Friday, March 24, 2006

Local Authorities Break Into Local Military

Bujanovac, 23 Mar. 06 (B92) – Heads of the local authorities in Bujanovac took over offices of the local military section and territorial defense last night. Employees at the military office and territorial defense in Bujanovac this morning could not enter their offices. On an order issued by president of Bujanovac municipality Nagip Arifi, locks on entrance doors were changed overnight, confirmed employees.

Colonels Petar Jovanovic and Zlatan Stanojkovic were at the spot, because the offices are under their command. Jovanovic stated to the press that everything was done by the order of Nagip Arifi, and he tried to talk with local authorities high officials.

Colonel Jovanovic said that he informed his superiors from the local command in Nis about this case. B92 journalist Radoman Iric also tried to contact Nagip Arifi, President of municipal assembly Sevdail Hiseni or Emurlah Ljutviju head of the municipal administration, but his attempts were also unsuccessful.

Petersen asks for disregard of Serbian indictments

The Article

PRISTINA -- 24 March 06Thursday - UNMIK chief Soren Jessen-Petersen is urging international community to disregard Interpol’s warrant for the arrest of Kosovo PM Agim Ceku. A letter that was brought to the notice of AP news agency reportedly cites Petersen as saying that UNMIK does not admit the validity of the warrants against Agim Ceku and Hasim Taqi. AP did not specify who was the recipient of the letter, but reveals the UNMIK chief’s assertion that the UN had jurisdiction over Kosovo and that the warrants against Ceku and Taqi were violating this principle......(continued)......


In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, Jessen-Petersen cited the U.N.'s sole legal jurisdiction over Kosovo and said that Serbia's warrants against Ceku and Hashim Thaci, another senior former rebel leader-turned-politican, "breaches this principle." Jessen-Petersen knows who Ceku and Thaci's protectors are. If the UN tangles with CIA "assets," the UN will lose their "legal jurisdiction" in Kosovo really fast.

Kosovo Albanian PM Pledges To Seek Guarantees For Serb Minority

The Article

23 March 06

Kosovo's ethnic Albanian government must take action now to ensure the full protection of the province's Serb minority, the EU said on Wednesday (22 March), stressing this was essential for progress in the UN-led talks on Kosovo's future status.

"For a long time there has been a lot of talk but not much action," EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said after his meeting with Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Ceku in Brussels. "I think we have to reverse that now, to talk less and act more."

A statement issued by Solana's office after the meeting said he had urged Ceku to accelerate government efforts "to produce concrete results" in the implementation of the standards set by the international community, covering such areas as rule of law, democratic institutions, human and minority rights, and economic development.....(continued).....

UN urges West to ignore Serbia's arrest warrant for Kosovo PM

The Article

24 March 06

PRISTINA, Serbia-Montenegro-Kosovo's top U.N. official has urged Western powers to ignore an international arrest warrant issued by Serbia against the province's prime minister, in a letter obtained Wednesday.

Soren Jessen-Petersen, the chief U.N. official in charge of running the province, said that his mission did not recognize the validity of the warrant issued in Serbia against Agim Ceku, a former rebel commander who became Kosovo's prime minister earlier this month.

In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, Jessen-Petersen cited the U.N.'s sole legal jurisdiction over Kosovo and said that Serbia's warrants against Ceku and Hashim Thaci, another senior former rebel leader-turned-politican, "breaches this principle."

Ceku and Thaci were both leaders of the now-disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army, the guerrilla group that fought Serb forces during province's 1998-1999 war. Both are now part of U.N.-sponsored talks to resolve the future status of the disputed province.

"Given the need for both Prime Minister Ceku and Hashim Thaci to be able to move freely, including in order to be part of the status process, it is important that the Interpol warrants against them be put aside as soon as possible," Jessen-Petersen said......(Continued).......

EU insists on full protection of Kosovo Serbs

The Article


EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana told Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Ceku on Wednesday that his government must take immediate action to ensure the full protection of the province's Serb minority.

Kosovo's ethnic Albanian government must take action now to ensure the full protection of the province's Serb minority, the EU said on Wednesday (22 March), stressing this was essential for progress in the UN-led talks on Kosovo's future status.

"For a long time there has been a lot of talk but not much action," EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said after his meeting with Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Ceku in Brussels. "I think we have to reverse that now, to talk less and act more."

