Skip to comments.Russia Aids Kosovo Refugees, West Remains Out of Touch
Posted on 03/25/2004 8:16:52 PM PST by MarMema
"You can count on aid and support from Russia," promised President Vladimir Putin to the people of Serbia Tuesday. While many other international leaders have voiced their support for Serbia in the wake of the recent Albanian ethnic cleansing of Serbs from Kosovo, only Russia has so far backed up its words with actions.
Out of all the great 'humanitarian' nations of Europe and America, Russia alone has taken the initiative to deliver tangible aid to the refugees driven from their homes one week ago. As Serbia marked the fifth anniversary of NATO's air attacks yesterday, the Russian government began its emergency dispatch of humanitarian aid for Kosovo Serb refugees- the final victims of a long and bitter tragedy not of their own making.
Two Ilyushin-76 transport jets containing tents, beds, bed linen, and lighting devices took off yesterday from Russia, with two more expected to leave for Belgrade tomorrow, reports Itar-Tass. On the planes will also be transported ".a mobile hospital with the capacity for giving medical aid to about 600 patients a day." In addition, a convoy of 10 trucks containing tents, blankets and mattresses is on the way.
Russian Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu visited a refugee camp in Pancevo on Tuesday, and expressed his country's astonishment at "the world community's placid reaction to the annihilation of Serbian churches in Kosovo."
"It goes beyond a mere destruction of buildings," Shoigu charged. "It was an attempt to wipe out from the face of the earth, from human memory and from history the things that had been there [in the land of Kosovo] for centuries."
In contrast, the response from the West has been far more muted. While righteous condemnations and statements of sympathy have trickled in over the past week from the US, Britain, Germany and others, these have seemed largely uninspired and unsympathetic to the Serbian position on both the pogrom and the provinces final status. And so blowhards like Richard Holbrooke continue demanding Kosovo's independence, something which is reiterated by Albanian leaders and other supporters of their cause. Yet shouting that 'only independence will stop the violence' has the unpleasant ring of a ransom pronounced by terrorists or kidnappers: 'pay up now or your boy gets it!'
Of course, this has been the operating logic throughout the past decades of Albanian separatism in both Kosovo and Macedonia. In every case, a provocation followed by a protest followed by mob violence and terrorism; the quintessential gunboat diplomacy more befitting great powers.
At first, those selfsame Great Powers did not decry these methods as perfected by the Albanian KLA. That's because they were on 'their side.' Perhaps they thought that once the war was won, Serbia bombed and UN administrators went in, the aggressive and well-armed young men who'd spent the previous decades planning how to take power for themselves violently would just melt away, cheerfully re-enlist in the ranks of the peaceful, and perhaps take up a useful hobby such as gardening.
One marvels at the West's total inability to comprehend local realities and local power struggles before committing to war and its inevitable aftermath. To be sure, there were many top leaders who did understand what was going to happen, but they in all likelihood weren't planning to be anywhere near Kosovo, except for the obligatory post-war baby-kissing promenades. On the highest levels, the Kosovo bombing seems to have been motivated very little by real humanitarian concerns, and most of all by a cynical pragmatism determined to sever the Balkans into smaller and thus more 'manageable' pieces. However, Kosovo is beyond management, and the Albanians know it.
This is their trump card: the understanding that the UN and NATO forces are not prepared to die for the values they claim are mandatory for the province. In the long run, the occupiers will be driven out, panicking and covered with blood.
Thus all the outraged comments by the spokesmen for the West take on a rather farcical tone. For example, former Kosovo boss Michael Steiner declared that the international community "cannot tolerate and will not tolerate" ethnically-motivated violence such as occurred last week. And EU Foreign Policy chief Javier Solana also declared that the Kosovo Albanian parties are in need of a "purging." We're sure he plans to purge them himself.
After Solana waxed eloquent regarding the need for tolerance, a Serb man, "pointing to burned houses in the distance, shouted: 'This is your Western politics.'" Indeed.
Michael Steiner is perhaps the archetype of the UN-bureaucrat in Kosovo: an upwardly mobile, overpaid foreigner in the colonial bureaucracy, who promulgated many decrees, married his much younger local assistant, and left soon thereafter. The domiciles of the peacekeepers back home are littered with Kosovo's escaped young women (and, in a few cases, young men). As if watching the frivolous foreign courtships unfolding every day wasn't irksome enough for them, the locals have also experienced their share of suffering at the hands of their benefactors: to wit, the sergeant and the girl, or the maiden and the Egyptian, among others.
