Behind the Headlines
by Justin Raimondo
October 20, 1999
KOSOVO: DESCENT INTO BARBARISM
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
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.
SOMETHING'S ROTTEN IN THE STATE OF KOSOVO
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
A DEADLY IRONY
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
THE FIRST AMERICAN CASUALTY?
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?
Intolerance Leads to
Wednesday, October 13, 1999
BY PETER FINN
THE WASHINGTON POST
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
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
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
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.