- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 15, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Samuel Hoskinson laments that the Serbian province of Kosovo, which poses as an independent country despite the refusal of most nations to recognize it, is a poverty-stricken backwater plagued by self-serving contenders for power. (“Kosovo again in peril?” Commentary, Nov. 2). He then tries to blame Kosovo’s woes on one politician who is not in power (Veton Surroi) while exonerating “former freedom fighter Hashim Thaci,” who heads the illegal separatist administration.

Despite billions of dollars in aid, Kosovo’s only viable “industry” remains organized crime. Mr. Hoskinson’s “freedom fighters” — commanders of the former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) — are also kingpins in the Albanian mafia’s drug, slave and weapons rackets. The KLA destroyed more than 150 Serbian Orthodox Christian churches and eradicated two-thirds of Kosovo’s Serbs. Mr. Thaci’s administration is stonewalling Serbian investigators and Human Rights Watch trying to account for some 300 Serbs who, according to former Hague Tribunal prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, were kidnapped by the KLA and dissected alive for their marketable organs.

Mr. Hoskinson’s vendetta against Mr. Surroi — who never has been accused of the kind of atrocities committed by KLA “freedom fighters” — raises another question. Mr. Hoskinson identifies himself as former president of the Alliance for New Kosovo, a pro-independence group. He omits that the Alliance for New Kosovo was a creature of Mr. Hoskinson’s registered client, controversial businessman Behxhet Pacolli. Is Mr. Hoskinson still working for Mr. Pacolli? If not, whose interests is he advancing? By contrast, I am more than pleased to disclose that I work for Kosovo’s Serbs under their spiritual leader, Bishop Artemije of Ras and Prizren.

However dismal the situation is in Kosovo under the misrule of Mr. Hoskinson’s “freedom fighters,” what should concern us as Americans is our government’s misguided support for them, first under President Clinton, then under President Bush, and no doubt to continue under President-elect Barack Obama. This policy has brought no benefit to the United States but has earned us an unprecedented degree of world isolation as measured by last month’s vote in the U.N. General Assembly to refer the Kosovo question to the International Court of Justice. The United States was supported by a mighty coalition of just five countries: Albania, the Marshall Islands, Palau, Nauru and Micronesia.

JAMES GEORGE

JATRAS

Director

American Council for Kosovo

Washington

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