Thursday, February 28, 2008
The Harry Tapes

The stacks of tapes arrived on my desk with a thud.
That was way back in December when the British Ministry of Defence requested that we agree to an embargo. We, along with other broadcasters and newspapers, were asked not to report that Prince Harry was in Afghanistan until he came home in April. Television cameras were given unprecedented access to the prince fighting a war on the battlefield which we could run when the embargo was lifted.

The tapes came in and I reviewed them, hour after hour of Prince Harry in Taliban territory. I was absolutely glued to the pictures of Prince Harry taking on the Taliban, on patrol in Afghan villages, and calling in air strikes when he needed to. Prince Harry was honest to a fault during his interviews saying he didn’t miss booze, he laughed when his fellow soldiers called him the ‘bullet magnet’ (but not too hard) and he was basking in the anonymity that perhaps only a place like Afghanistan can afford him.

I was the first to tell my managers this would never work; surely someone would break the news blackout within days. I was dead wrong.

After watching hours of footage of Prince Harry, what impressed me most was the risk ‘Queen and country’ were willing to take with an heir. There is no question the royal family and the British government knew this would be an unprecedented piece of good PR if they could pull it off. And yet, call me naïve; I still refuse to believe a grandmother would send her grandson to war for the sake of a few good headlines.

No matter what you think of the British royal family or the war in Afghanistan it is hard to argue this was a shrewd, gutsy move. And every frame of video told me this was history in the making.
By CNN's International Security Correspondent Paula Newton
Prince Harry may yet fulfill his desire to serve in a war zone in Afghanistan rather than Iraq.

Last month, military chiefs decided almost at the last minute that Harry, third in line to the throne, could not go to Iraq with his regiment, the Blues and Royals. The Army Chief of Staff, General Sir Richard Dannatt, said the prince had been the target of specific threats, exposing "not only him, but also those around him, to a degree of risk that I now deem unacceptable".

Harry, 23, has been deployed in the restive Helmand province for 10 weeks, where most of the 7,800 British troops in Afghanistan are based, according to the military’s statement.

Harry graduated from Sandhurst military academy in 2006 and trained as a tank commander. After the decision not to send him to Iraq, he retrained as a battlefield air controller, the job he has been filling in Afghanistan.

Go home kid you are already part of history books written on Afganistan
I think it is admirable that Prince Harry would choose to serve his country in either Iraq or Afghanistan. I don't believe it was or is a PR stunt, actual combat is not a joke. I know, I've been there in Vietnam. Certainly special security and news blackouts are warrented and necessary in his case. The fact he went willingly and sereved honorably speaks volumes about him personally, and the Royal Family in general. I salute you all.
It was the duty of the reporter to report the events. This has been horribly subverted. I wondered for a long time if we had a free press, this proves we don't.
Since the news broke of the prince serving in Iraq, the tv and interenet have been bombarded with pictures of him in fatigues, sympathy for his story becoming public, and admiration for his "bravery".

All of the hype is complete nonsense. Once again, this is nothing but a privelaged child being catered to. He has exposed his peers to increased risk of harm and wasted valuable resources (e.g. time and money) to keep his whereabouts secret - all so that he can feel satisfied that he "fought" for his country.

There are people serving who have left their families to protect their countries without the protection of Her Majesty. Those are the ones that deserve our praise, admiration and resources.
Perhaps Harry will have to go to the psychologist, after his experience in Afghanistan,due the hard reality he could get there.How can he deal now, after seeing extreme poverty, in oppossite with his own extreme wealth? Harry, now you can say:Welcome to the real world!
I cannot believe the Drudge Report would stoop to such low tactics and leak this information. This young man is serving his country and he WANTS to do this. How many young men want to do anything patriotic anymore? The reporter and all the editors of this publication should be rounded up and shot at sunrise!
I'm very proud of the prince for serving his country in such a dangerous position. It gives me hope to see that he doesn't shirk from danger despite his position or royal status. That doesn't happen here in the US. Other than the admirable service of the children of Sen. McCain and Webb, it's the everyday people who bear the brunt of this war.
Harry has proven himself a "Prince of the People". The Royal family has shown itself in tune with the families of the West....fighting terrorism with one of its own ...and setting an example of which we are proud. This must have been a mind-alterning experience for Harry...just as it is for all our brave soldiers.

