June 26, 2008

How Kosovo Created its Own Liberal Islam

On February 17, 2008, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia. Some are concerned about what NATO, the United Nations, and the European Union have nurtured there since the military and humanitarian intervention in 1999. James Jatras, a U.S.-based advocate for the Serbian Orthodox Community, put it bluntly last year when he said Kosovo was a “a beachhead into the rest of Europe” for “radical Muslims” and “terrorist elements.” It’s an assertion without evidence. “We’ve been here for so long,” said United States Army Sergeant Zachary Gore in Eastern Kosovo, “and not seen any evidence of it, that we’ve reached the assumption that it is not a viable threat.”

Nine in 10 of Kosovo’s citizens are ethnic Albanians, and more than 90 per cent of them are at least nominal Muslims. Most are so thoroughly modern and secularised that moderate doesn’t quite say it. The only word that can fairly describe Islam as practiced by the majority of Albanian Muslims is liberal. No nation can be entirely free of extremists, but Kosovo is one of the least religiously extreme Muslim-majority countries on Earth. Radical Islamists aren’t there in significant numbers now, and they aren’t likely to be in the future. Some places may be fertile ground for radicalism in the future, but Kosovo isn’t one of them for many of the same reasons that Christian theocracy isn’t coming to Western Europe.

I arrived here shortly after the declaration of independence, and the first thing I looked for – as always when I visit a Muslim-majority country – was the treatment and status of women.

Women who dress with their hair, ankles, and sometimes even faces showing in places like Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Taliban-controlled parts of Afghanistan are often beaten or worse.

In Kosovo, by contrast, almost all women, even in small villages, dress like women in the rest of Europe. Streets, cafés, restaurants, and bars are not all-male affairs as they are in much of the Islamic world, where women spend almost all their lives behind walls. If it weren’t for the occasional mosque minaret on the skyline, there is little visible evidence that Kosovo is a Muslim-majority country at all. Kosovo looks, feels, and is European.

A small number of well-heeled Islamic extremists from the Gulf states have moved into Kosovo to rebuild damaged mosques and transform liberal Balkan Islam into the more severe version found in the deserts of Saudi Arabia. They’ve had a small amount of success with a similar project in nearby Bosnia, but they’re meeting stiffer resistance from Kosovo’s religious community as well as from secular citizens.

“We are working very hard to stop these kinds of movements,” said Professor Xhabir Hamiti, of the Islamic studies department at the University of Pristina. “These kinds of movements are dangerous for all nations, for all faiths, for all religions. We are Muslims, but we think the European way. I am a Muslim, I am a scholar, I know how to deal with Islam in my country. There is no need for Arabs to come here. I have no need for their suggestions, no need for their explanations. We created our Islam ourselves here, and we can continue our Islam with our own minds.”

Read the rest in Standpoint Magazine.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at June 26, 2008 3:24 PM
Comments

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 06/27/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

Posted by: David M Author Profile Page at June 27, 2008 9:49 AM

Michael-Did you get any sense of hostility towards some of the evangelical Christian groups that are in Kosovo and the more that are arriving? It appears that they are taking as gospel (yes, I'm aware of the pun) the claim that the country has become a jumping off point for jihadists into Europe.

My neighbor, a member of one of the mega-churches in south Orange County, has told me in all honesty that the Muslims have overrun the country and his church is on the side of the persecuted Serbians. I'm not addressing his belief but rather the consequence of that belief if all of the Christian missionaries treat the Albanians and Kosovars as an Islamic fifth column.

Posted by: Pat Patterson Author Profile Page at June 27, 2008 5:03 PM

Pat: I'm not addressing his belief but rather the consequence of that belief if all of the Christian missionaries treat the Albanians and Kosovars as an Islamic fifth column.

If they think that about Albanians, then, frankly, they're idiots.

For one thing, a number of Albanians are converting to Protestant Christianity, in part because of the euphoric pro-American culture among the people.

