Ending the Balkan Quagmire at American Thinker

For the past eight years, I've been in a lonely place politically. I don't mean the kind of lonely that conservatives generally find themselves in. I'm talking about utter desolation, for there are just as few conservatives as liberals where I've been. One of the only non-Serbian Americans to do so, I watched with steady interest for the better part of a decade the clockwork predictability of the fallout from our forgotten Kosovo intervention, a bombing campaign against an emerging post-Communist democracy rooted in Judeo-Christian values--on behalf of tribalistic, blood-code-following nominal Muslims claiming oppression and no less than genocide and ethnic cleansing.

Watching the Albanians predictably move on to terrorize Macedonia within a few months of our intervention that would "contain" the conflict, and then watching Albanians turn their weapons on NATO peacekeepers within 18 months, I wondered what it would take to get a national discussion going about that huge, self-destructive debacle. What would it take to have the debate that, it must be said despite my hobby of mocking Europeans, the German public had in 2001 when it put its politicians' feet to the fire after learning the hoax that their country had been party to, thanks to a German documentary unapologetically titled "It Began with a Lie."

In sharp contrast to every other cynically reported war, this time not only were our peacenik presses on board, but conspicuously they didn't try to ingratiate us to the enemy perspective by letting us hear incessantly from the other side, as they're otherwise fond of doing. Something was off. Even the evolving "alternative media"-self-tasked with policing the mainstream press and usually very wary of "facts" coming from the mainstream media and of cause celebres--were either silent on this or on precisely the same page as the New York Times, with its Sontag yentas for the first time explaining the concept of "just war". I found that, aside from Serbian-Americans (and Serbian-Canadians), who would later describe 1999 as a surreality they observed as if outside themselves, the only other people who as a group understood that our action meant something awful for the free world were the Russian-Jewish community that I myself had come from-a cartoonishly patriotic and capitalistic immigrant group with less than zero feeling for "Mother Russia" (if we're talking about the 70s and 80s wave).

Every now and again, a glimmer of hope that the fraud would be revealed surfaced, first in March, 2000 with a Washington Post article titled "Was it a Mistake? We were Suckers for the KLA" and then in April, 2001, with a Toronto Sun article titled "The Hoax that Started a War". Now, I thought, the story of the century-a fabricated genocide and PR campaign starting a war-would finally "break."

But the silence persisted, and none of the rare newspapers giving the occasional op-ed space to the dissenting perspective was interested in actually investigating. Nothing changed in this regard after the attacks of September 11th. Not even after a Washington Times article titled "Hijackers connected to Albanian terrorist cell" came out a week after 9/11, reading:
Albania is one of several places U.S. intelligence agencies are focusing their resources...Islamic radicals, including supporters of bin Laden, have been supporting Albanian rebels fighting in the region, including members of the Kosovo Liberation Army...KLA members have been trained at bin Laden training camps in Afghanistan...As of last year, the group operated a residence in Tirana, and the CIA has been pressing Albania's government to expel all associates of the Islamic terrorists.
Meanwhile, every one of my own articles attempting to expose the hoax-relegated to a small segment of the alternative media because of a near blackout on the subject everywhere else-dropped with a thud. As did an article coming out two months after 9/11, titled "Al Qaeda's Balkan Links"(which appeared only in the European edition of the Wall St. Journal). Same thing with a March 2002 National Post article titled "U.S. Supported al-Qaeda Cells during Balkan Wars, Fought Serbian Troops":
Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorist network has been active in the Balkans for years, most recently helping Kosovo rebels battle for independence from Serbia with the financial and military backing of the United States and NATO...In the years immediately before the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, the al-Qaeda militants moved into Kosovo...to help ethnic Albanian extremists of the KLA mount their terrorist campaign against Serb targets in the region.
Even after another National Post article in 2004 by Canadian former UN General Lewis MacKenzie, titled "We Bombed the Wrong Side?", came out, Kosovo remained off the media's and public's radar-something that vested politicians were counting on.