The blog accounts claiming publicity tricks, etc. are just ridiculous! These writers should leave the safety and comfort of their desks and TRY to do what Harry and his regiment have done and are doing.
I am proud of Prince Harry's involvement in the war torn country of Afganistan.

I expect Prince Harry's newly aquired knowledge and experience in war affirms a renewed understanding of the potential influence of Islam in the UK" Prince hath thine eyes been opened".

Praise God divine providence has kept Prince Harry safe!
hey yo prince harry is pulling off some risky stunts. but i will say that he has some guts, i myself was thinking about going into the armed forces but was forbidden by my parents whenever i asked them about it.
Considering the causes of the wars and the truth about 9/11 it pretty much amounts to Harry using whatever comes into the viewfinder for target practice just like his daddy used to hunt big game in Africa.

There's no heroism here, just another pretentious photo-op of a prancing fool surrounded by an entire unit of body guards.

Meanwhile Gaza goes up in flames because psychopaths rule this world. Judgment is coming and all of the posturing elite will have their day. As it has been said, "the wheels of justice grind slow but they grind exceedingly small."
Just a another day on Kosovo:

I do not know how to start this story because I feel so sad from what I saw .

I visited Urosevac day before yesterday guiding two foreigners , one American and one Norvegian. Their duty is to watch human rights in occupied Kosovo .They wanted to check them self about what I told them regarding situation in our hometown Urosevac .

They picked me up in Kosovska Mitrovica and took me to Urosevac.
On our way to Urosevac we passed first by the village Babusha where my grand father was buried 22 years ago .
We went to the cemetery which gave us a horrible picture.
All tombstones are destroyed and cemetery is literary flattened with the ground.
Grandfathers beautiful tombstone is destroyed into small pieces.
Grass is burned and it is dangerous to enter cemetery because of possible mines set for ones who would intent to fix something or visit .
Later , we continued towards the city . We entered the city passing pipe factory and came to the main street beside the stadium and Serbian cemetery. There is one more school where it use to be food industry school.
Everywhere one could see US , NATO . EU and Albanian flags with panels stating
urime paversia, what means happy independence!!??

At the school of economics was huge American flag and at the school Peko Tepavcevic
Large Albanian flag.
All Serbian houses in the main street are destroyed or remodeled into something else. Instead of Serbian homes , there are now big buildings , cafes , restaurants ….

All those beautiful Serbian front yards disappeared ….city looks horrible.

Our martyr Church is still in the center of the town …forwardly resisting …inspite of visible signs of burning and explosions .
Albanian terrorists tried three times to destroy the church since 1999. Inside the Church all icons are destroyed or burned beside two of them . Guess which ones ?
Saint John and Saint Urosh …two saints to which the Church is devoted .
Miraculosly…they did not burn …and they look like they are shining and sending the message of hope and fate that God did not live us alone.
If you ask me ,this is Miracle, because Albanians desecrated and burned everything else in the Church.
With mixed feelings of sadness because of the destruction and happiness because of Gods presence , we continued further towards the village Nerodimlje.
Village is completely destroyed and the complete forest above the village is stolen.
In the village center , where was a pine of the king Dusan 650 years old , are now just remnants after Albanians tried to cut it down and later , after they set an explosive to it .
Old church form 13th century is completely leveled with the ground and local Albanians are using that place for garbage disposal !?
It is impossible to find village cemetery…destroyed and leveled .
In the village center , an Albanian has built big fish restaurant by the river Nerodimka.
The oldest Serbian elementary school in Nerodimlje is empty and destroyed.

When we came back to town we visited two people in the Ivo Lola Ribar street, which use to be completely Serbian. Greek KFOR is protecting this two older people.
When they realized that I am Serb, they started crying.
Where are our Serbs martyrs, grandma asked..where is our Urosevac? ?
I have to stop now …I will write more later.



Story continues.