The effect of your neighbor's opinion will most likely be negligible. Ugly Americanism, so to speak, among American civilians is nothing new, and to my knowledge it has never turned an ally against us. The only thing that will turn Albanians against Americans at this point is throwing them back into rule from Belgrade.

That is not going to happen because it will instantly ignite another terrible war, and doing so would be entirely gratuitous. There is no American consituency aside from the barking seals on the bigoted paleoconservative right that is pushing for any such thing. The Bush Administration rightly ignores these people, will continue to ignore these people, and so will a McCain or Obama Administration. Nothing they say or do has or will have any effect on any outcome.

I don't know about you, but I trust the American military in Kosovo infinitely more than I will ever trust the paleo-right, its fellow travelers among the religious right, or -- especially -- the Serbian Nationalists whom Serb writer Filip David rightly denounces as totalitarian. And I don't care who denounces me as a "liberal" or a "neocon" because of it.

I mean, for God's sake, if the American military in a post-911 world says there is no viable threat in Kosovo from jihadists or Islamists, that says it all. It's their job to monitor threats of this sort, and they have their intelligence agents' ears are very close to the ground, inside the mosques, and everywhere else their ears need to be.

If Iraq ever resembles Kosovo in a meaningful way (it won't), every right-of-center person in the country will cheerlead it as the greatest foreign policy victory since World War II. If the Middle East in general ever resembles Kosovo (it won't), the Arabs will be the staunchest and most reliable American allies on the planet. It baffles me that some people have such a hard time understanding this. Maybe it's because hardly anyone has been to both Kosovo and Iraq and cannot compare the two places as I can.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at June 27, 2008 5:27 PM

the Serbian Orthodox Church is Not really a Christian Church, they are a SERBIAN church and that's why they supported Mladic and Karadzic, even Milosvic was too moderate for them. No one is touching Catholic of Protestant Churches in Kosovo, or throwing out Christians, it's Serbian propaganda. The Albanian national hero is a Catholic and so is Mother Teresa. The Serbs have pretty much ensured that virtually all converted Albanians will be Catholics as suppose to Orthodox.

After destroying every Croatian Catholic Church in Krajina and Bosnia, committing unspeakable acts of genocide and mass rapes, the Serbs have found Christianity. Kinda funny, but that's not what Christ preached. The Serbian Church spread hate and as soon as the Albanians got autonomy in 1974 they started with the "rape" stories and damages to the churches. When academics looked, ALL crimes were lower in Kosovo than Serbia. Google "Serbian Church Karadzic" and "Michael Sells Serbian Church" and you will see that they have nothing to do with Christianity, they merely want more land for Serbia.

They are plenty of Christian missionaries there and in Kosovo they have more rights than in Serbia, where the Serbian Orthodox Church is favored.

Posted by: nameless-fool Author Profile Page at June 27, 2008 7:11 PM

Pat,

It's also obvious -- and rather startling -- that your missionary neighbor hasn't spoken to Catholics in Kosovo. He would get a very different impression of Albanian Muslims if he spent time with them instead of so much with the Orthodox.

There is no religious war in Kosovo. It is ethnic, and the relations between (Albanian) Catholics and (Albanian) Muslims prove it.

No one who describes the Kosovo War as a religious war ever addresses the fact that Catholics were ethnically cleansed by Christian Serbs, and that Albanian Muslims have never touched a Catholic church.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at June 27, 2008 7:25 PM

I should have said faith not belief but no one really answered my question. Is there hostility among the Kosovars and the Albanians toward some of the evangelical Protestant missionaries who seem convinced that the good guys are the Orthodox Serbs and the bad guys are the Muslims? Or is it not an issue at all?

Plus my neighbor is not a missionary but rather a congregant recounting some of the points raised in his church when the missionary groups are trying to raise donations for evangelizing work in Kosovo and Albania. And because he trusted my judgement, at least concerning politics and history, he came to me with these stories to see if I knew anything about them. I don't think he has forgiven me yet for recommending that Big Brown would sweep all three races.

