writes:

65% of Muslims from the world's most populous nations say NOW that they want BOTH a Caliphate and the strict application of Sharia Law, as I have documented at your site...The lionized popular leader of "moderate" Balkan Islam Izetbegovic also wished to restore Sharia Law and see a Caliphate re-established...I haven't said these things...Muslim leaders and the votaries of Islam have---as they always have in large numbers. One can ignore and deny these realities or accept and prepare for them. And a senior peacekeeper, Lewis McKenzie who was also "on the ground" in the Balkans  begs to differ with Robison's one-sided modern assessment




How disappointing to see The American Thinker sully its good name by publishing the clumsy lies of Julia Gorin. ["Why do They Love Us?" - ed.]

Both her main arguments are false :

The Albanians have  appreciated the US since the time of President Wilson,  as he seemed to be less cynically inclined to deny them their national rights than others, who  let Serbia and Greece steal half their territories in 1913 and were willing to let them steal even more after 1918. In pushing for Kosovo's independence,  the US is merely insisting that democracy and the rule of law take hold in that part of Europe, too. And Gorin is merely  trying to manipulate the conservatives' dislike of Clinton against a policy which is longstanding and bipartisan, a pure expression of Americanism.

The Albanians have nothing to do with Muslim Nazism either,  which is more developed in Western Europe and even the United States than in Albania or Kosovo.  The Albanians' national hero is Scanderberg,  a Catholic whom two Popes called "the Athlete of the Christ" for a quarter-century's resistance against Ottoman invasion in the 15th century. That is why the red of the Albanian flag, Skanderbeg's flag, refers to the blood of the CHRISTIAN martyrs. No other people on earth has a more relaxed attitude towards religion,  and nowhere are relations better between Muslims and Christians. If Ms Gorin knew more about the Serbs than their propgaanda,  she would know that the Serbian writer and linguist Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic already mentioned that fact in 1849. The other Albanian hero is Mother Theresa, born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, another Catholic.

As a twelve-year student of Serbo-Croat,  I can certify that Ms Gorin's statements in no respect differ from those of Serb "nationalist" propaganda,  so that they are only accidentally related to the facts.  I have even been found her prose helpful to keep informed of the latest Serb propaganda lies,  as I prefer reading from
honest Serbs when reading in Serbian

Update: Our contributor Ray Robison writes:

It’s not often that I see a piece on American Thinker that I have to respond to. Julia Gorin writes Why Do They Love Us which provides nothing but rhetoric about how the Albanian’s love us because we have somehow fallen into their insidious jihadist trap and the lure of praise keeps us there. Nonsense. What a partisan fabrication.
Let’s look at Gorin’s sources if you want to know how you are being hoodwinked by this con artist.
One of the articles that Gorin cites comes from a website of something called CNW group. If you read the “about us” portion you find that this is not a news service but a press distribution service. This “story” is actually a press release from something called The Centre for Peace in the Balkans. Read its 'about' page:

March 24th, 1999 marks a sad day in the history and political framework of the world.

On this day, against their own charter and without debate or a directive from the United Nations, the US led NATO military alliance bombarded Serbia and Montenegro for 78 days. NATO’s deadly armada left the civilian infrastructure of Yugoslavia in ruins, millions of innocent civilians homeless and thousands dead. The effects of the NATO aggression will be felt by the people of Southeastern Europe for decades to come.

This organization is nothing but a front. Millions of civilians displayed and thousands are dead because of NATO jets firing missiles at tanks? This is an extremist Serb group probably the same people who were raping and murdering the Kosovars in the first place. It is like Gorin has cited a Nazi website to attack the Jews. I can’t speak to the content but you should not believe anything from a source such as this which shrouds its’ hateful claims in trappings to make it appear as a news item.

Gorin also cites this Reuters story. The story leads with the statement that:
Three synchronized explosions in Kosovo's capital city were aimed at blocking the path to independence from Serbia, the province's ethnic Albanian president and prime minister said on Sunday.
I don’t know where Gorin comes from or what flim-flam artistry correspondence course she graduated from but in my book it is pretty obvious that in the very story she cites the Serbs are again attacking the Kosovars. That is evidence that we are enabling jihadists? What the …?

Another Guardian article actually does touch upon the very real issue of Albanian extremists who are probably working with Islamic terrorists. But these are very few in number. Are we now going to go after Oklahoma because Timothy McVeigh is evidence of terrorists operating there? Or can we apply a little reason and realize that these extremists in Kosovo are not operating with support from the people and in fact are proudly denounced by the people of Kosovo. You won’t get that with the Palestinians.

Gorin cites a Guardian article in which one of these “rebel leaders”:
…called for the area to be included in Kosovo under K-For administration. But Nato, the UN and the US have called on his group to disband and respect current borders.
So just think about that for a moment. Here we have a commander of the extremists actually calling for western dictate over land he occupies. Can anybody with a straight face say this smacks of Islamic extremism? He did not say “we will behead infidels” or “the infidels must stop involving themselves in our region”. He said he wanted NATO involvement.