No, Steiner symbolizes the sheer banality of the cumulative Western effort these past 5 years. The continual solution to Kosovo has been to defer, defer, to keep staving off the inevitable for as long as possible. The occupiers learned that eventually, the centrifugal pressures at work would cause a violent explosion, aimed against the well-meaning West. The strategy, therefore, has been to defer the final bloodbath until sometime after one's contract has expired, and the hot potato has been handed off to the next generation of peacekeepers.
Now, here at the end of the line, we can't really expect the Great Powers to apologize, or even accept any part of the blame for this fiasco. Javier Solana now blames the people of Kosovo, and not the colonial administration, for everything. That said, in consideration of the massive outpouring of aid and refugee relocations the world gave 5 years ago to Kosovo's Albanian refugees, is it too much to ask of them to follow Russia's lead and pitch in?
In this case, the lack of interest shown by the world for the plight of the Serbian refugees is a fairly astonishing (Sergei Shoigu indeed had the right word for it) proof of what the limits of political correctness will allow. Indeed, considering that the Western media has spent over a decade incessantly declaring that the Serbs are sub-human, imagining now that they might actually be normal people is proving difficult. Surely, guilty parties will protest that this is an outrageous lie; but the bias, so subtle and so pervasive, effectively precludes not only sympathy but support. And so the rhetoric of Western media reports has proven feeble, guarded, unsympathetic- shocked not by the horror of mass murder but by the possibility that anyone but Serbs could have been behind it.
Given that they clearly want to avoid all attempts at 'revising' the history of the conflict, the powers-that-be can only hope that the rest of the pogrom be nasty, brutish and short. Their lives can then go on untroubled, physically and mentally distant from the savage hypocrisy that was Kosovo.
I do love the line above about expecting the KLA to become gardeners. I think this may be the most well-written piece yet. Touche!
Then, let Russia, Italy, and Greece help the Serbs return Kosovo to the Serbs. And the Czechs if they want to help out.
Romania and Bulgaria would be wise to throw in a helping hand, if for no other reason than stability and less heroin in their immediate neighborhood.
If republicans can be made to comprehend that continuing these clintoniata policies is hurting them in the pocketbook, there might be hope.
Where is the best place to send aide here? I'd assume the Serbian Unity Conference in the absence of other info.
I think the best would be to send it through SANE. I'll look for it and get back to you. We collected here for them after the bombing and they sent containers into Serbia. They did a great job with low overhead.
Here is the home of Fr Aleksandr, whom I loved, and with whom we worked in the Seattle area to send help to Serbia a few years back. Fr Aleksandr personally went to Kosovo several times to help with the containers.
You can read about them on the SANE page under past projects....
Just my suggestion.
By the way, I am in for $100 too. And the letter. A great idea, thanks. Let's all coordinate and send them to the same location, where ever we decide....
Please send clothes, hygenic supplies, blankets, canned food to:
St. George Church
65 South Keel Ridge Rd.
Hermitage, PA 16148
tel. 724-342-2600 (Fr. Svetislav Mirolovich)
In the past we have done shoe boxes. A shoe box has in it a postcard from your location with a brief note of support. Add a bar of soap, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a dried fruit bar or other easy to ship candy item, socks, a bag of peanuts, a washcloth perhaps, a small toy for a child....you can get really creative with this and they are inexpensive and easy to mail.
We shipped out about 500 of these babies to Fr Aleksandr just after the bombing. Each local Orthodox church had teen groups get together and make them. It's a terrific church activity.
I sent a bunch of boxes to our troops in Iraq. POSTAGE IS HORRID!
I would think donating money is more cost efective.
Don't give to them. The money will be diluted to help other causes in that organization. If you search their website you'll see they give to Palestinian (Muslims) and other non-Orthodox Christians. Little, if nothing, of what you send will reach the Serbs.
People are myopic. They treat they moment of glory (basically form their 30's to to their 60's, an insignificant period of human history) as something that will forever be remembered. Truth is, 99.99% of human endevour is in oblivion. HUman priorities are pittifully childish.
Those who bask in tirumph in Kosovo now are the most myopic.
It is. But getting cards and personal things from Americans is very nice for the Serbs. Fr. Aleksandr told me it meant a great deal to them. He said they asked him often in the camps what Americans thought about them.
Russia is at war also and may be spread thin. It is hard to fight the islamonazi plague everywhere at once.