I guess I should say that I do not think these stories of infiltration and subversion are the case at all but I wonder why I feel I even have to include in a fairly banal question my bona fides?

Posted by: Pat Patterson Author Profile Page at June 27, 2008 8:35 PM

This "Jihad" theme has been pushed by Serbia's church who's paying James Jatras a small fortune to go into Christian stations and talk about it. They even went to Pat Robertson hoping he's buy it, but they lost all credibility. As soon as Christian Missionaries in Kosovo heard about it, the wrote him an open letter refuting the lies.

I apologize for the long post, but it covers all angles and it's not written by an Albanian, nor Michael, these are Americans on the ground:

-----------
Kosovo ministers address Pat Robertson about Kosovo's independence

(from Pentecostal Charismatic Peace Fellowship at pcpf*org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=379&Itemid=45 )

30 October 2006
Dear Mr. Robertson:

Grace and peace to you in Jesus’ name!

We the undersigned are national pastors and foreign missionaries serving in Kosovo. We represent several nations of the world and a wide range of denominations and doctrines within the evangelical spectrum.

We are writing to express our deep concern at reports we have read in various media outlets as well as on the website of Bishop Artemije of the Serbian Orthodox Church. According to these reports (see text and links pasted below), the bishop met with you to inform you of the “destruction of Christian civilization” here and to warn that to grant independence to Kosovo would be to “permit the establishment of an Islamic state”. In light of these warnings, the bishop claims that you promised to exert your influence to help keep Kosovo in Serbia.

Mr. Robertson, we who are on the ground working to spread the Gospel in Kosovo are convinced that the bishop has shown you a distorted picture. We would like to share with you some of our observations and to plead with you to listen to our perspective before taking any action in this matter.

First of all, we find it troubling that Bishop Artemije of all people would turn to American evangelical leaders for help. This same bishop has consistently proven as fierce a foe of evangelicals here in the former Yugoslavia as any Muslim leader. In an article in a Serbian Orthodox publication, he anathematized anyone who set foot in a Protestant church. Our brothers and sisters in Serbia still suffer discrimination and sometimes outright persecution as a result of the influence of church leaders such as Bishop Artemije. We wonder whether the bishop considers his efforts to stamp out evangelicalism as part of his defense against the destruction of Christianity in this part of the world.

Today in predominantly Muslim Kosovo, evangelicals have more legal rights than in predominantly Orthodox Christian Serbia. In fact, Both parliaments passed religious laws in the past year. The Kosovo law provides one of the strongest guarantees of religious liberty in all Europe, recognizing the Protestant community by name. The Serbian law favors the Orthodox Church and serves to legitimize longstanding discrimination of evangelicals.

The bishop’s claim that an independent Kosovo would become an Al Qaeda base also strikes those of us here on the ground as absurd. Kosovar Albanians are by and large more pro-American than Americans themselves. The stars and stripes flies side by side with the Albanian two-headed eagle all across Kosovo. This past year, thousands of local people gathered in cities, towns and villages on the Fourth of July to share in America’s joy then again on the 11th of September to share in America’s mourning. A popular saying here is, “God in heaven; America on earth!” Bishop Artemije has every right to speak out against the destruction of Serb religious sites and the persecution of Serbs. We join with him in condemning these attacks in the strongest possible terms. Nationalism is unquestionably an ugly, idolatrous force that has left in its wake countless victims of every ethnicity here in the Balkans.

However, the bishop’s effort to depict this nationalism as “Islamic terrorism” is both deceptive and damaging. If attacks on Serbs and their churches are Islamic terrorism, then how should one describe the attacks on the Albanian population and their places of worship in 1998 and 1999? Or how does one account for the fact that these “Islamic terrorists” have never touched Albanian Catholic or Protestant places of worship?

We do not deny that there are Islamic fundamentalists working to gain influence here in Kosovo – as there are in the USA, Britain and just about everywhere else in the world. At the moment, these extremists are few in number and are strongly opposed by the vast majority of the population. But please hear us, Mr. Robertson! If you publicly oppose the independence of Kosovo you will play directly into Islamists’ hands in two important ways.

