20 December 2007

Why Kosovo? Because of Kosovo's Orthodox Legacy

Although Nebojsa Malic doesn't just come out and say it, the reason why Serbia is such a magnet for imperialistic imperatives is because of the legacy left it by the actions of Tsar Lazar in defense of the True Orthodox Faith. Kosovo is an epic battle, an Orthodox vs. the decadence of the World epic battle, and few Americans want to acknowledge this because they stubbornly believe the myth that the United States stands for all that is good. It does not, and it never has. It's most revered founders and leaders have all been freemasons and deists and this cannot ever be construed to be anything but to eventually set the United States up against the True Faith and against countries that support, practice and claim the True Faith as the True Salvific Path given to mankind by Our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Below is Mr. Malic's article. Please read it, read history with an Orthodox view, pray to God to illumine you....Supporting Serbia, would actually be good for the American Nation at this point---perhaps, like Ninevah God will spare us for our sins.


December 20, 2007
The Die is Cast Empire's Fate is Decided
by Nebojsa Malic
Another chapter of the Kosovo crisis was closed on December 19, when the UN Security Council accepted the report of the "troika" that negotiations between Serbia and the Albanian separatists in its occupied province of Kosovo had failed. As predicted, the U.S. and its EU allies moved to proceed along the lines of the Ahtisaari Plan, rejected earlier this year by both Belgrade and Moscow – in effect, trying to sneak "independence" for the province through the back door. Expectations in Washington, Brussels and other Western capitals are that Russia and Serbia will eventually accept the fait accompli. This belief is as dangerous as it is wrong, and portends a showdown in the near future that will decide matters far beyond the Balkans.
Perhaps the greatest irony in all of this is that it was completely unnecessary.
Self-Made Trap
The 1999 illegal war against Serbia was supposed to be the crowning achievement of NATO after 50 years of existence, and provide a new role for the organization as the enforcer of American imperial ambitions throughout the world. Instead, it exposed the underlying weakness of America's European satellites, and the limitations of Empire's air supremacy.
Each subsequent conflict weakened the Empire further, destroying both its military might and political authority. Worse yet, the trampling of Serbia finally jolted Russia out of its rut, bringing about a national revival. Instead of a powerful ally in the "War on Terror," the resurgent Russia became an enemy.
In 2005, following the debacle in Iraq and Afghanistan, Bush the Lesser adopted his predecessor's Balkans policy and decided to reassert Imperial power via Kosovo. The foreign policy establishment in Washington counted on the servility of Serbian authorities, installed in power with Washington's blessing and support. To their chagrin, Serbia refused to submit! Now the Empire was trapped, unable to dictate reality through diplomacy or force, but committed publicly to the Albanian separatist cause.
Turning Point
Throughout 2006, the defeats just kept on coming. At the end of the year, all of Empire's efforts in the Balkans and elsewhere had ended up frustrated. In the political chaos following Serbia's general elections, Washington sought to seize the prize, and its agent Martti Ahtisaari proposed his plan for the "final solution" of the Kosovo crisis. Once again, however, Belgrade refused to submit. A diplomatic offensive against Moscow failed utterly and completely. By April, Ahtisaari's plan was dead; by July, it was buried.
In desperation, the Empire tried subterfuge: sending the "troika" mission, which was supposed to negotiate for 120 days. If nothing happened by that point, the Empire and its European satellites argued, the Ahtisaari plan would automatically apply.
The talks failed, of course. Having nothing to gain, Albanian separatists simply ran out the clock. Yesterday at the UN, the Empire tried to argue for independence, trotting out all the worn-out propaganda, false arguments and bluster its envoys could muster. Serbia remained adamant, as did Russia: Kosovo's status cannot change without a new resolution, and it will not pass.
American and European diplomats have hinted that they would take matters into their own hands, using the EU and NATO to force the issue. This is a bluff. Moscow has made it abundantly clear that there is no legitimacy whatsoever for this sort of action in any UN or other international document, and it is no longer willing to stand idly by while the Empire conjures quasi-legal justifications for its illegal behavior.