But then came March 2004, when rumors, proved false, that Serbs drowned three Albanian boys, were used as a spark for the orchestrated pogroms of March 2004, leading to the deaths of 19 people, the displacement of 4,000 Serbs, the destruction of dozens of churches and medieval monuments plus hundreds of homes. Surely people would demand to know what on earth was going on over there, I thought, and what are these people whom we "rescued". All the questions that weren't asked in 1999 would finally be asked, I thought.

They weren't. And the silence grew louder. The questions still weren't asked even when the 9/11 Commission found that Bosnia, with our help, had been the breakout event that transformed al Qaeda into a truly global network; they weren't asked even when the Commission found that two of the 9/11 hijackers had fought alongside Bosnian and international forces against the Serbs, and that five of the hijackers had been trained in Bosnia, and that Australian David Hicks trained in a KLA camp. But the national dialogue that the issue demanded remained absent, and the media maintained its blackout, one door after another slamming in my face every time I proposed a piece on the repercussions of our Balkans intervention.

What o what would it take, I wondered, for people's eyes to stop glazing over at the mention of the words "Bosnia", "Kosovo" and "Balkans". The answer came a few days before Valentine's Day this past February, when a Bosnian immigrant shot nine Americans at a mall in Salt Lake City, an incident that raised some American eyebrows. But the media were prepared, quickly taking the story right back to Bosnia and rehashing the same "Serb-sparked Balkan-wars" explanation that brought us in on the Muslim side in the first place. The story died soon enough, after a round of the familiar "Bosnians aren't all like that" and "Community fears American Backlash" articles. However, the seed for the long-awaited questions had finally been planted, so that three months later when four Albanians were arrested for plotting to massacre American servicemen in New Jersey, the public finally wanted some answers.

Conservative Confusion

One thing that comes with researching and trying to talk about the Balkans for eight years, and something that's important for this readership to understand, is that people we otherwise respect--people who seem to "get it" on every other vital issue of the day, including Islam--are utterly clueless on the Balkans-and, alternately, agenda-laden. The Balkans are every respectable commentator's blind spot. Notice that in their daily opining on the war on terror since 9/11, our best minds don't touch on the Balkans, a key region in the fight for civilization. In trying to engage people-including the conservative intelligentsia that went along with the peaceniks on our 1990s "humanitarian" wars-I find that people are confused, confounded, overwhelmed and bored by the subject.

Name your favorite conservative pundit, your most trusted jihadwatcher, and in deconstructing the war on terror and the danger of Islam and jihad, there is always, always one exception that he or she will make: the Balkans. That's where we give the Muslims the benefit of the doubt, where world trends don't apply, where Muslims don't stage atrocities or provoke military responses or use Western dupes; the area is suspended in its own context, immune to the tactic of nationalism followed by separatism - which we buy and then Americans die as that separatism morphs into Islamism.

This is nothing personal against anyone who has attacked me in these pages, but a simple statement of fact that I and the handful of other Balkans observers out there have noticed over the better part of a decade: The Balkans make smart people stupid. And that includes people and publications we conservatives generally respect, such as the Wall St. Journal, National Review, Weekly Standard, and so on.

As well, it is a favorite vocation of conservatives who want to earn their "I'm not anti-Muslim" stripes--to pile even more on those most expendable of whities, the Serbs. The Balkans are the bone we toss to the Islamic world in its perpetual but elsewhere transparent imaginings of genocides, massacres and hate crimes against them. At the policy level, attempting to win over the Muslim world by giving them Serbian territory and all the interventions that this included was a clearly stated goal-not only by Tom Lantos (D-CA) and Robert Wexler (D-FL) in April, but early on by Lawrence Eagleburger who, as Dr. Srdja Trifkovic wrote in his book Defeating Jihad, "said that a goal in Bosnia was to mollify the Muslim world and to counter any perception of an anti-Muslim bias regarding American policies in Iraq in the period leading up to Gulf War I." Added Trifkovic, "The result of years of policies thus inspired is a terrorist base in the heart of Europe, a moral debacle, and the absence of any positive payoff to the United States."