First of all, the radical Muslims here would love nothing more than to find evidence of a link between evangelicals and the extreme nationalist elements of the Serbian Church. Crosses carved into the ruins of Albanian homes bombed and burned during the war reinforced the perception that Serb paramilitaries carried out their atrocities with the blessing of the Church. We hope that you will not make a statement that would cause us to be accused of sharing in the guilt for those atrocities.

Secondly, if you were successful in persuading the U.S. to oppose Kosovo’s independence, this would prove to be a huge victory for Islamic extremists. Then they would say, “You trusted in America, but America has betrayed you!” In the aftermath of such an event, a deeply disillusioned population would be ripe for Islamist propaganda.

Already the publicity arising from this case has resulted in serious threats against evangelical believers here in Kosovo. Mr. Robertson, you can be absolutely certain that if you align yourself with Bishop Artemije’s agenda, your brothers and sisters in Christ here in Kosovo will pay a very high price . If the Orthodox website and the Financial Times are misrepresenting your statements or intentions, for the sake of the Gospel in Kosovo we urge you to make a strong public denial in order to correct the misconceptions these article have caused. We plead with you in the name of Jesus not to give ammunition to the enemies of the Gospel!

God bless you,

(their signatures follow)

Posted by: nameless-fool Author Profile Page at June 27, 2008 8:40 PM

Thank you!

Posted by: Pat Patterson Author Profile Page at June 27, 2008 8:43 PM

Pat Patterson: Is there hostility among the Kosovars and the Albanians toward some of the evangelical Protestant missionaries who seem convinced that the good guys are the Orthodox Serbs and the bad guys are the Muslims? Or is it not an issue at all?

There is no problem that I'm aware of, but that doesn't mean there isn't a problem.

What I do know -- at least this is what I heard from a trusted source -- is that many Kosovars (I have no idea how many) are converting to Christianity, and that most prefer converting to Protestant Christianity (as opposed to other Christian sects) due to the American influence.

I don't know any more than that, but I never heard of any tension between Muslims and Protestants there.

What I know for certain is that the Muslims and Catholics get along excellently, and that the Orthodox have ethnic problems with both.

I recommend that your neighbor, if he returns to Kosovo, seek out the Catholic priest Dom Lush Gjergji and sit down with him and have a long talk about all this stuff. Gjergji is a great guy who has much to recommend him. He personally and patiently defused hundreds of Albanian blood feuds.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at June 27, 2008 9:07 PM

Michael-Again my neighbor is NOT a missionary but was merely repeating stories he had heard from fund raisers. His idea of returning anywhere is either Disneyland or Branson. I don't think Kosovo is on his itinerary this summer or any summer for that matter.

Posted by: Pat Patterson Author Profile Page at June 27, 2008 9:40 PM

Michael,

Why are letting this nameless-fool character libel Serbs at will yet banning his Serbian equivalent?

If he is allowed to basically repost Illyrians.org, will you permit the Serbian equivalent from Serbianna.com or Juliagorin.com?

I doubt it.

So maybe you would be kind enough to ask our resident Albanian racist to please desist from posting his rubbish here?

Posted by: Limbic Author Profile Page at June 28, 2008 7:10 AM

Limbic,
how nice of you to show up. Last time, I posted statitics and you still kept going. Not a wor dis posted from "illyrians" nor from an Albanian site. The letter was from a Christian evangelical organization. The fact they don't agree with Serbia lobbyists and nationalists, what I can say. I cannot post links, but I provided a way to verify what I posted.

Micheal Sells is a SCHOLAR, and a well respected one. IIRC he is even part Serb.