A statement issued by Solana's office after the meeting said he had urged Ceku to accelerate government efforts "to produce concrete results" in the implementation of the standards set by the international community, covering such areas as rule of law, democratic institutions, human and minority rights, and economic development......(continued).........

Head of Albanian mafia in Croatia shot dead

The Article

Zagreb 24 March 06

An unknown gunman shot dead the alleged head of Albanian mafia in Croatia Lulzim Krasniqi in Zagreb yesterday, Croatian Police announced.The Police rebuffed giving comments on the motive and perpetrator of the assassination as long as the investigation is under way.Croatian media related Krasniqi with an array of illegal operations, including drug, weapons and cigarette smuggling, and some media even dubbed him Boss of Albanian mafia in Croatia.About 30 criminal charges have been raised against Krasniqi in Croatia, most of them for frauds, extortion and violent behavior. /end/

Understanding Kosovo

The Article

The UN approach to settling the Serbia-Kosovo dispute fails to take account of the fallout of an ‘independent’ Kosovo. The way this issue is resolved will set the paradigm to address similar conflicts.

Slobodan Milosevic has settled his score with the Hague Tribunal. He died the death of a martyr in a prison cell of causes that are not quite clear. This is the best route to creating a myth about an unflagging fighter who cared for the interests of his country and managed to pass a verdict against his foes at his own trial. This is exactly how the charismatic leader wanted to go down in Serbian history. His goal was to justify himself morally and politically, at least in Serbian eyes, if not in world opinion.

But only successful rulers can expect forgiveness for ‘too much’. The losers should not hope for mercy. Politically, Milosevic went bankrupt in 2000, when the wave of popular anger swept away, in a matter of hours, his 13-year long authoritarian regime. It was no surprise that Yugoslavia ceased to exist shortly after his downfall.........(continued).......

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Çeku: Independence Will Produce Stability And Will Accelerate Integration Of Minorities

Pristina, 22 Mar 06 (KosovaLive) - Kosovo’s Prime Minister Agim Çeku said in Vienna that Kosovo’s independence will bring stability and will accelerate the process of integration of minorities into the Kosovar society and institutions.

The Government through a press release reported that Çeku made these comments during his meetings with UN Special Envoy for Kosovar Status Martti Ahtisaari, his Assistant Albert Rohan and Austria’s Foreign Ministry Ursula Plasnik.

In his meeting with Ahtisaari, Ceku presented the priorities of the Government, stressing the resolving of economic problems, European integrations and encouraging the values of tolerance and interethnic reconciliation.

Ahtisaari has fully supported the steps initiated by Kosovo’s Government in improving the quality of Governance for Kosovar citizens, especially for minorities.

During this meeting, Ahtisaari and Rohan voiced optimistic that the Government will be able deal with the upcoming challenges.

Captain Dragan to be extradited

The Article

12:19 March 21, 2006 FoNet

ZAGREB -- Tuesday - Australian Justice and Customs Minister Chris Ellison has agreed to Croatia’s request for the extradition of Dragan Vasiljkovic. The Croatian Justice Minister has confirmed that the process of extraditing Vasiljkovic, commonly referred to as “Captain Dragan,” has begun. The Sibensko Zupanijsko State Prosecutor’s Office has charges of war crimes allegedly committed during the 1990’s pending against Vasiljkovic. However, the Ministry would not give an exact date for when the extradition would take place.

Bosnians and Muslims support independence

The Article

12:34 -> 17:20 March 20 Beta

PODGORICA -- Monday - Deputy Speaker of the Montenegrin Parliament, Rifat Rastoder, said that Bosnians and Muslims living in Montenegro will vote for independence. Rastoder said that all recent surveys show that Bosnians and Muslims, as well as the collective public, are prepared to confirm the already shown political maturity and wisdom of the Montenegrin citizens.

“They will not miss the opportunity to, for the first time in its history of existence in this region, participate in a democratically founded state in which they have been living and participating in for centuries now.” Rastoder said. He said that the rumours that Montenegrin independence will lead to divisions within the Bosnia-Muslim community in Montenegro are completely untrue. “We are not talking about creating new borders. It is about redefining state relations on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, this time, in what’s left of it, Serbia and Montenegro.” Rastoder said.