Lapses of the Tongue and Mind
The newly designated "Prime Minister" of the separatist government, former KLA leader Hashim Thaci, made an interesting lapsus linguae at the UN, arguing that the Albanians had waited too long for their promised independence. "We wasted a hundred years," Thaci is quoted by the AP.
How strange. Didn't the Kosovo crisis begin with the evil Slobodan Milosevic's rise to power in 1987? The confused Western observers would not know that the Albanians have claimed Kosovo as their own since 1878. Serbia's claim on the territory, based on the 1913 Treaty of London, the Albanians call an "occupation," and the Nazi conquest of the territory in 1941 is termed the "first liberation of Kosova (sic)."
Meanwhile, in Serbia, as anti-Imperial sentiment is on the rise, the strongest pro-Imperial party may just have committed a major mistake. Chairman of the Serbian parliament, Oliver Dulic, has called for a presidential election on January 20, without consulting with Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica. This opened a rift between Kostunica and president Tadic (leader of the Democratic Party, which Dulic represents).
Many reliable analysts in Serbia now predict that Kostunica will not support Tadic in the election, but instead throw his support behind the Radical candidate Tomislav Nikolic – especially considering that the semi-official line in the West is that Tadic's victory would ensure Belgrade's compliance when the Albanian separatists declare independence in February 2008. Nikolic absolutely rejects Serbian recognition of an independent Kosovo, and openly advocates Russian military presence in Serbia.
Why should the Empire care who governs in Belgrade? Imperial officials have frequently and publicly stated that Serbia had no say in the future of Kosovo. And yet, if that were truly the case, why all the efforts to get Belgrade's blessing – including this week's offer by EU leaders to speed up Serbia's EU application in return for giving up Kosovo? Even the Tadic loyalist and Empire-inclined foreign minister Vuk Jeremic called this an "indecent proposal," and rightly so.
Behind Empire's bluster and belligerence is desperation, and a growing awareness that their Kosovo gambit will not lead to an easy victory and popularity points in the Islamic world and at home. Despite the regular pronouncements in the media, Kosovo's independence is neither inevitable nor imminent. If it were, the Empire would have made it so by now.
This isn't 1999 any more; the Empire has very little authority in the world, and nowhere near as much power. That is why it needs legitimacy – and the only way it can legitimize the land grab is through Serbia's agreement. Belgrade isn't giving it, but the Empire and the advocates of "Kosova" believe it will. They are mistaken.
Against the Tide
Intervention in the Balkans helped bring about the American Empire more so than the 1991 Gulf War, which was fought under UN rules. The 1995 intervention in Bosnia and Croatia trampled all over UN rules and international law, but the rest of the world went along because it stopped the bloodshed. By 1999, however, it was obvious that the global hegemon was anything but benevolent.
When Otto von Bismarck called the Congress of Berlin in 1878, he hoped it would resolve the Balkans crisis. It ended up destroying his alliance with Russia, and setting the stage for the Great War in 1914. Austria started that war hoping to crush the pesky little Serbia and establish hegemony in the Balkans. Serbia survived, if just barely. Austria-Hungary did not.
What is it about this corner of Europe that keeps drawing the powers of this earth to contest their will therein? It has little strategic importance, no exceptional natural resources, and a difficult geography. Yet it remains a battlefield of ideas, armies and politics, the Tolkinesque Emyn Dagor whereupon many empires have left their bones over the centuries.
Kosovo may well be the great battle of our time. If so, its outcome has already been decided, and the American Empire will be the most recent addition to the Balkans graveyard. Of course, those leading the Empire are still convinced – and telling their people – of their imminent and inevitable triumph. The tide has turned against them a while ago, though; perhaps as early as March 24, 1999, when the first bomb dropped on Serbia and set in motion the chain of events that would propel Vladimir Putin to power.

