Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist
16 December 2003

Isabel Vincent at Canada’s National Post has gone to Kosovo four years after the war and finds it a mess, with ethnic cleansing continuing (of Serbs by Muslim extremists) and drug and people smuggling:

“More than 80% of Western Europe’s heroin comes through Kosovo, where several drug laboratories have been set up, Interpol officials say.”

The sources are more than a little one-sided – anonymous Interpol officials and a lot of data provided by a Serb diplomat (as well as an ex-Canadian ambassador) but it’s certainly not encouraging.

Let’s not forget about the former Yugoslavia while we try to take care of things in Iraq and Afghanistan (and numerous other countries around the world…)


  1. Isabel Vincent is an award winning investigative journalist. I was not aware of any question of her integrity. Unless you mean she’s on the side of seeking truth? Or did you just mean she’s a leftist? She has reported (in 1998) and now on BOTH sides of the Yugoslavian conflict, so I don’t think she could be accused of taking sides in the conflict itself… I’m confused.

    I’ll grant you that her article is loaded with charged language hinting at a broader problem in Kosovo [which may not even exist — I don’t know].

    Comment by Jeff K — 18 December 2003 @ 4:40 pm

  2. Annoyingly her article has already left the National Post’s archive though another site has put it up – http://www.rense.com/general45/crime.htm. I don’t know whether Isabel has an axe to grind or not – I do know that in this article she hasn’t quoted any points of view other than those that support one side of the story (the anti-Kosovo-nationhood side).

    Comment by David Brake — 18 December 2003 @ 4:49 pm

  3. It is noticeable that real stories are getting published in world medias, but still less than needed for truth to become shown.

    David Brake says “the anti-Kosovo-nationhood side”. I wouldn’t agree that there is such side, as Kosovo-nationhood is not existing category.
    Kosovo-nationhood, ie term Kosovar first time has been used in medias several months before NATO agression, 1999, with intention to show Kosovo and people living there as coherent and different category than other Serbia, and with that partly justify NATO’s violent agression and moslem terrorists’ attacks, identified as “rebels” or “freedom fighters”.

    The fact is that there is Albanian-nationhood characterised with rising nationalism, xenophoby and extremism. Their target is Kosovo, but not only Kosovo. Their plans (defined many decades ago) for Great Albania also includes one more part of southern Serbia, eastern and southeastern parts of Montenegro, western parts of Macedonia and some northern parts of Greece. It is easy to see that, just search for several KLA or similar sites and adequate map will be presented.

    In regards with Kosovo, many people dont know province’s full name: Kosovo and Metohija. Here is why.
    This province has been first time introduced as authonomous region by Tito’s communist regime at the WWII end, combined of two geographic areas – Kosovo and Metohija (so it got such name). Kosovo on Serbian means “the land of Blackbirds”. Metohija means “the land of Monks, ie monasteries land”. In this relatively small area there are more than 1000 monasteries, church and other sacral objects, many (most) of them dating since 11-15th century, many decades before Albanians even stepped those lands. The most important (culturaly and historicaly) of them are now safeguarded by KFOR soldiers. Many of them are destroyed since 1999, with similar intention and on the similar way Talibans destroyed Budhas statues and reliefs in Afghanistan several years ago.

    This territory is called by Albanians just “Kosova”. Kosova means nothing in Albanian, ie it has not any roots. The same is for cities and villages in Kosmet, they all are having serbian names and toponymes and linguistically have nothing with Albanian. This is clear, as Serbs founded them, most of them centuries ago, and Albanians just settled there and occupied them much time later.

    I agree that Kosovo problem is broad, much than many people and politicians are ready to understand and accept. This mean that it’s solving is not easy and sure it will be painful.

    I personaly think that the best way of solving Kosovo’s problem is division, ie 60:40 or similar for Serbs-Albanians. The Albanian part in this case should get limited independence. They probably should have all institutions except military, and they cannot be allowed to unite with Albania (creating Great Albania). All monasteries on Kosmet, on Albanian part too, should get authonomous status with land around them and to be fully protected from islamic extremists.
    This is one, personal view.

    Another thing, I think is important, is way the Kosovo status is going to be determined, ie anounced independence. I was born and lived on Kosovo (living now in Srpska-Bosnia) and I think that nobody from outside have right to determine what should be done with Kosovo, nor Americans, EU, or people through “public opinion”, made, inspired and doctrinated mostly by one-sided medias with really clear intentions and sponsors.

    Kosovo’s problem must be solved only by Serbs and Albanians from there without foreign pressures and this is only guarantee that this solution will be stable and fair for both sides. Foreign pressure and “national interests” means new wars, new killings, new pains, and nobody (normal) wants it.

    The Bosnia’s story, where I’m living now, is much similar to Kosovo’s. Now I will just point to fact that Serbs from Bosnia, living there through centuries and consisting now some 40% of inhabitans have been forbiden to form its state and get authonomy (from militant moslems) during 1992-1995 war, but the same EU&USA structures are now trying to introduce authonomy for Albanians on Kosovo, people who got there mostly as Otomans’ bandits during islam occupation or illegal imigrants, during communists rule. Before WWII killings/genocide, Serbs on Kosovo and Bosnia both comprised more than 50% of population, and more before WWI (1,2 milion Serbs have been killed in WWI, 700,000 just in one concentration camp – Jasenovac, during WWII).

    At the end, here is one interesting link about Islam and Balkans: http://slobodnasrpska.org/en/prevare/islam.html.

    Regards, Igor.

    Comment by Igor Mikovic — 19 December 2003 @ 6:49 pm

  4. Where is this heroin coming from ?

    Comment by Gabriola — 16 January 2004 @ 8:29 pm

  5. igor and david,
    thanks for your insight into the situation in kosovo. i’ve thought about the nato action in the country as i try to refine my opinion on iraq and other forms of intervention in troubled regions. i’m tempted to comment that while kosovo may be a “mess” now it might have been messier without the nato intervention (though my simple opinion is largely based on roy gutman’s description of the situation in his book “witness to genocide”). thanks again for the timely reminder.

    Comment by ward — 21 January 2004 @ 4:48 am

  6. Thank you for reading my post 🙂

    I’m not sure did you heard for massacre on Kosovo 2-3 weeks before – where Albanians tried to completely destroy the most important Serbian churches and to finnaly ethnicaly clean Serbs not banished before.

    The fact is that before NATO intervention no one church or mosque were destroyed on Kosovo. For last 5 years after intervention, Albanians were destroyed several hundreds of church, graveyards etc.. most of those monuments were dating from 12-15th century and under UNESCO protection.

    However, I understand your position.. most of informations available are one-sided. If you really want to know more about things happened and happeining there you should use more sources. For begining, maybe next two links:

    Kind regards.

    Comment by Igor Mikovic — 5 April 2004 @ 7:55 pm

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