Mostar indictments issued

The Article

12:16 March 21 Beta
Mostar -- Tuesday - The Cantonal Prosecutor’s Office in Mostar has issued indictments against Miroslav Marijanovic and Ante Buhovac for alleged war crimes. The indictment alleges the two of committing war crimes against civilians and prisoners of war, and Buhovac and Marijanovic are accused of, while being members of the Croatian Defence Council and surveillance workers in the Hildrom concentration camp in 1993, committing crimes against Muslims and Serbs.

Ceku Denies All Allegations

The Article

Belgrade, 22 Mar 06 (B92) - Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Ceku said that he has never committed or ordered war crimes and that his conscience is clean.
He said that war was imposed on the Albanians in Kosovo and that he did what he had to do to protect his homeland.

“And I am proud of that. If Belgrade claims differently, that does not mean anything to me.” Ceku said, answering to Belgrade’s allegations that he was involved in war crimes activity.
Ceku accused Belgrade of misusing the Serbian minority in Kosovo in order to gain control of Kosovo.

“Changes are needed as far as the situation of the Serbian minority is concerned. The Serbian Government is stopping them from participating in Kosovo’s political life. Because of this, we must improve communication with the Serbian minority. We have to encourage their political leaders to cooperate with the institutions and take responsibility for the fact that Pristina, not Belgrade, is their capital city.” Ceku said.

Speaking about the Kosovo status discussions, Ceku said that he is very happy with the performance of the Pristina team thus far.

“I am very pleased that the discussions have begun, and we are trying, within the guidelines implemented by UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari and his team, to work cooperatively.” Ceku said.
He said that a compromise with the Serbian side is possible, but it will depend on the steps taken by the UN negotiators, adding that the Kosovo Albanians do not see any solution other than independence as a viable one.

“Independence is not supposed to take place after five or ten years, but immediately after the discussion process.” Ceku said. (FoNet)

Ceku: Serbs Have To Learn Moral From Their Past Mistakes

Brussels, 22 Mar 06 (Tanjug) – Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Ceku stated after the meeting with European Union high representative for foreign policy and security Javier Solana that Kosovo Serbs have to learn the moral from their mistakes in the past, and to turn to Pristina for solution of their problems.
“I think that Serbs had to learn a lot from their recent past, when they were leaving their houses and listened to others away from place they lived, they suffered”, said Ceku in fluent Serbian. “Such mistake should not be made by them again, I think”, added Ceku. “They should look to Pristina, to people who live in Kosovo, those who want to live in Kosovo and their leaders, in order to mutually resolve all problems”.

Violence Again In Kosovo - Not Likely

Brussels, 22 Mar 06 (Tanjug) – Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Ceku stated that it is not likely that outbreaks of violence in Kosovo will happen if the solution of the status is in accordance to the will of the Albanian majority, but such possibility cannot be excluded.

“I think there will be no violence and the solution will be the one desired by the majority in Kosovo and will be accepted by the minority, because they will see that such solution is in their interest, as well”, stated Ceku after meeting with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

Explosive Device In Front Of Deçan Municipal Assembly

21 Mar 06 (RTK) – The KPS regional police in Peja reported that Deçan police was notified that an explosive device was found in front of Deçan Municipal Assembly at about 0900 hrs on Tuesday. The explosive device was first seen by the employees of the municipal assembly while they were cleaning the area in front of the building. A TMK specialized de-mining unit arrived at scene of the event and neutralized this explosive device at about 1200 hrs.

Police is investigating the case.

Vittrup: Some People Want To Destabilize Situation In Kosova

21 Mar 06 (Koha Ditore) – “Some people want to destabilize the situation in Kosova, but the police will ensure that such things will not happen in the future” emphasized UNMIK Police Commissioner Kai Vittrup, commenting about the two explosive devices that were found on Sunday evening and Monday morning in the center of Prishtina.

“Certainly this is a big concern for the police, and I believe for the rest of the people. We will do anything possible to prevent such things. The behavior of these anti-democratic terrorists is not acceptable. They deserve only one thing, prison”. Declared Vittrup during his visit made yesterday at TMK headquarters.

Commenting on these two cases, the Director of Criminal Police Directorate of Kosova, Col. Rrahman Sylejmani declared that there are no indications that these two cases are related.
“The initial information does not give any indication that these two cases are related, although that does not mean that in the further investigations the results won’t be different.

