Skip to comments.Improvements Visible in Kosovo
Posted on 08/16/2005 7:31:32 PM PDT by mark502inf
It's easy to spot the changes to Kosovo from the air -- all the U.N.-provided plastic tarpaulins that provided shelter in the years after the NATO intervention are gone. In their place are orange roofs covering homes that have been rebuilt. Roughly 1,700 American servicemembers -- almost all National Guardsmen -- are part of the 17,000-man Kosovo Force helping provide the environment the province needs to recover.
Four UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters fly over Kosovo in support of a troop visit by Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and USO celebrities on Aug. 15. Myers is visiting American troops deployed around the world to assess morale and to thank servicemembers. Photo by Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen, USAF (Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
NATO intervened in the province after then-Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic initiated ethnic cleansing against the Kosovar Albanians.
Americans today command Multinational Brigade East, headquartered here. Army Brig. Gen. William H. Wade II commands the unit, which includes Poles, Ukrainians and Lithuanians, among others.
The American side is predominantly a "composite" unit. Most Americans here are volunteers from the California, Kansas and Pennsylvania National Guards. The medical task force supporting the effort is made up of Army Reservists drawn from all over the Southeastern United States. "I have got portions of 42 different units from 27 states," Wade said during an interview. "I'm amazed at how well they work together."
The guardsmen come from all over the U.S. and demonstrate to the people of the region that diverse populations can work together. "They see black and white and Oriental and American Indian," Wade said. "They see Catholic, Jews, Protestants and Muslims. They see men and women working together, and we set the best example, I believe, that can be set for the people of Kosovo."
"The Guard ... is uniquely able to do this," Wade said. "We bring our civilian skills to this mission. We have attorneys; we have firemen; we have chiefs of police; we have (chief executive officers) of corporations; we have city managers. Those are the kind of skills that we bring here."
Servicemembers deployed here maintain the job in Kosovo is not yet done. "There are still men preaching hate around here," said Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Darren Dreher, a Pennsylvania Guardsman who flies Black Hawk helicopters.
Army Spc. Paul Roath and Cpl. McKindree Perrin, both of the Kansas Guard, know this well. Roath, a field artilleryman, and Perrin, a tanker, patrol the region on foot and in vehicles. They search for arms caches, conduct cordon-and-search missions, and work with local and international police. "We work with the people on a very positive basis," Roath said. "They like us. They know the United States stepped in to stop this country from going into chaos."
Spc. Stefanie Davison, a guardsman from Bellingham, Wash., agreed, saying that Serbs and Albanians living in the province tell her: "Because of us, they can live in peace."
Cpl. Danielle Grudzinski, an aviation specialist from the Pennsylvania Guard, said she believes local residents are beginning to understand not just freedom, but also the responsibility that goes with it. "On Earth Day this year, we worked with children from around the area to clean streets," she said. "Now I notice they are taking responsibility for cleaning the streets themselves, and there are other encouraging signs just since we have been here in February."
Wade said the unit has seen progress. "We see the institutions of self-government start to move forward," he noted.
In March 2004, there were a number of violent clashes between Albanians and Serbians. These may have served as a turning point for the province. "After the March riots, I believe all the people realized that it is in their best interest to cooperate and to move forward to whatever the future holds for all the people of Kosovo," Wade said.
Related Site: Kosovo Force
Related Article: Kosovo Mission Successful, Important, U.S. Forces Say
News Archive http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Aug2005/20050815_2447.html
The Russians went home several years ago. They said they deemed it unlikely that there was the possiblity of any more military attacks and the region was sufficiently pacified that there was no longer any reason to keep Russian military troops stationed there. Sound decision in my opinion.
Bring them down to ZERO, I don't care, I want the home. Let France handle it.
Except we're not there to deter the Serb military anymore. We're there to keep the Serbs & Albs from killing each other.
"Final status" negotiations will probably begin in the next few months. The Kosovar Albanians respect & like the Americans & the Serbs certainly won't want to go up against Rummy, so we'll keep at least some troops there until the negotiations are complete & satisfactorily implemented. Then it'll be up to the Europeans to finish it up. That is exactly what President Bush has already done in Bosnia; another quiet success for the Bush administration.
Can't the blue helmets do that?
There are no blue helmets there--it's a NATO mission. The Albs like the USA & NATO, but have grown to despise UNMIK, so a "blue helmet" force would be problematical. Similarly, the Serb memory of UN forces (remember Srebrenica?) is not exactly one that inspires respect. The USA & NATO will keep at least some forces there until negotiations are complete and Condi & the Prez are convinced there will be stability. It is likely, however, that the follow on to UNMIK & KFOR will be the EU, similar to what is going on in Bosnia now.
for Kosovo 10 years ago = make that 6 years ago although it feels like 10.
