Saturday, May 24, 2008

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary....

The other day, while making my periodic check of the different "Haters" websites, I decided to pay serbianna.com a visit, mainly to see what that "world-renown historian" Carl Kosta Savich had to say lately, or maybe the latest Albanophobic rantings of the head-honcho of the outfit, "Mickey" Bozinovich.

Well, nothing new from the arsenic-tipped pens of those two unworthies since the last time I visited, back in April, but there was something new there: They had just added so-called "policy analyist" Mary Mostert to their blogroll.

So just who is Mary Mostert? Well, if you notice, her lovely pic is prominently featured on our "Haters Wall of Shame". But other than letting you know what she looks like, that doesn't do much for telling you who or what she is. This is what her bio (I assume written by her) from her website, Banner of Liberty (it's slogan being "truth, honor, courage, freedom, morality, justice"-all good things to be in favor of to be sure, but also things that make me a bit leary when I see them worn on the sleeve in quite that fashion....) says:

"At age 13 Mary Mostert memorized the Declaration of Independence and was involved in politics before she was old enough to vote. In fact, she was writing articles for The Nation Magazine at the age of 19. As a teenager she organized one of the first interracial youth groups in Memphis, Tennessee, in the 1940s, and was involved nationally and internationally in the civil rights and peace movements.

As executive director of the Independent Political forum, she was one of 52 American women who met hundreds of women from other nations in Geneva, Switzerland, to petition delegates at the 1962 Disarmament Conference to sign the first Nuclear Test-ban treaty. While opposed by the executive and legislative branches, the small ad hoc “Mothers’ Lobby” helped change opinion. Some six months later the Senate signed the treaty, and after the group picketed the White House, President John F. Kennedy signed it.

In the 1960s Mary was one of the first female political commentator published in a major metropolitan newspaper, and served on redevelopment boards in the inner city of Rochester NY. She also ran a construction company, won architectural awards for restoration of historic buildings, and by 1970 had concluded that the War on Poverty programs were doing irreparable harm to the Black families they were meant to assist.

Mary ran unsuccessfully for the New York State Senate in 1972, and has managed campaigns for candidates in New York and California. In the early 1990s Mary met with most of the women leaders of South Africa while secretary of “Positive Action NOW!” – a national women’s group seeking to reduce the threat of civil war among the nation’s various racial, religious and political groups. Mary met President F.W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela, as well as most of the leaders of the nation’s 22 political parties who were writing the new South African Constitution, and provided each leader with a “constitution packet” which included a video about writing the U.S. Constitution, “A More Perfect Union”, a copy of our constitution and related material and at a meeting of 1700 ministers in South Africa Mary pointed out that the resolution on religion they were discussing for the new Constitution identified Government, not God, as the source of human rights. At the insistence of black ministers, the resolution was rewritten during the night and adopted the following morning.

Mary created the ‘Michael Reagan’s Information Interchange’ on the internet, and from 1994-2001, edited the Reagan Monitor, a monthly newsletter for former President Ronald Reagan's talk show host son, Michael. The newsletter dealt with key political and national issues. Her first book, Coming Home – Families Can Stop the Unraveling of America, was published in 1996 by Gold Leaf Press. During the 1998 Congressional campaigns, she launched a website to help voters access state and federal candidates websites, allowing voters to compare their stands on issues. Mary’s website, www.bannerofliberty.com, has expanded to provide links to numerous information sources, and her weekly news analyses are published on many websites."

Now at first, her credentials, at least as far as social-political activism go, seem pretty impressive. After all, it's hard to beat forming an interracial student group in the "Jim Crow" south, protesting for a nuclear-test ban at the White House, and meeting with both F. W. DeKlerk and Nelson Mandela. However, when I looked up the group she was supposedly secretary for, "Positive Action NOW!", the only evidence I could find for it's existence was on her website, or on websites that publish her opinon pieces and/or her bio from her website. Not saying that that means the group never existed, of course, but surely something to make one go "hmmmm".... (And not just about that, but by extension of reason, her other claims as well.) And you'll note not one thing in her bio that implies credentials as a reliable policy analyist (of course these days, I'm becoming more and more convinced that "policy analyist" in many cases means nothing more than "loudmouth with a website/blog").

However, assuming for the sake of argument that they're all true as written, one must wonder where on earth the turn came in her heart and/or mind that lead her to so easily become racist in her sentiments? Racist? Well, judge for yourself from this little gem posted by her back in April, 1999. She makes Julia Gorin look positively Albanophillic by comparison, and her open suggestions go beyond even the insane rantings of Svetlana Novko. Here's an example of the "choicer" stuff she had to say:

"However, my daughter Gail who has lived in Germany and traveled extensively in Europe and in Yugoslavia thinks the problem is simply that no one in Europe wants the Albanians in their country and NATO and the European Union plan to MAKE the Serbs take them. Why? Well, the Germans, Croats, Slovenes and other axis nations of World War II hate the fact that only the Serbs had the guts to stand up to Adolf Hitler. They all hate the Albanians and think they might assuage their guilt for being weak while getting back at the Serbs for their valor if they force the Serbs to take on the Albanians so none of them come into THEIR countries. I thought she was wrong about that, until I tracked down all the population figures and then heard what General Odom said on the Rivera show."
One can only shake one's head at the obvious tendency to disconnect from reality that must run through the woman's family, starting with the fact that she considers her daughter a reliable authority on and judge of European inter-ethnic relations, and running to the notion that the European nations who supported the NATO action in the former Yugoslavia did so out of some ridiculous mix of Archie Bunker-esque hatred of the Albanians as a people and a Freudian hatred of the Serbs for being oh-so-much-more valorous than they in WWII!