Serb’s Arrest Warrant Against Agim Çeku Is Invalid

21 March 06 (Lajm) – The Austria Ministry of Justice, in Vienna announced on Monday that they do not have any order to arrest the Prime Minister Agim Çeku.
“Austria will not arrest Agim Çeku who will arrive on Monday in Vienna”, stated for Agency APA, the spokesperson of Austria Ministry of Justice.

He also stated that the arrest warrant against Çeku, issued by the authorities of Serbia and Montenegro, is invalid in Austria. “Serbia and Montenegro did not send a proper arrest warrant and necessary evidence against Agim Çeku”, declared the spokesperson, adding that the Austria Ministry of Justice is informed about the visit of Kosova Prime Minister in Vienna.

No Reason To Arrest Ceku

Vienna, 21 Mar 06 (B92) - The Austrian Justice Ministry said that there are no warrants in the possession of the Austrian authorities that would call for an arrest of Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Ceku.

The warrant which the Serbia-Montenegro Government has issued for Ceku’s arrest, according to Austrian officials, has no jurisdiction in Austria.

“Serbia-Montenegro did not give us the needed warrants for arresting Ceku, nor did it offer the needed evidence.” an official of the Austrian Justice Ministry said.

The Belgrade Government issued a warrant for the arrest of Ceku for suspected war crimes activity.Ceku has since then escaped arrest twice already; once in Ljubljana and once in Budapest. Both times, UNMIK officials were called on to take care of the matter and Ceku was freed very shortly afterwards. (Beta)

Kosovo Preparing Army

Belgrade, 21 Mar 06 (Glas Javnosti) – Sylejman Selimi, also known as “Sultan”, who is one of the founders and heads of the KLA, is already seen among Kosovo Albanians as the first commander of the future Kosovo army. On the 13th of March, Selimi replaced the current Premier Agim Ceku at the position of commander of Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC).

Last year’s Prishtina plans for transforming KPC into an army are more and more becoming a topic of discussion. There are already plans according to which in the beginning the army would have 2,005 members, which would symbolize the year in which the plan was formed. According to this plan, gendarmerie and honor guards, which appeared at the burial of Ibrahim Rugova, and troops providing public peace and safety, would come out of the KPC.

Not so long ago when he was KPC commander Agim Ceku, was looked at as the first commander of the Kosovo Army. Back in May of 1999, Ceku was named head of the KLA headquarters over Selimi. Selimi became famous among his countrymen for the crimes he committed against Serbs in Drenica, where among other things he ran the concentration camps.

Today Kosovo: Tomorrow Israel and the West

The Article

Negotiations regarding the future status of Kosovo have begun and it is increasingly clear that the overwhelming majority of the world media, not to mention the government of the United States and its allies, favor giving independence to the Serbian province of Kosovo, which since the 1999 war has been administered by the United Nations under NATO military control. In effect, the western world is in favor of detaching Kosovo from (Christian) Serbia by fiat of power and making it into an independent Muslim state.

The main argument of those supporting this scenario - notably in the United States, where advocates of the Muslim Albanian cause are very well funded - is that by doing so America would repair its image in the Islamic world and show that Americans do not have anti-Islamic inclinations. This, they think, would co-opt the influence of Islamic "extremists" and thus spare another possible 9/11 type attack.

Such sentiments can be found in the official report by the 9-11 Commission where it is recommended that America "defends, Muslims against tyrants and criminals in Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. If the United States does not act aggressively to define itself in the Islamic world, the extremists will gladly do the job for us."

In addition, proponents of the independent Muslim Kosovo argue that the Muslim leadership in that province is moderate and that through nation building could create a prosperous, multiethnic democracy, which will, while still remaining sufficiently Muslim, serve as an example of how one can remain a Muslim and be secular at the same time.

This policy is founded on several grave misconceptions...........(continued).......

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Bodies Of Four Albanians Executed In Afghanistan Discovered

(TV 21, KTV, RTK)

German Company Ecolog with its branch in Tetovo, FYROM, confirmed today that bodies of four Albanians executed by Taliban have been discovered yesterday. An employee of the company has identified the bodies. The company said bodies will soon be transferred to FYROM where they will be handed over to the families.

Three Persons Arrested For Damaging Serb Graves

Ferizaj, 18 March 06 (Koha Ditore) – The KPS regional investigating unit had a successful week. After coordinating their work with citizens, KPS members managed to capture three juveniles that damaged the Serb graveyard in the village of Nikadin.

