A disturbing story
0 comment Friday, June 6, 2014 |
Yesterday in a comment, reader Philip alerted us to this story about allegations of human organ trafficking in Kosovo. As of yesterday I had read nothing about it, but it seems to be a more widely-reported story today.
In the AP article mentioned above, (no excerpt) Kosovo Prime Minister Thaci said these reports were 'monstrous'.
This story from Agence France-Presse quotes a Swiss Council of Europe representative, Dick Marty, who in a report names Thaci as being one of the principals in an organ-trafficking ring.
STRASBOURG (AFP) � Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci was one of the key players in the traffic of organs of Serb prisoners after the 1998-99 conflict there, according to allegations in a draft Council of Europe report.
The report, by Swiss Council of Europe deputy Dick Marty, accuses Thaci and other senior commanders of the ethnic Albanian guerrilla group the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) of having set up the traffic.
The draft report was published on the Council of Europe website on Tuesday and will be considered by its legal affairs committee on Thursday.
In Pristina, the government of Thaci dismissed the report as fabrications designed to smear the country's leaders.
Marty wrote of substantial evidence that Serbians -- and some Albanian Kosovars -- had been secretly imprisoned by the KLA in northern Albania "and were subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment, before ultimately disappearing."
At the end of the above-quoted article is a link to the draft report at the Council of Europe's website.
Here ia a piece from Politico.com which provides more details. If you peruse the comments at the Politico posting, you will see echoed there the longstanding feeling that we (America, or our government, more accurately) were on the wrong side in the Balkan conflict, and that these kinds of activities by the KLA were already in evidence when 'our' government sided against the Serbs there. The idea of setting up a Kosovar state seems to have been a particularly ill-conceived one, and we have Bill Clinton to thank, among others, for that. Bill Clinton was more than just a hedonistic lecher who disgraced this country by his personal escapades; he was the author of (or collaborator in) some real blunders, including this debacle in the Balkans.
Are the stories of missing organs and prisoners executed for their kidneys credible? A commenter there expresses skepticism.
''Patrick says:
My feeling is that many of the rumors of what is going on inside Kosovo are often manufactured, bias and focused on making the Albanian people and Kosovo as a region seem like a very hostile place, especially for Serbs.
Who on earth would want to return with his family to a place where there are reports of illegal abduction ending in death and the removal of organs?
That's right... No one would return alone or let alone with his family to such a region - ever! ''
It's true that for years, there has been a popular urban legend that there are 'organ thieves' who abduct and remove kidneys from hapless tourists. But as we see here, these grisly 'legends' have proven true in some cases, at least in India.
And the KLA has been notorious for some unsavory activities for a long time, as this article from a dozen years ago indicates.
This article from the EU Observer quotes Mr. Marty as having said that 'the West' has not done enough to investigate allegations of war crimes in the region. I hope that 'the West' taking action will not mean that Americans will be drawn into any kind of military action over there, but given the fact that 'we' have sided with the Kosovars it would seem unlikely that our present regime would wish to be involved in this situation.
My greater concern would be that with our policy of welcoming in refugees from that region, we may unwittingly be bringing this kind of thing into our midst. Back in the late 90s the Clinton administration agreed to take 20,000 Kosovar refugees into this country.
''Then, in an April 21 speech at Ellis Island, Vice President Gore announced that the Kosovar Albanians would be resettled as refugees in the U.S.: "We will accept, on the American mainland, up to 20,000 of the hurting and homeless Kosovar refugees those with close family ties in America and those who are vulnerable. ... We will bring them here until they are able to return home safely." But Gore continued to insist that the refugees' stay would be temporary: "We anticipate their return to Kosovo. . . . the ones coming to the United States, will also be prepared to return on short notice."
By the next day, however, administration officials conceded the obvious that many of the Kosovar Albanians would obtain permanent residence in the United States, a benefit available after one year to anyone admitted as a refugee. In the words of a senior administration official, "We are going to try to create conditions in Kosovo for these people to return, but the choice will ultimately be theirs." Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Albanian Issues Caucus, put it more plainly: "And let's face it, after a year or two, they'd have had a taste of political freedom. They won't want to go back. . . The reality is that the vast majority are probably here to stay." These 'temporary' refugees, as the CIS article indicates, have a way of becoming permanent, and forming permanent enclaves in our country -- essentially mini-versions of the 'old country' and all its problems and pathologies.
So we can't pretend that these conflicts on the other side of the globe are of no concern for us, as they end up on our doorstep sooner rather than later, these days.
Diversity is costly.

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