Skip to comments.The Western myth of a Serbian Kosova
Posted on 12/02/2005 10:15:22 PM PST by Hunden
[This] article written for the [Bosnian Institute] website argues that Western politicians have been mistaken in accepting the notion that Kosova is 'an integral part of Serbia', so that Belgrade must necessarily be involved in discussions about Kosova's status
As negotiations between Serbia and Kosova about the latters status are about to begin under UN auspices, one is prompted to pose the obvious question: Why is Serbia involved at all? Or, to put it in another way:
Why do Western governments assume that the wishes of Kosovas inhabitants are insufficient grounds for recognising its independence, and that such a step requires also Belgrades acquiescence?
Answers to such questions refer as a rule to Kosova being an integral part of Serbia: recognising Kosova means changing Serbian borders. The international community, the argument continues, has thus far respected the borders of the former Yugoslav republics: Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina have all been recognised within their existing borders. Recognising Kosova as an independent state without Serbias agreement would be a departure from past practice. Some even suggest it would violate international law. The otherwise respectable International Herald Tribune even recently published a letter from Raju G.C. Thomas in Belgrade (27 October 2005) that moved on from arguing that Kosovas independence would violate international law regarding the territorial integrity and sovereignty of existing states to advocate in effect genocide against the recalcitrant Albanians.
The Western assumption that Serbia enjoys sovereign rights over Kosova, however, is as fictitious as the Serbian myth that Kosova was the cradle of the medieval Serbian state [which was actually in Rascia, now called the Sandjak although Serb nationalists are now trying to give it back its former Slavic name of Raska]. On the contrary, Kosovas inherent sovereignty and separate existence from Serbia is a well-established legal and historical fact. By accepting Serbia as a relevant partner in negotiations over Kosovas future, the United States and the European Union have vested it with an authority that it never enjoyed in the former Yugoslavia.
To begin with, the former Yugoslav Republic of Serbia was not of the same character as the other former Yugoslav Republics. Unlike Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro, all of which were constituted on a unitary model, the Serbian Republic was from its inception composed of three distinct politico-territorial entities: Serbia, Kosova and Voivodina. These entities were constituted separately and independently from each other in the last stages of World War II (1944-5), as part of a process leading to creation of a Yugoslav federation on the ruins of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The process began with the formation of a number of distinct politico-territorial entities in areas liberated from Italian Fascist and German Nazi armies of occupation: once established, these entities served as basic building blocks for the new Yugoslav federated state. Some of them were constituted as Republics, others as Autonomous regions (later provinces). Each and every one of them, however, was established formally as an emanation of the proclaimed will of their (usually ethnically mixed) inhabitants.
Kosova and Voivodina were actually established before Serbia: Kosova in January 1944, Voivodina in March 1944, Serbia only in November 1944. Serbia at the latter juncture did not include either Voivodina or Kosova. It was only in July 1945 that Kosova and Voivodina voted - autonomously and separately from one another and from Serbia - to join Serbia. Their adhesion to Serbia was sanctioned by the Yugoslav AVNOJ government in August 1945 [AVNOJ stands for "Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia"], when they were also given separate (from Serbia) [and direct] representation within Yugoslavias Federal bodies. Kosova and Voivodina, in other words, were from the start constituent elements of the Yugoslav federation, just as the Republics were. This was fully recognised by the last Yugoslav Constitution [of February 21, 1974], by virtue of which Voivodina and Kosova were in all practical respects equal to the Republics [and which explicitely recognized them "equal rights"]. Despite their formal union with Serbia, they were by the nature of their Constitutions and legal status Provinces of Yugoslavia, not of Serbia. Their union with Serbia was legally valid only during Yugoslavias existence, or as long as their populations did not decide otherwise. For just as Kosova had voluntarily joined the union with Serbia, so too it retained the right to leave it by its own will.
Four of the six former Yugoslav Republics (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia) are today internationally recognised states. Their recognition took place on the basis of two criteria: their separate status within the former Yugoslavia, and the will of their populations. Although Kosova satisfies both criteria [as it voted for independence in September 1991], its international recognition has been delayed for reasons of Western Realpolitik - resting on the (clearly mistaken) premise that peace in the region can be achieved only by conciliating Serbia.
What is most extraordinary in this whole story is that while the international community treats Serbia as a state whose alleged borders should be respected, it simultaneously pretends that Kosova was not a self-governing territory within Yugoslavia and within Serbia, hence that its status remains to be determined. The fact is that neither Serbia nor Kosova are internationally recognised states, though each has its own democratically elected government. Whether Serbia and Kosova win international recognition depends - and should depend - solely upon the freely expressed will of their respective populations.
Yet, in the absence of any other possible legal reasoning, the "international community" did rely on the existing Yugoslav Constitution (which described them as "independent and sovereign states") to recognize the independence of the former Yugoslav Republics with the exception of Serbia and Montenegro, which "agreed" to form a Federation. This article is a useful reminder of the reasons why Kosovo, as an "Autonomous province", enjoyed the same rights as said Republics, and is now independent according to that Constitution.
This post was prompted by the discovery here of a couple of propagandists who are trying to abuse the crucial fight against Islamofascism to push a foreign agenda of anti-Muslim Fascism in the Balkans, as a reminder of the fact that public debates need not ignore the basic facts of the issues, especially as they relate to the principles of democracy and the rule of law.