“On March 15th, three juveniles entered the Serb graveyard in the village of Nikadin and damaged several marble graves’ stones. They also broke several windows to the Serbian church,” stated KPS spokesperson Agim Demiri. He said that these delinquent persons were captured and interrogated at the police station.

“Yes, we interrogated them in the presence of their parents and social workers. They claimed that they were not encouraged by anyone and that they did this evil act without any political motivation,” Demiri said.

This case is being completed and will be soon submitted to the court, which will decide on further actions against these juveniles.

Serbs Protest On Anniversary Of March Riots

18 March 06 (Radio Kosova/Balkan Web) – Two years after the march riots, UNMIK and KFOR evaluate the security situation quite, stable and with great improvements.
The Kosova institutions declared that they have reconstructed all the houses destroyed during the riots, while the construction of 32 religious objects will begin on the second phase of construction, in April.

In the meantime, thousand of Serbs gathered today north of Mitrovica, Shterpce, Gracanica, Ranilug and Merdare on the remembrance of second anniversary of March riots. The Serbs declared that they won’t let Kosova become independent at any price. The protests ended without any incidents.

The Greater Albania

Greater Albania

The website of the Albanian American Civic League

"Welcome to the web site of the Albanian American Civic League. The Civic was founded by former Congressman Joseph DioGuardi and a board of Albanian Americans in 1989 and is the the only registered lobby in Washington, DC, representing the concerns and interests of the Albanian people. The purpose of the Civic League is to further the human rights and the national cause of the divided nation of more than seven million Albanians living side by side in the Balkans in Albania, Kosova, western Macedonia, southeastern Montenegro, Presheve, Medvegje, Bujanovc (southern Serbia), and Chameria (northern Greece). By bringing the political perspectives of 400.000 Albanian Americans to the US Government, the civic League works to end the repression and oppression of Albanians living under hostile Slavic Communist regimes in the Balkans and to preserve the culture, identity and human rights of Albanians throughout the world.

Syrian with suspected al-Qaeda links stands trial in Istanbul

The Article


ISTANBUL, Turkey -- A Syrian national went on trial in Istanbul Monday (20 March), on suspicion of being the main link between suicide bombings in the city and the al-Qaeda network. Turkish prosecutors believe Luai Sakra was involved in the November 2003 bombings, which killed 58 people. More than 70 men are on trial in connection with the bombings. Prosecutors say Sakra, arrested in southern Turkey last year, also planned to blow up an Israeli cruise liner. They allege that he channeled funds that the other defendants used to attack the British consulate, the HSBC bank and two synagogues in Istanbul. (BBC - 20/03/06)

KFOR Spokesperson: Situation In Kosova Is Pretty Good

20 March 06 (QIK) – The KFOR spokesperson, Pio Sabeta evaluated that the “situation in Kosova is pretty good” and added that the local incidents cannot damage the global situation. He made these comments after the specialized teams exploded two explosive devices in Prishtina.
The KPS spokesperson, Sabrije Kamberi also evaluated that “the situation is calm and normal”.

American Military Camp “Monteith” In Gjilan Won’t Be Closed

20 March 06 (Bota Sot) – The Commander of the American KFOR battalion “Alamo”, Maj. Olivo, declared that the American military camp “Monteith” won’t be close and it will function just like before, regardless of some transfers that are happening recently in the camp.

Maj. Olivo stated that these activities can be considered flexible relocations within the American KFOR, and the citizens should not be concerned. He declared that this camp won’t be closed, and our soldiers will be there in the future as well.

“In spite of the fact that the transfers have happened, the military camp in Gjilan will function and our soldiers will continue with patrols, like they do now, emphasizing again that KFOR will stay in Kosova and will be ready to intervene at any time, and any place.

Maj. Olivo’s concern is that due to these relocations from Camp “Monteith”, there will be a high employee reduction and many employees will remain without jobs. Regarding the security situation in Vitia municipality, Commander Olivo declared for “Bota Sot” that the security situation in this municipality is quiet, without any violations.

Hand Grenade Destroyed In Downtown Pristina

Pristina, 20 Mar 06 (Radio Srbija i Crna Gora) – Special forces of international forces in Kosovo, defused a hand grenade placed near the headquarters of the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce and Democratic Party of Kosovo in downtown Pristina. Kosovo Police Service (KPS) spokesperson Sabrije Kamberi stated that police were information of a suspicious device this morning, after which part of downtown Pristina was blocked with the help of KFOR Special Forces, and bomb was destroyed in a controlled explosion.

