Voices against the war in Kosovo [1999]
  Voci contro la guerra in Kosovo [1999]

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[Source: Antiwar.com]


Behind the Headlines
by Justin Raimondo
October 20, 1999

Let us not hear any more nonsense about how the Kosovo war was a noble humanitarian crusade for human rights: the news that a UN worker was mobbed, beaten, and shot in the head by rampaging Kosovars because he had spoken Serbian should be enough to convince any and all reasonable men that the war has spawned a monstrous offspring in the emerging independent Kosovar state.

In order to fully appreciate what months of bombing and the deaths of thousands accomplished, let us look at what happened to 38-year-old Valentin Krumov, a UN worker who had just arrived in Kosovo from New York and was walking the streets of Pristina with two other coworkers. According to a UN police official, the deadly encounter was sparked when a group of Albanian teenagers, speaking in Serbian, asked Krumov and his friends the time. Krumov answered in Serbian – and the crowd rushed them, beating them to the ground: while the other two managed to escape, albeit with considerable injuries, someone pulled out a gun and shot Krumov as he was down. The crowd shielded the assailants, who were spirited away, and were nowhere to be seen by the time the Allied "peacekeepers" made it to the scene of the crime.

The murderous mob unleashed its fury on Mother Teresa Street, Pristina's busy main street, not far from the Grand Hotel, home base of many employees of international organizations involved in the "reconstruction" effort, the day before a scheduled visit from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Surely this confluence of events must have caused even the densest UN bureaucrat to ask – if only to himself – what is it they are constructing. When soldiers of the occupying army, such as the Poles, are complaining that they don't dare speak Polish because it might be mistaken for Serbian (both are Slavic languages) we know something is amiss.

What is emerging in Kosovo is the most virulent and militant form of racism and cultural particularism to take power since the rise of the National Socialist German Workers Party in the 1930s. That the adherents of the most crazed ethnic chauvinism – who will murder a man come to help them because he spoke the "wrong" language – have seized power as the result of a war ostensibly undertaken to stamp out racism and ethnic cleansing is just one of the clever little ironies of our policy in the region.

Another irony is that this may well be the first American casualty in this war – who fell victim, ironically enough, after the war was declared officially over. For it turns out that Krumov was reportedly an American citizen; although born in Bulgaria, he moved to America and attended the University of Georgia. The UN office in Pristina said he was a Bulgarian national, but several news reports cite Bernard Kouchner, chief UN official, as saying Krumov was an American citizen of Bulgarian descent. This was naturally not followed up by the American news media: for them, the war in Kosovo is over. For the Serbs, Albanian dissidents, and other minorities in Kosovo, however, it has barely begun.

More and more death is coming out of the bloody hands of Bill Caligula and his aids.

Prim am I misinformed or am I getting an ill opinion?
Just asking.

Intolerance Leads to Envoy's Death
Wednesday, October 13, 1999



PRISTINA, Yugoslavia -- Valentin Krumov had just arrived in Kosovo, one of the legions of U.N. workers come to help rebuild this devastated land. A Bulgarian, Krumov, 38, attracted the attention of a group of ethnic Albanian teen-agers as he took an after-dinner walk with two female colleagues along Pristina's crowded main street Monday evening.
Speaking Serbian, someone asked him the time, and Krumov replied in Serbian, unaware that he was apparently being put to a kind of ethnic identification test. It cost him his life.
The group of young thugs immediately attacked Krumov, punching him and kicking him to the ground. A shot rang out, the crowd fled and Krumov's first night in Pristina ended with his murder -- on Mother Teresa Street.
Bernard Kouchner, the chief of the U.N. mission here, condemned the killing Tuesday as "a disgusting and cowardly act," but it was only the latest of hundreds of attacks on Serbs -- and Serb-speakers -- since the United Nations and NATO peacekeeping troops moved into the province in June


U.N. issues security alert to Slav staff in Kosovo
By Andrew Gray

PRISTINA, Nov 5 (Reuters) - The United Nations has issued a security alert to all its Slav international staff in Kosovo, warning them of an increased risk over the next few days and advising them to avoid public places.
The alert, obtained by Reuters on Friday, was distributed in the run-up to a potentially controversial visit to Kosovo by Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, Sergei Lavrov. He is due to arrive for a two-day visit on Sunday.
Hostility to many Slavs, and to Russians in particular, is high among Kosovo's Albanian majority because of the traditionally close links to their ethnic kin, the Serbs.
Moscow was also an outspoken opponent of NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia earlier this year, which had the declared aim of ending Serb repression of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.
``Credible evidence of an increased threat against U.N. international personnel of Slavic nationality over the next several days has been received,´´ the security alert said.
The warning comes against a backdrop of concern among officials at the U.N. Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) that they are more and more the target of hostility from local people.
Distributed to U.N. personnel on Thursday, the one-page document advised Slavic nationals to limit travel to essential journeys, vary daily routines, avoid going outdoors and stay away from public venues.
A U.N. official said the warning was intended for internal use only and there were no plans to specify the nature of the potential threat. 
Marked urgent, the alert was issued by Jock Covey, the U.S. deputy head of Kosovo's U.N.-run administration. Covey is in charge of the mission while Special Representative Bernard Kouchner is on a visit to U.N. headquarters in New York.
Covey urged ethnic Albanian leaders this week to use their influence to curb violence in Kosovo, including ``increasing threats and harassment of UNMIK staff and police,´´ U.N. spokeswoman Susan Manuel told a news briefing on Friday.
Manuel said local UNMIK customs service staff at Kosovo's border with Macedonia, who had seized weapons and contraband commercial goods from a bus the previous day, had been beaten up on Thursday night as they left work.
Initially hailed as liberators by Albanians after Serb forces withdrew in June, international officials and troops have been targeted for trying to stop revenge attacks on Serbs, for attempting to fight crime or even just for speaking Serbian.
A Bulgarian U.N. worker was shot dead on a busy city-centre street last month after responding to a request for the time in Serbian. He had arrived in Kosovo only a few hours earlier.
Several Russian UNMIK staff have received threats or been the targets of harassment, U.N. officials say.

10:29 11-05-99




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