I'm glad you sent socks, MarMema. Seriously. I decided long ago that if I ever win the lottery or something, I'll found a charity to provide socks and underwear to refugees. It's what they really need, and no one ever sends any! I actually made underwear of sorts for refugees once out of felt which had been donated for school classrooms. Well, there were no school classrooms functioning, and these poor refugees desperately needed underwear -- especially something to wear while their own undies were being washed and dried. I didn't have anything to make socks out of :(
Hygiene items are also good to send. I was so happy when the Spanish sent us hygiene packs with soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, small washcloth, small towel, disposable razor, and feminine hygiene products (you know -- and the grannies used them as "Depends"). These items are also often overlooked in donations for refugees. You get food and clothing, but no socks, underwear or hygiene items.
Soap is really important. They can use it not only to wash their bodies, but also their hair and clothes and the men can use it for shaving.
Thanks for the address! I'll go make some boxes now...
I am going to liturgy soon here and will talk to our priest about this. I sure would like to see some steam come rolling in on this idea....Thanks for sending shoeboxes!
We'll make some in our family too and send them. My four kids are experienced at this.:-)
Greetings in Christ!
Please inform me if you can of an address to which can be sent monetary assistance for the Serbian people who have lost everything they were forced to leave behind.
Also please let me know if there is a way I can send monetary assistance to the monks of Devic for the restoration work they are planning.
Does SANE have a fund set aside yet for the refugees from the last attacks?
Finally can you tell me if anyone is planning to ship a container again to Kosovo? I would be interested in helping to fill it, if so.
Your sister in Christ,
Those Devic monks just blow me away. They were nearly killed and lost the entire monastery. They told the Germans, who did nothing to protect the monastery, that they want to return now, and will sleep in tents as they rebuild. I have to find a way to send them something. They are an inspiration.
We'll get something here for those who want to help soon, between us. God willing!
I don't think that Neanderthals have been know for horticulture or agriculture. Just meat-eating, cannibalism, and headhunting!!!!
Besides asking where the governments of the "humanitarian" nations of the "West" are in terms of giving aid, we need to ask where the "Western" mainline churches are. After all, all of them gave MASSIVE amounts of aid to Kosovo Shiptars, and to "rebuild Kosovo" (i.e., to build the unjust and unsustainable structures of an "indpendent" Shiptar-run "Kosova".) Those of us in American "mainline", evangelical Protestant, or Roman Catholic churches need to hold their leaders' (or mis-leaders') feet to the fire until the aid for the Serbs is forthcoming.
There are those of us who want to help THE VICTIMS... I am not interested in anything else you have to say... UNLESS IT IS THAT WILL BE SENDING MONEY $$$$$ TO Help us, HELP THOSE IN NEED IN KOSOVO!!!!
Got it, bub??? No time for you. BYE, BYE!!
I will out of town for a day or two. I will ck back with you her on FR.
Please keep us posted as to what to do about donations.
I will ask some friends this weekend for some help too.
Two places to send money:
St. Sava Church Relief Fund 33 W. Water St Wakefield, MA 01880 (for Kosovo Refugees) Decani Monastery Relief Fund C/O Veljko Sikirica 4 West Hill Street Baltimore, MD 21230 USAHere is Web site for this Fund. You can contact Fr. Serfes for more information.
Like I say, I would advise people to send a check to one of these places and then send a copy of the article above about Russians alone trying to help the refugees from Kosovo to the RNC, explaining that this continuation of clintonian and anti-Christian policies is forcing you to send money to orthodox charities which would otherwise be available for the RNC.
I plan to send the latest envelope from George and Carl back with a check for $20 along with the article and a note explaining that it would have been a hundred other than for the BS policies in the balkans.
"Money can be sent through our parish. We basically chanell money to Church authorities in Kosovo via our Diocese.
Our address is:
St. Sava Church Relief Fund
33 W. Water St
Wakefield, MA 01880
There is also another fund for Serbian people in Kosovo. They work very closely with Bishop Artemije of Kosovo who remained to live there and share the destiny of his people.
Decani Monastery Relief Fund
C/O Veljko Sikirica
4 West Hill Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
More about them you can learn at Decani Monastery Relief Fund Report : December 2000, January - February 2001
you can also contact Fr. Serfes for more info on this fund at email@example.com"
Looks like we were on the same wavelengths.
Fr. Aleksandr did say that "Bishop Artemije is coming from Kosovo to US next week". Probably to the east coast, where Fr is.
Thanks Greenwolf. I was on this but awaiting emails from people before I posted. You beat me to it! :-)
Ditto. Thanks for the really terrific idea, two birds with one check.
There are a few slavophobes running around here so keep your back up and your ping list handy.
The Russian team I like is Russianconservative, rusivan, wildandcrazyrussian. And you can always ping myself or Formerlib and even katnip for support.
That was indeed a very special day.
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