What is it about the Balkans that makes it such an exception? What is it about the Serbs that makes "Serbian propaganda" which is consistent with our own intelligence less preferable than Muslim propaganda? At the same time, what is it about the Serbs and the Balkans that makes George W. Bush indistinguishable from William Jefferson Clinton; Henry Hyde indistinguishable from Tom Lantos; John McCain indistinguishable from Joe Biden; Condoleezza Rice indistinguishable from Madeleine Albright; Joe Lieberman indistinguishable from Eliot Engel; and Wesley Clark from Bob Dole?

This confusion has found its way to the pages of American Thinker. As we finally, finally are confronted on our own shores with the direct consequences of our actions, as Americans pay the price of their leaders' still unadmitted foreign policy disasters, some opinion makers--without following the direction the region has taken and without reading even a shred of Hague transcripts or articles based on those transcripts--have the gall to come out of the woodwork and do their piece to keep the Balkans chapter closed. This is my contribution toward sparing American thinkers any further such insults to their intelligence.

In the recent section "Disputing Julia Gorin," American Thinker contributor Ray Robison wrote the following:
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... This organization is nothing but a front.
Robison was objecting to a source I cited in the following sentence: "But already the Albanians of Kosovo believe that independence is the very least they are due, and don't hesitate to attack UN officials or NATO troops that are perceived to stand in the way."

But which fact is he objecting to? The fact that Agim Ceku is the prime minister of Kosovo? Or the part where Ceku's Croatian troops shot at Canadian peacekeepers? If the Serbness of the source is what offends-and it usually does--then maybe the following source with a more graphic depiction will be more agreeable. From "Ceku Must Face Justice" by Canadian journalist Scott Taylor:
...if one only casually glances at the resume of the incoming prime minister, Agim Ceku, it becomes apparent that his election flies in the face of international justice, foreshadows more violence in Kosovo and ignores the sacrifices and valour of our Canadian Forces...As a colonel in the Croatian army, Ceku commanded the notorious 1993 operation in what is known as the Medak Pocket [in Croatia's Krajina region].

It was here that the men of the 2nd Battalion of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry came face to face with the savagery of which Ceku was capable. Over 200 Serbian inhabitants of the Medak Pocket were slaughtered in a grotesque manner (the bodies of female rape victims were found after being burned alive). Our traumatized troops who buried the grisly remains were encouraged to collect evidence and were assured that the perpetrators would be brought to justice.
And if you want to see for yourself, here's a 17-minute video of the fighting-and of some body parts--courtesy of the Canadian Broadcasting Company's "National" subsidiary.

Meanwhile, I must point out that Mr. Robison has engaged in a favorite ploy of many Albanian readers, namely picking out one source out of a dozen that are cited, which he then points to and says, "Aha! A Serbian source! This writer can't be trusted!" (Stigmatizing a source as "Serbian" and therefore not to be listened to is another favorite international pastime, no matter how much backup that source may have from mainstream, non-Serbian sources--which often don't even know they're backing up any Serbian claims.)

As to Mr. Robison's quip that this information is "extremist Serb propaganda" put out by "probably the same people who were raping and murdering the Kosovars in the first place," professional writers generally don't make conjectures parroting debunked popular mythology, so I won't dignify this buffoonery with a professional response. But if ethnic cleansing, racial supremacy, systematic murder and rape, organized terror and property plundering are what one seeks, here is an article about eyewitness Branko Piliser, an American who grew up in Kosovo and whom I interviewed for the Jerusalem Report and JewishWorldReview.com about his brother Slobodan, among the last of the Jews driven from Kosovo.

Next, Robison objected to my citing a Reuters story that stated, "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."

Robison countered by saying, "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 ...?"

My detractors don't normally make it this easy for me, but if Mr. Robison insists on giving his inexpert opinion about who was behind an attack, then I can't have much mercy. The reason Robison is confused is that he hasn't been following the region for the past eight years and is unaware of its evolution as the big picture plays out. Had he been, he would know by now that if Serbs are suspected of attacks or attempted attacks, the word "Serbs" appears in the news reports on the subject, starting with the headline. When those suspected are Albanian, no ethnicity is mentioned-as we recently witnessed here with the Ft. Dix arrests, when just about every news outlet referred to "former Yugoslavs" instead of fingering our Albanian protégés. (It works similarly in the Middle East: "Israelis kill six Palestinians in West Bank Raid" vs. "Bus explodes in central Jerusalem.") Here are some headlines which don't give any idea as to who is behind an attack, until you read the actual article:

Terror strike on Bill Clinton Avenue [Boulevard]: Kosovo car bomb injures 32 as U.N. analyzes peacekeeping effort, WorldNetDaily.com, Dec. 17, 2002.

