How to Survive 600 Years of Terrorism and 60 Years of Communism
By: Mary Mostert, Analyst, Banner of Liberty http://www.bannerofliberty.com/BOL-06MQC/3-20-2006.1.html
March 20, 2006
For the past 10 years I have been writing, off and on, about the disintegration of Yugoslavia and that has led to me having a large and growing number of Serb readers. I got interested in the Serb part of the story because I noticed, during the Bosnian war, that CNN never, NOT ONCE, ever had a Serb spokesman on any news program. That struck me as rather odd, since it was the Serbs who were our ONLY allies in the Balkans during World War 1, when approximately half the Serbian male population was killed, and World War II, when, according to the Holocaust Museum, over a million Serbs, Jews and Roma (gypsies) were slaughtered in Croatian concentration camps, such as Jasenovac.
The cruelty of the Ustashe guards horrified even the Germans, who used the more humane killing method of poison gas than was used on the Serbs. After the war German domination was merely traded for Soviet domination. This happened largely because a British double agent fed lies about who was REALLY on the Allied side to Winston Churchill. At Yalta Churchill insisted on the Allies supporting Josip Broz Tito, a communist, in spite of eye-witness accounts by hundreds of American Air Force pilots and crewmen who knew which group was really supporting the Americans and British. When shot down over Yugoslavia during WWII, over 500 American airmen were saved by the Serbs under General Mihailovich.
Muslims ruled the area for more than 600 years under the Ottoman Turkish Empire, while often trying to force the Serbian Orthodox population to convert to Islam. The rulers of the Austrian Empire often tried to force the Serbs to recognize the Pope. Yet, most of the Serbs maintained their loyalty to the Serbian Orthodox Church throughout hundreds of years of persecution, without trying to force others into their religion when they came to power.
In 1996, the latest chapter in the misinformation about Serbs was being written when President Bill Clinton, OK'ed Terrorist Financed Weapons to Bosnia Muslims. Our media was bombarding us with stories about how the Serbs were killing Albanians â€“ but never told the Americans that the Kosovo Liberation Army, (KLA) until 1998 when Clinton took it off, was on the U.S. State Department list of the major terrorist organizations in the world.
By 1999, the KLA, which was trained and armed by Iran and Osama bin Laden was the source of the stories that Milosevic, and the Serbs, were committing genocide. Also the Albanian lobby in Washington, which appears to have been financed largely by the drug trade in Kosovo and some wealthy Albanian-Americans, was circulating false stories to the media about the â€œSerbs killing 100,000â€ Albanians in Kosovo. Based on those reports, American airplanes bombed Belgrade and Kosovo for 78 days.
After the bombing, scores of forensic experts were sent to Kosovo to unearth mass graves containing the bodies of those 100,000 to 200,000 Albanians were buried in. No mass graves were found. The leader of the Spanish forensic team reported after a thorough investigation: "I calculate that the final figure of dead in Kosovo will be 2,500 at the most, including lots of strange deaths that can't be blamed on anyone."
Yet, with the death of Slobodan Milosevic we still are getting cartoons and stories about the â€œ200,000 peopleâ€ that Milosevic supposedly killed. Only - no one could find the bodies. On the other hand, in Iraq, where the media never even TALKED about genocide, so far 300,000 bodies HAVE been found in mass graves. Meanwhile the media tells us Saddam Hussein wasn't all that bad because he didnâ€™t have â€œweapons of mass destructionâ€ and the Democrats want to impeach President Bush because there was no reason to invade Iraq. It was a good thing that we bombed Belgrade for 78 days over 2500 deaths but 300,000 bodies in mass graves in Iraq is no big deal?
In ten years of communicating with Serbs from all over the world, I have often tried to get them to give me more background to try to figure out how they have managed to hold fast to their faith during 600 years of Muslim persecution, the Holocaust and 60 years of Communism. Most of them seem puzzled by my questions. But, from their answers it appears that their faith in both their God and their nation has been nurtured and has survived within their strong family units, in SPITE of what was happening in their country. Except for a brief period of time between the fall of Turkish domination and the rise of communism, they have never lived in a nation that had freedom of religion. Yet, their churches and their faith have survived.
