In this Jihad Watch exclusive, Julia Gorin discusses yet another fruitless search for that ever-elusive unicorn, a genuine and broad-based moderate Islam:
In my fellow conservatives’ desperation to find a country that doesn’t hate America, and in the universal struggle to find a truly moderate Muslim population, articles and blog posts such as this one by Michael Totten, shamefully in Commentary magazine online, become ubiquitous.
It’s titled “This is a Kosovar Muslim” and has a picture of an elderly Albanian man wearing a “USA” sweatshirt with an American flag on it:I'm writing this from the capital of Kosovo, the least “scary” Muslim country on Earth…Kosovo is surprising even to me. Islam in this country is so thoroughly liberal (“moderate” doesn't quite cover it) that, if it weren't for the mosques, there would be no visible evidence that Kosovo is a Muslim country at all…Bosnia notoriously welcomed thousands of Salafist mujahideen fighters from the Arab world during Yugoslavia's violent demise. But the Kosovo Liberation Army brusquely told them to stay the hell out of their country--even while they faced an ethnic cleansing campaign directed from Belgrade. [They didn’t.]
American flags are on sale at kiosks everywhere. They fly in front of government buildings. The world's second largest replica of the Statue of Liberty sits atop the five star Hotel Victory. The largest street downtown was renamed Bill Clinton Boulevard…Clinton is rightly hailed as a liberator, but one resident told me “We are Republicans here in Kosovo.” They want a strong American President who won't back down from commitments. Just a few short blocks from Bill Clinton Boulevard is the Israeli Odyssea Bakery. It is not just a Jewish bakery, but an Israeli bakery owned and operated by an actual Israeli.
As with everyone else who has deigned to finally write about Kosovo now that it’s back in the headlines, Totten sees only what’s on the surface, because he didn’t bother following Kosovo from 1999 on (not to mention pre-1999). Yes, Albanians are pro-American, thanks to our distinctly un-American operation on their behalf. The last time someone expanded Albania for them, Albanians were so grateful that they formed two Nazi divisions to show their appreciation, rounding up Jews for Bergen-Belsen, and killing Serbs. Before that, they converted to Islam to benefit from Ottoman patronage, get higher status and get the upper hand over the Slavs. Albanians will be whatever they have to be, and the love is always conditional.
As I wrote in an article titled “The Pro-American Terrorists” and in another titled “Why Do They Love Us?”: Whoever secures more land for Albanians--in the current case a second country (while Jews still struggle for just one)--that’s whom they’ll love. So now we’re their patrons. Ottomans. Nazis. USA (along with Saudi Arabia and UAE). Which means that just as there is a Clinton mural in Kosovo, there is also a Hitler diner and a “bin Laden Mosque” (dubbed as such because of all the photos of bin Laden that adorned its walls until the Americans complained).
Totten further reveals his credentials as an imposter to this issue when he writes that the “Kosovo Liberation Army brusquely told [mujahedeen] to stay the hell out of their country--even while they faced an ethnic cleansing campaign directed from Belgrade.”
The ever-present use of State Department-issued language concerning “ethnic cleansing directed from Belgrade” aside (and please note that when it comes to any discussion of Kosovo, there is no variation from government to media to art), the KLA did in fact have Islamist help. Bin Laden co-financed, co-trained and co-fought with the KLA. Even the Brooklyn-based gun smuggler Florin Krasniqi listed al Qaeda as among those helping his KLA in a PBS-aired documentary (2005), saying that he would have worked “with the devil” too. Just as Totten’s article was being published the other day, al Qaeda-linked Kuwaitis were admitting that they were also fighting in Kosovo, in addition to every other kind of mujahed—one of whom told a journalist in 1999, “This is my eighth jihad.” As one National Guard source recently told me, the jihadists come and go as they please.
But I would certainly be interested in seeing some documentation for the notion that Totten conjured up of KLA telling the mujahedeen to “stay the hell out of their country.” I’d like to see even something quoting an Albanian leader, an “ex” KLA fighter or international administrator making this up, but Totten naturally offers zero documentation in his Commentary blog post, which reads like a ventriloquist act to anyone who has heard it all before—from Albanians.