Explosion at UN Mission in Kosovo March 11, 2005, BBC

Three blasts rock Kosovo capital, sparking fears of fresh unrest  July 3, 2005, AFP

"Another Explosion Rocks Kosovo. EU Fiercely Condemns Violence" July 4, 2005, Serbian source

"UN says threats made against Kosovo staff" Nov. 27, 2006, EuroNews:
The UN says it's received "credible threats" against its staff and property in Kosovo. The UN-run province is braced for violence after a year-end deadline for a decision on the ethnic Albanian majority's demand for independence from Serbia was pushed back. Security has now been heightened after political activists called for a mass protest on Tuesday against the UN negotiation process, which began in February.
KLA letter admitting attack on UNMIK cars sent from Tirana Feb. 23, 2007, Kosovo paper Express, via BBC Monitoring-Europe (Indeed, according to an American peacekeeper I spoke with, deployed with the National Guard in Kosovo, U.S. forces are advised to not park their vehicles near UN vehicles, as those are always exploding.)

Nor are recent headlines such as "NATO prepared to deal with possible civil disturbances in Kosovo" particularly a warning to the region's Serbs, with Albanians threatening violence if independence doesn't happen this summer.

With regard to the quote Robison chose from the cited source, please note that it comes from the Albanian leadership, whereas the rest of the article paints a different picture.

Poole's and Robison's Vision Clouded by Sentimentality

Robison's experience of Kosovo, which he described in his original, heart-warming account for American Thinker, dates back to his year 2000 peacekeeping mission during which, he wrote, he felt like a "rock star" to grateful people including "gorgeous" and "giggling" toothless nurses. Of course he felt that way. As in other backwards, impoverished lands where any American is a celebrity, most of these people had never seen an American before, and this American was there to help them; naturally, he was embraced. (I can't help wondering, though, if any of these nurses were employed at the hospitals which during Kosovo's autonomous era wouldn't treat Serbian patients, forcing pregnant Serbs to go to Serbia proper to give birth. Are the giggling nurses among the Albanians who later got work at the UN-run mental hospitals abusing Serbian patients?)

In contrast, after his trip to Kosovo and Bosnia last month, Jesse Petrilla, founder of The United American Committee, which promotes awareness of Islamic extremism in America, concluded:
The Kosovo Muslims are of course grateful for [our help], yet I spoke with several dozen of them about their allegiances and it was blatantly clear that their allegiance 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 Wahabist indoctrination in most every mosque and every school in Kosovo?
Like Ray Robison, AT contributor Patrick Poole also has been befriended by Albanians, his heart touched by some hospitable and, for the moment, grateful people. While Albanians made Robison feel like a rock star, Poole openly states on his blog:
While it is easy to get me to speak endlessly on any topic, if there's one topic that's near and dear to my heart it is anything having to do with my travels to Albania. I get teary just thinking about it.
If that's the case, Poole should responsibly recuse himself from the discussion, as he admits to being incapable of impartiality and objectivity on this issue. Both he and Robison are too close to the situation, their regard for a people clouding their vision and causing them to work backwards from a preferred and stale premise rather than follow the information. On this point, I should mention that I was writing my "Serb propaganda" for more than eight years before befriending my first Serb face to face-which happened this past May in Israel.

