The reason the policy will remain the same regardless of changes in Administration and of changes in party control of the White House and of Congress is because the Albanian organized crime cartel, and their terrorist buddies, connect to American political leaders in a way far more fundamental than political ideology: money. Senator McCain and Senator Biden have both been on the payroll of the same Albanian organized crime cartel front organization for years.
We addressed the rise of Albanian organized crime's influence in the United States in The Balkan Connection, Part 1 and The Balkan Connection, Part 2. In February of this year, I outlined Senator McCain's connection to Albanian organized crime and Albanian Islamic extremists in McCain's Ties to Islamic Terrorists -- and Heroin Traffickers?; I then outlined Senator Biden's connection to the same Albanian groups in The Heroin Lobby, Part 10. In this series of posts, we look again at these connections. I begin with Group tied to al-Qaida backs McCain for prez from March 2, 2008:
'They will do all they can to turn Kosovo into a jihadist camp in the heart of Europe'
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain has enjoyed strong support from a lobbyist group that backs the Kosovo Liberation Army despite allegations the KLA is a Muslim terrorist group with ties to criminal drug networks and al-Qaida.
The Albanian American Civic League, or AACL, regards the KLA as "freedom fighters," said the AACL's president, former Republican congressman Joe DioGuardi of New York.
They're "not terrorist, like the Serbs and Greeks say," DioGuardi insisted in an interview with WND.
Again, it was in The Balkan Connection, Part 1 and The Balkan Connection, Part 2 and McCain's Ties to Islamic Terrorists -- and Heroin Traffickers? that I linked the Honorable Mr. DioGuardi to Albanian organized crime.
But Islam expert Robert Spencer, editor of the popular website Jihad Watch, contends radical Islam is the driving force behind the Kosovo independence movement.
"There is no excusing the excesses of the Serbs under (former President Slobodan) Milosevic, but there is no denying also that jihadists have been pouring into Bosnia and Kosovo, preparing to use them as a base for jihad activity in Europe – and we have been helping them," Spencer told WND.
Spencer explained that the KLA is directly linked to the Kosovo independence movement.
"When Kosovo independence was declared, thousands of Kosovars gathered in Pristina and chanted, 'KLA!' 'KLA!' Spencer noted. "This was a telling indication of the broad popular support the KLA enjoys."
KLA members, however, continued Spencer, were trained in al-Qaida camps.
We addressed the KLA's extensive and well-deserved reputation as an Islamic extremist terrorist organization with ties to Osama bin Laden in McCain's Ties to Islamic Terrorists -- and Heroin Traffickers?, where we quoted a Senate Republican position paper from 1997, put out at a time when the Clinton Administration was supporting Islamic extremists in the former Yugoslavia, and when most Senate Republicans were against such support. Senator McCain, however, though he must have been aware of the information in the report put out by his Republican colleagues in the Senate, sided with those who supported the KLA.
"There is little doubt that there are powerful elements in Kosovo who are Islamic supremacist and pro-Sharia (Islamic law)," he said. "They will do all they can to turn Kosovo into a jihadist camp in the heart of Europe."
Spencer pointed out Kosovo is about 90 percent Muslim, and the independence movement has grown by incorporating Albanian Muslims as members and supporters.
"Most of the Albanian Muslims are cultural Muslims who have not been radicalized," he added. "However, the Muslims in the Balkans have been subjected to heavy jihadists infiltration and recruitment for almost two decades now."
"Most of the Albanian Muslims are cultural Muslims who have not been radicalized" -- an important point to make!
Though I disagree with Islam, I am not against all Muslims, and, though I disagree with Albanian organized crime, I am not against all ethnic Albanians -- any more than I would be against all Americans because of our own problems with organized crime.
The Muslim people in the Balkans are the first victims of the extremism, as the Islamist militants radicalize their culture amid a great deal of coercion; after all, the extremist position is that anyone who isn't a fanatic terrorist freak isn't "Muslim" enough -- kind of an "either you're with us, or you're with the infidels" mentality.
Spencer contends McCain, along with the Bush administration, which has recognized Kosovo's independence, "are on the wrong side of the fight ... just as American policy in general has been on the wrong side of the Balkans conflict for years."
Bush and McCain "are on the wrong side of the fight" -- and there's a reason for that.
During the Balkans war in the 1990s, President Clinton committed U.S. troops to fight under NATO command, providing U.S. air support for NATO-directed attacks against the Serbs.
Today, President Bush's and Sen. McCain's support for Kosovo is equally clear.
On Feb. 17, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced the U.S. formally recognized Kosovo as a sovereign and independent state, saying, "As Kosovo today begins its life as an independent state, the United States pledges to be its close friend and partner."
McCain, in a written statement prepared for the Munich Security Conference Feb. 7, called on the U.S. and the European Union to recognize Kosovo's independence, saying, "For the first time the region is today poised to move forward, with final status for Kosovo and transitioning continuing responsibilities there to increasing European control – at long last closing the door on the region's painful past."
In April 1999, McCain and Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., co-sponsored the "Kosovo Self-Defense Act" with the goal of arming the KLA in their battle against the Serbs.
McCain co-sponsored the legislation despite serious concerns voiced at that time in Republican policy forums, warning the KLA was a criminal terrorist organization with ties to al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden.
The U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee issued a white paper March 31, 1999, concluding the KLA was closely associated with:
- "The extensive Albanian crime network that extends throughout Europe and into North America, including allegations that a major portion of the KLA finances are derived from that network, mainly proceeds from drug trafficking; and
- Terrorist organizations motivated by the ideology of radical Islam, including assets of Iran and of the notorious Osama bin-Laden – who has vowed a global terrorist war against Americans and American interests."
Stay tuned for Two Plus Two, Part 3, where we review what Republicans in the US Senate knew about the KLA and its role among ethnic Albanian organized crime cartels and as an Islamic extremist organization before Senator McCain was pushing so hard to champion the KLA's cause.