10 years ago was when we went into Bosnia for a year. Drove the Army planners nuts since everybody knew we'd be there for lots longer, but President Clinton said it would only be a year and we had no money requested or allocated to support the operation. Consequently when the deployment was inevitably extended, the Army had to raid its own training & maintenance accounts, thus shorting the rest of the units. I was in the 101st at the time and our training funds were curtailed and we were restricted to procuring only parts that fixed "deadline" deficiencies on our vehicles & weapons; one at a time and each signed off by a field grade officer. What a way to run things!
Preach it "Pristina-Mark"....!!!
Chief of KLA veterans threatening monks
August 17, 2005
Chief of KLA veterans in Decani and Pec, colonel Avdil Muskoljaj is making threats to the monks of Visoki Decani Monastery and members of Italian KFOR that are securing that monastery, Kosovo Information Service reported.
In a message published by 'Epoka i re' daily of Pristina, Muskoljaj wrote that he was addressing the 'criminals hiding behind black curtains of the monastery' as well as KFOR and UNMIK administration and requesting removal of the checkpoints 'because the rage of the people is increasing every day'.
Italian KFOR soldiers stopped Muskoljaj at a checkpoint near the monastery for a routine control. KFOR representatives rejected Muskoljaj's claims that he was maltreated.
International security bodies in Kosovo have evidence that Muskoljaj and his men are behind three so far attacks on the Visoki Decani Monastery, Kosovo Information Service reports. After violence in March last year and destruction of UNMIK vehicles in Decani, UNMIK Police arrested Muskoljaj. He was, however, soon released 'because of no witnesses'.
Yeah, right. "Clashes".
August 17, 2005
WASHINGTON -- The SUC Washington office was invited to a press conference by Ambassador Thomas Patrick Melady were he reported his observations and recommendations for the ongoing process and status questions for Kosovo following his recent trip to the Balkans. The press conference, which was held in the Senate Russell Office Building on Capitol Hill was attended by Hill staffers from the offices of Congressman Trent Franks and Senator George Voinovich. The recommendations outline imperative policy changes that need to be made in order to protect the peace, ensure minority rights and participation in the governing process, and to promote the stability of the province and the region as a whole. Further comments were also made by Joseph Grieboski, President of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy which sponsored the event. During the Ambassadors presentation, he compared the March 17, 2004 riots to the time when the Nazis burned down synagogues in Germany during the Kristallnacht. As was the Nazi Kristallnacht, the Albanian riots of March 2004 was a manifestation of hate towards a minority group. He also compared the response of Albanian authorities after the March riots and general lack of coverage in the media as being similar to the responses by the German authorities during Kristallnacht. The Ambassador also pointed out that since March 2004, there is still no full explanation how this happened. He then recommended that the UN should have a full commission to look into this.
Next day on August 12, 2005, Ivan. Djurovski made an additional presentation in the House Canon Building on Capitol Hill. Djurovski is a graduate student at St. Johns University in Rome and currently serving as an assistant to Ambassador Thomas Melady and interpreter during Meladys visits to the Balkans. Mr. Djurovski presented a video presentation of the March 17 violence in Kosovo last year. The presentation emphasized that the Albanians were well organized during the riots and they knew how to react and where to attack.
NOTE: Dr. Thomas Patrick Melady has held four diplomatic posts including US Ambassador to Burundi, Uganda, and the Vatican as well as Senior Advisor to the US Delegation to the UN General Assembly.
"Last weekend, the United States, Britain, Finland and Germany rushed a couple of thousand additional troops to Kosovo's disoriented 17,000 U.N. peacekeepers. It's the end of winter in Kosovo and the more than 2 million Albanian majority pitted itself for several days against the handful of local Serbs. More than 30 Serbian churches and monasteries went up in flames as some 40 Serbs were brutally killed, their homes looted and the toll added to that of "Operation Matchstick."
"I was witness to how Kosovo and Metohija was transformed from a society based on law and order into a land of anarchy and violence. My Greek, Polish, Ukraine, Lithuanian, Armenian and U.S. soldiers understand that the violence resulted from a criminal group that wants to turn Kosovo into chaos. This minority tried to take the future of Kosovo and Metohija into its own hands and destroy it!" says U.S. general Rick Erlandson, the commander of Multinational Brigade East (and, of course, the U.S. base Bondsteel).
