Page 974 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 974

Monk andrew Wermuth
 Prayers on the remnants of the Holy Trinity church at Mušutište,
destroyed by the albanian extremists in 1999
rolls itself by selling heroin and cocaine, the United States alsowouldbecomepartnersofasortwithOsamabinLad- en... in 1998 the State Department listed the KLa as an in- ternational organization that supported itself with drug prof- itsandthroughloansfromknownterroristslikebinLaden.” This connection has come back to haunt the U.S. directly, since it has been discovered that some of the very terrorists who hijacked the planes on September 11 were holding Bos- nian passports and that one of them had even fought along- side the KLa in Kosovo and later in Macedonia.9
When NATO/U.S. forces began bombing Kosovo and Serbia in 1999 they in essence sanctioned the KLa’s reign of violence in Kosovo. Due to NaTO’s failure to resolve the conflict through diplomatic means, it was the innocent who were to suffer. immediately after the bombing ended, die Yugoslav police retreated into Serbia, leaving the Serbian people in Kosovo without any defense against the KLa. There was a window of three days before the NaTO troops could occupy Kosovo/Metohija. These three days were a free-for-all for the KLa. even since the occupation of Ko- sovo/Metohija by NATO, crimes continue to be perpe- trated by the KLa. as recently as april of 2000. Osama bin Laden arrived in Kosovo from albania, having formed a group of five hundred islamic fighters in the eastern region around Korce and Pogradec to continue carrying out ter- rorist acts in the region.10 Over the past two years, 869 Serbs have been killed or abducted and over 1,000 Serbian homes have been burned in Kosovo. 360,000 Serbian refu- gees have fled from their homeland.11
9 joseph Farah, “Our Friends’ in the Balkans”...
10 “Bin Laden in Kosovo acts,” Canberra Times (australia), april
28, 2000, p.8.
11 Hieromonk Sava (janjić) foreward to Crucified Kosovo, third
revised and expanded edition (Serbian Orthodox Church, Diocese of Raška and Prizren, May 2001).
in an attempt to erase the Serbian Christian culture, the KLa has blown up, destroyed, or desecrated over one hundred churches in Kosovo. Many of these churches, be- ing of inestimable spiritual value to the Serbian people, dated back to the fourteenth century and contained some of the most beautiful Byzantine frescos in the world. in the meantime the KLa, maintaining its close ties with the al Qaeda network, has moved its terrorist activities into Mace- donia, where it has gained control of thirty percent of this predominantly Orthodox Christian country.12
Media Disinformation
The Serbs feel that their plight has been ill-portrayed by the Western media, which has been pushing a one-sided view of the complicated situation in Kosovo. Much of what was reported in the West during the 1999 bombing of Ser- bia was biased to justify NaTO’s military actions. evidence of this was witnessed by Paul Watson, the only reporter from North america to stay in Kosovo during the entire war. On june 20, 1999, he wrote in the Los angeles Times: “NaTO called its devastating air war against Yugoslavia a ’humanitarianintervention,’ahistoricbattlebetweengood and evil to stop ’ethnic cleansing’ and return ethnic alba- nians to their homes. But from inside Kosovo, it rarely looked sopureandsimple.itseemedmorelikecallinginaplumb- er to fix a leak and watching him flood the house... even in Kosovo, i could not escape the sound of Shea’s13 voice on satellite TV. it haunted me at the strangest times, denying things that i knew to be true, insisting on others that i had seen were false.”
i was present at one meeting held at the Peć Patriarch- ate between Fr. jovan and representatives of NaTO and UNMiK. He spoke from his heart, telling of the suffering of his people, but having at the same time a knowledge of history and of recent political developments that left these international representatives literally speechless. They were not adequately prepared-either on an educational level or on a personal level-for what they heard. after listening to a series of arguments based on facts which they could not help but accept, all they could offer were weak justifica- tions for the actions of the international community and a shallow compassion for the Serbs that will hardly effect any future changes. at present the main dilemma for NaTO, UNMiK, and the Serbs is to figure out how to bring back the thousands of Serbian refugees who have fled from Ko- sovo and Metohija and are living in Serbia proper.14 Why come to live in a land where the lives of their children are constantly threatened? Why come to live in a land where 107 of their churches have been blown up or severely dam-
12 joseph Farah, op cit.
13 jamie Shea was the spokesman for NaTO during the Kosovo War.
14 The village of Osojane was the first village to be reinhabited by Serbs, which occurred in august 2001.

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