Free Republic 4th Quarter Fundraising Target: $88,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $1,197
Woo hoo!! And the first 1% is in!! Thank you all very much!! God bless.

Posts by mark502inf

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • South Sudan: US Military Aircraft Hit By Rebels

    12/21/2013 9:17:45 AM PST · 34 of 78
    mark502inf to mark502inf

    You can say that again!

  • South Sudan: US Military Aircraft Hit By Rebels

    12/21/2013 9:16:53 AM PST · 33 of 78
    mark502inf to ilovesarah2012

    This is a military mission to evacuate U.S. citizens trapped by a civil war in another country. A traditional use of our armed services and a use which I very much support. It is very different from intervention on one side or the other.

  • South Sudan: US Military Aircraft Hit By Rebels

    12/21/2013 9:16:53 AM PST · 32 of 78
    mark502inf to ilovesarah2012

    This is a military mission to evacuate U.S. citizens trapped by a civil war in another country. A traditional use of our armed services and a use which I very much support. It is very different from intervention on one side or the other.


    12/21/2006 2:48:44 PM PST · 190 of 250
    mark502inf to joan

    Yep, Joan--that's it all right. The Albanians ethnically cleansed themselves out of Kosovo just to make the Serbs look bad! Thank you for reinforcing the point of post # 186 above.

  • Four Bosnian Serbs enter war crimes trial

    12/21/2006 2:44:26 PM PST · 3 of 4
    mark502inf to JamesP81
    Well, James, those charges have been reviewed by the Bush Administration Justice Department and vetted by our interagency process; i.e. run through Rumsfeld's Department of Defense, etc. The end result is that the USA continued to support the trial of Milosevic with funding for the court, "seconded" personnel to work on the trial, and the use of our military to continue to round up Slobo's war crime perp-buddies for their trials at the same court.

    Here's the link to Milosevic's indictment. Perhaps you can identify which one of the counts against him were "trumped" up. Go to the ICTY base page and transcripts of his trial are posted, if you'd like to support your position.

    And here's what the leadership of the Serbian Orthodox Church says about Milosevic (of course not legally binding, but significant in a much more long-lasting way!):

    "We are both aware, as God knows, how much evil has been done [in Kosovo] in the course of the last year and especially in the last three months. The great part of the guilt lies with Milosevic."

    -Bishop Artemije, senior representative of Serbian Orthodox Church, speaking for himself and Patriarch Pavle, head of the church, NYT, June 29.


    12/21/2006 2:18:12 PM PST · 188 of 250
    mark502inf to joan
    Merry Christmas, Joan. Neither this thread nor what I posted was about Albanians. My post was simply poking fun at the absurd lengths so many Serbs will go to deny the reality of their murderous depredations against both their Christian and Muslim neighbors in the Balkans Wars of the 1990s.

    However, since you brought up the Albanians, it is true that I and most Americans are grateful for their steadfast support in the War on Terror--troops in both Afghanistan and Iraq since the beginning; here's a photo:

    Albanian Commando troops participate in a ceremony at Mother Teresa Airport before leaving for Iraq. Parliament has approved increasing the number of soldiers in Iraq. [Gent Shkullaku]

  • Four Bosnian Serbs enter war crimes trial

    12/21/2006 2:04:35 PM PST · 1 of 4
    Interesting in that the international court is now sending war criminals back to national courts for trial.

    Almost 2,300 Muslim, Croat (Catholic) and other non-Serb victims from the Prijedor area have been exhumed from 53 mass and several hundred individual graves so far, while 1,100 are still unaccounted for.

    The Serbian ethnic cleansing of the Croatian Catholics is not given much play here by our Serb war crime apologists. It sort of puts the lie to their post 9-11 reinvention of the Balkan Wars as some kind of defense of Christianity.


    12/21/2006 1:04:31 PM PST · 186 of 250
    mark502inf to Hoplite; Red6; Bokababe; FNG; FormerLib
    Frank Costanza: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.

    Cosmo Kramer: What happened to the doll?

    Frank Costanza: It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born … a Festivus for the rest of us!

    Cosmo Kramer: That must've been some kind of doll.

    Frank Costanza: She was.

    That was very touching. Do you happen to have a picture of the doll?

    And to celebrate this thread--here's an oldie, but goodie:


    Steve Crawshaw

    Monday 31st May 1999

    Winning the war is the easy bit. It will be harder to restore sanity to the Serbs, argues Steve Crawshaw

    You can spend years refusing to face up to the obvious. You can find endless justifications and search for ifs and buts. Eventually, however, there comes a moment when the visitor to the Balkans must simply put his head in his hands and cry: "Enough!" One nagging question returns to haunt you: why have so many millions of Serbs become liars on a grand scale or gone mad, or both?

    Everybody feels that their own point of view is sometimes misunderstood. Many feel that their country is right, even when it is wrong. But none except the Serbs have managed in recent years to take this reversal of reality to such a high art form. According to a view held widely in Serbia today, anybody who accuses the Serbs of anything (yes, anything) either has been duped by or is part of an international conspiracy - an a la carte mixture of Bill Clinton (trying to distract from cigars and moral decay in the Oval Office), Germany (with its well-known ambitions for a Fourth Reich) and international Islam (seeking a fundamentalist takeover). When western news reports show Serbs in a bad light, it is only because the reporters are too stupid or venal to tell the shining, shaming truth.