The Albanian terrorists, some 500 of them, threw bombs and bottles of benzene at KFOR tanks from Bondsteel in Urosevac on March 17. The attack continued even after the Greek commander, with the intent of dispersing the terrorists, ordered his soldiers to fire warning shots in the air.
The attackers did not withdraw; on the contrary, their numbers only increased - to 3,000. The situation became critical. Flaming devices were thrown at KFOR vehicles, the last obstruction to the fleeing Serbs... That's how the situation remained until the arrival of U.S.
In the clashes a soldier from the 525th Greek mechanized airborne battalion sustained second degree burns to the face and neck as he defended an observation post near the church of the Holy Emperor Uros in Urosevac, where the fleeing Serbs sought sanctuary. One U.S. soldier and 16 Greek soldiers were wounded by explosive devices thrown at them by the Albanians.
What are you up to? Trying to pass of the Balkan fiasco onto W?
IMO it will be a 'success' when Condi and Bolton initiate the return of Kosovo to Serbia. After all, that's what the 'ceasefire' called for.
To top off the success, Condi and Bolton, should put a halt to the persecution of Milosevic by the Hague Tribunal. Milosevic was no Chamberlain and fought the Islamists rather than sign on with Albright.
Sorry, MarMema, your source is off by 450%; which--come to think about it--is actually more accurate than most of the Serb victimization posts around here. A total of nine Serbs and eleven Albanians were killed in the 2004 riots. Three other Serbs were killed for the entire rest of 2004. The lack of Serb victims would normally be considered good news, but when Serbs in Kosovo are valued less as human beings and more as poster children to support Serb ethno-bigotted nationalist rants, the more dead Serbs, the better--even when you have to lie about it.
I hope you're not holding your breath!
As to Serbia's right to rule over Kosovo, Senator Jesse Helms explicitly covered that in his famous speech to the United Nations:
The sovereignty of nations must be respected. But nations derive their sovereignty -- their legitimacy -- from the consent of the governed. Thus, it follows, that nations can lose their legitimacy when they rule without the consent of the governed; they deservedly discard their sovereignty by brutally oppressing their people. Slobodan Milosevic cannot claim sovereignty over Kosovo when he has murdered Kosovars and piled their bodies into mass graves. Neither can Fidel Castro claim that it is his sovereign right to oppress his people. Nor can Saddam Hussein defend his oppression of the Iraqi people by hiding behind phony claims of sovereignty.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER.
Oh sure. Whatever you say. Your bias toward the KLA is not well-known here either, right?
Helmes was naive as to what Islamists were all about. He bent to all the preposterous accusations of the MSM, all of which was completely false or exaggerated. Problem is that there were literally no 'mass graves'. This has been proven at the Hague Tribunal. 'Kosovars' involved were soldiers of the KLA and legitimately opposed by Milosevic.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER.
#1 Sadam's mass graves are all over for all to see. He personally ordered suspect politicians beaten and then shot during a party public meeting.
Milosevic is no Sadam!
#2 Castro confiscated all property and outlawed private businesses, down to 'apple peddlers'. In the course of this there were, literally, regular firing squads reminiscent of the guillotining during the French revolution.
Castro was a purist 'communist', Milosevic was a 'socialist' with the highest per capita income in the 'eastern block'.
Milosevic is no Castro.
At least you had the sense not to compare him with Hitler or Pol Pot.
It seems to me that Mark, and his Islamophilic buddies, will do anything to obfuscate the fact that Kosovo Albanians are caveman-like agressors that the world has yet to get to know.
One day, America will wash its hands of any association with Albanians the way we now wash our hands of having supported and built up the Taliban.
Because we missed so many lessons in Kosovo.
You mean no mass graves like this one in a story from a week ago?
Serbia returns bodies of 84 ethnic Albanian war victims to Kosovo
MERDARE, Serbia-Montenegro (AP) - Serbian authorities on Wednesday returned the bodies of 84 ethnic Albanians killed during the Kosovo war - the largest single return of war dead to the province.
The remains are believed to be those of ethnic Albanian civilians killed by Serb forces during the 1998-1999 war and removed from Kosovo in an apparent cover-up attempt by former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic.
"The families have been waiting for too long," said Jose Pablo Baraybar, head of the UN-run office of missing persons and forensics in Kosovo. "It is very important . . . not to forget that there are families behind these numbers."
The remains were exhumed from a mass grave on the grounds of a police training centre just outside Belgrade and are believed to be those of ethnic Albanian civilians killed by Serb forces in the central town of Kosovo Polje during the war.
Out of 836 bodies of Kosovo Albanians found in mass graves in Serbia, 486 have been returned to their families. About 350 remaining bodies are still in Serbia and are expected to be identified by the end of the year, Baraybar said.
