Dear members of the International Court of Justice in the Hague,
Prof. Petar Grujic, Zemun, Serbia & Assoc. Professor Vladislav B. Sotirovic, Vilnius, Lithuania
We would like to pay your attention to the basic following facts upon the “Kosovo issue” that is a current object of your investigation. The so-called “Kosovo independence” has long standing historical, social, political and human rights background that is a reason why we are writing you this oppen letter. We hope our next TWENTY PRINCIPAL MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT THE KOSOVO ISSUE will help you to bring a justifiable decesion next year.
TWENTY PRINCIPAL MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT THE KOSOVO ISSUE
1. Kosovo issue is a conflict between ethnic Albanians and ethnic Serbs over the territory
Wrong: It is a part of the conflict between Balkan Albanians and the surrounding populations, in Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia and Greece (ex. clash between Albanians and Macedonians in Macedonia in 2001)
2. The issue is a fight of Albanians for their political rights
Wrong: the crux of the matter lies at the biological level. The real rationale is a demographic explosion which is going on within the Albanian population for a century or so (rate of growth in Albania four to five time faster than the average rate in other European countries) and the ensuing expansion for Lebensraum
3. The southern Serbian province is called Kosovo
Wrong: It is Kosovo and Metohia, abbreviated KosMet. Kosovo itself is an abbreviation of Kosovo Polje, what in Serbian language means Blackbird Field (in German Amselfeld). Metohia is a corrupted Greek name for Metohi, meaning dependency to monastery, referring to the land bestowed by Serbian kings and other rulers to the monasteries of Pecka Patrijarshija, Dechani, Grachanica etc. (13-14 cc.).
4. Ethnic Albanians at KosMet (Shqipetars in the following, as they call themselves) constitute a majority of 90%
Wrong: In the last census carried out at KosMet in 1961, Shqipetars constituted 67% of the overall population, with (predominantly) Serbs and others sharing the rest. As for the subsequent censuses (1971, 1981, 1991) Shqipetars refused to take part in them. All figures quoted for this period are estimates only
5. Shqipetars are autochthonous population at KosMet
Wrong: In the Middle Age KosMet was the central part of Serbian state, culture and civilization. Shqipetars were tiny minority (c. 2%, according to Ottoman census in 1455), nomadic herdsmen mostly. They came to KosMet from North and Central Albania mainly after the Great Serb Migration in 1690 from KosMet to Vojvodina (then in Habsburg Empire), after an abortive uprising against Ottoman rule in 1689. When KosMet was liberated from Ottoman rule in 1912, by Serbia, Serbs and Shqipetars shared equally the overall population there (50% versus 50%). All toponyms at Kosmet are Serb, except for a few of them (as opposite to the state in Albania)
6. KosMet is an undeveloped, poor region
Wrong: It is the most fertile land in Serbia (apart from Vojvodina). The average NP per family is the same as in the rest of Serbia. It is low only if counted per head, since the Shqipetars’ family has six times more children than Serbian family (and former Yugoslavia’s one, for that matter). (We are referring to a proper family here, not to the so-called fis, extended Shqipetar family, which may comprise hundreds members). In fact, accounting for the fact that proportionally more Shqipetars are working in Western Europe, their income are not accounted for when estimating family earnings and KosMet appears better off than the rest of Serbia. That KosMet is a prosperous region can be verified by direct inspection at the spot. KosMet is the biggest coal reservoir in Europe
7. The aim of Shqipetars is an independent Kosova
Wrong: It is a common goal of all Albanians to live in a single (united) state. The political programe of Greater Albania is designed in 1878 by Albanian First Prizren League. This aim has been practically already achieved. KosMet has been practically annexed by Albania as there is no border between KosMet and Albania. As for the West Macedonia, it is a matter of the near future. The next step is Cameria, as the Northern Epir (Greece) is called by Albanians and the East Montenegro
8. The expulsion of Serbs from KosMet after June 1999 is an act of retaliation
Wrong: The process of Shqipetar committed ethnic cleansing of KosMet goes on for the last century and refers to all non-Shqipetars (Roma, Turks, Croats, etc). It is a clear case of well planned ethnical cleansing, whose rationale is an extreme xenophobia. (Albania appears the most pure ethnical state in Europe, 98%, with Greeks, Slavs, Jews, Roma, etc. banished in one or other way) After the NATO occupation of KosMet in 1999 the ethnical “purity” has reached the figure 97%.