Regarding Serbs rapes:
search for "Rape tool war Serbs" in Google books or Google scholar and you will see what is missing from you history books.
Or simply search for "Chetnik babies" how they rapped muslim & Croat women to impregnate them so the baby 'would kill Muslims when he grows up'

--------
The Church:
"...not a single important decision was made without the Church...our clergy is present in all of our deliberations" Karadzic (google part of this sentence in books and you will get a summary of the wonderful your church did)

www*haverford*edu/relg/sells/postings/patriarch_pavle.html

"After revelations of the killing camps, organized rape, and systematic destruction of mosques, the Serbian Orthodox Church led the way in denial. The Church's government body, the Holy Episcopal Synod, stated: "In the name of God's truth and on the testimony from our brother bishops from Bosnia-Herzegovina and from other trustworthy witnesses, we declare, taking full moral responsibility, that such camps neither have existed nor exist in the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina."

findarticles*com/p/articles/mi_qn4159/is_20050731/ai_n14828734
"Patriarch Pavle, the head of Serbia's Orthodox Church, has shocked liberal Serbs by appearing in public for the first time at a nationalist rally organised by the far-right Radical Party, whose fanatical leader, Vojislav Seselj, is on trial for war crimes at The Hague."

Should I look for the picture of Pavle with Karadzic and Mladic or will you concede?

Those 'vacation camps' in Bosnia:

'Unrivaled since Nazi times': "...non-Serbs were subjected to "almost every conceivable form of torture, humiliation and killing...including the deliberate disfigurement and the excision of body parts of prisoners in Serb-run camps."

query*nytimes*com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CE0DF123FF933A15752C0A965958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all

''Serbia's deeds are, in their essence, different from those of Nazi Germany only in scale,''

From Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Harvard historian who wrote ''Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust,''

From PBS (in US this is well respected) pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/karadzic/atrocities/
"Mark Danner describes in detail the atrocities, the rapes, and the mutilations in concentration camps like Omarska-- and places these crimes in the larger context of Serbian history and the Bosnian Serbs' determination to construct a "Greater Serbia.." "

Just because you do not like it, or you wish to forget what you have to others, doesn't mean it isn't true. And please stop with personal insults. I can back up what I said.

Posted by: nameless-fool Author Profile Page at June 28, 2008 8:28 AM

Oh good grief, Limbic, if you cannot adequately and substantively address the idea - the charge, the fact - that an insurgent or recrudescent and rather ugly ethnic nationalism has appreciably coopted the Orthodox church in Serbia then you're doing your argument no good whatsoever, to put it in understated terms. Those are the very types of forces and interests and underlying instincts that need to be dealt with in a strategically smart, decisive manner at various points around the globe.

Posted by: Michael_B Author Profile Page at June 28, 2008 9:51 AM

Nameless-fool,

I deliberately did not and will not engage in a festival of link and quote posting covering the same ground we have covered in parts 1 & 2 and I have addressed in articles online and at my blog.

Since I am forbidden from dealing with you, I was asking that Michael perhaps keep you on-topic and away from blanket anti-Serb bigotry.

Alternatively perhaps we could make it a fair fight and have Mr Doric or similar interested Serb partisan answer you head on.

I would consider such a clash on the level of "Bum Fights", ugly and disgusting but at least people would have chance to hear the other side.

Michael B,

I was not and am not involved in the broader discussion, my post was an appeal to the referee to be more even handed.

Your comment is a reverse straw man where I am accused of attacking a reasonable position.

I was not.

I was objecting to nameless-fool's posting of anti-Serb swill here and elsewhere.

I am right there in the fray against ethnic nationalism, and that includes all variants, including Serbian church sponsored varieties, both historical and contemporary.

I believe the way to attack ethnic nationalism is to attack its intellectual underpinnings but not to libel a people once seduced by it, exaggerating or fabricating their crimes, indulging in hasty generalisations and scapegoating them.

This is deeply counter-productive and serves only to strengthen persecution myths which stand between the Serbian people and their repudiation of the ideas that led to horrors committed in their name.

Posted by: Limbic Author Profile Page at June 29, 2008 8:05 AM

Nameless-fool,

I deliberately did not and will not engage in a festival of link and quote posting covering the same ground we have covered in parts 1 & 1 and I have addressed in articles online and at my blog.