    The Serb grasp on reality can make The X Files seem down to earth. Take the extraordinary (and typical) conversation I had recently with Darko, a well-educated resident of Pale, a little town half an hour's drive from Sarajevo that used to be the capital of Radovan Karadzic's Bosnian Serb republic. "Why does Tony Blair blame the Serbs for everything?" Darko asked. "What have Serbs done wrong?"

    Well, there's a question and a half. I take a deep breath as I flash through the mental index of the past eight years. Camps, cleansing, rapes, massacres - where shall we start? Finally I cautiously toss out one word: Srebrenica, the little Bosnian town where thousands of civilians were notoriously slaughtered in cold blood in 1995. Every detail of the massacre has been analysed and re-analysed. I expect my new acquaintance to sound defensive when the name is mentioned. Not a bit of it. He leaps upon the name of Srebrenica like a hungry piranha on a bleeding hunk of flesh: "It was war. We tried to relieve our country. There was no massacre." So that's that.

    In a Serb Orthodox monastery, I have an equally baffling encounter. Father Luke, the abbot, wistfully notes that international attitudes towards Serbs have changed in recent years. "Before, all doors were open for me as a Serb. Now all of them are closed. What happened?" Another humdinger of a question. My explanation is promptly rejected: "No, it's not to do with what we Serbs have done." In his view Serbs are being crucified for the sins of mankind. "There was a need for one nation to take all the sins on its back."

    You can find isolated instances of lunacy in any country. But nowhere more than in Serbia. Take the question of Albanians fleeing Kosovo - Serb TV blames the exodus on Nato raids. Ask Albanian refugees if that is indeed the reason, and they'll tell you that power comes out of the barrel of a Serb gun. The standard, shared experience is of a small group of armed men telling everybody in the village to clear out within the next half an hour, on pain of death.

    Ask Serbs why the Albanians are leaving, however, and they will repeat with a straight face the line about Nato bombings. You get the impression that most of them could pass a lie-detector test on the matter. You can blame this in part on the Serb government's powerful propaganda machine. Milosevic's iron control of TV - with its poisonous messages of hate and paranoia - has played an important role in recent years. But even those who have access to alternative sources of news still subscribe enthusiastically to the view of unsullied Serb innocence.

    Back in the winter of 1996, things seemed very different. The streets were filled with the deafening sound of thousands of whistles calling time on the Serb leader. The banging of pots and pans every night at 7.30pm was supposed to drown out the lies of TV news. Milosevic briefly seemed doomed, and a healthy Serbia seemed to be emerging. It was all an illusion. Nowadays many of the pot-bangers sit nodding in agreement in front of the TV news.

    In recent weeks Nato has sought to highlight the demonstrations against conscription in Serb towns, as a way of proving that support for the regime is less solid than it was. Up to a point. But an unwillingness to allow your sons to be killed is rather different from understanding why your country is under attack in the first place. This far more important change is yet to come.

    For the moment, most Serbs have a clear rule of thumb for assessing the accuracy of a news report. If the report shows others in a bad light, it is accurate; if it shows Serbs in a bad light, it is a malicious invention.

    As the experience of modern Germany shows, there is nothing pre-programmed about lunacy. Germany was a normal country before 1933 and is a normal country again today. Just as a sane country can turn mad, a mad country can eventually become sane once more. But the change cannot happen overnight. A deep-seated sense of victimhood has helped to reinforce the sense of being misunderstood. In effect the Serbs ask: "How can we be guilty, we who have historically suffered so much? My forefathers fought bravely for a just cause. My country is less rich than many of the nations who accuse us. Therefore my country is free of sin." This conclusion leaves something to be desired in the logic department. But it accurately reflects the Serbs' guiding philosophy of life: once a victim, always a victim.

    In short, winning the war against Slobodan Milosevic will be the easy part. Turning Serbs back into sane citizens of the world will be more difficult. If a Serb tells you that this is an unwarranted slur on a brave nation, just ask him or her why Albanians are fleeing Kosovo. Ask what happened at Srebrenica. And get ready for a depressing reply.


    12/20/2006 3:53:00 AM PST · 119 of 250
    mark502inf to Red6; Hoplite
    Red6, well done. You've supplied facts and perspective; things which--save from Hoplite--are not often evident on the Balkans threads. I know with that "6" suffix that you've been hit with much worse than the electronic bombardment of historical revisionism, illogic, fabrications, and personal attacks from our resident Serb nationalists.

    The facts of the death & destruction of Serb ethnic cleansing in support of their irredentist goals are well established. It is both factually incorrect and an insult to the United States of America for the Serbs to try and associate what they did in the 90s--in terms of either goals or methods--with what the United States is doing in our current war on terror.

    From one military veteran to two others: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  • No Draft No Protest -- & a Tragedy for the Country???

    09/02/2006 5:58:58 AM PDT · 9 of 24
    mark502inf to publius1
    The tactic of bewailing the lack of a draft because it is an easy protest target is not new. Back in 1979(?) when registering for the draft was proposed as a reaction to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, I can still remember the president of NOW on television stating that she was against draft registration, but if it was approved, it should include women so that they could have the same opportunity as the men to protest by not registering.