To understand how things work in Kosovo and surrounding areas, Totten needs a heavy dose of Chris Deliso’s book The Coming Balkan Caliphate, from which he would glean that the Albanians have an “arrangement” with the fundamentalists that goes like this: If your boys touch the internationals here--who are giving us what we need--we will kill them. Tell them to keep their heads low, and they can continue to operate in the region.
While Albanians are slowly reawakening to Islam after a communist slumber, Kosovo is filling with mosques and is the center of al Qaeda heroin-trafficking. In case anyone ever seeks to question why U.S. leaders and the State Dept. sabotaged Serbian-Albanian negotiations at every turn, using absolutist language throughout (e.g. “Independence is the only option”), he or she will find that we were responding to the perpetual threat of violence by the Albanian leadership, our new “friend”. Of course, the Albanian leadership does not mean all Albanians, but even those Albanians who don’t have blood on their hands are all too happy to accept their independent Kosovo/Greater Albania however the KLA managed and bludgeoned to win it. They take their goodies from whoever is handing them out, and however they can get them.
Meanwhile, the receptiveness that the jihadists have found among young Albanians (like young Bosnians) to fundamentalism isn't unlike the void that Islam is filling in millions of young people everywhere. But the point is that our intervention opened that floodgate, and we continue down the same road even post-9/11. Instead of promoting multi-culturalism, we promoted the most radical elements, ethnic supremacy and a victim mentality that ultimately seeks out the old faith. And that faith is making inroads in Kosovo with access it didn’t have before 1999. (Just look at how surprised the famous shill for Balkan Muslims, Stephen Schwartz, was on this bus trip.)
Totten goes on to assert not only Albanians’ pro-Americanism, but their pro-Semitism:Accomplished businessman and practicing Muslim Luan Berisha told me that 90 percent of Kosovars support Israel in the Arab-Israeli conflict. I don't know if that's really true. But if so it means Kosovo is more pro-Israel than even the United States…No one in any Arabic country would say such a thing. Kosovo sharply contrasts also with nearby Serbia on this question, where General Wesley Clark is seen as a sinister Jewish figure who plotted Belgrade's destruction, and where Saddam Hussein was considered an ally.
Forced into dealing with countries that weren’t part of the Western-led sanctions, boycotts and bombings against it, Serbia was isolated and had few options. Hence the dealings with Saddam Hussein, who was our ally as well when we needed him. While Wesley Clark is rightfully hated in Serbia, Israel is supported and, as Yohanan Ramati, Chairman of Jerusalem Institute for Western Defense, wrote in the Jerusalem Post in 1995, “Israelis are still liked and welcomed.” There was good reason that Israel was against the bombing of Serbia and was providing covert assistance to Belgrade even while providing humanitarian aid to “Kosovars”.
For years, Serbia continued to face Westward despite our crimes against it, even offering troops for Afghanistan and Iraq. But having dug ourselves into a hole, we continued to dig—and continued to kick Serbia’s teeth in. Whatever geo-strategic advantages and goals we’ve managed to carve out of our disastrous 1990s errors (quietly admitted to here and there), at least as much could have been accomplished working with our WWI and WWII ally, Serbia, which also has an incredible intelligence apparatus and had good border security in Kosovo until we dismantled it. (Recall it was Serbia that caught a key suspect in the Madrid bombings 16 months after the attack--as he transited untouched through Europe, most likely on his way to Kosovo or Bosnia, writes Deliso.)
While Totten is in Kosovo’s capital, Pristina, he should look around and ask himself why it’s so pristinely Albanian. And while showing us “This is a Kosovar Muslim,” he should remember that so was one of the Fort Dix Six planning to massacre American soldiers—and three others were Albanian Muslims from western Macedonia, a.k.a. Greater Kosovo. Indeed, Totten’s timing on this post couldn’t be better, as today is the one-year anniversary of the arrests that should have been America’s red light on Kosovo independence.
Too bad conservatives can’t distinguish themselves from the Democrats and other appeasers on this front.