It is clear that these two men depart from their anti-jihad guns when it comes to Albanians. Here is a perfect illustration in which, stunningly, Robison lays bare his conflicted confusion:
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.
A truly amazing statement. This is supposedly someone who knows something about the way jihad works? Is Robison unaware of the long-used tactic of enlisting the West's help to further one's territorial, nationalist and/or jihadist ambitions-until the West won't take the jihadist or nationalist agenda to the next stage, at which point the weapons turn against the Western Infidel? The Bosnia and Kosovo jihads, as they are openly and casually called by Muslims around the world including Pakistani President Musharraf, were done by the book. Of course they called for a NATO intervention, and continue to call for Western interference where it is beneficial. For precedents on jihadists enlisting the aid of the international community (a.k.a. "Western dupes"), see the Oslo model (mind you, most Palestinians are "secular" too); 1980s Afghanistan and even the Islamic green-light that Anwar Sadat got from his imam before signing the Carter-brokered "peace" treaty with Menachem Begin.

In a September Human Events article titled "Will U.S. Back Islamo-Fascist State in Europe?", editor John Gizzi  wrote:
Indeed, at the 16th Islamic Conference held in Pakistan in October 1998, Albanian separatism in Kosovo was defined as a jihad and the Islamic world was called on to help "this fight for freedom on the occupied Muslim territories."
It was at this time that the nascent al Qaeda "announced terrorist attacks against the ‘infidels', i.e. Great Britain, the USA, France, Israel, Russia, India and Serbia," according to this Serbian government report-if Robison, Poole and Albanian readers will deign to skim section 6, "Pan-Islamic Factor".

In defending his Albanian friends, Poole began one sentence with "But the fringe in the US that sees every Albanian as a terrorist, every Muslim a Wahhabi, and Kosovar independence a direct threat to the very existence of Europe..."

Robison similarly underestimates Kosovo' significance when he writes:
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' [sic] inhabitants pose no threat to us. Gorin is a con-artist.
If Kosovo is an insignificant part of the fight, why is it so important to al Qaeda:
"In the eyes of the radical Islamic circles, the establishment of an independent Islamic territory including Bosnia, Kosovo and Albania along the Adriatic Coast, is one of the most prominent achievements of Islam since the siege of Vienna in 1683. Islamic penetration into Europe through the Balkans is one of the main achievements of Islam in the twentieth century." -- Israeli Colonel Dr. Shaul Shay, author of Islamic Terror and the Balkans
This item, reported by AFP ("Bin Laden in Kosovo") and CNSNews.com, reinforced Shay's notion as early as 2000:
The official Yugoslav news agency, Tanjug, reported Thursday that bin Laden has "found new sanctuary in the Balkans, in the hotbed of European terrorism--Kosovo...[He] arrived in Kosovo from Albania...Until recently, bin Laden was training a group of almost 500 mujahedin from Arab countries around the Albanian towns of Podgrade and Korce for terrorist actions in Kosovo."...Tanjug reported that Abu Hassan, the man said to be accompanying bin Laden, was "responsible for the murder of three British tourists in December 1998."...Israeli investigative journalist Steve Rodan wrote that, according to European security and diplomatic sources, "Kosovo has become the latest and most significant arena for radical Islamic states and groups that seek to widen their influence in Europe."
And the National Guardsman I spoke with over the weekend echoed this reality, saying "With all the attention on Iraq, everyone underestimates this region. No one understands that what happens here will play a key role in European security for the next 10 years."

American writer Christopher Deliso, who has been following the Balkans even longer than I have (let alone Poole and Robison), is among the few who does. His book, The Coming Balkan Caliphate, has just been released.

Yes, Mr. Poole, we are indeed the fringe-the informed fringe.

The Big Picture

Again, it's common to be "all about stopping Islamic extremism" and be dead wrong on Islam in the Balkans; it's a standard disconnect among otherwise hawkish conservatives. The Bush administration itself, busy frying bigger fish, early on made the mistake of believing that Kosovo is not a significant part of the war on terror, and therefore defaulted to Clinton-era policies there.