    Classic lib logic. No discussion on the merits, just the political stance.

  • The Washington scandal that wasn't

    09/02/2006 5:52:09 AM PDT · 33 of 130
    mark502inf to Clive
    Wilson, a former ambassador to Gabon now struggling to earn a living as an international business consultant

    Unfortunately, Wilson is raking in some pretty big bucks on the college lecture circuit. Back in Michigan, my wife forwarded me the laudatory newspaper article announcing his presence; not one word about his documented lies. His lecture was attended by over 1,000 students.

  • Rush 24/7 Adopted Soldier Tells Amazing Story

    09/02/2006 5:41:38 AM PDT · 16 of 40
    mark502inf to Kaslin

    Great story, thanks for posting. Every deployment I've been on in the militay over a LONG career, ordinary Americans have been generous with their support and ordinary soldiers have been generous with the local people. At the small base I was at in Afghanistan, we received box after box of clothing, goodies, books, and school supplies and so on for both the soldiers and for the various Afghan schools and orphanages and relief agencies which our soldiers had "adopted." The chaplain would store them and once a week a volunteer crew would sort, re-box, label and organize for the approprite recipients. Then, usually on Fridays, we'd deliver to the Afghans. The good that was done and the good-will that was generated was significant, but as pointed out in the original post, not something that was reported by our media.

  • Fiery Campaign Imperils Bosnia’s Progress, Officials Warn

    08/26/2006 8:33:01 PM PDT · 29 of 42
    mark502inf to kinoxi
    It's Clinton policy idiot.

    Wow, we have another poster on the Balkans threads who make assertions he is incapable of backing up and then responds with personal attacks when presented with an argument he cannot answer.

    I would like to hear a solution.

    To what? From 92-95 in Bosnia they were slaughtering each other by the thousands. Now they're making speeches. What's the problem you want to solve?

  • Fiery Campaign Imperils Bosnia’s Progress, Officials Warn

    08/26/2006 8:12:36 PM PDT · 26 of 42
    mark502inf to kinoxi
    It's Clinton policy idiot.

    It's American policy and it's been pretty consistent since the first President Bush right up through now. GHW Bush recognized the former Yugo entities as sovereign nations, coordinated international response, and told Slobo that the US would use force if he started his ethnic cleasing act in Kosovo.

    The current President Bush has done a great, but largely unheralded by the media & our "elites" (big surprise), job in the Balkans. He's brought US troop strength from a high of 30,000 down to less than 2000. The Europeans now are running the show and providing most of the troops & resources. He kept the conflict in Macedonia from expanding and established a lasting peace. There have been no new wars. Milosevic was kicked out of office and into the Hague from which he descended into the infernal region. From a basically hostile Yugoslavia run by a klepto-commie cum dictator, we now have six nation-states; all of which are now democracies and four of which (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Macedonia) are solid allies who have sent troops to fight alongside us in Afghanistan and Iraq. The US Balkans policy has been a success. The last major item on the agenda is resolving Kosovo's status and that's scheduled to get done this year.

  • Dancers Land in Iraq. Marines Offer No Resistance.

    08/26/2006 7:25:24 PM PDT · 8 of 58
    mark502inf to radar101

    That's exactly what combat troops want & need!

  • The Bush Doctrine Need Not Apply-Bush administration blesses a terror state into existence.

    08/26/2006 7:18:55 PM PDT · 18 of 23
    mark502inf to joan
    Well, Joan, it is difficult to see how Milosevic could be a hero to anyone. He lost four wars and in the process caused tens of thousands of deaths and untold misery for millions--Serbs & non-Serbs; destroyed his own country's economy, was awaiting charges in Belgrade for murdering his politicial opponents, and was instrumental in ruining the reputation of the Serbian people.

    As to his guilt, read the transcripts--it's pretty obvious. And if you don't want to do that, let's hear from a couple close observers.

    "We are both aware, as God knows, how much evil has been done [in Kosovo] in the course of the last year and especially in the last three months. The great part of the guilt lies with Milosevic."

    -Bishop Artemije, senior representative of Serbian Orthodox Church, speaking for himself and Patriarch Pavle, head of the church, NYT, June 29, 1999.

    W also has something to say:

    "I welcome today's arrest of Slobodan Milosevic, the former President of Yugoslavia. His arrest represents an important step in bringing to a close the tragic era of his brutal dictatorship. Milosevic was responsible for great suffering throughout the Balkan region. He deserves to be tried for his crimes against the Serbian people. He also deserves to be tried for violations of international law...."

  • The Bush Doctrine Need Not Apply-Bush administration blesses a terror state into existence.

    08/26/2006 7:09:22 PM PDT · 17 of 23
    mark502inf to FormerLib
    You're an exceptional Dhimmi. I'll wager you've even come to enjoy the taste.

    Ah yes, when losing an argument, just bring out the tried-and-true junior high lunch-break ploy of calling someone a name and accusing them of having oral sex with some other guy! Yep, FormerLib, you're a real credit to Free Republic and the conservative movement.


    08/26/2006 6:53:03 PM PDT · 51 of 63
    mark502inf to Bokababe
    The Serbs had always been pro-US.

    That's the propaganda talking point. Here's the reality:

    Serbia and Saddam Hussein were allies.

