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Ahmeti's Hypocracy.
By Jason Miko

Why should anyone invest in a country where you can pick up weapons and fight against the democratically elected government, cause the deaths of scores, the injuries of hundreds, the displacement of thousands and damages in the millions, and then receive amnesty and form a political party to fight for the rights you claimed to be fighting for on the field in the first place?
This month Ali Ahmeti announced the formation of a new political party, the Alliance for Democratic Integration (integration of what, Albanian lands?), and so picked up the title of politician where he left the title of freedom-fighter. Either way, hes still a terrorist. (Ali Ahmeti must have been a student of Al Capone, the famous Chicago gangster who literally got away with murder only to be brought before justice on the charge of tax evasion. Capone quipped that You can get a lot more done with a kind word and a gun, than with a kind word alone.)
Ahmeti is a farce, a phony and a fraud. But he is also dangerous. And the international community, which has pressured the Macedonian Government in allowing him to go free, is to blame for the grief he will cause this country in the future and the grief he has caused in the past whether by suckering in young, impressionable minds (who are now disappointed in him), or by creating factions who now fight each other. (Mr. Ahmeti, ideas and actions have consequences, some not always known or predicted by those who employ them at the time - get a clue.)
At Mr. Ahmetis coming out party, he patently refused to display the Macedonian flag or have the Macedonian national anthem sung. Instead, he showed contempt for this country and the majority of its people when he flew the flag of the Republic of Albania, sang the national anthem of the Republic of Albania and held a moment of silence for NLA members killed last year. If he is trying to achieve ethnic tolerance and mutual respect, he sure has a funny way of showing it.
I have friends in the US State Department that have described Ahmeti as a reasonable guy. Wow. So theres the American foreign policy apparatus labeling Ahmeti as just a regular Joe. I dont think so. And it misses the point entirely. But of course who could forget Neville Chamberlain, prime minister of Britain on his meeting with Adolph Hitler: - spite of the hardness and ruthlessness I thought I saw in [Adolph Hitlers] face, I got the impression that here was a man who could be relied upon when he had given his word. And if that beats a dead horse, try this quote from Mohandas K. Gandhi in May of 1940: - do not consider Hitler as bad as he is depicted. He is showing an ability that is amazing, and he seems to be gaining his victories without much bloodshed. Lets not forget that Lucifer himself is an angel of light.
And last year, in a New York Times article on July 21st, Hans-Jorg Eiff, the NATO representative in Skopje was quoted as saying From what we have seen so far Ali Ahmeti is a reliable partner who honors his word. The NLA has been guilty of many things, but when he gets on the phone something happens.
Thats an odd thing to say. When Adolph Hitler picked up the phone, things happened too. The same could be said about Slobodan Milosevic.
And not to be outdone, a senior western diplomat in an Los Angeles Times article on August 20th last year called Ali Ahmeti a man of vision. Lets just hope Mr. Ahmetis vision is not the same vision that Slobodan Milosevic had, hidden behind all the right talk.
Heres the point. Ali Ahmeti and his ilk are evil and vile. Ali Ahmeti is an intellectual midget and a coward. He knew he could never win on the battlefield of thoughts and ideas, so he resorted to the law of the jungle. He knows very little of liberal democracy and free market economies and I doubt very much that he really cares to know much about them (on the contrary, he knows a good deal about Marxism). And you dont sacrifice principle for pragmatism no matter what. Period.
To my friends in the foreign policy arena in Washington, DC and European capitals let me say this: Ali Ahmeti and his ilk are a problem youre not willing to deal with forcefully so you make them out to be good guys calling them reasonable and - man of vision and able to get things done. The truth is that they are going to cause a lot more trouble in this part of the world in the future and you wont be around to have to deal with it. So its easier for you to just get along with them for now until youre gone. Or is it the 40,000 troops in Kosovo youre worried about because by upsetting Ali Ahmeti and his criminal gang, you would make them targets? If it is, please come clean with the truth - nothing more, nothing less. Its a whole lot better to be honest.
I am continuously baffled at how the international community can continue to give aid and succor to a man whose war displaced 170,000 people, left more than 150 people dead (probably more) and did more to set back inter-ethnic relations between Macedonians and Albanians than anything else in the history of this country. If my ambassador, or anybody else for that matter, could please explain that to me - and the Macedonian public - I would greatly appreciate it.