But there is an old little propaganda pamphlet that Dr. Trifkovic has described, issued by an Albanian émigré organization in Turkey, which shows
a green arrow emanating from Turkey, thrusting through the Muslim-populated parts of the Balkans (Thrace, Macedonia, Kosovo, Sanjak, Bosnia), severing the links of the unbelievers' defensive steel chain, and victoriously heading to the north-west, towards the heartland of Europe. This geopolitical idea [has been] known for decades as the Green Route ("Zelena Transverzala")."
It was no coincidence that the huge sports complex that Sarajevo built for the 1984 Olympics was named "Zetra", short for Zelena Transverzala. Continues Trifkovic:
As Yugoslavia started disintegrating in the early 1990s, most Western analysts of world affairs promptly categorized the Green Route thesis as a crude, anti-Muslim conspiracy theory, mainly propagated by nationalist Serbian academics...The Green Route theory has gained fresh credence, in Europe at least, after 9-11.  It is by now hard to dispute that the radicalisation of Islam in the Balkans - deliberate or not - turned out to be the net result of the actions of the "international community" during the Yugoslav crisis...

After 9-11, nothing was supposed to be as before, but the U.S. policy in the Balkans has inexplicably retained its Islamophile bias, so remarkably persistent during the Clinton years. In the meantime, the Green Route has morphed from an allegedly paranoid Islamophobic propaganda ploy into a demographic, social and political reality.
About Albanians being anti-Wahhabi, as Poole has mentioned and as many Albanian readers have written me, all insisting that Albanians merely suffer from the same scourge as the rest of us-radical Islam making inroads with their population--what we have is this: The territorially ambitious Albanians accepted the Wahhabis' and al Qaeda's help, making themselves easy prey to jihadists while pursuing a terror war of secession, and now that they're about to get their independence, they don't want the Wahhabis moving in on their turf. It doesn't work that way; Wahhabi help always comes with a price tag. Meanwhile, here is an illustration of the dynamic between the Wahhabis and the anti-Wahhabi Albanians, from the NGO Institute for War and Peace Reporting:
Agim Krasniqi and a dozen other armed men have given the [Macedonian] government a headache ever since last November, when they took over control of the village of Kondovo, a dozen kilometers from Skopje [capital], effectively turning it into a safe haven for criminals from Macedonia and Kosovo... But Krasniqi remained defiant, warning that if the police approached the village he would retaliate against Skopje itself with bombs and explosives...In the meantime, Krasniqi can be seen sitting in cafes in the centre of Skopje...
But now watch Agim Krasniqi save the day:
...[O]utside the village of Kondovo in the Summer of 2005, armed men from the Wahhabi camp attacked a car carrying...imams who spoke out against the Wahhabis. In a strange twist, the moderate imams were saved when another armed group, that of Kondovo native and young militant Agim Krasniqi, attacked the Wahhabis.
Hamas vs. Fatah, anyone? Sunnis vs. Shiite? Meanwhile, as early as that November, 2001 article in Wall St. Journal-Europe, the writer discerned a trend:
With the future status of Kosovo still in question, the only real development that may be said to be taking place there is the rise of Wahhabi Islam -- the puritanical Saudi variety favored by bin Laden -- and the fastest growing variety of Islam in the Balkans. Today, in general, the Balkans are left without the money, political resources, or institutional strength to fight a war on terrorism. And that, for the Balkan Islamists, is a Godsend.
According to Mickey Bozinovich at Serbianna.com:
Reliable sources on the ground in Kosovo confirm that Wahabis are tremendously popular among young Muslim Albanians, that UNMIK is afraid to patrol certain quarters where Kosovo Wahabis dominate and that even the peacekeepers themselves are afraid that their action may trigger a violent reprisal.
Serbianna.com is a Serbian-American news and commentary site that was put on the map in the wake of news of the Ft. Dix plot. KFOR intelligence incorporates articles from sources like Serbianna and Serbia's "B92" news site into the National Guard's The Daily Falcon newspaper. According to Serbianna columnist Dr. Miroljub Jevtic, the most extreme imam in Bosnia comes from Kosovo:
[T]he Islamic extremism and open [incitement] on the US that [are] spreading among the Balkan Muslims [are] preached by an Imam, who is...an ethnic Albanian from [the] village of Orahovac in Kosovo. This Imam, Suleyman Bugari, is a hodja of the White mosque in Vratnik, known as the most Muslim part of Sarajevo. Ironically, the fiercest fighter of jihad has not turned up from the middle of Bosnia with its numerous Islamic top ranking religious schools, but from Albanian dominated Kosovo, busy teaching the Bosnians in the midst of Sarajevo what real Islam is.
With the recently announced delay in determining Kosovo's status and the province's leaders and citizens warning/threatening of violence to come should the province not get independence this summer, watch the "moderates" become indistinguishable from the radicals. Surely "former" terrorist and our pal, Democratic Party of Kosovo leader Hashim Thaci, knows what he's talking about when he says, "Enough is enough. The time was yesterday. Today is already too late. Tomorrow is dangerous." (Let's just hope the few hundred thousand Albanians living in America don't get as upset as their brethren in Kosovo, especially the KLA fighters we've resettled here.)