    Serbia, Iraq want united anti-U.S. front

    Yugoslavia's Arms Ties to Iraq Draw U.S. Scrutiny

    Saddam's Serb Supplier: How our last enemy has been arming our next one.

    And Slobo & his wife combined to be the biggest political recipient of Saddam's oil bribes in Europe. The Yugo Socialist Party received vouchers for 1,000,000 barrels and the Yugo Left party received 9.5 million; those organizations are headed by Mr. and Mrs. Milosevic, respectively.

    Hooking up with Yasser

    April 6, 1989: Yugoslavia establishes diplomatic relations with the State of Palestine. PLO office in Belgrade acquires the status of an embassy.

    Serbia was cozying up with Qadaffi before his rehabilitation:

    Yugoslavia: Firms Helped Libya Acquire Cruise Missiles, U.S. Says

    Gaddafi Given Yugoslavia's Top Medal By Milosevic

    And the Iranians have a new friend!

    Iran-Serbia Security Cooperation Agreement

    And there's more to come as the documents captured in Baghdad continue to be translated. The Iraqi Perspectives Report prepared by the U.S. military details Serb missions to Saddam Hussein in 2001 (post-Milosevic and post 9/11 by the way) intended to help Iraq kill Americans. Here's one of the gems from that report:

    "In a meeting with the leader of the Serb Radical Party in 2001, Saddam discussed how he was not impressed with the "Imperialist Tactics" of the United States because, in his opinion, Serbia was able to withstand them. Captured Iraqi document dated 12 December 2001, "Meeting Minutes between Saddam Hussein and Leader of Serb Radical Party."


    08/25/2006 4:44:31 PM PDT · 49 of 63
    mark502inf to ma bell
    Why does Albania allow free reign for AQ types and free access to its borders with Serbia? Thus allowing anyone and anything to cross over illegaly into Serbia. Whereas, the Serbian Authority did its job in attempting to shut down all border crossings against armed drug/human/weapon traffickers.

    All the borders are porous in that area--it's why the "Balkans Route" is famous for smuggling. Having said that, it is true that Albania is a favored smuggling nexus. The Albanian government does not "allow free reign ... and free access," but the combination of weak and inefficient law enforcement, corruption, and long rugged land & sea borders makes it a pretty attractive path to travel for those who don't want what they are doing to be checked.


    08/25/2006 4:31:51 PM PDT · 48 of 63
    mark502inf to archy
    Well, Archy, since you posted that picture of Arkan, I think it is required that we post one of his wife, Ceca. Arkan certainly wins the award for "War Criminal with the Best Looking Wife"! With something like that at home you'd think he wouldn't have spent all that time out burning villages and murdering their non-Serb inhabitants...

  • The Bush Doctrine Need Not Apply-Bush administration blesses a terror state into existence.

    08/25/2006 8:13:26 AM PDT · 14 of 23
    mark502inf to A. Pole
    The point is that the idea that Serbia's Balkan Wars were about defending Christendom is a canard; revisionism to gain sympathy from those of us who are against Islamic terrorism. That Milosevic was charged with more warcrimes against Christian Croats than against any other group simply illustrates that point, as does the fact that the Christians of the former Yugoslavia were just as opposed to Milosevic and the Serbs as the Yugo Muslims.

    The nationalist aspirations of the former Yugoslavia's constituent groups came into conflict and that is why not just the Muslim Bosniaks, but the Kosovo Albanians, Christian Slovenes, Christian Croats, Christian Macedonians, and Christian Montenegrins have all split away from Belgrade and the Serbs. And the Hungarian Christian minority in Serbia's province of Vojvodina is not real happy right now either.

    To those in the Balkans, Christian and Muslim alike, who opposed Belgrade & Milosevic and the "Greater Serbia" ideology; it was not--as the Serbs dishonestly portray it today--a fight against Christianity, it was a struggle for freedom and independence.


    08/25/2006 7:39:20 AM PDT · 42 of 63
    mark502inf to mark502inf
    to include the only one with a Muslim majority (Bosnia),

    AS YOU WERE! None, to include Bosnia, have a Muslim majority--Bosnia has a Muslim plurality: "Religions: Muslim (40%); Orthodox (31%); Catholic (15%); Protestant (4%); other (10%). In fact, at 31% + 15% + 4%; the Christian proportion of the population is 50% making it the predominant religion in Bosnia, also.


  • The Bush Doctrine Need Not Apply-Bush administration blesses a terror state into existence.

    08/25/2006 7:30:16 AM PDT · 13 of 23
    mark502inf to A. Pole
    He was murdered all right.

    A. Pole, conspiracy theories are invented by those who do not wish to confront the facts. And the fact is that Milosevic died a natural death.

    The public prosecutor has come to the conclusion that Mr. Milosevic died a natural death and that there are no indications that the death resulted from crime…. The toxicologic examination into the cause of death has now been completed. No indications were found that showed poisoning and neither were toxicologic factors found that might have provoked a cardiac arrest. … the Dutch Forensic Institute (NFI) has now definitely come to the conclusion that the cause of death was cardiac arrest.

    Further, the Serbs, a Belgian, and Russian pathologists were present at the autopsy and given access to the autopsy results. A second examination of Milosevic’s corpse was made by an independent German team. No objections have been made by anyone involved as to the conclusion of natural death.