Some Russian Rodine speech people have also been involved. Beyond fascism and religious identity in common, what's their interest in radical Serb efforts?
The search for scapegoats or hatred of others a substitute for self-esteem?
"Kosova" is a corruption. The correct spelling is "Kosovo"
Civilizational solidarity, per Samuel Huntington.
The article only starts from 1944, as if the creation of these countries started from then only. It conveniently omits the fact that even Yugoslavia (means Southern Slav) was a continuation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, which was established after WWI. Kosovo (and part of Macedonia) was part of the new country. Since the new country is a merge of three kingdoms (Serb, Croatia, and Slovenia), we can tell that Kosovo was considered part of the Serbian Kingdom (as Croatia and Slovenia, being both Catholics, never lay claim on it).
The Western assumption that Serbia enjoys sovereign rights over Kosova, however, is as fictitious as the Serbian myth that Kosova was the cradle of the medieval Serbian state...
Historically, since during the Crusades, Kosovo has been part of Serbian Kingdom for long time.
Culturally, Raska, or Kosovo, region was the place where King Stefan Nemanja (1167-96) reigned. He was the first to proclaim Serbian independence from the Kingdom of Bulgaria, a strong country in the region at the time, and also include Zeta, the other (and older) Serbian-ruled area. Stefan later went to Greece, entering Hilandar Monastery on Mt. Athos. Also important to remember that Stefan's son, prince Rastko Nemanjic, who in young age already decided to become a priest, later became the first Serbian Archbishop, which practically establishing an independent Serbian Orthodox Church. He later became St. Sava, whom until today is considered the Patron of Serbians. The biggest church in Belgrade, St. Sava, is after his name. For this reason, Serbians consider Kosovo the cradle of their civilization.
When the Ottoman invaded the whole region, Serbian fought hard and the biggest battle of all was in fact, in Kosovo, where they lost their prince, Lazar. One by one, the Christian areas in Balkan (at first mostly Orthodox areas) fell to Islamic Ottoman, and by the 16th century, in included Catholic areas of Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary. During this period, migration of the Muslim Albanian to Kosovo, together with conversion of some local Serbs, changed the demographic-religious structure of the region.
By 18th century, the Ottoman started to lose some areas in the region to Hapsburg Empire, including Croatia and Slovenia. In early 19th century, some Serbian rebellions led the Ottoman to grant them an autonomy status, while other parts, such as Bosnia and Kosovo, were still under Ottoman.
After the Second Balkan War, 1913, however, Serbian acquired the Kosovo area, and when the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes was established in 1918, Kosovo was included. The new Kingdom gained international recognition under the Versailles Treaty (1919).
This new kingdom, however, was always troubled by internal conflicts, many times because leaders from non-Serbs parts were dissatisfied with Serb-dominated government. Before and during WWII, the conflicts were stronger as the leaders accusing each other of collaborating with the German. Tito brought them together and established communist federation, Yugoslavia, with Vojvodina and Kosovo as autonomous provinces. This part is being used by the articles author to claim that Serbs doesnt have any claim whatsoever of Kosovo.
So, I see this article as a piece to confuse readers with claim as if Serbs claim over Kosovo is totally unfounded. It's true that the issue is not easy to resolve now, as majority of Kosovo's population today are (Albanian) Muslims. But, to say Serbs view of Kosovo as their cradle of civilization is a myth, I think, is a myth.
What KosovA means in Albanian? Or most of other names in Kosovo?
So what's your agenda? You really think Europe needs another Muslim nation? Meanwhile the Muslims wrecked Lebanon which was a semi Christian nation in the middle East. And they hanker to destroy Israel because these idiots cannot tolerate non Muslim nations in the Middle East
But Muslim stooges in the West act as midwives and promoters for more Muslim nations on European turf. Boggles the mind. Are the Bosnians also getting their own little Muslim nation. Isn't Albania a Muslim nation in Europe? The mind boggles.
Bid a hearty welcome to our latest Soros fluffer as he spreads Islamofascist propaganda on FR.
Say hello to the Jihad's useful idiot
Lenin came up with the term "Useful Idiot." "Useful idiots" were those gullible, well-intentioned people in Western democracies who became apologists for the, shall we say, excesses of the new Soviet regime
- from the internet
The author of this piece is a Croatian woman. The Bosnian Institute acknowledges financial help from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation. If there is any connection to Soros, it isn't mentioned on their website.
Maybe Albanian Muslims changed the last letter to "a" to make it more Albanian? Or maybe it is to honor Ali the nephew of Muhammad? How will they change names like Pristina, Mitrovica, Prizren, Gracanica, etc?
Give my regards to George!
Magas is a Croatian journalist. In other wors, another Croat continuing the genocide of the Serbian people.
Modern Albanian is usually thought to be descended from the language of the ancient Illyrians in the same region...I doubt that the fact that many Albanians adopted Islam under Turkish rule affected the endings of names.
There are already Albanian versions of the names in Kosovo...Prishtina for Pristina, etc.
It is like saying that Waszyngton is a Polish name for Washington. Prishtina/Pristina/Prysztina is a Serbian word.
About 30% of Albanians are Christian
Few in Kosovo and I seriously doubt that Albanian Christains would be destroying monasteries and ancient churches.
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