In his original Albanian rhapsody, titled "Albania and the Perils of the 21st Century" Poole wrote:
It was during a long road trip with a Ministry of Energy official...that I observed a number of new mosques being built in virtually every town we drove through, which was a bit of a surprise for a country that just a few years earlier had been officially atheistic. Inquiring about this, my friend -- a high-ranking member of the Albanian government and the Democratic Party -- shook his head and said, "Yes, Mr. Patrick. The Saudis are building everywhere they can. This is causing many problems all over, but since they bring with them millions of American dollars, there isn't much that we can do to keep them out."
At the same time, a Washington Post article Poole cited demonstrates that Albanians are grateful for the foreign money:
Many Albanians interviewed here said they are grateful for the money and manpower from foreign religious groups. Not only has the largess built new churches and mosques, it has funded job training, food, roads, irrigation, schools and other projects...The frantic pace of mosque construction has continued at a break-neck pace, as dozens of new Wahhabi-financed mosques have opened in every major city, staffed by foreign-trained Wahhabi imams.
If anyone has any illusions about the budding militancy of Kosovo, here is a small sampling of headlines to dispel them:

Albanian Gunmen Hijack Bus in Italy

Kosovo Link to [U.S.] Embassy Strike

Al Qaeda in Kosovo

Montenegro accuses ethnic Albanians of plotting insurgency

Ethnic Albanians protest outside U.S. Embassy, demand release of terrorist suspects

Ethnic Albanian Terror Suspects Appear in Court in Montenegro (Four of them live in the U.S., including three citizens from Michigan and one Tom Lantos contributor.)

Bin Laden's Balkan Connections

We Buy Bag of Semtex from Terrorists [in Kosovo] ("a breeding ground for fanatics with al-Qaeda links.") Video here.

Bin Laden's Camps Teach Curriculum of Carnage (KLA fighter's application found at al Qaeda offices in Afghanistan, boasting experience fighting Serbian and American troops in Kosovo and recommending suicide operations against Disneyland)

Serbian Church Condemns Calls for Destruction of Churches

Albanian Sought by Italy Captured in New Jersey

Albanians in Southern Serbia Press for Greater Autonomy

Police Attacked in South Serbia

Albanians in Greece Form Paramilitary Formation

Ignore at Peril: the Growing Cauldron of Kosovo and Bosnia

Kosovo Albanian Drug Boss Admits Friendship with Al Qaeda Leader

US Tackles Islamic Militancy in Kosovo

Kosovo Seen as New Islamic Bastion

Bin Laden Operated Terrorist Network Based in Albania

Bin Laden Opens European Terror Base in Albania

Iranians Move In

And once again we are hearing from former al Qaeda operative Ali Hamad, who is still trying to warn the West about Bosnia and Kosovo:
Former Al-Qa'idah officer Ali Hamad [as transcribed] has said that the Bosnia-Hercegovina state still protects members of Al-Qa'idah, adding that members of this terrorist organization are also to be found in Kosmet [Kosovo-Metohija] where they are supported by ethnic Albanians.

In an interview with [Belgrade-based] Glas javnosti, Hamad said...that Al-Qa'idah had established control over Europe via Bosnia-Hercegovina, assessing that Spain and Italy would soon suffer a terrorist attack similar to what had happened in the United States...

He said that, according to his knowledge, Al-Qa'idah, after Bosnia, had the largest number of its people in Kosmet where Albanians supported them.

"They especially hate the Serbs. In some FBI reports, it has been demonstrated that Al-Qa'idah has its people in Kosovo, and that domestic people from Kosovo