    The body was seized by the public prosecutor in order to perform a judicial autopsy and was transferred to the Dutch Forensic Institute (NFI). At the request of the Tribunal they waited half a day so that two Serbian pathologists could be present during the autopsy on March 12. The NFI invited a Belgian pathologist to attend the autopsy as an observer. Russian pathologists have been given the opportunity at a later time (March 14) to view the photographs of the autopsy and to study the preliminary autopsy report. Neither the Russian and Serbian pathologists nor the family have commented on the results of the autopsy. During the autopsy extra samples were taken in case a possible counter examination would have to be made. A number of the medicines prescribed to Mr. Milosevic were found in the body material, however, not in toxic concentrations. No traces were found of medicines that had not been prescribed. In order to guarantee the quality of the examination, the Dutch Forensic Institute requested the independent German Institut für Gerichtsmedizin in Bonn to again perform the examination. This institute has reached the same conclusions as the NFI did.


  • The Bush Doctrine Need Not Apply-Bush administration blesses a terror state into existence.

    08/25/2006 6:31:06 AM PDT · 11 of 23
    mark502inf to JamesP81
    the Serbs are a predominately non-Islamic country that was engaged in a battle against the KLA, an insurgency with close links to Al Qaeda.

    James, first of all, while Serbs are "non-Islamic", it is illuminating to note that their erstwhile leader--Slobodan Milosevic--was charged with more counts of war-crimes against fellow Christians than against any Muslim group. Further, in their war against the Catholic Croats, the Serbs destroyed more Christian churches than the Muslims are accused of doing in Bosnia or the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo (where the Serbs also destroyed/damaged 9 Albanian Christian Churches). The Serbs conveniently leave these facts out as they attempt to gain sympathy in the post 9-11 world by re-casting the nationalistic wars and ethnic cleansing campaigns of the 90s as some sort of defense of Christianity.

  • The Bush Doctrine Need Not Apply-Bush administration blesses a terror state into existence.

    08/25/2006 5:44:54 AM PDT · 9 of 23
    mark502inf to A. Pole
    If Milosevic were to present his defense, his false accusers and false judges would be completely unmasked. That is why he had to die.

    Always with the conspiracy theories in the Balkans. Milosevic actually died of eating whatever cholesterol-infused diet that caused his heart attack.

    As can be seen in the photo below of Milosevic holding hands with one of his buddies, Slobo has the classic heart attack victim "apple" shape in which a pot belly--even with the lack of excess weight in the rest of the body--is a strong predictor of heart disease. Too much pork in the Serb diet?


    08/25/2006 5:03:12 AM PDT · 26 of 26
    mark502inf to kronos77
    Ah, Mr. Kronos. Besides demonstrating your dishonesty by altering the headline of the story, you have also just lost the argument.

    08/25/2006 4:38:45 AM PDT · 41 of 63
    mark502inf to Alberta's Child
    the U.S. has had the same idiotic pro-Islamic policy in the Balkans through the last THREE administrations

    Not sure how you can call our Balkans policy "pro-Islamic" when you look at the results. When the first President Bush took office, Yugoslavia was still a communist country, no ally of the USA, and a way-station for terrorists such as Mohammed Abbas of Achille Lauro infamy. Albania was an isolationist, brutal communist dictatorship.

    Now, what started as Yugoslavia--communist, atheist, hostile to America--has turned into six nation-states; all with democratic governments: Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, and Macedonia. Five of those six are primarily Christian. Four(Slovenia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Croatia) to include the only one with a Muslim majority (Bosnia), have troops allied with the USA in Afghanistan and/or Iraq. Albania is also now a democracy and a staunch US ally; one of the first to contribute troops to both Iraq & Afghanistan; and opens its air & land & sea-space for our military to train.

    So explain again how US Balkans policy which has produced democracy for millions, several Christian majority nations, and a group of allies for the USA in the war against Islamic terrorism is "pro-Islamic."


    08/25/2006 4:05:57 AM PDT · 23 of 26
    mark502inf to kronos77; Admin Moderator
    Kronos, you created your own headline--a misleading one at that. The real one says: "BALKANS: SERBIA'S FOREIGN MINISTER SLAMS 'NATURAL ALBANIA' COMMENTS".

    As to the story, "Natural Albania" is a new phrase, so I'm not sure exactly what it means. The phrase Albanians normally use when describing uniting the Albanian populated regions is "Ethnic Albania." The goal dates from the 1878 League of Prizren in which the idea was to unite the four Albanian "Vilayets" of Shkoder, Kosova,Janine, and Manastir. Those vilayets included the Albanian populated areas of what is today northern Greece, Albania, western Macedonia, Kosovo, Presevo in southern Serbia, eastern Montenegro, and a little piece of the Montenegrin coast around Ulqin.

    After the modern borders of Albania were finally settled in the various WWI era treaties & conferences, half the Albanian population was living on lands that were not included as part of Albania in the final settlement. The recent conflicts involving Albanians in the Balkans can trace their roots to that time.

    And btw, unlike--for example--Serbia where to be Serb is to be Serbian Orthodox; Albania has no such religious tradition--it is a mixture of Sunni, Orthodox, Bektashi, and Catholics--President Moisiu of Albania is Catholic. The current Prime Minister, Sal Berisha, is Sunni while Fatos Nano, the previous Prime Minister, is Orthodox. The "Ethnic Albania" idea has nothing to do with religion--neither pro nor anti Muslim or Christian.