10 December 2007

Make Your Voice Count Today For Kosovo-Metohija

Today is a significant day in the history of Orthodox Christendom. We who are American Orthodox Christians, must shed our will ful ignorance of our countries misdeeds against our brethren.

We must ask how do we justify that our nation for the last 70 years have stood by while Orthodox Christians were being massacred, slaughtered, imprisoned and experimented on because they were Orthodox Christians. We must ask ourselves this as we learn that while the Turks and Muslims were slaughtering Orthodox Christians in Greece, in the Balkans, and while the Bolsheviks were slaughtering Orthodox Christians in Russia, while Stalin and the Nazis killed Christians and Jews in during WWII, while Muslims and Nazi's along with Roman Catholics, killed and massacred, yes, martyred Orthodox brethren in the Balkans we, the United States Government stood by and watched, and lifted nary a finger to help those who we professed a Christian unity with in Faith and Creed. Surely this is not the actions of someone who is exhorted by their God, our God, to lay down our lives for our brethren?

Today these sobering thoughts have a immediancy, that will mark every one of us who hide behind United States innocence and professed goodwill, even in the face of the many atrocities that this nation has committed in the name of manifest destiny, now called by the State Department Transformational Diplomacy.

It will have an immediancy for every American Orthodox who choose to believe in the "prophecies" of such men as Hal Lindsey, rather than understand that we today undeservedly, have witnessed the miracle of Orthodox Rulers in the World, and these, the defenders of the True Faith deserve our support as Orthodox. We must remember that our true nation is not of this world, and we must support those people who support true decency in human nature which can only be realised by our Faith.

We must understand that our country the US is among those trying to establish one world rule, and is trying to do away with the concept of nation states, first established in 1648 in Westphalia and preserved in the the Helsinki Final Accord and even in the United Nations. Once this is dismantled, we will see an unprecedented disregard of the rights to decency as taught us by our True Faith. Free Will and the Right of Consciouness of Nation States will be compromised--the the beginning of that compromised will be looked at on this day, as the beginning of the end, for internationally civility as practised these few hundred years, and which established the great powers toward an understanding at least of the concept of the national integrity and the right of sovereign rulership. The events in Kosovo and the Amercian Orthodox response to it, will make an indelible mark on world events, that will exacerbate instability to unprecedented proportions.

Even though today talks have failed concerning the status of Kosovo, and this was inevitable, and really a victory for Serbia for not caving in and accepting secession of her hallowed lands, we American Orthodox need to wake up from the propaganda that maligns our brethren, that our brethren even thoses who are demoralized and weak and who even speak evil about themselves, and we need to rise up to the occasion and write our congressmen about this issue, saying that we oppose senate bill 135, we oppose any recognition of independence of Kosovo. We oppose giving to the invading forces, the Wahabi Muslims, the Albanians, the sacred Christian land of Kosovo-Metohija.

Today you can not pride yourself on being a good American, if you allow your Orthodox Brethren to fall at the hands of the American Government. You must speak up in defense or be mark indelibly for now on.

Please sign petition at http://thepetitionsite.com/petition/905791187

and write, call your representatives. We need American Names on the Petition. You have been silent too long. But it is not too late. Prayers without Action without synergy, how can you justify yourselves before God?

