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FPM Gere-ing Up for Nazi Propaganda

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  • sibercor2000
    http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=25269 FRONT PAGE MAGAZINE (USA) Gere-ing Up for Nazi Propaganda By Julia Gorin FrontPageMagazine.com |
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 5, 2006
      http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=25269

      FRONT PAGE MAGAZINE (USA)

      Gere-ing Up for Nazi Propaganda
      By Julia Gorin

      FrontPageMagazine.com | November 3, 2006

      Up against Richard Gere and Nicole Kidman, the historical record doesn't
      stand a chance. Gere is in Bosnia and Kidman just visited Kosovo. Beating a
      dead horse, the former is entering the familiar genre of anti-Serb films
      (Behind Enemy Lines, The Peacemaker) - and UN Goodwill Ambassador (and,
      coincidentally, Peacemaker star) Kidman is listening to more unverifiable
      yarns from Kosovo's Serb-loathing Albanian Muslims (without, of course,
      visiting those who are actually under siege in the province - the handful of
      remaining Serbs who can't step outside their miniscule NATO-guarded
      perimeters without getting killed by Albanians).

      How can we fight the jihad when Kidman and Gere are being used to enable it?
      Just when the Aussie gave us some hope in so prominently signing her name to
      an anti-terror ad in the L.A. Times - going against the grain and calling
      terrorism against Israelis by its name - we're still at Square One when it
      comes to terrorism against Serbs.

      Of course, if our own government is helping the jihad secure its Balkan
      base, what does one want from two actors?

      For Gere's movie - a "light-hearted thriller" entitled Spring Break in
      Bosnia that has him hunting down the fugitive former Bosnian-Serb leader
      Radovan Karadzic - filming is being done in Croatia and Bosnia, with the
      help of local propagandists as consultants, of course. The Serbs, yet again,
      will be collectively portrayed as the villains in the Balkan tale. Never
      mind that Gere returned from Bosnia to Croatia ahead of schedule last month,
      after only 10 days of shooting, reportedly because he was "too scared to
      stay" in the area.

      One wonders what could have spooked him. What did he have to fear from
      Bosnia? Could it be the ominous signs that the country has been reawakened
      by the Saudis from its Communist slumber to its Islamic roots? Or did
      something happen that might have reasserted Bosnia's fascist sympathies,
      which the UK Telegraph's Robert Fox described in 1993:

      "These are the men of the Handzar division. 'We do everything with the
      knife, and we always fight on the frontline,' a Handzar told one U.N.
      officer. Up to 6000 strong, the Handzar division glories in a fascist
      culture. They see themselves as the heirs of the SS Handzar division, formed
      by Bosnian Muslims in 1943 to fight for the Nazis. Their spiritual model was
      Mohammed Amin al-Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who sided with
      Hitler. According to U.N. officers. '[m]any of them are Albanian, whether
      from Kosovo.or from Albania itself.'

      "They are trained and led by veterans from Afghanistan and Pakistan, say
      U.N. sources.The first political act in this new operation appears to have
      been the murder of the two monks in the monastery.Mysteriously the police
      guard disappeared a few minutes before."

      Or maybe something happened after Gere "disappeared down a small street in
      Sarajevo's old Turkish quarter to film the next scene," as BBC.com reported.

      "It is the early hours of the morning and a Hollywood film crew with blazing
      lights and buzzing walky-talkies is being put through its paces in the
      shadow of a mosque."

      Whatever it was, Gere returned to the "villa on a hill" where he'd been
      staying in Zagreb, Croatia. Though the Catholic Croats and Muslim Bosnians
      are often at each other's throats, they have an uncanny similarity. You see,
      "Croatian" is more or less a synonym for "Nazi." Except the Croatians
      managed to sicken even the Germans with the creative lengths they went to
      for Serb-slaughter, including sawing heads off slowly. (Bosnian Muslims,
      meanwhile, served in Croatia's concentration camps such as Jasenovac, where
      7o0,000 Serbs were killed alongside tens of thousands of Jews.)

      Nazism is not just part of Croatia's past; it is their present as well.

      In 1998, NY Times columnist A.M. Rosenthal wrote: "In World War II, Hitler
      had no executioners more willing, no ally more passionate, than the fascists
      of Croatia. They are returning, 50 years later, from what should have been
      their eternal grave, the defeat of Nazi Germany. The Western Allies who dug
      that grave with the bodies of their servicemen have the power to stop them,
      but do not."

      Indeed, we happily assisted them - even providing Croatia with Serbian
      weapons to kill Serbs.

      In an article titled "Pro-Nazi extremism lingers in Croatia," the Washington
      Times in 1997 reported: "A German tank rolls through a small village, and
      the peasants rush out, lining the road with their right arms raised in a
      Nazi salute as they chant 'Heil Hitler.' Mobs chase minorities from their
      homes, kicking them and pelting them with eggs as they flee into the woods.
      Europe in the 1940s? No. Croatia in the 1990s."