  • Bagram A-10s surge for summer offensives

    08/23/2006 9:45:39 AM PDT · 19 of 23
    mark502inf to SandRat
    Flying hours and the amount of bombs and bullets used by A-10 pilots here have increased all summer due to two offensives by ground forces against the enemy. Operations Mountain Lion and Mountain Thrust flushed Taliban extremists out of where they normally would hole up, exposing them to U.S. and coalition forces on the ground, who called on A-10 pilots to provide close-air support. "The increase in weapons deliveries is primarily because U.S. and coalition operations have carried the fight to the extremists,"

    Or, as the MSM would call the underlined parts, a "resurgent Taliban" or "offensive by militants." Nice to see a correct description of what is actually taking place--unfortunately, it isn't from a reporter, but from the Air Force's own release.

  • Parents grieve for boy killed by Cdn

    08/23/2006 9:38:19 AM PDT · 5 of 12
    mark502inf to Clive
    Note the way the reporter sneaks his bias in:

    In late May, riots broke out in Kabul, Afghanistan's capital, after a U.S. military cargo truck killed one man and injured several others in an apparent traffic accident.

    It WAS a traffic accident. Nothing "apparent" about it. And then there's this paragraph

    There have been several incidents across Afghanistan in the past year in which civilians died during coalition military operations against Taliban insurgents, prompting angry rebukes from Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

    But what about the "several incidents across Afghanistan in the past year in which [both coalition forces & civilians] died during [terrorist] operations"? The reporters paragraph was both unnecessary and not balanced by any corresponding info as to past attacks by Taliban in civilian clothing who approached coalition forces after IED attacks--a common tactic and the reason why the Canadian forces had to form a perimeter to protect the site.


    08/23/2006 8:57:55 AM PDT · 5 of 5
    mark502inf to man from mars

    It is not unusual to encounter that many women on a raid like that. Their rural compounds often house entire extended families; dozens of people. Then they have the hospitality tradition of letting in anyone who approaches and asks for shelter--a fairly common occurrence in a country where there is little in the way of hotels and motels and even less money to pay to stay in one. It is also not unusual for many of the men to be gone--out as a herder or fighting in the Afghan Army or for the Taliban or harvesting opium; the usual Afghan rural pursuits.

  • Hundreds of fearful drivers hitch a ride over Mighty Mac each year (Gephyrophobia!)

    08/23/2006 8:33:24 AM PDT · 66 of 129
    mark502inf to Dixie Yooper
    On the Great Lake they call Gitchie Gummie. August, the UP's best month. Down here it's 90 and humid, up there it's probably 73 and perfect. I'm homesick again.

    Yep, August is absolutely beautiful, but then "The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down [that] the skies of November turn gloomy."

  • Hundreds of fearful drivers hitch a ride over Mighty Mac each year (Gephyrophobia!)

    08/23/2006 8:23:43 AM PDT · 53 of 129
    mark502inf to MeanWestTexan
    Testing the weight limit, I see.

    You're mean!

  • Hundreds of fearful drivers hitch a ride over Mighty Mac each year (Gephyrophobia!)

    08/23/2006 8:10:55 AM PDT · 30 of 129
    mark502inf to AntiGuv
    Never Drive A YUGO Over The Mackinaw Bridge

    Mighiganders know that the Mackinaw Bridge can take ones life. It has done so to builders, painters, and maintenence staff. The most startling and frightful death that ever occurred on the bridge was that of a young woman from Royal Oak, Michigan. Her car, a YUGO, was caught in a cross and upwards drafts while on the five mile long bridge. She was thrown to her death when her YUGO was lifted over the siderailings where she then fell to the Straights of Mackinac.

  • Hundreds of fearful drivers hitch a ride over Mighty Mac each year (Gephyrophobia!)

    08/23/2006 8:02:03 AM PDT · 19 of 129
    mark502inf to Dixie Yooper

    Hi yooper, you're a long way from home. Didn't know that about the Fitzgerald. But I have heard that

    "they'd have made Whitefish Bay; If they'd fifteen more miles behind her."

  • Hundreds of fearful drivers hitch a ride over Mighty Mac each year (Gephyrophobia!)

    08/23/2006 7:55:16 AM PDT · 12 of 129
    mark502inf to Mikey_1962
    The lack of paving is for wind flow.

    Makes sense. Every time I'm there, even if calm on the approaches, the wind is whipping pretty hard on the brige itself. And there's got to be some venturi effect based on the narrowness of the straits at that point.

  • Hundreds of fearful drivers hitch a ride over Mighty Mac each year (Gephyrophobia!)

    08/23/2006 7:47:54 AM PDT · 2 of 129
    mark502inf to mark502inf

    Waiting for the Edmund Fitzgerald to sail by.

  • Hundreds of fearful drivers hitch a ride over Mighty Mac each year (Gephyrophobia!)