This setback in inter-ethnic relations is manifestly evidenced by the US Governments own research. A recent survey carried out by the Office of Research of the US State Department shows that inter-ethnic relations are at their lowest point - ever. 48% of the ethnic Albanians surveyed answered in the affirmative when asked For your own personal future, would you prefer to live in an ethnically mixed Macedonia, or in a greater Albanian state? And 30% of those said they would be prepared to fight for it. Another question on the Ohrid Agreement shows that 87% of ethnic Macedonians have little or no confidenc that the agreement will achieve long-lasting peace while 37% of ethnic Albanians agree with that view.
The fact that the US Government still believes that the Ohrid Agreement is good and the man who essentially brought it to Macedonia - Ali Ahmeti - is reasonable, shows either a profound lack of understanding of the situation on the ground, a lack of caring or, simple pride and refusal to admit that it was wrong. It is probably a combination of the three.
Witness a recent statement by US Assistant Secretary of State Elizabeth Jones: The peace agreement is good and the political parties should adopt the laws envisaged by the ... agreement."
One more thing. I have been reading the local news accounts of Mr. Ahmeti and his new party and Ive seen a lot of criticism. Of course the international community has been very, shall we say, diplomatic when addressing the issue.
But one issue I have yet to see raised where did Mr. Ahmeti get all his money to fund his war and now presumably, his party? According to an MSNBC.com interview with him, while he was still holed up in Shipkovica, he admitted that he may be getting support from drugs and human trafficking. But even Ahmeti admitted he counts rich Balkan smugglers among his supporters.
Were not so fanatic to say that such money could not reach us, Ahmeti told MSNBC.com. It is well documented that the wars in Kosovo, South Serbia and Macedonia were financed by drugs and sex slavery, largely through the Albanian mafia. Now, presumably, his party will be too. If we are prosecuting a war on Radical Islam I refuse to call it a war on terrorism anymore then shouldnt we be prosecuting those who finance the radical Muslims by shipping their drugs to Western Europe and the USA? Washington and Brussels, where is the outrage?
And though I am no great admirer of Senator Edward Kennedy, even the most Liberal of Democrats can sometimes speak words of truth: Violence is an admission that ones ideas and goals cannot prevail on their own merits.

Questioning of Bulgarian Medics in Tripoli Hasn't Started Yet, Lawyer Osman Bizanti Says.
Tripoli, June 15 (BTA) - The competent Libyan authorities have not started questioning the six Bulgarian medical workers, accused of intentionally infecting about 400 Libyan children with HIV, BTA learned from the defendants' Libyan lawyer Osman Bizanti on Saturday.
This may be done on Sunday or in the coming days.
Only the Palestinian Ashraf al-Hadjudj has been questioned so far.
His confessions have formed a basis for most charges against the Bulgarians.
The president of the Arraignment Chamber in Benghazi ordered on June 12 that the case record be returned to Tripoli for further consideration, and that the Bulgarians be questioned further. Bizanti told BTA he met with the defendants' Bulgarian lawyer Plamen Yalnuzov two days ago. They discussed the procedure of constituting the latter as counsel in the new case.
Bizanti promised full cooperation for the timely and successful completion of this procedure.
The two lawyers consider it a good sign that the judge ordered a further investigation into the infection of children with HIV in the Benghazi hospital.
Bizanti told BTA earlier that his presence at the questioning depended on the competent Libyan authorities, but that as soon as he was notified, he was ready to make every effort and have a lawyer from his law firm attend the questioning.
The presence of a lawyer during questioning is not compulsory under Libyan law.
Yalnuzov met with the six Bulgarians in Tripoli and explained the functions of the Arraignment Chamber and the judge's order for further questioning.
Nurses Kristiana Vulcheva, Nassya Nenova, Valya Chervenyashka, Valentina Siropoulo, Snezhana Dimitrova and doctor Zdravko Georgiev were arrested in February 1999. A year later they were charged with conspiracy against the Libyan State, intentionally infecting Libyan children with HIV and breaking the conventions of life in Libya. The People's Court, which tried the case, quashed the conspiracy charges on February 17, 2002, and transferred the case to a criminal court.
European Affairs Minister: Bulgaria Should Make Nationally Responsible Decision about Kozloduy N-Plant.
Sofia, June 15 (BTA) - Meglena Kouneva, Minister for European Affairs, said a nationally responsible decision should be made about the Kozloduy nuclear power plant. She commented in a Radio NET interview on Saturday action brought by trade unions at the plant to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg against the European Commission's demand for early closure of the smaller units.
