In her recent (14 October) POSt entitled "As my Source on this called it: Sick Bastard!", La Julia takes as her source (and needless to say both perverts it, by giving only the parts of it she evidently deems "pertinent", as well as adding her own snarky commentary) a State Department Daily Press Briefing from 12 October of this year. She makes a parenthetical comment before "reproducing" the text of the briefing, in which she says about the reporter asking the questions,
"Mr. Lambros is Lambros Papantoniou, a Greek journalist and naturally therefore the only reporter to recognize the critical effect that Kosovo will have on every region of the world — and therefore the only reporter to ask about it."
Now a quick Googling of Lambros Papantoniou shows that he's a journalist for the Greek daily Eleftheros Typos. Now Eleftheros Typos, at least according to Wikipedia, is a Left-of-Center newspaper which, among other things, "is characterized by a pro-European Union approach to foreign policy". Well, that may be the case, but if so, the viewpoint Mr. Papantoniou seems to represent in many of his press conference questions, both on this instance, and on many others, is far from "pro-European Union", at least as far as I understand the concept. One interesting comment on "Mr. Lambros" I found in that websearch came from a Greek web board, Hellenic Forums Omogenia, where in the poster states that he evidently knows him personally and that "He is constantly doing his best for the Macedonian and Northern Epirus Issues" Well, given the nature of the web board in question, and the site it's a part of, I guess we now know just how "objective" a reporter "Mr. Lambros" is! And of course, in that case, La Julia's comment about him makes perfect sense; for after all, according to her and those like her, only the Greeks (including, of course, "Mr. Lambros") and Serbs know what's REALLY going on with that race of barbaric, tribalistic, blood-feudin', Islamofascistic little tire-biters that live in between the two of them, right?
In any case, continuing on to the actual press briefing....
Daily Press Briefing
Tom Casey, Deputy Spokesman
October 12, 2007
MR. CASEY: Okay, Mr. Lambros, on Kosovo.
QUESTION: On Kosovo. The Albanian Government has decided to give Albanian citizenship to all Kosovars. What is the U.S. position since this move is a big step for the creation of “great Albania.”MR. CASEY: Mr. Lambros, I’m not aware of what the Albanian Government may or may not have — have chosen to do. Certainly each country is entitled to determine who is or isn’t entitled to citizenship under their own appropriate laws and regulations. But the important issue for us, of course, with Kosovo is that we continue to work through the Contact Group and the troika on discussions between the Government of Serbia and the Kosovars on an equitable solution that’s agreeable to all sides to the situation there.
Certainly, as we’ve said, if by the end of the established negotiating period in December the parties have not been able to come to an agreement, what we expect would happen would be a decision to move forward with supervised independence for Kosovo that is in keeping with the outlines of the Ahtisaari plan. I am not aware of anyone in this country or anyplace else that believes that independence for Kosovo would somehow result in or would lead to some kind of greater Albanian state.
[Insert laugh track here.]
Now another Googling, this time of "The Albanian Government has decided to give Albanian citizenship to all Kosovars" (which is exactly what I typed in for my search) gave me only one real "hit": The blog of an independent "analyist" of Greek-Albanian relations named Stavros Markos. And his source? Why of course, that same press conference attended by our friend Mr Lambros! (Could he be the "source" our Julia mentions?) Now, something as momentous as one country extending citizenship to the citizens of another en masse I would think would be something of major import-something that would be reported in newspapers and television around the world, so huge would be it's unprecidentedness. But nooooo....just Mr. Lambros' assertion is all we have to say "it's so". (Unfortunately, Tom Casey, the State Department spokesperson, does manage to actually make Mr. Lambros look half-way credible by his rather stumbling answer on the subject, but I chalk that up to the fact that: A., Lambros, from all evidence, is just making the whole thing up; and B., that Casey is basically a minor press official, and probably can't be fairly expected to know the answer to every question every Tom, Dick, and Harry journalist may ask-especially if said question is a "red herring".) Also, note the snarky "script direction" added by La Julia, obviously for "comic effect". Anyway, continuing on....