      In 1995, the London Evening Standard's Edward Pearce wrote that "you can
      understand Croatia best by saying flatly that if there is one place in the
      world where a statue of Adolph Hitler would be revered, it would be in
      Zagreb."

      An AP report the same year described NATO American Commander Colonel Gregory
      Fontenot in Bosnia turning to two black soldiers in his brigade and saying,
      "It'll be interesting to hear what you two see, because the Croatians are
      racist.They kill people for the color of their skins."

      In 2000, Julius Strauss wrote in the UK Daily Telegraph, "Five years may
      have passed since the end of the Bosnian war but in Ljubuski, one of dozens
      of Croat villages scattered through the mountains of southwestern Bosnia,
      hardliners are still in control. By way of greeting, the Croat party
      official said: 'I hope you're not a Jew or an American. My father fought at
      Stalingrad. He wore the German insignia with pride. At the end it was only
      us Croats who stayed faithful to the SS.'

      The same year, there was this from The Washington Post: "It was not unusual
      to see such chilling graffiti as: 'We Croats do not drink wine, we drink the
      blood of Serbs from Knin,'.[referring] to the capital of the Krajina region
      of Croatia where hundreds of thousands of Serbs were ethnically cleansed in
      1995 by troops commanded by Gen. [Ante] Gotovina."

      In her September 1999 book Nazi Nostalgia in Croatia, Balkans expert Diana
      Johnstone wrote:

      "When I visited Croatia three years ago, the book most prominently
      displayed in the leading bookstores of the capital city Zagreb was a new
      edition of the notorious anti-Semitic classic, 'The Protocols of the Elders
      of Zion'. Next came the memoirs of the World War II Croatian fascist Ustashe
      dictator Ante Pavelic, responsible for the organized genocide of Serbs, Jews
      and Romany (gypsies) that began in 1941, that is, even before the German
      Nazi 'final solution'.

      "And the hit song of 1991, when Croatia once again declared its
      independence from Yugoslavia and began driving out Serbs, was 'Danke
      Deutschland' in gratitude to Germany's strong diplomatic support for
      Zagreb's
      unnegotiated secession. In the West, of course, one will quickly object that
      the Germany of today is not the Germany of 1941. True enough. But in Zagreb,
      with a longer historical view, they are so much the same that visiting
      Germans are sometimes embarrassed when Croats enthusiastically welcome them
      with a raised arm and a Nazi 'Heil!' greeting.

      "So it should be no surprise that this year's best seller in Croatia is
      none other than a new edition of 'Mein Kampf'. The magazine 'Globus'
      reported that 'Mein Kampf' is selling like hotcakes in all segments of
      Croatian society."

      Despite the Simon Wiesenthal Center's requests for it to seek extradition,
      the Croatian government remains uninterested in going after two Croatian
      Nazis (Ustashi) who killed hundreds of Jews, Serbs and gypsies and now live
      in brazen retirement in Argentina and Austria.

      As independent journalist Stella Jatras summed up, "Today, Croatia
      arrogantly and blatantly flies its fascist checkerboard flag without fear of
      condemnation from the world. It has renamed its streets after its Nazi war
      heroes, and proudly displays its 'Sieg Heil' salute at weddings, funerals,
      and other functions."

      Reenter the moviemakers. Croatian film director Antun Vrdoljak has cast his
      son-in-law, "ER" actor Goran Visnjic, to play the role of the Hague's top
      Croatian war crimes suspect Ante Gotovina. According to BBC.com, director
      Vrdoljak "said he wanted to make the feature film because Gen Gotovina 'is a
      real hero of the homeland war'.Gen Gotovina is charged with committing
      atrocities against Croatian Serbs during the 1990s Balkan wars."

      "Gotovina is a metaphor for today's Croatia," Vrdoljak said proudly.
      According to London's The Independent, "posters with his photo are still
      plastered across Croatia; T-shirts, mugs and lighters bearing his image are
      sold and the Spanish wine he was drinking when arrested quickly sold out
      when it appeared in Croatian stores in December." Vrdoljak has said that he
      is certain Gotovina will be set free.

      He has reason to be certain. While to the world, "Serb" is synonymous with
      "war criminal" and there is a permanent fixation with the two Serbian
      fugitives Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, killers of Serbs go unpunished,
      get acquitted or convicted and released to a hero's welcome - as Serbs are
      sentenced to death for killing people who aren't even dead. In Croatia,
      Serb-cleansing is a national holiday. Whereas Serbia established its own war
      crimes court in cooperation with the Hague and has been convicting its war
      criminals, Croatians, Albanians and Bosniaks rally behind their Serb
      killers, make cinematic homages to them and allow them to pursue political
      careers .