07 December 2007

We Must Fight For Serbia

December 06, 2007
„Before or after that is the question“?
During the negotiations „over future status of Kosovo and Metohia“, about this artificial created topic and by force imposed from side of world powers, because that status is well known to all , recognized and defined in many international law documents, conferences, charters, resolutions e ct., they have been heard many discrepancies. So, Problem of Kosovo and Metohia does not exist. That’s pseudo problem.Exists problem of Albanian (Shiptar) minority in Serbia, which truly should get their own solution on concepts of solving similar problems in all democratic countries in the world. No more, no less.
Our politicians and state top in Serbia, during last negotiations (and those in 2006. and this in 2007), more times they had announcement and statements for us, for citizens of this country , what are their intentions if the Albanian leaders from Kosovo and Metohia proclaim INDEPENDENCE OF KOSOVO . Those intentions, dressed in declarations and statements, are unlikely for one sovereign state. „We will not recognize“; „we will proclaim ineffectual “; „We will nullify the independence“; „we will fight with all legal and democratic instruments“; „We shall not send our army on Kosovo“ etc. All those and similar statements, encouragement, even – impel the Albanians to start with unilateral proclamations of Kosovo independence. It is obviously, that they have nothing to fear about. From state top places we hear often: „Serbia is not for the war“; „Serbia will not take place in war“. We agree that Serbia is not for war, but we have to say clearly that Serbia is for defense. And which other country shouldn’t be? In any case, anything we act „Day after“, will be fruitless, because that decision about independence of Kosovo will not be drown by the Shiptars nor from their mentors, who will recognize them immediately. Nobody and nowhere, unfortunately, have not told what Serbia should do„ Day before“of proclaims, as preventive, as serious warning or innuendo what could produce this decision. That will, maybe, prevent proclamations of such unilateral and irrational decision, such as the competence of some people to recognize and uphold that decision.
And what is that what Serbia as a state should and have to do (figuratively spoken) „Day before“. There are a lot of things, but let we speak truly:
- Close the borders (administrative) of Kosovo and Metohia from Side of Kosovo to Serbia for tree days (for travelers , merchandise etc.).
- Call „Observer Mission “ for members of Shanghai group of states (China , Russia, India, Pakistan...).
- Call on mobilization all military tributaries from Serbia (under form of checking of competence, education) on tree days. (Show to all whom Serbia have for defense ).
- to organize military practice in regions very close to Kosovo and Metohia, with assisting of some observers from coalitions of Shanghai .
- call for mass protests in Belgrade and in the other places in Serbia(to realize how important Kosovo and Metohia is for Serbs). (And here our church should be engaged , to organize, to call, to help), etc.
With this we will act as a prevention, and that should influence on (un)responsible, before making decision of independence of Kosovo.
By eventual proclamation, all activities mentioned above, will be absurd and inefficient. „Better prevent this, than heal “. That also stands for here.

Bishop Artemije

Europe's Oppression of Serbia

December 06, 2007.

