Greetings, one and all, and welcome to Albanian Reality Check! What is Albanian Reality Check, you ask? It is a new blogsite whose purpose is simply this: To offer a counter to the growing number of scurrilous Anti-Albanian lies, half-truths, spin, and innuendo from both left and right that are growing everyday both on the internet, and in more conventional media.
For far too long, most of the Albanian community and it's friends and supporters have been far too complacent in the face of the various forms of albanophobic propaganda that have been increasing daily. "Oh, they're only _______ (fill in the blank-Serb, Greek, Russian, Macedonian, etc.), who cares what they have to say?", is the most common litany I personally have heard that is representative of this attitude. Only a few of us have seen the danger this propaganda, left uncountered, represents. However, recently, more and more people in the Albanian community have begun to realise the threat that these lies, half-truths, and spin represent, not merely to Kosova's independence, but to the future of the Albanian state proper and even to the Albanian community in the diaspora! And even those who are not entirely convinced of the danger such propaganda presents are still insulted and offended enough by the lies that they too are saying "MJAFT!" (ENOUGH!) And that's why this blog is here. To stand up to the lies, the half-truths, and the hate-mongering against one of Europe's oldest and noblest peoples. To give "The Other Side of the Story".
It should be said, though, before going any further, that there are some things this blogsite is NOT:
It is NOT a site that will defend Albanians who are truly in the wrong, or have done something provably wrong. The Albanian people have a very high code of conduct they subscribe to, one that is summed up by the concept of "BESA", the unbreakable promise. However, believe it or not, for all that, Albanians are still people, with all the same flaws and foibles as any other group of human beings. And they too have their share of "bad apples". Those "bad apples" we have no interest in defending, and indeed if their misdeeds can be proven beyond the shadow of a doubt, we will be the first to condemn them.
It is also NOT a "______ bashing" (again, fill in the blank: Serbian, Greek, Russian, Macedonian, etc.) blogsite. The slander of a whole people is repugnant and racist, no matter who they might be, and will not be tolerated here. That being said though, we do not have any compunctions of challenging the haters out there when they put forth lies like, for example, "Albanians are a bunch of savage, tribalistic, Nazi-Loving, Taliban-Sympathising goons, while Serbs are a tolerant, peace-loving, semitophilic, godly, Christian folk, right down to the last man, woman, and child." We would not consdier it "bashing" to challenge such propaganda by say, posting evidence of the existance of the Nazi-sympathising Serbian political movement Zbor in the 30's, or the existance of concentration camps within Serbia during WWII, partially staffed by Serbs, or the modern Skinhead movement in Serbia today. This would be, in our opinion, simply presenting a counter-claim to a claim we consider demonstrably false-not slandering a whole people, as the albanophobes do.
So now you know what this blogsite is, and what it is not. We hope you will join us here frequently, as we expect to have new posts on a regular basis. And if you are an Albanian, or friend of the Albanian community, and have a knack for writing and dilligent research, we would ask you to consider becoming a contributor to this blog. The only things we ask of you if you are considering doing so are: That you have good english skills, that you be willing to commit to contributing on at least a semi-regular basis, and that you be someone who does not resort to the tactics of our opposition, but writes dispassionately, and with reliable facts and sources to back you up.
I guess that's about it for this post, folks. Before I close it, I would leave you with two sayings that I think are good to keep in mind. The first is from the author of the US declaration of independence, Thomas Jefferson: "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance". The second is from the American baseball great, Yogi Berra: "It ain't over until it's over!"