And topping it all, get a load of her version of Swift's "Modest Proposal":

"My suggestion is to declare the entire country of Albania a redevelopment area and promise everyone of them a house and plot of land of their own and an annual stipend of, say, $10,000 a year income for doing absolutely nothing if they will only stay in Albania. There appears to be about 4.5 million of them and my program would only cost $45 billion a year. Or, perhaps we could buy a piece of land in Australia or Brazil and bribe the Albanians to move there."
Now some might say that she is simply being satirical, in the same way Swift was (or Ann Coulter is, as some of her proponents claim-and which I ain't buying), but given the overall tenor of her piece, I sure don't get that impression (and even if it were so, I'll just say she has a long way to go before ever even holding a candle to the legendary Mr. Swift). She may be couching her sentiments in satire, but the general intent speaks loudly and clearly through that thin veneer. And all this is in addition to her faulty logic and byzantine figure twisting that she uses in the piece as well.

Moving on a few years, we see that neither her opinions nor her modus operandi have changed. In 2006 she engaged in a series of "dialogues" with an Albanian from the UK, Genci Sala. (N.B. I did a brief post on Genci here on the blog back last August.) Despite Genci being a Evangelical Christian and a political conservative, because he sarcastically introduced himself (and in a way anyone with half a brain or half an open mind could tell was sarcasm) as an "Albanian Islamic Terrorist", Mostert grabbed on to that and for several of their exchanges which she posted on both her own website (for some mysterious reason most of them are no longer accessable), and in her commentary on the Renew America website, referred to him with a straight face as such, until he quite pointedly stated his actual religious persuasion.

And even now, her obvious hatred for the Albanians as a people (despite her occasional toning down of rhetoric when exchanging e-mails with those who dare question her) continues in a most welcoming forum, Serbianna. Some examples of the latest wit and wisdom of Mary Mostert when it comes to Albanians? Here ya go:

History proves that Albanians simply don't recognize the rights and freedoms of others. In fact, when Albania declared itself an "atheist state" in 1967, all churches and other buildings owned by religious groups were closed down.


Of course, never mind the fact that those Churches and "other buildings" (um, I think they're called "Mosques") were pastored over by Albanians and worshiped in by Albanians, not by "religious groups". (Mostert implying in a roundabout way that the Albanians themselves had nothing to do with them for the most part, other than to ban them and shut them down.) And then there's this "gem":

The Kosovo Albanians waving an Albania flag is exactly comparable to illegal alien high school students in California ripping down the US flag and raising the flag of Mexico at their school. They justify their behavior by claiming that California is really a part of Mexico. In Kosovo, Albanians that have flooded across the open borders between Kosovo and Albania are now claiming that Kosovo is really part of Albania.


Naturally, Mostert, like most Albanophobes, either chooses not to recognise or fails to recognise because of the cultural paradigms they're accustomed to, the fact that the Albanian flag is a symbol of the Albanian people where ever they may live, not just the official symbol of the internationally recognised state of Albania. And of course she neglects (mainly because she does not believe it to begin with) that a goodly part of the reason Albanians in Kosova eventually came to demand that it be a separate state from Serbia was because they came to realise that it was the only way to end the periodic harrasment and nearly continual apartheid imposed on it by Belgrade. And her use of the tired old "California-Mexico/Kosova-Albania argument falls apart because most Mexican-Americans are quite content and in fact more often than not quite proud to be Americans (with the exception of the miniscule but loudmouthed minority involved in the so-called "Aztalan" movement) and aren't clamoring for a return to rule under Mexico precisely because America isn't harrassing them and doesn't treat them like 3rd class citizens anymore, and because (the occasional rare exception notwithstanding) they are treated the same as any other American not only by our country itself, but by the vast majority of it's citizens.

Does Mostert have the same influence as say, a Julia Gorin? Not really. But I have never held to the idea that relative influence/power should determine who we (the Albanian community, it's friends, and it's supporters) should be keeping an eye on. As I've said more than once on this blog, the Nazi party started out as a group of six disgruntled German WWI vets meeting in a bar.

4 comments:

Vincent said...

Nice to see you are back.
A new friend of Kosova for your list is at Café Turco :

http://cafeturco.wordpress.com/2008/05/08/
(H/T M. A. Hoare http://greatersurbiton.wordpress.com/)

Vincent said...

Nice to see you are back.
A new friend of Kosova for your list is at Café Turco :

http://cafeturco.wordpress.com/2008/05/08/
(H/T M. A. Hoare http://greatersurbiton.wordpress.com/)

Mario Grubesic said...