Your Eminence, Honourable Ministers, Esteemed guests,
The topic of our today’s forum, “The place of Kosovo and Metohija Serbian spiritual heritage in the European culture” is a demanding one as much as a challenging one. We suppose that all of you, esteemed lecturers, will talk about the monuments of cultural heritage of the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija, as experts and scientists, each one of you from your own aspect, bringing to our minds’ eye an image of all the spiritual beauty and values of that heritage, over centuries created by the Serbian people as the expression of its christian determination, its belonging to the vast sphere of the christian peoples of Europe. As for me, I decided to draw your attention to something unusual, painful as much as realistic, I decided to talk on the contribution of Europe itself to the destruction and dismantling of the cultural and spiritual heritage of the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija in the last eight years, its contribution to the process occurring simultaneously with the martyrdom of the Living Church of God, in sufferings, murders, expulsions and pogrom on the Serb people, under the auspices and full attention of the democratic Europe and USA.
We present you our memories and reminders on the first days, and then, it was a whole year, since KFOR, as international peace forces, and UNMIK as a civil UN administration arrived to Kosovo and Metohija in June 1999. For our Serbian people, their arrival marks exactly the beginning of martyr and calvary-like path through sufferings, the sufferings inflicted by Albanian criminals inspired by jihadist Wahabi ideology, and under the “protection” of the international community. Yugoslav army and police had withdrawn from Kosovo, like almost all authority representatives, intellectuals, doctors, professors… and also a great number of our people (more than two thirds, or numerically around 250 000). Only the Serbian Orthodox Church, its clergy and monastics stayed with those who remained (around 130 000).
Through the first days and months, in the time of our people’s greatest torment, we took maximum of strenuous pains and efforts to stop the flows of Serbian refugees leaving Kosovo and Metohija, we tried to keep them to stay, in spite of all the sufferings, the victims and the pressures.
Even quick overview of all the events happening those days in Kosovo and Metohija would take us much out of the framework of one short summary like ours. Mostly, we were killed on daily basis, abducted, looted, our houses burned, our churches and monasteries destroyed, and thus jihad signs were left all over. We had no liberty of movement, no possibility to work, to school our children, there was no social care.
And so on, and so forth; day by day, month by month, year by year. All the promises by KFOR to protect us, to establish law and order, to secure the return of the expelled, and all other things foreseen by UNSC Resolution 1244 remained unfulfilled. Yet, the Serbs, suffering for Christianity and their fatherland’s sake, still persist in larger enclaves – the bravest ones. With them, the others stay, too. We stayed through with our people. We stayed and shared all the evil, for there was no good to share. We took pains to make or to compel the international community to fulfill its obligations, taken over by the Resolution. The results were weak, but you couldn’t do otherwise. As by a rule, the perpetrators of crimes, the Al Qaeda-inspired destroyers of our churches, remained unidentified, inadequately punished.
This represented an encouragement to the terrorists in Kosovo and Metohija, a reassurance that to the Serbs they can do whatever they wanted and bear no consequence. The international community was mislead and soothed, all since the time of Bernard Couchner, and until today, for the SRSG’s in their reports presented unrealistic and embellished conditions in the Province. Each one of the SRSG’s wanted to show the successes achieved during their mandates. These reports avoided to define and identify the real problems in Kosovo and Metohija, their approach to the issues was unilateral and biased. Such an indecisive and yielding attitude of the international community toward all kinds of criminals, and not the unresolved status of Kosovo, has, in fact, lead to the further escalation of violence against the Serbian people and his sanctuaries. Just as the words of the Holy Scripture describe it in the book of Revelation: “One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter” (Rev, 9:12).
And all of a sudden, unexpectedly and abruptly – here comes the tempest, an eruption of violence and crimes, culminating on March 17 2004. The Serbs are made experience their Kristallnacht. In only two days, a horrible pogrom happens; unheard of, never to have happened in the time of peace. This pogrom was well organized, synchronized and orchestrated. There are numerous proofs for that. But, let us leave it for later.
Very tragic, but, nevertheless, indispensable to say, all these are the results of the UN mission, which, only a month before the March events was defined a “success story”. NATO generals kept talking on the necessity of further diminishing its military presence, removing check points, abolishing military escorts to the Serbs when they travelled through Kosovo and Metohija. UNMIK representatives, on their side, repeatedly talked about complete transfer of all authorities to interim Kosovo, i.e. – Albanian, institutions. Serb representatives, Church representatives included, constantly kept warning that beneath the interim institutions’ fa├žade, beneath the so called democracy and apparent multiethnicity, one can find, in fact, a horrific picture of ethnic violence and discrimination, lawlessness and various kinds of criminality. We were warning that, after the end of the armed conflict, and NATO forces arrival in 1999, not only the paramilitary structure of ex-UCK has not been disbanded, but it merely transformed into few satellite paramilitary and criminal organizations (KPC, ANA etc.) which actively kept arming, planning and carrying out the ethnical cleansing in the Province, with the aim of creating another Islamic-Albanian state in the Balkans, a state where there would be space only for ethnic Albanians and Islam.