9. Kosmet used to be economically supported by the rest of former Yugoslavia
Wrong: Since the Serbia’s contribution to the Federal fund for the undeveloped regions matched exactly the amount donated by the Fund to KosMet, it was Serbia which helped KosMet to construct the infrastructure, schools, the Prishtina University, hospitals, factories, mines, etc. Further, since the Shqipetar population consists mainly of children and teenagers, who used to get children allowance, it was another source of enormous income from the rest of Serbia, which had on average less than 1.5 children per family (as compared with 8 with Shqipetars)
10. There is no such an entity as Greater Albania
Wrong: Although there not publicized, the maps of that projected state do appear occasionally in the Western press, either explicitly, or as the region with predominant Albanian population. The point with the latter is that these regions exceed the (semi) official maps of the future United Albanian State, and even include regions without Albanian population at all!
11. Albanians are autochthon Balkan population descending from the Illiric tribes
Wrong: They appear in the mid-11th century in the Balkan history and their origin appears uncertain (most probably they came to the Balkans from Caucassus Albania via Sicily). As for the claims of Illiric heritage (which is more a political wishful thinking than a historical fact), distinguished English linguist Potter wrote “Some would associate it with extinct Illirian, but with so doing they proceed from little known to the unknown”
12. The rebellion in Southeast Serbia at Preshevo valley is due to the Belgrade repression on the Shqipetar population there
Wrong: This region was not included into the KosMet (autonomous) region after the WWII, for the simple reason that Shqipetars were a tiny minority at that time there. Now, many villages, which were purely Serb, are inhabited exclusively by Shqipetars. The influx from KosMet, plus the enormous natality, made this population majoritaire in two of three rebellious counties. Due to this fast change in the ethnic structure, and due to the large percentage of young people not eligible for voting, Shqipetars’ representatives there are not proportional to the overall share of the population in the region. In fact Preshevo issue is a paradigm of the Albanian syndrome, as conspicuous at KosMet, and at Macedonia. First comes land occupation, then fight for the “political rights” and finally secession. It is the system which Henry Kissinger called domino game (referring to the communist tactics in spreading over borders). What S. Miloshevic did at Kosmet in 1998 was much the same as J. B. Tito did in 1944-1945, after the rebellion at Drenica (February 1998), when the military rule had to be imposed in the Province
13. Shqipetars used to be friendly with their neighbours. They were protecting Orthodox monasteries there
Wrong: After the World War II more than 250.000 non-Shqipetars moved from KosMet due to the “demographic pressure”, not to mention violence. After NATO “humanitarian intervention” in 1999 between 250.000 and 300.000 non-Shqipetars fled away from massacres (including and Muslim Turks, Muslim Gorani, Muslim Roma population, etc.). At the same time, more than 200.000 Albanians moved to Kosmet after the WWII, and about 300.000 after the expulsion of non-Shqipetars in 1999. As for the shrines, they are protected in the same manner as the synagogues in Germany by the NSDAP party members. Only from 1999 to 2001 about 100 monasteries and churches have been leveled to the ground at KosMet („March Pogrom”, March 17-19th, 2004)
14. The „blood feud” has been extinguished among Albanians
Wrong. It was much reduced during the communist regimes in the area (Albania, Montenegro, KosMet), but has been revived after the “democratic governments” have taken power in Albania. It is widely spread at KosMet, despite the opposite claims by the local politicians. In fact, the persecution and expulsion of non-Shqipetar population in 1999 was experienced by Shqipetars as a collective blood feud as it is, for instance, recognized by Shqipetar girl Rajmonda from KosMet in British Channel 4 documentary movie „Why Rajmonda Lied” (June 1999)