Finally, this week, following the death of their last communist president, Slobodan Milosevic, one of my readers, Alex, who lives in Belgrade, wrote a succinct history of Serb experience in living with terrorism for hundreds of years. In this time of rising worldwide terrorism, this is a story the American people need to hear. Neither Alex or any of the other Serbs I've communicated with in the past 10 years EVER seemed to cast themselves in the role of "victim" which has become so common among minorities and special interest groups in the USA and among Bosnian Muslims and Albanians who have e-mailed me. Yet, no group of Americans or the Albanians and Bosnian Muslims who claim to be "victims" of persecution EVER had to face the kind of persecution the Serbs have experienced, from both radical Muslims and radical Christians, and even from America when we destroyed most of the infrastructure of their country based on misinformation and outright lies. Would we be so calm about it if we lost OUR freedom of religion? Alex wrote:
â€œSerbs have had plenty of experience in dealing with radical Islam, what Americans now call Islamic Terror. Americans tragically lost some 3,000 lives and several buildings on Sept. 11, and promptly wanted to turn the world upside down and intervene in other countries, in pursuit of justice.
â€œYet, the Serbs - who have suffered a million times more, for centuries, have not been allowed to fight the same type of terror in their own country.
â€œFor almost 500 years the Turks had beheaded our best men, raped our prettiest women, taken our male babies and young boys and raised them as Turks - these were the yanissaries, they were even more brutal than the ordinary Turks; taken our girls to the sultan's harem, taken our lands, our harvest, our livestock, our food, burned our churches and turned them into mosques or horse stables, placed our men on sticks so that they die a suffering death...
â€œTo give you an idea of how horrific the Turks were, here is a photo of the Cele-kula located in the southern Serbian city of Nis - Serbia's second biggest city after Belgrade. The Turks had beheaded (decapitated) our men after a battle in 1809, and had made a tower out of 952 of their skulls, as a warning to the Serbs to end their rebellion. Some of the sculls had fallen out over time, but some still remain, to date. This is now a historic, cultural and sacred monument protected by the state, but also a brutal reminder of what Serbia had gone through.
â€œAnd, instead of America understanding us and supporting us, what does it do? It punishes us in every way possible and then rewards our enemies - Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo, who have ties with the very Al Qaeda the Americans are fighting. Isn't that a bit strange? Yes, very.
â€Unfortunately, our Catholic and other Christian neighbors did things just as bad as the Islamists. The Croats had performed genocide of Serbs during WW 1, WW 2 (especially WW 2, for example, the death camp at Jasenovac) and again in the 1990s (for example: Operation Storm). Hitler had no better ally, than the Croatian Ustashi. The Hungarians killed us, tortured us, hanged us and mutulated us (in Macva) and placed our people under a freezing river (in the city of Novi Sad, 1942). The Germans had put us in forced labor camps, prisons, death camps, and in front of firing squads (one example: in the city of Kragujevac as many as 7,000 residents were shot in a single day).
â€œWe also suffered greatly under the atheists - communists. It's no secret that Soviet troops had raped many women when they and Tito's partisans liberated Serbia in 1945, only to introduce us to communist terror in which the highest price was paid by Serbs.
â€œSerbia has had the misfortune to be placed right at the place where Europe meets the Middle East, where two Christian religions clash (Roman Catholic and Orthodox) and where Christianity in general and Islam clash. And we have survived it all, including the betrayal and attacks by what were supposed to be our historical allies.â€
Distribute this among your friends and neighbors and especially to your members of Congress. It is time that we begin to learn some of the history of past terrorism experienced by other people and other places. The Serbs have survived â€“ but their numbers have been cut dramatically by hundreds of years of terrorism. When you read media stories about Kosovo being given to the Albanians who lied to America about a "genocide" - think about what that would really mean. Do we really want to strip Kosovo, the Serb Jerusalem, from the Serbs and give it to a group of people who have poured into Kosovo, from across the border, and used terrorism to kill or drive out its Serb population over the past 60 years? That seems to be about where the Kosovo talks are headed.