On the very day the March pogrom began, Mr. Hashim Thaqi was to Washington, lecturing on multhietnicity and achieved progress of democratization in the Province. The events on the ground proved him immediately wrong. For, while Thaqi lectured on the democracy, thousands of Albanians, members of his party, savaged through Serbian villages, burned Serbian churches, leaving behind graffiti with acronyms of Thaqi’s PDK, terrorist ANA, KPC and other organizations, operating under the umbrella of the infamous KLA. Buses, packed with heavily armed, so called “war veterans”, moved from Thaqi’s home Drenica toward Pristina and Mitrovica where they clashed with international forces.
Unfortunately, March pogrom did not mark the end of violence against the Serbs. Violence kept on, in one way or another, all until today. Truthfully, there are other ways and means of “deserbization” of Kosovo and Metohija. In latest period, money is being offered, Serb property, houses and flats are being bought. Serbs move away, leave. Whole villages disappear again. Towns are being conquested. Serbian flats usurped. The number of inhabitants doubles, thanks to the incoming immigrants, newcomers.
Besides the testimonies of members of the international community, both those from KFOR contingents and UNMIK directly acquainted with the March events in Kosovo and Metohija, , we would like to shortly mention how many international institutions since 1999 carefully followed the situation in Kosovo and Metohija (e.g. USA State Department, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch etc.), especially concentrating on the destruction of the Serbian spiritual and cultural heritage (churches, monasteries, cemeteries), with a particular overview of March events. Occasional and annual reports were published, reporting and exactly identifying the derelictions and KFOR, UNMIK police and other international organizations failures, both in protecting people and its property, as well as cultural heritage.
Thus, in the USA Foreign department reports for 1999, on the implementation of human rights in different countries, “social violence upon the property of the Serbian Orthodox Church” is particularly indicated, for by the end of that year, “more than 80 Orthodox churches have been destroyed, damaged and desecrated” and the “clergy harassed”.
Similar reports of the same department were repeated in the next years, with the special attention given to the consequences of the March 2004 pogrom. According to the report, the March events “represent a serious blowback for the stabilization and normalization in Kosovo”, with the detailed description of all the horrors, particularly emphasizing the attacks on “cultural and religious heritage in Kosovo” in which “36 Orthodox churches, monasteries and religious and cultural sites have been damaged and destroyed”. Particular emphasis in the report is given to the fact that the “attacked religious objects date back to the 14th century. Two of them are on UNESCO list as main sites of universal importance, and the third one of regional importance”. Further, it is pointed out that “Kosovo security forces – KFOR, UNMIK, International Police and Kosovo Police Service (KPS) –catastrophically failed in their mission. This terrible failure of KFOR, particularly in its responsibility to enable “safe and secure environment” and establish “public order and security (according to 1244 UNSC Resolution) in regard to the March attacks is fully documented”.
Finally, at the mere end, comes the culmination of cynicism of the international community: Instead to adequately sanction and rightly punish the perpetrators of so many (many of them unspeakable) crimes and violence, the international community takes utmost pains to reward them, by its commitment to enable and present them with the independent Kosovo and Metohija, allowing them to finish, now impeded by no one, the ethnical and religious cleansing of the Serbs in the Province, as well as the cultural genocide upon the rich and centuries-old, cultural heritage of the Serb people.
The politics enabling all these horrors at the beginning of the third millennium, in the heart of Europe, is a felonious politics. It is simply impossible to understand how come the USA and its EU allies, while waging a sharp battle against terrorism all across the world (Afghanistan, Iraq, Hamas in Israel etc.) at the same time tolerate and give support to the very same Jihad terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija. And even worse: they take efforts to enthrone it in the independent Kosovo. It seems as if EU is not aware that, by enabling USA to accomplish the forceful islamization of Kosovo and Metohija, establishing the base for a militant Jihad in this Serbian Province, it ruins the mere foundations upon which EU itself is founded, for – Jihad has no limits. Its action from Kosovo will soon be felt in Europe herself, and probably in the USA, too. The sooner they understand this simple truth, the better it will be for all.