Hey, here is more info about Svetlana Novko, anti-Albanan Srebrenica genocide denier:

http://svetlana-novko.blogspot.com/

Vincent Jappi said...

The Helsinki Committee for human rights in Serbia has just published its report for the year 2007

http://www.helsinki.org.yu/infocus_t02.html
SELF-ISOLATION: REALITY AND THE GOAL
Serbia 2007

Acrobat PDF (3.99mb) >>>


YET ANOTER WASTED YEAR - Helsinki Committee's Annual Report for 2007 -

The nature of political changes in Serbia in October 2000 and later, in December 2003 (after the assassination of Premier Zoran Djindjic), could not have secured a consensus on the basis tenets of the modern world, human rights included, that should make the foundation of the Serbian society.
This is reflected in public discourse and predominant arguments about "threatened Serbhood" and a "world conspiracy" against the Serbs because of their dedication to justice.
In this context, denial of any responsibility for crimes and massive violation of human rights is nothing but a natural outcome Serbian elites' strategy for preventing a social dialogue on the recent past, says the 2007 annual report by the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia.
By accepting (though unwillingly and incompletely) international law - that will significantly motivate the protection of human rights in the long run - Serbia got a legal framework necessary for the advocacy of the human rights idea.
Yet, Serbia has failed to fully cooperate with the Hague Tribunal in 2007, like in preceding years. Moreover, cooperation almost came to a standstill, while the extradition of Ratko Mladic and other three fugitives was taken off the public agenda. Speculation in the media about Ratko Mladic's whereabouts and former Prosecutor Carla del Ponte's blind belief in the possibility to convince the Serbian Premier to extradite Mladic have trivialized and marginalized this crucial topic.

According to the 2007 report, in the shade of the Kosovo status settlement, conformity and national homogenization, uniform values, and the identification of the nation and religious allegiance are being advocated through the media and from the parliamentary rostrum. In parallel with the rhetorical defense of Kosovo, the media blame "domestic traitors" for the overall situation and the loss of Kosovo, thus turning them into scapegoats.

In its latest annual report titled "Serbia in 2007 - Self-Isolation: Reality and Goal" the Helsinki Committee underscores that the year 2007 was yet another wasted year for Serbia in the search for an identity and a vision.
For, nationalism has remained its predominant political option without a credible alternative. The Serbian political class and elites have not given up territorial pretensions even though the settlement of the Kosovo status had marked the final stage of ex-Yugoslavia's disintegration.
Serbia has been unable to become a functional and modern state, since the national issue (territorial expansion) has always been prioritized at the detriment of civic values, citizens' sovereignty and participative democracy.

On over 500 pages, the Committee's report for the year 2007 broaches the topics grouped in the following chapters:

"Elite and Alternative," "Socioeconomic Processes," "Transformation of State Power Structures," "Religious Communities," "Constitutional and Legal Framework," "Regional Challenges," "Education," "The Media Scene," "National Minorities," "Serbia and the Hague Tribunal," "Redefining Foreign Policy Course," "Kosovo's Independence" and "Serbia and Neighbors."

Looking back at the year 2007, the Helsinki Committee emphasizes that statements that Serbia can only be a partner of the EU "as a whole" put into question its commitment to European integration. Accusations against the US and NATO of plotting Serbia's disintegration and creating "a false state," resistance to the EU mission in Kosovo, the withdrawal of ambassadors from the states that have recognized Kosovo, praise for the police after the scandalous rally in Belgrade and failure to strongly condemn the violence and looting have led to a dangerous polarization of society and cannot but make minority communities and liberal citizens feel uneasy.

In the Helsinki Committee's view, the new government should, therefore:

- Resume the level of diplomatic relations with the world that used to be in place before Kosovo's independence declaration;

- As soon as possible stabilize the political climate so as to restore trust of foreign investors and banks;

- Immediately resume SAA negotiations with the EU so as to open access to the EU funds necessary for the country's economic and social renewal;

- Finalize the privatization of public companies as soon as possible;

- Pursue policies that motivate small and medium-size enterprises;

- Fully cooperate with the ICTY and extradite all the indictees hiding in Serbia;

- Reform the educational system in accordance with the Bologna Declaration and the spirit of the times - this is imperative for building human resources for structural changes in the society and economy;

- Create a positive climate for opening of a social debate about Milosevic's legacy so as to take stock of the two-decade failed policy and create conditions for the discussion of alternative options for Serbia's future;

- Curb the unchecked dominance of political parties and enable a professionalization of the state administration and all governmental agencies and institutions;

- Create an atmosphere propitious to the concept of human rights and develop a policy of equal opportunities for minorities' inclusion into political, social and economic life;

- Secure sensibility of governmental agencies for socially vulnerable groups of population such as children, elderly people, persons with disabilities, etc.

The 2007 annual report, circulated both in Serbian and English, was published thanks to the assistance of the Swedish Helsinki Committee for Human Rights. The report is available at www.helsinki.org.yu .
Hard copies can be obtained at the Committee's office - Rige od Fere St. # 20/V.


Belgrade, June 2, 2007