From Friday's Detroit Free Press:
Mufti Naim Ternava, president of the Islamic Community of Kosovo, is in Michigan as part of a visit to the U.S. to garner support for making Kosovo an independent country...
"Pray for the independence of Kosovo," Ternava said through a translator during the Friday sermon to about two hundred Muslims at the Muslim Center of Detroit on Davison Ave. "Thousands of miles away from here, there are Muslim brothers in Kosovo who suffered for many, many years and who...went as shahids (martyrs) during all these sufferings [in Kosovo]."
Ternava also spoke with Muslims at the Southfield office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and at the Albanian Islamic Center in Harper Woods...Ternava also urged the crowd to follow the teachings of Islam.
"Islam is such a comprehensive religion which includes all what the family needs and what an individual needs in this world," he said. "Help others to understand it. Teach it to others."
During his U.S. trip, which is sponsored by the U.S. State Dept., Ternava is also visiting New York, and Washington D.C. to meet with Muslims and State Dept. officials.
He visited Michigan because of its significant Muslim population, which includes many with roots in Kosovo.
At the House committee hearing earlier this month, in which Reps. Tom Lantos (D-CA) and Robert Wexler (D-FL) echoed Joe Biden's famous sentiment that giving Kosovo independence will show Muslims that we're their friends, all previous pretense about the non-Islamic nature of Kosovo Albanians was dropped. Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA) continually referred to those we'd been conditioned for the past eight years to call "Kosovars" or "ethnic Albanians" -- rather than "Muslims" -- as "the Albanian Muslims." What was sold to us as a conflict about human rights and self-determination is now openly about buying Islamic good will.
As Balkans observer Nebojsa Malic writes:
It is interesting, to say the least, that Albanians suddenly become Muslims when it's convenient to make this sort of "argument," but quickly become "secular" and "moderate" when critics try to point out the systematic destruction of Serb churches and construction of Saudi mosques. Same with the so-called Bosniaks -- one day they are "moderate" and "secular," the next they are "Muslims in the heart of Europe."
If the Bush administration's hopes for democracy in Iraq are, as countless critics say, moronic, then what word is there to describe creating a Muslim state so that jihadists will like us?
We found out a long time ago that it doesn't work this way -- when we armed, trained, fed, and gave millions of dollars to the mujahedeen in Afghanistan in the 80s. Didn't we act as friends? Didn't we help them defeat the Russians? Didn't they see us the same way -- as friends? Quite the contrary, as we found out repeatedly...in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya and Oslo.
In fact, the month after we ended our 78-day bombardment of the Serbs, then Defense Secretary William Cohen had to cancel a trip to Albania, "to avoid a 'hornets' nest' of Osama bin Laden operatives," as CNN reported at the time:
Defense Department sources told CNN that the Albania visit was dropped from a six-nation trip to Europe because of "a threat on the ground" related to Islamic militants affiliated with bin Laden, the alleged mastermind of the U.S. embassy bombings in Africa last year.
U.S. officials have said that bin Laden's organization is believed to be in the final stages of planning a terrorist attack against U.S. interests somewhere in the world. His operatives are known to have been active in Albania, a predominantly Muslim nation, as well as in Africa and other areas.
In other words, while we fought alongside Albanians in Kosovo, al Qaeda was doing the same.
Ah, but we need to show a "victory" somewhere on the globe. With Iraq a mess, at least we'll be able to say, "But look here -- we've got a successful nation-building project in Kosovo." A mono-ethnic, mono-religious "democracy" built on violence, which is pro-American...for now.
Joe Biden (D-DE) said it himself in a January article for the Financial Times:
The people of Kosovo -- already the most pro-American in the Islamic world -- will provide a much-needed example of a successful US-Muslim partnership. Stability in south-east Europe would be a welcome bit of good news and offer hope in a season of tremendous foreign policy challenges.
And the outrages don't end with our helping to "stabilize" a budding caliphate. At the House hearing, in response to concerns about the safety of non-Muslims and the possibility of partitioning off areas that have a significant minority presence, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said (emphasis added), "...those communities will be encouraged to have a great deal of autonomy from the central government in Pristina, which would reflect the fact that local self-rule in many ways might be the best way forward to preserve the internal integrity of the country itself."
Are there any straightjackets in the House? In case you didn't catch it, the architects of "autonomy from Serbia is not good enough" are proposing autonomy rather than secession here, so as to preserve national borders -- that which they denied Serbia's borders, and Serbia is actually a country. One whose border integrity has always included Kosovo.
It was Serbia's (then still "Yugoslavia's") territorial integrity that was emphasized in UN Resolution 1244, which outlined the provisional status of Kosovo after the conflict:
A political process towards the establishment of an interim political framework agreement providing for a substantial self-government for Kosovo, taking full account of the Rambouillet accords and the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the other countries of the region, and the demilitarization of the KLA...
But the inmates running the House asylum have somehow reversed the intention of 1244, allowing Nicholas Burns to state that all along, it was somehow actually a blueprint for the revocation of Serbian sovereignty. Shockingly, they told the room that the resolution was actually all about severing Belgrade's ties to Kosovo:
Never has such complacent ignorance been so arrogantly flaunted.
During a February mission to Brussels led by Kosovo Bishop Artemije, after getting the usual empty assurances that there will be guarantees of human rights and protections for Kosovo's Serb minority, American Council for Kosovo director Jim Jatras asked a Hungarian member of the European parliament, "Isn't all this talk of protections for Serbs a tacit admission that among the Kosovo Albanians are a lot of violent and intolerant people? Why would you reward their violence with state power?"
Looking Jatras in the eye, the parliamentarian replied, "Because we're afraid of them."