Look, I can only lead a horse to water, I can’t make him drink. If anybody who reads this pro-Serbian phony claim about the imminence of Islamic jihadists opening the door to the west through Kosovo can’t see right through this nonsense, I can’t help you. But if you have read my previous work you know I am all about stopping Islamic extremism. Kosovo is not a significant part of that fight and its’ inhabitants pose no threat to us. Gorin is a con-artist.

Andrew Bostom writes:
 
The two respondents to Ms. Gorin appear utterly clueless about the centuries years of Ottoman jihad which brutalized the indigenous Balkan populations--subjecting them to massacre, pillage, enslavement, and deportation--and then subjected the survivors, primarily Christians, but also Jews to a half millennium of violently imposed dhimmitude. The Islamized Albanians were amongst the most ruthless in imposing this system. The renowned early 20th century sociologist and geographer Jovan Cvijic,* in his detailed psychosocial analysis of the Serbian and other Christian dhimmis under Turkish Muslim rule, described how the fear of recurrent violence accentuated their submission, engendering prototypical dhimmi adaptive behaviors, into the second decade of the 20th century:
[they became]...accustomed to belonging to an inferior, servile class, whose duty it is to make themselves acceptable to the master, to humble themselves before him and to please him.  These people become close-mouthed, secretive, cunning; they lose all confidence in others;  they grow used to hypocrisy and meanness because these are necessary in order for them to live and to avoid violent punishments.

The direct influence of oppression and violence is manifested in almost all the Christians as feelings of fear and apprehension.  Whenever Moslem brigands or evil-doers made their appearance somewhere, entire districts used to live in terror, often for months on end.  There are regions where the Christian population has lived under a reign of fear from birth until death.  In certain parts of Macedonia, they don't tell you how they fought against the Turks or against the Albanians, but rather about the way that they managed to flee from them, or the ruse that they used to escape them.  In Macedonia I heard people say:  "Even in our dreams we flee from the Turks and the Albanians."  It is true that for about twenty years a certain number of them have regained their composure, but the deep-seated feeling has not changed among the masses of people.  Even after the liberation in 1912 one could tell that a large number of Christians had not yet become aware of their new status:  fear could still be read on their faces. 
And it was the faux moderate fundamentalist Muslim (he of the 4 wives and Islamic Declaration) Izetbegovic who spoke openly of his desire to reimpose the Sharia, and indeed rebuild a Caliphate, beginning with Bosnia.

*Jovan Cvijic. La Peninsule Balkanique, Paris, 1918, pp. 387-388 ff. English translation by Michael Miller.

Ray Robison writes:
 
Thanks Andrew, you make two great points

  • 1) Apparently you are the only one who can pick up a book about history in the Balkans. Congrats.
  • 2) Apparently history trumps reality on the ground
I wonder, have you ever been on the ground in Kosovo like this clueless person? Ever seen the internationally designated war crime zones where the Serbs committed their atrocities? Ever been to the beautiful Christian churches that have gone unmolested for centuries until the Arab mujahideen flooded into the region in the mid 1990's in response to the Serb suppression of the Kosovar Muslims. Ever been attacked by a mob of Serbs? Ever seen the church near Vitina where mother Teresa began her mission, a church that has seen no attack by the native Muslim population and was only endangered by the Arab mujahideen?

Do you have anything to back up your conclusions other than ancient history and Serb propaganda?

As a matter of fact, I have read about the history of the region (wow, other people can read a history book, sorry Andrew) and I know atrocities have been the norm in the region for centuries going both ways because the region was the northern boundary for the Ottoman Empire. But here's a clue for you Andrew. There is no Ottoman Empire today.  The people are quite European and moderate in their religion. They are pro-democracy and pro-west.

Running around like Paul Revere warning of a failed caliphate from decades ago may make you fell like you are doing something of value. What you are doing is devaluing a chance to reach out to moderate Muslims to show our fight is with Islamic extremists/terrorists, not Islam. We have had in Kosovo a chance to prove it. We have had a chance to maintain influence in a historically important buffer zone between Europe and Asia. They are on our side. We are you people so eager to run them away? Are you just eager to create a west-east world war to fulfill some kind of biblical apocalypse? And, oh by the way, then you should want to keep the people of the region on our side anyway and not superfluously identify them as the enemy.

Are there native extremists? Sure, we have them as well. We probably have more of them in this country. But this condemning an entire population because of the actions of a very few is utterly foolish. History is important Andrew but let us focus on the facts as they are today in determining who is our enemy and who is our friend. Should we now send the U.S. Army onto the reservations to rout out those darned Indians?

Andrew G. Bostom writes:

65% of Muslims from the world's most populous nations say NOW that they want BOTH a Caliphate and the strict application of Sharia Law, as I have documented at your site...The lionized popular leader of "moderate" Balkan Islam Izetbegovic also wished to restore Sharia Law and see a Caliphate re-established...I haven't said these things...Muslim leaders and the votaries of Islam have---as they always have in large numbers. One can ignore and deny these realities or accept and prepare for them. And a senior peacekeeper, Lewis McKenzie who was also "on the ground" in the Balkans  begs to differ with Robison's one-sided modern assessment