      As for the subject of Gere's fascination - Karadzic, wanted for "ordering
      the massacre of '8,000' Muslim males": five thousand were reported missing
      by their families when they fled to fight elsewhere before Srebrenica's
      fall, and 3,000 of those have since voted in elections. The remains of the
      other 3,000, which have been found in and around Srebrenica, died during the
      three years of fighting, not just when the enclave was overtaken by the
      Bosnian Serbs. These three years of fighting included the Srebrenica Muslims
      raiding nearby Serb villages and slaughtering several thousand people. But
      they're only Serbs and, in practice at least, Serb-killing is a legal,
      internationally sanctioned sport.

      As with Bosnia's Handzar division, in Croatia's Serb-cleansing war of
      secession from Yugoslavia, the Croats were gifted with an Albanian
      volunteer - Agim Ceku - such a Serb-hunting enthusiast that when the early,
      Croatian leg of the wars kicked off, this Kosovo Albanian high-tailed it to
      Croatia and became a colonel in its army. He led Croatian troops in the 1993
      offensive on Croatia's Medak Pocket, where Serbs lived. As Canadian
      journalist Scott Taylor wrote:

      "It was here that the men of the 2nd Battalion of Princess Patricia's
      Canadian Light Infantry came face to face with the savagery of which [Agim]
      Ceku was capable. Over 200 Serbian inhabitants of the Medak Pocket were
      slaughtered in a grotesque manner (the bodies of female rape victims were
      found after being burned alive). Our traumatized troops who buried the
      grisly remains were encouraged to collect evidence and were assured that the
      perpetrators would be brought to justice.

      "Nevertheless in 1995, Ceku, by then trained by U.S. instructors as a
      general of artillery, was still at large. In fact, he was the officer
      responsible for shelling the Serbian refugee columns and for targeting the
      UN-declared 'safe' city of Knin during the Croatian offensive known as
      Operation Storm [which the New York Times called 'the largest single "ethnic
      cleansing" of the war']. Some 500 innocent civilians perished in those
      merciless barrages, and senior Canadian officers who witnessed the slaughter
      demanded that Ceku be indicted. Once again, their pleas fell of deaf ears."

      Today Ceku is the Prime Minister of Kosovo, and he enjoyed a warm reception
      from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice when the two met over the summer to
      discuss how best to speed along independence for the Serbian province that
      this war criminal governs, sans rule of law and beholden to al-Qaeda.

      "Throughout the air campaign against Yugoslavia," continues Taylor, Ceku -
      by then commanding KLA terrorists in driving two-thirds of the remaining
      Christian Serbs out, along with the gypsies, Croats, Jews, Ashkalis, Gorani,
      and other non-Muslim or non-Albanians in Kosovo - "was portrayed as a loyal
      ally and he was frequently present at NATO briefings with top generals such
      as Wesley Clark and Michael Jackson."

      Today, the "bin Laden Mosque," built in 2001 (aptly enough), stands tall in
      Kosovo, where Bill Clinton murals and Wesley Clark Streets are almost as
      prevalent as bin Laden keychains.

      Re-enter Richard Gere, who in 1999 traveled to Macedonia to volunteer in a
      Kosovo refugee camp. "Reuters reports Hollywood heart throb Richard Gere
      took tea with ethnic Albanian Kosovo refugees in Macedonia yesterday and
      promised he would do all he could to help them." On the UK Biography
      Channel's
      website at the time, it read, "If nothing else, he uses his star status to
      give greater voice to his heartfelt beliefs."

      And now Gere will use his star status to naively promote the Muslim and
      Croat causes. Bosnia and Croatia, our modern Fascist allies against our
      multi-ethnic World War II ally against Fascism - Serbia.

      In 1999, Gere said, "Look, I have the resources and the inclination to find
      out what's going on in the world. So I feel this responsibility to find out
      and do the best I can."

      In which case he should want to know something about WWII, to better
      appreciate how the Croatia and Bosnia stories played out in the 1990s, and
      why the Serbs reacted as they did. Yugoslavia's 40+ years of Communism were
      a mere interruption in the multilateral genocide of Serbs, which picked up
      where it left off immediately upon Communism's decline.

      Though he ultimately came around to the dominant, de riguer view of the
      Albanian-Serb conflict, Gere initially had this to say in 1999: "We had been
      told it was a totally black and white situation and in my estimation it's
      not black and white. Obviously the violence is horrific, but it's horrific
      on all sides." And this is precisely the point: The Serbs weren't angels,
      and they are the only Balkan players to have admitted as much. The trouble
      is that they were less guilty than their enemies, whose side we inexplicably
      took. And so it is the Serbs whom we hunt. Because it's easier.