    08/23/2006 7:45:39 AM PDT · 1 of 129
    One of the biggest bridges in the world and the ostensible target of the cell-phone terrorist trio arrested in Michigan a couple weeks ago. The first time I went over that bridge, I was startled to see that one lane in each direction is not paved, but covered with steel grates through which you can see the water a couple hundred feet below.
  • Serbia considers Kosovo partition

    08/14/2006 10:32:58 AM PDT · 33 of 77
    mark502inf to tgambill
    They had 17 advisors from MPRI

    Uh, Tom, did the Mosaad hit the towers on 9-11, or was it the Bush Administration? Did we really land on the moon, or was it all just on a sound-stage in California? Was it an airliner that hit the Pentagon on 9-11 or a cruise missile?

    Please answer--that'll help me figure out whether you are another conspiracy nut or simply misinformed.

  • Serbia considers Kosovo partition

    08/14/2006 10:26:47 AM PDT · 32 of 77
    mark502inf to tgambill
    in 1945 ... the Albanians formed an Albanian SS Division called Skenderburg Division. They massacred thousands of Serbs and Jews....with the promise of Greater Albania by old Adolf....Historical fact

    Tom, the Skanderbeg Division was formed not by the Albanians, but by the Germans at the direction of Heinrich Himmler. The Germans organized, trained, and paid the soldiers. The commander was always a German as well as almost all the officers and most of the NCOs (some were Volksdeutch, many were from the German navy where not too many ships were left afloat!).

    The division was formed not in 1945, but in March-April 1944 and became operational in June 1944. It was manned with 6,491 Albanians and somewhat over 2000 Germans. Within months 3,500 of the Albanians had deserted. By mid-autumn, it's strength had dwindled to less than a regiment--almost all Germans.

    It was obviously not a promise of "Greater Albania" that was the incentive for Albanians to join, since "Greater Albania" (i.e. boundaries that encompassed all the Albanian population of the Balkans) already existed at that time--the Italians and Germans had already set that up a couple years before.

    The Skanderbeg Division only existed as a division for a few months, was not effective, and most of the Albanians deserted as soon as they'd received a weapon and a couple month's pay. Contrast that with, for example, the Serb Volunteer Corps that worked for the Serb Quisling government under Nedic in Belgrade. The Serb Volunteer Corps was operational for four years (1941 - 1945), grew to over 10,000 volunteers, and included no Germans. It was organized, recruited, and commanded by Serbs. The Nazis praised it as a very effective ally.

  • Serbia considers Kosovo partition

    08/14/2006 9:35:14 AM PDT · 30 of 77
    mark502inf to ma bell
    mark does not tell of the American soldiers that have been killed or wounded by Kvo-Albanians either

    Never happened, ma. We've never had a single U.S. soldier killed by enemy action--Serb or Alb--in Kosovo. Not a one.

  • Serbia considers Kosovo partition

    08/14/2006 4:46:36 AM PDT · 23 of 77
    mark502inf to Banat
    Why don't we look at the period 1945 - 1998, or how about just 1968 - 1998?

    1945 was an interesting period in Kosovo--the Germans had retreated north and the Albanian Balli Kombetar and remaining Serb Chetniks were now fighting Tito's partisans. Albanian partisan leader (and later commie dictator) Enver Hoxha even sent up his best commander--Mehmet Shehu--with the equivalent of an Albanian Partisan Division to help Tito. This engendered some unique moments of Chetnik & Bali Kombetar cooperation against their common enemy: the Albanian & Yugoslav communist Partisans.

    Fast forward to the late 80s/90s and you get the four major events that got Kosovo to where it is today. First was Milosevic using Serb nationalism and particularly the situation in Kosovo to gain power. Second was Milosevic engineering the re-writing of the constitution to revoke Kosovo autonomy--this was what sparked the Kosovo Albanian declaration of independence. Third was when the 1995 Dayton negotiations and accord did not include the Kosovo situation--this was what discredited Rugova's non-violent approach and spurred the formation of the KLA. Fourth was in 1997 when the neighboring Albanian government collapsed and they had civil unrest and chaos--the looting of the Alb army depots & lack of government authority over its borders gave the KLA a source of weapons and a sanctuary. Revocation of autonomy & Serb nationalism were the casus beli, the failure of non-violence to get Kosovo considered at Dayton provided the motivation, and the collapse of Albania provided the means for the war.

    Which is a long way of saying that it was major events that led to the war; not individual incidents of violence. Those were the symptoms, not the cause.

  • These ludicrous lies about the West and Islam

    08/14/2006 3:53:34 AM PDT · 20 of 21
    mark502inf to aimhigh

    OK, I admit I laughed.

  • These ludicrous lies about the West and Islam

    08/14/2006 3:52:48 AM PDT · 19 of 21
    mark502inf to IronJack

    Good comments, I-Jack. You gleaned out the "greatest hits" from the column!

  • These ludicrous lies about the West and Islam

    08/13/2006 2:30:23 PM PDT · 2 of 21
    mark502inf to Admin Moderator

    The title should actually read: "These ludicrous lies about the West and Islam"

  • These ludicrous lies about the West and Islam

    08/13/2006 2:29:04 PM PDT · 1 of 21
    In particular, the conduct of the war in Iraq, regardless of the virtues of removing Saddam Hussein from office, has been riddled with error. The absence of weapons of mass destruction, removal of which was the premise for war, has undermined trust in the Prime Minister.

    Meanwhile, engagement in Iraq has made it harder to secure victory in Afghanistan, where the anti-terror justification for war was rock solid.