This is the second bomb discovered within 24 hours and destroyed in downtown Pristina. Sunday evening, around 18:00 hours, police were informed that a hand grenade, dating from WWII was found near hotel “Grand”. A KFOR unit also destroyed this bomb. In both cases, there were no causalities or damage.

KPS spokesperson Agron Burovci said that there still are no leads or motives, but a large scale investigation is underway.

Gendarmerie In Bases On Administrative Line

Belgrade, 18 Mar 06 (Politika) – Border police of Serbian police, which took responsibility for securing the state border of Serbia with Hungary and Romania, and planned takeover of borders with Bulgaria, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, will not take responsibility over the administrative line with Kosmet, because that is not a state border, says Dusan Zlokas, head of the administration of border police of Serbian police.

Although securing of the borders with Macedonia and Albania are in the hands of KFOR and UNMIK, since June 1999, those two international forces recently started cooperation with their counterparts from the border police of Serbia.

“We have warned them of a large number of illegal immigrants, which are coming to Kosovo from every part of the world, without control, through Pristina airport, and through central Serbia attempting to reach the European Union countries. The number of Albanian citizens is increasing among them, who enter Kosovo without any problem. Only last year, of a total number of 1,076 immigrants discovered by Serbian police, 330 were from Albania”, explains Zlokas.

Serbia and Montenegro Army troops established excellent cooperation with KFOR members, even joint patrols are organized. Our soldiers and international force soldiers are patrolling the administrative line and meet at the previously determined points. Engagement of Serbia and Montenegro army in the security land zone costs around 300 million Dinars, which is six percent of annual planned spending.

NATO-led peacekeepers defuse explosive device in Kosovo

The Article

Released : Mar 20, 2006 11:42 AM

PRISTINA, Serbia-Montenegro-NATO-led peacekeepers defused a bomb Monday in Kosovo's capital, police said.

The device contained 800 grams (28 ounces) of TNT and was placed in the parking lot of a building that houses the Democratic Party of Kosovo, the main opposition party in the province, said police spokeswoman Sabrije Kamberi.......(continued)

El Masri demands clarifying of his abduction

The Article

The German with Lebanese lineage Khaled el-Masri and his lawyer Manfred Gnjidic demanded in Strasbourg on Monday thorough clarifying of the affair over El Masri's kidnapping, including the role of Macedonia, Radio Deutsche Welle - Macedonian language service reported.El Masri's testimony before the European Parliament's special committee included already known facts that 23 days after his apprehension by the Macedonian police on 31 December 2003, he was transferred to Afghanistan to be interrogated by US, and possibly German secret services over suspicions for his ties with islamic terrorists, before he was finally freed in May 2004.However, according to the members of the special committee, the testimony failed to offer any evidence to substantiate involvement of European authorities in the affair.The surprise came when El-Masri stated the Macedonian Police have given him a correct treatment, which contradicts his previous complaints of mistreatment......(continued)

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Kosovo May Explode -- Here

The Article

By Julia Commentary March 16, 2006

The War on Terror suffered a major blow three years before it was ever announced. It happened when the people of this democracy were misled into attacking the sovereign, emerging post-Communist democracy of Yugoslavia, over rumors of genocide and ethnic cleansing that proved false. In so doing, we delivered the Balkans to al Qaeda.Today we are being asked to seal that historical blunder, the repercussions of which are still escalating seven years later.

The people we "rescued" have turned their weapons against United Nations and NATO forces. While NATO spends most of its time rooting out terror cells in Kosovo and Bosnia, which served as the planning bases for the London and Madrid bombings, the 2006 deadline to complete our eagerly forgotten debacle and determine the province's final status is fast approaching. To persuade the international community that only one final status will be acceptable, our Albanian "rescuees" have been stepping up the violence.

This is a message to the West that it has only one possible exit strategy: grant unconditional independence -- without border compromises with Serbia and without protection guarantees for what's left of the non-Albanian minorities. If we allow this to happen, the peacekeepers will have to leave, and with them so will our eyes and ears in this terror haven and thruway. Still, congressional, U.S. State Department and U.N. sentiment seem to be tilting toward self-determination and the logic that if you've dug yourself into a hole, keep digging.