The families have repeatedly demanded that all the war dead exhumed be returned immediately. Nearly 3,000 people were still listed as missing.
Hundreds of bodies recovered from mass graves in Kosovo and Serbia were to be identified through the matching of DNA from bone samples with that of the relatives of missing people.
Does the KLA help with donations to FR on your behalf?
As to what the MSM said at the time, I don't care and neither should you.
I saw a Dutch video which convinced me that the Serbs were on the right track.
I saw a whole lot of burned houses, looted villages, ransacked schools, dynamited mosques, and refugee camps which convinced me that there are a whole lot of Serb war criminals.
Peace will only return to Kosovo when the Serb Army does.
And they will, bank on it.
Why don't we substitute them (Americans) with Russians or Serbs?
This is not about Milosevic, never was. Kosovo and Metohija is property of Serbian people and Serbian state. By terror, lies and force it was stolen from them. Milosevic is just excuse.
You can negotiate/enforce/impose what ever you want. Criminals and traitors in Belgrade will probably sign everything. Wheel of time turns and when things change, Kosovo and Metohija will be returned to their rightful owners. This will happen - one way or another.
Except for the five centuries out of the last six when it wasn't. And with Albanians being the majority population in Kosovo since the mid-18th Century, it belongs to you sort of like Michigan belongs to the Chippewa and Ottawa Indians.
Having said that, after Kosovo was awarded to Serbia as part of the Ottoman Empire break-up/WWI settlements, although there were a lot of outraged Albanians, nobody else was pushing for border changes. That is, until the Serbs brought it on themselves by putting Milosevic into power on a platform of extremist Serb nationalism. Your Greater Serbia project, fighting wars with four of your neighbors and your ethnic cleansing of non-Serb untermenschen resulted in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, and Kosovo all cutting away from Belgrade as fast as they could by any means necessary. And even with Milosevic already in jail, such are the joys of living under Serbian rule that it looks like Montenegro is next to go with the minorities in Vojvodina and the Sandzak making noises as well.
You may want to contemplate why NOBODY wants Belgrade in charge. HINT: The reason does not lie outside of Serbia.
This is not about Milosevic
Exactly right. Its about treating people like human beings--with dignity and respect for their individual rights. Any government that does not do so, whether run by Milosevic or anyone else, loses its right to rule. A great American--Senator Jesse Helms--explained that a few years ago in a speech to the United Nations:
We are endowed with ... "inalienable rights, as Thomas Jefferson proclaimed in our Declaration of Independence, not by kings or despots, but by our Creator.
The sovereignty of nations must be respected. But nations derive their sovereignty their legitimacy from the consent of the governed. Thus, it follows, that nations can lose their legitimacy when they rule without the consent of the governed; they deservedly discard their sovereignty by brutally oppressing their people.
Slobodan Milosevic cannot claim sovereignty over Kosovo when he has murdered Kosovars and piled their bodies into mass graves. Neither can Fidel Castro claim that it is his sovereign right to oppress his people. Nor can Saddam Hussein defend his oppression of the Iraqi people by hiding behind phony claims of sovereignty. And when the oppressed peoples of the world cry out for help, the free peoples of the world have a fundamental right to respond.
Where can you find Serb killing Serb in Kosovo?
You and I both know that drugs run rampant through Presevo Valley instead of Kosovo. Isn't that why the Albs were fighting for "independance"? So drugs can run through with their mafia couriers?
If the US pulled out, Serbs in Kosovo would move out from their barricades and begin fighting back with the same force the Albanians use. The Albanians would try and attack the remaining Serbs, a big mistake on their part.
Keep the US at Bondsteel, the presence needs to remain.
There are many ppl bought and paid for on both sides, so things aren't what they seem to be in that conflict. Who you think is on the Serb side, isn't necassarily so (i.e Destro) and such.
I saw a whole lot of burned houses, looted villages, ransacked schools,...
Although you've got some Seselj-like hyperbole going on, there were in fact numerous atrocities committed by the Albanians against the Serbs--especially in the summer of 1999. The difference being that there are not a bunch of nut-job Albanians on this forum variously saying the atrocities never happened, they didn't do it, and the Serbs deserved it anyway.
It is true that in the Decani region, UNMIK does the bare minimum and often requests KFOR escort. KFOR, as part of NATO and because it is associated with the USA, remains respected & popular--the UN much less so.
Keep the US at Bondsteel, the presence needs to remain.
Just about everybody who has thought seriously about the Kosovo issue has come to the same conclusion.
Now, the other thing about the Serbs deserving of being on the receiving end of the mass executions, is misguided.