Since I am forbidden from dealing with you, I was asking that Michael perhaps keep you on-topic and away from blanket anti-Serb bigotry.

Alternatively perhaps we could make it a fair fight and have Mr Doric or similar interested Serb partisan answer you head on.

I would consider such a clash on the level of "Bum Fights", ugly and disgusting but at least people would have chance to hear the other side.

Michael B,

I was not and am not involved in the broader discussion, my post was an appeal to the referee to be more even handed.

Your comment is a reverse straw man where I am accused of attacking a reasonable position.

I was not.

I was objecting to nameless-fool's posting of anti-Serb swill here and elsewhere.

I am right there in the fray against ethnic nationalism, and that includes all variants, including Serbian church sponsored varieties, both historical and contemporary.

I believe the way to attack ethnic nationalism is to attack its intellectual underpinnings but not to libel a people once seduced by it, exaggerating or fabricating their crimes, indulging in hasty generalisations and scapegoating them.

This is deeply counter-productive and serves only to strengthen persecution myths which stand between the Serbian people and their repudiation of the ideas that led to horrors committed in their name.

Posted by: Limbic Author Profile Page at June 29, 2008 8:06 AM

I come here by chance as I am serbian canadian and I find this blog offensive, malicious, very inaccurate and biased . I haven't seen this much nonsense since Thomas Friedman of NYT declared his own personal war on serbian nation or since notorious neocon William Kristol urged to "crush serbian skulls".

I don't think this is journalism as it tries to portray itself but simple rumblings of a biased person that tries to make his own reality based on hollywood or pentagon style fantasies . You seem to link Serbia and Russia and communism altogether says more about you than about anything real on the ground

I think it's pertinent question as to Who is Michael Totten and how does he get by around and who pays him ? Why then does Michael angrily rejects any criticism even from his supporters?

Just by looking around, this blog seems to be mostly about middle east yet Michael claims inherent superiority of "western culture" and also claims to love or at least respect arabs that his american government has murdered and dispossesed by millions from Palestine to Iraq on behalf of a jewish racial state of Israel. On the other hand Michael openly shows his disdain for serbs a His omission of Israel from discussion is also telling for the real masters are never mentioned.

About this particular article, I was left speechless as it's just an outrageous article based completely on fantasy and projection. "Projection" because americans and jews seem to love their "liberal muslims", who aren't liberal but the ones that submit to them no matter what they do and aren't bombing them . These are alliances of dubious convenience not based on anything tangible and will become a burden when things start to fall off as they are now. Just look at people who used albanians as pawns: Mussolini , Hitler, Stalin and Mao and now imperialist America and it's pupper EU. Put simply , Albanians have no culture , no sense of being so they will fall to be anyones pawns be they communist, islamist or american but all of their backers eventually self destruct anyway and that's no coincidence either.

Posted by: PMatovic Author Profile Page at June 29, 2008 10:46 AM

PMatovic: I find this blog offensive, malicious, very inaccurate and biased .

Right back at you.

William Kristol urged to “crush serbian skulls”.

When I type that phrase into Google, I get zero hits that suggest Kristol ever actually said that. You need to quit making things up. My Web site is not a platform for you to libel people.

I think it's pertinent question as to Who is Michael Totten and how does he get by around and who pays him ?

Is that a serious question? I get donations from readers of my Web site, and I get paid from magazine editors when they buy my stories. There is no conspiracy.

Just by looking around, this blog seems to be mostly about middle east yet Michael claims inherent superiority of “western culture” and also claims to love or at least respect arabs that his american government has murdered and dispossesed by millions from Palestine to Iraq on behalf of a jewish racial state of Israel.

I do find it amusing that you knock me for being a Western supremacist and for respecting Arabs in the same sentence you promulgate an anti-Jewish conspiracy theory. You're really flailing here.

On the other hand Michael openly shows his disdain for serbs a His omission of Israel from discussion is also telling for the real masters are never mentioned.

Actually, I didn't omit Israel from the discussion. What I omitted was your anti-Jewish conspiracy theory.