    But even within the bleakest possible analysis of Mr Blair's foreign policy, it is still simply not true that the West is waging war on Islam. Just as it is not true that the CIA was really behind the 11 September attacks or any other arrant conspiratorial nonsense that enjoys widespread credence in the Middle East and beyond.

    It is also a logical and moral absurdity to imply, as some critics of British policy have done, that mass murder is somehow less atrocious when it is motivated by an elaborate narrative of political grievance. If young British Muslims are alienated, that is sad and their anger should be addressed. But anyone whose alienation leads them to want to kill indiscriminately has crossed a line into psychopathic criminality.

    Policy cannot be dictated by the need to placate such people. British Muslim leaders are entitled, along with everybody else, to raise questions about the conduct and consequences of Mr Blair's foreign policy. But they have a more immediate responsibility to promote the truth: that Britain is not the aggressor in a war against Islam; that no such war exists; that there is no glory in murder dressed as martyrdom and that terrorism is never excused by bogus accounts of historical victimisation.

  • Serbia considers Kosovo partition

    08/13/2006 2:03:05 PM PDT · 21 of 77
    mark502inf to Banat
    Kosovo is worse off now than it was before. It's a crime- and violence-ridden hellhole.

    The facts say the opposite. In 1998 & the first half of 99 there were thousands killed of all ethnicities; 860,000 Kosovo Albanians in refugee camps outside Kosovo; hundreds of thousands more internally displaced inside Kosovo; 120,000 homes destroyed; and 800 Albanian schools plus 235 Albanian mosques and 9 Albanian Catholic churches destroyed or damaged. Then in the summer of 99 after the NATO bombardment, the Albanians returned to their looted & burned-out towns in somewhat of a bad mood and destroyed over 100 Serb Orthodox Churches while over 100,000 Serbs fled revenge attacks.

    Compare that with:

    2002 "There were 68 killings of citizens in Kosovo during the year, compared with 136 in 2001. According to available figures, assailants killed 60 Kosovar Albanians, 6 Kosovo Serbs, and 2 persons of unknown ethnicity."

    2003 "During the year, police recorded 72 killings ... of these, 17 involved victims from minority communities (24 percent). There were 13 killings of ethnic Serbs during the year, 7 of which were widely believed to be ethnically motivated."

    2004 "Approximately 62 killings occurred during the year, including 20 deaths as a result of the March violence; 11 of the victims were Serbs, including 8 during the March riots. Outside of the March riots, Kosovo Serbs were victims of three killings, three attempted killings, and one serious attack…"

    Compared to 98 & 99 for all ethnicities--and the entire decade of the 90s for Kosovo Albanians--Kosovo is now much less of a "hell-hole" than it was when the Serbs were running the place.

  • Prosecutor: Mackinac Bridge was target (plan for cell phones)

    08/13/2006 5:14:18 AM PDT · 462 of 579
    mark502inf to Azzurri
    Annual Labor Day Walk on Mackinac Bridge

    50,000+ people-I'm going this year!

    Note the Michigan National Guardsmen in your photo doing crowd control--may be a few more next time.

  • U.S. Senators call on Bush to support Serbia

    08/12/2006 2:22:35 PM PDT · 78 of 83
    mark502inf to infidel_and_proud
    Interesting why you're still SO silent about the Army of Bosnia-Hercegovina being trained by VEVAK? ...Yet, a dozen years on, and you've yet to get hot under the collar over Iranian military intelligence camping out in the Balkans.

    Uh, maybe because this was about Kosovo, not Bosnia.

    But since you brought it up, it is useful to note that the Bosnian military is supporting us in Iraq. And it's not VEVAK, but NATO "camping out" and training the Bosnian Army.

    Not to mention still hunting down indicted war criminals such as Serbian torturer and rapist Dragan Zelenovic, shown in the photo below a couple months ago being taken to the Hague by U.S. troops and aircraft from the NATO element in Sarajevo.

  • U.S. Senators call on Bush to support Serbia

    08/12/2006 5:27:51 AM PDT · 75 of 83
    mark502inf to Dante3; garbageseeker
    Yet we, under Clinton, killed over three thousand Serbs for no reason, most of them women and children. I find this horrifying.

    Gentlemen, the Former Republic of Yugoslavia Ministry of Foreign Affairs publication "NATO Crimes in Yugoslavia" came up with 495 deaths. The decidedly unfriendly-to-America Human Rights Watch did a study and came up with 488-527 bombing deaths; closely corresponding to Belgrade's 495. Go to para 53.

    Of note, about half of those approximately 500 civilian casualties were in Kosovo, most of whom were the Kosovar Albanian refugees attacked by mistake in the Korisa Woods and in the Djakovica road incidents. So the actual number of civilian casualties of Serbian ethnicity was somewhere under 300.

    It is a shame about any of the civilian casualties, but fortunately for most of Serbia, our Air Force, Marine, and Navy pilots who flew 14,000+ strike sorties were careful in target selection and precise in their aim.

    I just returned from Afghanistan where, after every airstrike, the Taliban would claim all sorts of civilian casualties. Investigation would invariably reveal the casualties as either non-existent or exaggerated. The victimization ploy in order to discredit your opponent and gain international sympathy is exactly what Hezbollah is doing in Lebanon today and the Serbs have continued concerning Kosovo.