      Gere, who is passionate about "learning" why war criminals remain uncaught,
      recently said of them, "I'm interested in people who cause so much mischief,
      so much suffering.I think we can learn from them. Why they are the way they
      are and why are we so vulnerable to them."

      Director Richard Shepard echoed that he hopes the film "is asking a bigger
      question, which is why are there war criminals throughout the world who the
      world said they want to catch and yet they don't."

      But in choosing a Serbian war criminal as the vehicle through which to
      answer this question is a hackneyed copout. It is yet another
      uncontroversial, effortless, risk-free Hollywood choice. (See
      reality-departure flicks The Pacifier (2004) and The Rock (1999), where the
      setups involve "Serbian terrorists.") The obsession with Balkans war
      criminals who are exclusively Serbian is all the more defamatory, given that
      wartime Bosnian Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic and Croat leader Franjo
      Tudjman escaped justice by dying free men as their own war crimes were
      quietly and reluctantly being investigated by The Hague.

      Our policymakers and our media, on the same page throughout the '90s
      Balkans, took the Hollywood approach themselves, picking the easy side and
      recycling Muslim and Croatian propaganda about the conflict. They wanted a
      tale of easy morality, with clear-cut good guys and bad guys. But in no
      region has this been less clear than the Balkans. "Spring Break in Bosnia"
      is based on real events in which three American journalists who returned to
      Sarajevo to try to track down Karadzic themselves - proving Media Cleansing
      author Peter Brock's thesis that in the Balkans, the press served openly as
      co-belligerents in the conflict. Perversely, for the cinematic repetition of
      our Balkans sins, "auditions for extras have already been held in several
      Croatian cities and hundreds of people lined up for the chance to appear."

      The Balkans drama was scripted from the beginning. By a bipartisan slate of
      Congresspeople who lined their pockets with Albanian, Bosnian and Croatian
      money drenched in half a century of Serbian blood (e.g. Engel, Tancredo,
      McCain, Dole and Dole, Lantos, Hyde, Rohrbacher, Lieberman, etc.). And by
      journalists who, in a departure from their usual shades-of-gray vision of
      the world, built careers and won Pulitzers on concocting a cheap morality
      tale that permanently designated the Serbs as international pariahs, as
      Brock explains in his book. And so Serbs-as-villains has to be played out ad
      infinitum.

      That's why the current movie The Prestige omits any mention of the fact that
      the David Bowie character - Nikola Tesla, inventor of, among other things, a
      transformer capable of wirelessly lighting up distant fluorescent bulbs - is
      a Serb, in whose honor a New York street was named this year. And yet such
      civilized contributions are so much more the norm for Serbs than is
      genocide - our programmed association with them no matter how many times,
      ways and places it's been disproved, including at the Hague (which had to
      redefine the term 'genocide' to make it fit the alleged crime). Comically
      enough, Croatia also celebrates Tesla, who was born there, in what amounts
      to a classic case of the Croatian credo that "the only good Serb is a dead
      Serb."

      It's a curious thing that the ones to bestow and propagate the
      Serbs-as-Nazis image have been Nazis and Nazi nostalgics themselves. Take
      the UN's "impartial" mediator for the Kosovo negotiations, Martti Ahtisaari
      of Finland, who this year made it official: the accursed Serbs "as a nation
      are guilty." But note that the Finnish government during Ahtisaari's
      presidency tried to bankroll a monument to the country's volunteer troops of
      the Waffen SS. If that's not enough to taint a man in fascist hues, the fact
      that he was the favorite this year for the Nobel Peace Prize should.

      We should view with great skepticism the branding of a people as "brutal" or
      "ruthless" when the people doing the branding were and/or are, literally,
      Nazis - and their jihadist former apprentices. If such breeds complain of an
      enemy's "brutality," it probably means that this enemy fights back like none
      of the former's other victims have. There's a reason that unlike Europe's
      other concentration camps, which were placed in remote areas, the Sajmiste
      camp was in clear view of Belgrade's populace. "[T]hat was the intention,"
      explained Aleksandar Mosic, author of The Jews in Belgrade, "to intimidate
      other Serbs by showing them what was going on inside because Serbs were much
      more courageous in resisting the Fascists than other nations."

      Our filmmakers, like our policymakers, refuse to take the messier, more
      accurate and more dangerous route to presenting the Balkans. For it is the
      more daunting task, and one that would bring us face to face with the
      realization that was perhaps what spooked Gere first-hand: that the Serbs
      weren't just fighting their enemies; they were fighting ours.

      Coincidentally, the film which just won the top prize at the Rome Film
      Festival is another Richard Gere pic. It's called The Hoax, and is based on
      a real-life hoax. Gere and his producers should be aware that their current
      project is, as well.
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