Well, grandma asked me „Where are you , our Serbs,our martyrs,where is our Urosevac?”
They both started crying which touched me deeply in my heart.They told us averithing that happened to them in last several years.They live like a prisoners in their own home.
They can’t leave their yard because of Albanian criminals targeting everything Serbian.
(I will avoid mentioning their names found in original message because of their own safety).
All Serbian houses in the street are burned down except neighboring house which is occupied by an Albanian from Koshare by Stimlje , illegally . No one is willing to get him out of somebody else’s property!?
From there , we went with Greek soldiers to the Greek camp, which is located about 5km from Urosevac on the road to Skopje.
In this camp we met two sisters Nikolic with their mother , who is from Slovenia.
Mother is 80 years old . Sani , older sister is 60 years old and she is an architect while younger Lili is 55 years old and chemical engineer but paralised from the birth.

Their story is horrible.
While I lived in Urosevac , I even did not know that they exist.
Their house was in the downtown, close to the market. It was facing main street(across Verona pica place with fountain)short before Goran’s place when you go towards downtown.
I did not know the house but they told me that there was large backyard of about ¾ an acre , beautiful garden, library of about 1800 books in five languages, icon of God’s Mother 450 years old which their mother brought from Slovenia.
When majority of the Serbs fled the city on June17 1999 they decided to stay, believing that nobody is going to make any problems for them. They never had any conflicts with anybody. They always lived privately and peacefully.
Albanians broke in their house several times, taking away all of their valuable belongings including the books !!?? Why do Albanians need the books ?
When Albanians broke into their house in July1999 and found them there, they got mad.
Their mother was heavily beaten and injured. Santipa , older sister was all black from the beating. The most horrible part of it was beating of the younger and paralyzed Lili , which had three broken ribs ,chest bone and lower jaw.
Greek KFOR soldiers that were passing by the house saved them from possible death.
From that time KFOR built bunker inside their back yard and house became center for the 25 remaining Serbs that decided to stay in Urosevac. All the meetings were held in that house.
Lili speaks English and it seemed to be a problem for „somebody” because she witnessed the truth about horrible suffering of the Serbs and non Albanians in Urosevac and surrounding area. They think that is the reason why, on march18. 2004 US KFOR forcibly took them out of the house, reportedly to save them from the Albanian mob that wanted to burn their house down.
While she was carried out the house, a rock came from the Albanien croud and broke Lili’s paralised leg . They took them to Greek military camp , where they were held for three days before Lili was allowed to be taken to the hospital for leg treatment.
Explanation was…to not get in conflict with Albanians!!??
As Nikolic family says, their home is burned to the ground. They did not have chance to take even one picture, which hurts them the most.
In their backyard , Albanians built three new houses completely illegally and inspite their desire to get back to thteir place, they are still in the Greek KFOR camp.
Nobody in Albanian „governed” city thinks about taking down illegal objects on somebody else’s property and three of them have no one to help. Their old mother is currently under the great stress and crying all the time, knowing that her native country, Slovenia is supporting Kosovo’s independence.
July, an American who was with us and was listening their story cried all the time.
I could not say anything because all that I heard affected me too much.

Looking at Lili, that innocent soul that never stud up from wheelchair and suffered so much …I realized that for a long time I did not see such a beautiful and spiritual face.

To me it was the face of an Angel.
I think the decision to send Harry to Afghanistan had more to do with his own desire to go there and eagerly use his training rather than being a PR move by the queen. Hooray for prince Harry for stepping out of the privileged, pampered lifestyle of British royalty and doing something challenging, helpful and risky in the real world. This will make him a better king if he ever gets to that position. But wouldn't it be better to have British leaders elected rather than appointed basically by entitlement? Britain calls itself a democracy but in fact it is a monarchy and a socialist state. Even their prime minister may not always be elected. Whomever is in line to succeed the queen should take the bold step of asking the electorate first if they want them to be king. Britain needs an internal, deep-seated shakeup and this would be the way to do it.
Were we to compare his service to that of the US president and vice president and their families, the US leadership would show up as craven cowards. Well, that's only fair.

I admire Harry for his choices and his actions.

It's too bad that England has this parasitic, obscene, obsolete social lass called royalty. A privileged class that has few obligations other than "Noblesse oblige". I suppose they once had a function, but today are as useless as a book at the Bush White House.

Despite his social class, Harry has outdone himself, and Brits should be proud. Now, if only he'd step down/abdicate his royal position, he'd show himself to be a great person.

Hey George Bush and Dick Cheney, are you listening?
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