QUESTION: (Inaudible) FYROM [Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia] Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski and the Albanian leader of FYROM Ali Ahmeti declared the other day the unification, “great Albania” all the Albanians in FYROM. Any comment?
MR. CASEY: No.
[Insert laugh track.]
Well, of course we couldn't get away without some more "snark" from our favorite "D list" commedienne (and I ain't talkin' Kathy Griffin here), could we? But again, let's hit Google and see what we get for any such statement from Messers Georgievski and Ahmeti, shall we? Pasting the direct quote from Mr. Lambros (minus quotation marks around "great Albania") gave us this. Now sometimes, admittedly, Google gives better results if you simplify your search, so in light of this, I tried this instead. Did anybody find anything (other than again just Mr. Lambros' assertions of this "fact")? Anybody? (Buehler? Buehler? Has anybody seen Buehler?) Of course, in this case, it's not surprising that Mr. Casey hasn't heard of it, since Mr. Lambros is evidently the only person aware of this supposed "public" declaration.
QUESTION: Because that contradicts whatever you are doing in order to find a solution (inaudible) –
[Insert applause break.]
MR. CASEY: Mr. Lambros, you’re — I think you’ve exceeded your quota for today.
In addition to seeing more evidence of why La Julia is one of the top comics in the country today, a veritable household name (not), we note that Mr. Casey had understandibly had just about enough of Mr. Lambros by that time. (NB: This group of "questions" was not the only one he asked during the press conference.)
At this point, La Julia goes from mere "snark" mode into full-blown commentary mode, but knowing her, that's not surprising. "But not Serbia! That doesn’t count as a state."? Wow, can you say "paranoid jumping on a press secretary's comment just because he doesn't mention your favorite cause celebre country"? He forgot Montenegro too-how come you didn't mention that as well? "We were TOTALLY duped into taking the wrong side…what are we supposed to do — admit it?!"? No Julia, unlike in Croatia and Bosnia, we actually did the right thing for a change. But then again, I keep forgetting....there was never any "ethnic cleansing" of Albanians in Kosova, right? After all, you say so. (Or is it that there was, but hey, it was only because they were fighting their enemies, and the only people they declare as enemies are our enemies and the whole rest of the free world's enemies. After all, you say so.) "Except rational thinkers and every country with minorities eager to rip a piece off for themselves, such as Russia, India, China, most of Africa, half of Latin America, the rest of the Balkans and a whole lot of Europe." No, sweetie....the only people who think that are irrational idealogues who wouldn't know what to do with themselves unless they had some good old fashioned fear and hate to "monger".
But look, we support the territorial integrity of the states in the region, of Albania, of Macedonia, Greece, the other players. [But not Serbia! That doesn’t count as a state.] Kosovo, as you know, is a unique circumstance. [Because we say so!] It’s a unique circumstance because of the way the conflict occurred. [We were TOTALLY duped into taking the wrong side…what are we supposed to do — admit it?!] It’s a unique circumstance because of the current status of it, which falls under the outlines of UN Security Council Resolution 1244. No one views Kosovo and its probable independence as a precedent for any other conflicts. [Except rational thinkers and every country with minorities eager to rip a piece off for themselves, such as Russia, India, China, most of Africa, half of Latin America, the rest of the Balkans and a whole lot of Europe.] We certainly are not trying to reopen discussions that I think most of us believe were long settled over other borders.
Lastly, if you want to see for yourself about "Mr. Lambros" and where he's coming from, the whole of the press conference is posted here, and the video of same can be found here.
But all this still leaves one question unanswered: Who is the "Sick Bastard" of La Julia's POSt title? Couldn't be Mr. Casey, he's just a government spokesperson. And of course, it just couldn't be Mr. Lambros, could it? Messers Georgievski or Ahmeti? Sali Berisha? Who, exactly? (Of course, it would be nice to know who this evidently "super secret source" La Julia got the tip on the "information"-or more accurately, disinformation-from is to begin with.) Well, I don't know who the "Sick Bastard" was, but I sure know who the "Sick Bitch" is!