15. The KFOR holds control at KosMet and helps the region reestablish the order and law
Wrong. It has no control whatsoever over the local population, in particular the irregulars of KLA, turned into mock police forces. The whole region, y compris northern Albania (and Montenegro for that matter) is the European centre for drug traffic and smuggling of arms, tobacco etc. There are no proper juridical system, no effective police, prisons, etc. What KFOR/EUFOR can do the most is to protect itself, but it is well aware that when Shqipetars conclude the UN/EU presence is a nuisance for them, international forces will be expelled easily. A single step from “protection force” to hostages would be sufficient, and everybody at the spot is aware of that
16. Americans are siding with Albanians in the current Balkan affairs
Wrong. They are directly involved, at all levels, from financing, organizing, training, arms supplies, diplomatic supports, etc. Training camps at Albania, Kosmet, and Macedonia are lead by American instructors, who are engaged even at the front line, as the recent case with Arachinovo near Skopje illustrates.
17. The rationale for the American interference into the Albanian issue is a humanitarian concern for human rights in the area
Wrong. All events that lead to the violation of human rights and massacres were induced by Americans and (to a lesser extent) by Germans. Nothing of those would have happened had not NATO (sic) intervened in the region. USA is interested in the peace, not in justice. Since Albanians do not appear convenient interlocutors for political discourse, Americans insist to the rest to submit to the Albanian demands, who have made their political goals their political rights! As a “collateral gain” USA have got an important stronghold in the region (like the military base Bondsteel at KosMet), a secure (sic) passage for the oil pipeline from Caspian Sea, via Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania, to the Adriatic cost, etc. Another “collateral gain” is, of course, a free traffic of heroin through the area, right to the USA schools, colleges, etc (among other destinations). 90% of European drug market is controlled by Albanian narco-dealers
18. It was S. Miloshevic who was to blame for the NATO intervention
Wrong. It was the Belgrade government responsibility to protect interest of the state of Yugoslavia, in face of a violent rebellion. The manners this state affairs have been conducted, including all eventual misdeeds committed over civilians is a matter of humanitarian concern and should be cleared up at the Hague Tribunal. But it does not justify bombing of Yugoslavia nor deprivation of a state to conduct its internal affairs. KosMet issue is much older than S. Miloshevic and much deeper than disputes over political rights and state borders. Macedonia 2001 affairs clearly demonstrate this
19. Former Yugoslavia disintegrated because of S. Miloshevic
Wrong. His political (sic) manners only provided an excuse to Slovenia and Croatia for leaving Yugoslavia. The real rationale for this understandable decision was to leave the state that was burdened with the time bomb called Kosmet, which the Federal Police hardly dismantled in 1981. The same applies, mutatis mutandis, to the dispute between Montenegro and Serbia from 1999 to 2006
20. It is the duty of the international community to help the Albanian issue settled down
Wrong. The international community does not comprehend the nature of the problem, for good reason, since it is not a political one, but a clash between a Middle Age (tribal) mentality and a (quasi) modern European standard of civilization. The only reasonable way towards a permanent and rational solution would be an a agreement between Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Greece and Albania, on mutual responsibilities and a civilized settling down of this Balkan affair, without interference from the outside, certainly not from USA. If the USA want to compete for a role of an arbiter, they should first qualify by helping a permanent settling down of the Palestinian issue in Israel
Thank you very much for your time and consideration.
Prof. Petar Grujic, Zemun, Serbia &
Assoc. Professor Vladislav B. Sotirovic, Vilnius, Lithuania
2009-12-13, Zemun & Vilnius