03 December 2007

The Africanization of the Balkans

The Africanization of the BalkansThe lessons of Zimbabwe are lost in darkest Kosovo
EuroPress ReviewBy Denis BoylesNovember 30, 2007

The report in Le Figaro that a trio of today's big powers - including Russia, the U.S., and the European Union - was at loggerheads in the Balkans, has a certain cold air of familiarity about it, right down to the annoying Serb nationalists at the center of it all.
The sudden chill between Russia and what we can now again call "the West" is the result of the collapse of talks between the Serbs and the Kosovars a couple of days ago. Their negotiations were supposed to be the "last chance" at working out a "settlement" - ostensibly of what relationship the Serbian province of Kosovo should have with Belgrade. In reality, the two sides were negotiating the terms of Serbian surrender demanded by the Kosovar terrorists they had once fought. The Serbs were willing to continue to come up with something, as the IHT report today, but most think it would be an empty exercise: On December 11, the international community will impose a "solution" and grant Kosovo the independence its leaders demand. The Serbs will be scarred and Russia might not like it, but they both had their chance to do something about it eight years ago, and they missed it. Serbia was being run by a dangerous buffoon and the Russians were broke.
Now the Russians are rich as czars and everybody's worried about what they might do - including, I guess, the Russians: Le Figaro's reporter says the Russian foreign minister is "very alarmed" at the consequences of forcing Serbia to accept Kosovo's independence. That Russian alarm was matched by American concern. Our negotiator, Frank Wisner, told Le Monde that "tensions are obvious." Sorting out the Balkans should be a snap. The countries there are little and cute. But the "Balkan powder keg" is a local trademark, and for good cause.
The place is a mess; for starters, the air war against Serbia left affairs in a state of perilous improvisation. The feebleness of Russia a decade ago is what permitted the bulldozer diplomacy of heavy-handed men like Richard Holbrooke, whose famous Dayton agreement criminalized not only Serbia's actual criminals, including especially Slobdan Milosevic, but also the entire Serbian nation. As the architect of America's diplomacy in the Balkans, Holbrooke left a legacy of lean-tos and shanties. The Dayton Accords ended the conflict in Bosnia by enshrining fractured politics in a state dominated by Muslims, and where today, consequently, "hundreds of mujahadeen fighters.are successfully spreading their fundamentalist Islamist views" at the expense of Bosnian Serbs, according to Der Spiegel.
As in Kosovo, the international community will eventually force a settlement on the Bosnian Serbs. In fact, tensions will rise this weekend, as the Islamic presidency seeks to impose reforms that will eliminate the semi-autonomy Dayton had granted the Serbs, Muslims, and Catholics, in favor of the Muslim majority. The resulting Islamic state may well drift further toward the Wahhabism now firmly taking root there.
Kosovo may travel a similar path path. During the last eight years of often ineffective NATO occupation, Kosovar Serbs have been effectively cleansed from all but the very northernmost districts. This constitutes an ironic end to a conflict that only came to America's attention when Milosevic's army tried to solve a backyard terrorism problem by driving Albanian Kosovars, including members of the Marxist-inspired Islamic Kosovo Liberation Army, back to Albania (a country that desperately didn't want them). The goal of the KLA, of course, was to cleanse Kosovo of Serbs, as newspapers and magazines - including NRO and The New York Times, in dispatches like this one and others from the 1990s - occasionally noted. The Republican in the White House may think the KLA is heroic now, but in 1999, the party felt differently, as this Senate Republican Policy Committee report makes clear.
The current Kosovo government is populated by the former terrorist leaders mentioned in that report, including Hashim Thaci, whose radical party defeated a more moderate one, and carried the elections that were held in the province on November 17. According to the BBC, Thaci, who's married to an Albanian mafia princess (Pristina's a long way from Queens), has long been associated with racketeering in Kosovo. He was also widely known as a ruthless opponent of the late Ibrahim Rugova, Kosovo's popular moderate leader who died in 2006. Wary of the ex-KLA leaders' ambitions, and maybe knowing a few things we don't, most Albanians avoided the election (turnout was around 45-percent, and Kosovar Serbs boycotted the vote entirely.)