You remember the movie "Coward of the County" where the kid/Tommy (serbia) who courts Becky (kosovo) but the Gatlin brothers (albanian gang) in the end beats the hell out of them? The Gatlins/alb gang kept chipping away at Tommy, building up the anger. One day, he discovers that Becky (kosovo) is all bloodied. Well, ole Tommy/Serbia had enough then he let them have it, with not one Gatlin/Albanian left standing. In came the Alb paid hired help with a great deception plan.
You can say our country/USA can be Tommy, who opened their arms with kindness then look at what we got in return - 3,000 dead. Well, I don't know how much you know about pre-1997, I suggest a trip back in time and not only see the Albanian side of it.
Go into Novi Pazar District, Presevo Valley District, Raska District talk to the Serbs, Albanian and Gypsy refugees that fled and remain in those areas about what they experienced and endured before finally fleeing pre-war/1998-9
Not too many Albanian Mooslems on this forum because they have their minders looking out for them. Plus most Albanians are Liberal in this country. What would they be doing here on FR? They owe their essence to the Clintonistas and gang.
Milosevic is not in power anymore so what is Albanian excuse for killing, torturing and ethnically cleansing non-Albanians now? There was no Milosevic 1941, 1915 or during those long black years of muslim terror and occupation, but that did not prevent Albanian muslim to kill, steel and destroy did not it?
Kosovo and Metohija is the full name of Serbian province Albanians are trying to steel. Metohija is word used to describe property belonging to the Church. Milosevic left so what prevents your tribe from returning to Serbian Orthodox Church its rightful property? Milosevic is not in power, so why you keep killing old men and women, destroying churches and monasteries and desecrating graveyards?
When Albs got independence, like their Chechen cousins, they were not able to live in peace. Instead they start killing and expelling minorities and exporting Islam revolution. If you are really ancestors of ancient Illyrians and European people why dont you show that you can respect lives and property of Serbs, Macedonians, Turks, Roma ?
Albanian terror and crimes, oppression of non-Albanians and mass murder rob you of any right on Kosovo and Metohija. Your misdeeds clearly demonstrate that Albanians are stranger to the Kosmet. Your tribe in unable to treat non-Albanians like human beings- with dignity and respect for their individual right. One day - Inshallah - Serbs will take back what was stolen from them, until that enjoy.
The problem the Serbs have is that during the most recent Balkan Wars, they were the champions at all the above listed crimes--Serbs killed more people, destroyed more churches, destroyed more mosques, burned more villages, and threw more people out of their homes than any other group--Christian or Muslim notwithstanding. Refusal to recognize that and to hold the criminals accountable is the first problem the Serbs have with the USA and rest of the international community.
The next thing that you & our other Serb warcrime apologists have a problem grasping is that pointing out that Serbs committed crimes does not mean one is for crimes committed by other groups. As I said before, even though Croats, Bosnians, and Albanians also committed crimes; there aren't a bunch of nut-jobs from those groups posting ahistorical nonsense on this web-site.
There is a reason that American policy in the Balkans has been consistent since G.H.W. Bush up thru year five of G.W. Bush. It is based on a combination of American national interest & American national values. We wanted stability in the Balkans for fear of a spreading conflict that could eventually drag in NATO members. We wanted peace to prevent the widespread atrocities and ethnic cleansing seemingly endemic to Balkans conflicts. We identified Serbia and the Greater Serbia project as the center of gravity of the Balkans problems.
Our policy ever since has been to prevent Serbian aggression; whether by detererrence such as President Bush I's 1992 Christmas Warning" to Serbia about Kosovo; or economic sanctions versus Serbia such as all three administrations have followed; or by deploying troops such as President Clinton did in 1993 to protect Macedonia from Serbia; by strengthening Serbia's neighbors such as Bosnia & Croatia as all three administrations have done; by international diplomacy via the Contact Group & international legal action via the Hague Tribunal as pursued still by the current Administration.
So, zagor, its about time you & your fellow-travellers get your head out of your 4th point of contact or in a few years American policy toward Serbia will remain unchanged under the next administration.
"We shall realize the boundaries of Greater Serbia when we assume power at the federal level."
-Vojislav Seselj, leader of the Serb Radical Party, Serbia's largest political party. (October 1997)
Whoopee. Another land made safe for Islam. Kosovo is it's beach head into Europe.
In other words you have some crazy axe to grind. You are always seeking to justify your life actions in this forum. Always looking for a pat on the back and someone to say "job well done" Your recent life was devoted to helping the Muslims take over Kosovo. That is the net effect of your "humanitarian crusade"
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