"I cannot say whether the European Commission will react, and what its reaction could be," Kouneva said. The decision-makers should focus on the diversification of Bulgaria's energy portfolio, the energy strategy and nuclear energy safety.
Kouneva recalled that Bulgaria received assistance to enhance nuclear safety.
"Even if we assume that only the Bulgarian position on the time frame for closure of Units Three and Four, 2008 and 2010, as set in the memorandum, should be considered, we do not have the resources to decommission the reactors," Kouneva said.
Interviewed by Radio NET, Andre Maisseu, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the World Council of Nuclear Workers, said it was a shame to close "one of the best nuclear power plants, which has taken some of the best safety measures".
"We live in democratic times, with a free market, and there is no reason whatsoever why the Kozloduy plant should be closed.
It is a shame to place Bulgaria in such a difficult position in the energy sector," Maisseu said.
Five trade unions at the Kozloduy plant and the World Council of Nuclear Workers brought action at the European Court of Justice on June 10 against what they said was an unlawful demand of the European Commission for early decommissioning of the smaller units of the Kozloduy nuclear power plant.
Orthodox Christians and Catholics Must Leave Nothing Unsaid to Build Constructive Dialogue, Sofia University Philosophers Say.
Sofia, June 15 (BTA) - According to popular misconceptions about relations between Catholics and Orthodox Christians before, during and after Pope John Paul II's visit to Bulgaria, the difference between the two churches is insignificant and it is the Orthodox Christians who spurn the Catholics' offer of communication, said Assoc. Prof. Kalin Yanakiev of the St Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia. He took part in a debate on "What Happened When Pope John Paul II Visited Bulgaria?", organized by the Red House Centre for Culture and Debate.
It is believed that the only differences between Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity are in terms of rituals, culture, and theological and philosophical discourse, Yanakiev said. It is held that today's Catholics are ready to fully accept the Orthodox Christians, but the latter turn the differences into insuperable obstacles, he said. It is generally believed that "intelligent Catholicism" has put differences between the two churches behind, but the Orthodox Christians are just being stubborn.
However, the differences are dogmatic - in the realm of church discipline, liturgy, Mariology (the systematic study of the figure of Mary) - and are very important for believers, Yanakiev said.
Yanakiev argued against the claim that the Catholics are ready to accept the Orthodox Christians out of sheer good will, because even if the good will is there, it cannot obliterate the differences.
Moreover, the Catholic Church stated in a document in 2000 it is the only Church of Christ and there is no other, which raises the question: what is the Orthodox Church then?
Still, the Catholic Church is trying to put its convictions as mildly as possible, presuming that there may be a grain of truth in the other Christian churches, too. However, this line of argument leads to the conclusion that Orthodox Christians are partly Catholics because they recognize some of the tenets of the Catholic Church, Yanakiev said. As to good will, it is in the claim that Orthodox Christians can be saved if they are in communion with the Bishop of Rome.
In 1965 the Second Council of the Vatican declared Orthodox Christians schismatics, but the sin of their separation was recognized as inherited, which made them "partly schismatic", Yanakiev explained. This is the furthest Catholics can go in their delicacy. "But why can't Orthodox Christians act as delicately as that?" Yanakiev asked.
The answer is that the attitude of Orthodox Christianity is fraught with distrust, stemming from the things Catholicism has left unsaid.
For all their delicacy, the Catholics anathematize everyone who does not recognize the equality of the bishops. They just stop short of declaring the Orthodox Christians heretics.
Granted this ambiguous position, which also applies to Pope John Paul II as the Bishop of Rome, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church could not have given him a warm embrace, Yanakiev said.
What Patriarch Maksim of Bulgaria did was extremely well thought out as a way of stating a shared wish for dialogue, said Assoc. Prof. Georgi Kapriev of Sofia University.
However, dialogue between Orthodox Christianity and Catholicism is not held between patriarchs, but between specialists, such as theologians and philosophers, if it is to be constructive, according to Kapriev.
Indeed, there are great differences between the two churches, which cannot be overcome with civilities or compromises; dialogue may last for hundreds of years, the point is to have dialogue, according to Kapriev. Notwithstanding the differences, there should be no alienation or mutual rejection between the two churches because Christians are on their way to becoming a minority in the contemporary world.
"I am confident that the right course to pursue is very careful, well-intentioned dialogue," Kapriev said. He views the Pontiff's visit as a positive step towards this dialogue within the general framework of tolerance.
Yanakiev countered that constructive dialogue would become possible when nothing was left unsaid.

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