Exception to right of self-defense
Apparently, the right to defend one's sovereignty applies to everyone except the Serbs.
Where were these words and sentiments when NATO, led by former President Clinton, who -- in violation of international law, the NATO charter and without the approval of Congress -- bombed tiny, sovereign Yugoslavia that had no weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), never attacked us and was never a threat to this country? While the Clinton administration supported the Bosnian Muslim government of Alija Izetbegovic, the Bosnian Embassy in Vienna issued a passport to Osama bin Laden that enabled him to make three visits to Bosnia and Kosovo.
Because of Mr. Clinton's flawed Balkans policy (based on self-inflicted atrocities by Bosnian Muslim forces), Bosnia has become al Qaeda's corridor into Europe. This was evident as far back as 1992 when authors Yossef Bodansky and Vaughn S. Forrest wrote a report for the House Republican Research Committee on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare titled, "Iran's European Springboard?" That report said, "Thus, Tehran and its allies are using the violence in Bosnia-Herzegovina as a springboard for the launching of a jihad in Europe.... Bosnia-Herzegovina's Muslims have long been considered by the Islamist leadership in the Middle East to be ripe as a vehicle for the expansion of Islamic militancy into Europe."
A 1997 report for the Senate Republican Policy Committee titled, "Clinton-Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Help Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base," identifies Bosnia as "a steppingstone" into Western Europe. These predictions have been borne out by reports the explosives in London subway bombings and Madrid train bombings have been traced back to the Balkans.
Even more dire is the fact that some members of Congress support ceding Serbia's Jerusalem to the rule of indicted Muslim war criminals, thereby creating another mini-Afghanistan in the heart of the Balkans. An independent Albanian Kosovo would guarantee the eradication of Serbia culture, language and religion there. What else can be expected, given the track record of destruction and desecration of Serbian churches and the beatings, murder and ethnic cleansing of Serbs, Roma and other non-Muslims since 1999, all under the watchful and impotent eye of U.N. administrators?
The real tragedy is that the Serbs were once the majority in Kosovo until ethnically cleansed by Adolf Hitler's Nazis, then by communist dictator Josip Broz Tito. The latter, in his hatred for the Serbs, encouraged Muslim Albanians to cross illegally into Christian Kosovo as easily as illegals today -- including possible terrorists -- cross our borders from Canada and Mexico.
Former UNPROFOR commander in Bosnia, Canadian Maj. Gen. Lewis MacKenzie summed it up best when he said, "The Kosovo-Albanians have played us like a Stradivarius. We have subsidized and indirectly supported their violent campaign for an ethnically pure and independent Kosovo. We have never blamed them for being the perpetrators of the violence in the early 1990s and we continue to portray them as the designated victim today in spite of evidence to the contrary. When they achieve independence with the help of our tax dollars, combined with those of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, just consider the message of encouragement this sends to other terrorist-supported independence movements around the world."
The bottom line is that independence for Kosovo is not just a Serbian issue; it is a decision that would be not only detrimental to the area's security but also set a precedent that an ethnic group that attains majority status in a geographical region of a sovereign country has the right to declare independence -- a precedent that would not be in the best interest of the United States and other countries with growing ethnic minorities.
After September 11, 2001, President Bush declared we would do whatever it takes to defend this country against [Muslim] terrorists. The president has now taken his "war on terror," worldwide. And just as Israel, like any other nation, has the right to defend its sovereignty, the Serbian people should have had the right to defend their sovereignty against the same Muslim terrorists who threaten the world today. Unfortunately, that right was denied to them and we are witnessing the consequences today.
For the sake of reason, we must all encourage our representatives to say "No to Kosovo Independence." For granting that independence would open a Pandora's Box of breakaway states and establish another rogue nation.
STELLA L. JATRAS
Camp Hill, Pa.