About this particular article, I was left speechless as it's just an outrageous article based completely on fantasy and projection.

Actually, it is based on deep reading and field work research on my part. I am a professional, and this is what I do for a living.

“Projection” because americans and jews seem to love their “liberal muslims”, who aren't liberal but the ones that submit to them no matter what they do and aren't bombing them .

Well, liberal Muslims are good people. And as you well know, Albanians aren't the kind of people to submit to anyone. They certainly aren't submitting to us. They're friendly to us. There is a world of difference.

Albanians have no culture

Whatever.

Let me tell you something. You and your other Serb friends on the Internet do your country a terrible disservice by writing crap like this every time your country is mentioned in print. Do you have any idea how nasty you come across to other people? Every Serb who has commented on my Web site so far has been a complete prick. I am not the only person to notice.

You're banned for abusing me on my own Web site and for being a racist asshole. Type your bilge elsewhere.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at June 29, 2008 11:33 AM

Michael-That phrase interested me as well but I went to The Weekly Standard archives and turned up...zero! The only place I found that reference with even any passing acquaintance of validity was in Roger Simon's blog but the link simply goes to his latest columns at PJM and the archives there go back as far as 2004. However there are an endless repeats of the "quote" that are then linked back to a website called antiwar.com by Jerry Raimundo and then show up as gospel in every pro-Serb website in the universe.

But when typing in that phrase and any other way it could have been written the search still comes back with nothing that links it to Willima Kristol except secondarily.

Posted by: Pat Patterson Author Profile Page at June 29, 2008 12:43 PM

Long Live Kosovo!!!!!!!!

May the majority rule their own land without interference from Belgrade. Self-determination is their right.

Kosovo, America loves you too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Freedom Now Author Profile Page at June 29, 2008 12:55 PM

Limbic,

But you advance no appreciable or convincing support of your position. I don't regard the evidence 'nameless fool' has produced as negligible, much less of a kind that can rightly be labeled "anti-Serb swill," at least as represented herein. Likewise, I appreciate the fact that exaggerated propaganda is promulgated on various sides, on all sides, and a clear picture is difficult, at best, to flesh out. But in the end a type of binary or either/or decision needs to be made, not a decision based upon endless equivocations, "nuanced" appeals, shades of grey, etc.; to wit, is it warranted that a Kosovo, as an independent and sovereign state, be recognized - or not? There are other issues, but that's the most pivotal issue at the present time.

It strikes me, increasingly, that an affirmative answer to that question is warranted. Answering that essentially either/or question in the affirmative is not to imagine other, related questions need to be thought of in such a black-and-white or binary cast - even to the contrary.

Posted by: Michael_B Author Profile Page at June 29, 2008 1:51 PM

Hi Michael_B,

Re nameless-fool, we will have to agree to disagree.

Regarding my position on Kosovo, if you are intersted, I have stated it here:

http://www.limbicnutrition.com/blog/kosovo-shmosovo/

You might be surprised by my position.

Posted by: Limbic Author Profile Page at June 29, 2008 2:21 PM

Hello Limbic,

Well, my own recently altered position as pertains to Kosovo is based upon pragmatic grounds as well. I don't see it most critically as a good guy vs. bad guy situation, though there is plenty of that from other perspectives. I see it as a population and pragmatic situation wherein the underlying ideological interest is based upon classical liberal forms of government, i.e. representative legislatures and governance in general, checks and balances, separation of powers, individual liberty and property rights, sovereignty on an individual and national/cultural scale reflecting both responsibilities and freedoms, etc.

Beyond that, at least at the present moment, a range of views are tolerable, are certainly to be expected, especially as pertains to the Balkans. But the more sovereignty - on an individual and national level - can be effected, can be instituted, especially so within the classical liberal frameworks suggested above, the greater the likelihood for sustainable structures and sustainable relations on an intra-national and inter-national scale, wherein relatively high degrees of mutual respect and comity can be effected.

Posted by: Michael_B Author Profile Page at June 29, 2008 4:10 PM
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