But an independent Kosovo under the leadership of former KLA commanders is apparently a done deal, no matter what the Russians want. The statements from the Kosovar leadership imply the threat of violence if they are not appeased. Violence against whom? The few remaining Kosovar Serbs? The Independent's ill-formed "big question" is "Would the Balkans flare up again if Kosovo declared independence?" That's the wrong question, of course. The question is will violence flare up again if they don't declare independence? The Kosovars may not want to make the mistake the Serbs made. The "war" in Kosovo was widely supported in the U.S., largely on the basis of genuine outrage at what Milosevic was doing, and if the press made mistakes in reporting, as some claim they may have in Radac, for example, there's no escaping the fact that in Kosovo, the Serbs deserved to lose.
And lose the Serbs did. It was a neat, Clintonian kind of war, led by a general only Clinton could really love, Wesley Clark (Peter J. Boyer's entertaining New Yorker profile from 2003 is here), in which civilians may have been bombed in Belgrade but our casualty list was fairly short. Some wondered why we were cluster-bombing people in a country that had been our ally in two wars (at no small cost, either) instead of boycotting them into compliance with civilized norms, and exactly how much punishment Serbia deserves. But the larger question is why we were there at all. Kosovo became America's problem only because the Europeans were no better at solving Balkan crises than they are at negotiating with Iranians. As Ed Morrissey recently observed in his Captain's Quarters blog, "[Kosovo] is, and should always have been, a strictly European affair."
Maybe, but when there's a spliff of moral outrage to be passed around, nobody wants to miss the buzz. So enthusiasm in the U.S. for an independent Kosovo comes from right and left. William Finnegan's lively piece in the current New Yorker captures the mood about Kosovo in blue-state America perhaps better than it does the mood in Kosovo itself, judging from those election turnouts. But The Wall Street Journal also has demanded quick independence for Kosovo and lately has taken to giving Kosovo's current prime minister, Agim Ceku, op-ed space not just once, but twice in three months (but each time inviting James Jatras of the lonely American Council for Kosovo to write a letter to the editor, the most recent of which is here). Richard Holbrooke, one of the most authoritative American advocates of independence for Kosovo, endorsed Thaci, telling the Sueddeutsche Zeitung that he had known the chap "for about ten years" and had found that he had a "remarkable" way about him. No doubt.
Holbrooke and others are irritated by suspicions that an Islamic Kosovo might pose a security risk. They shrug off concerns by claiming, rightly, that most Kosovars are secular Muslims and that the place will never be an al-Qaeda base or a haven for extremists. But they say that about Bosnia, too. Besides, what was Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Frazier telling that jury in the Jose Padilla trial? Something, Reuters reported, about "al Qaeda-affiliated groups" fighting in Kosovo in the '90s? I guess they were our allies, back in the day. Any friend of Thaci's.
If 55-percent of the Kosovo citizens couldn't bring themselves to vote at all, how rushed are they for independence? Maybe they realize that independence isn't as simple as a slogan, and that they'll have to live with whatever happens next. And maybe they too think there may be other ways to go, as this Christian Science Monitor article proposes. Kosovo's neighbors, including Macedonia, Montenegro, and Albania itself, are deeply concerned about the implications of an independent Kosovo, and the whole idea of a "greater Albania." It's Europe's Kurdistan in some ways.
The Balkan crisis recalls more than just Sarajevo, 1914. It also smacks of Salisbury, 1980, and a dozen other African capitals upon achieving an expeditious, politically convenient independence, in which something bad was replaced by something arguably worse. The common complaint about colonialism wasn't how it began but how it ended: When it was time to go, the retreating colonial power gave the keys to the guy with the most guns and ran for it, rather than trying to take the time to fight for a more careful solution that required careful thought, and saved lots of lives. Thus, the history of post-colonial Africa is littered with murderous tyrants, the most notorious of which is Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe (a recent NRO piece describing his early support from an unthinking international community is here). Kosovo's not a colony and southeastern Europe isn't Africa. But in Zimbabwe, we enthroned a known criminal. The result was much, much more criminality. Do we really want to do the same in the Balkans?