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.
How in your opinion Americans would react if they were in such situation like Serbs are: if they were attacked, part of their core historical territory (like East Coast) was occupied by foreign powers, if they were being expelled by hostile ethnic group while the monuments of the past were being erased.
What is your experience telling you. Do you think that they would "limit displays of pride to and reserve for accomplishments of deeds or goals".
There was no genocide and ethnic cleansing was done and is still being done against the Serbs.
Debunking all distorted facts, semitruths, malignant omissions and deliberate falsifications would take three times more space than the original article.
This article is total Bravo Sierra.
I probably wasn't clear enough in speech on that, as it was not an accusation. When two sides in one country are willing to fight as long as it takes for one side to prevail, genocide may be the result. Not many civil wars are as restricted to only men fighting, as happened in the USA. And civil wars involving much about religion/ethnicity are often worse.
Partitioning is one attempt to separate two ethnic sides in such conflicts. India and Pakistan are one example. Arrangements like that don't stop the violence completely, but there is hope for eventual peace and less chance of one culture completely extinguishing the other.
When one reads Croatian papers he or she can learn amazing things: That famous Italians, such as Marco Polo were in fact Croatians, that Croatians are in fact Iranians, that medeval Ragusa (Dubrovnik) and her brilliant culture are in fact Croatian although Ragusa became part of Croatia for the first time in 1939, that Croatians discovered America before Columbus and many other amazing things, more fit fit for supermarket tabloids then respoectable newspapers.
The sad truth is that all this garbage is written by people who call themselves journalists and are card carrying members of the media.
This gem by Branka Magas fits the mould perfectly. When personal dishonesty meets disregard for journalist ethic, the result is an article like this.
What a load of crap. Serbia was established in 1878 at the 'Congress of Berlin'.
the idea that Marco Polo was Croatian is based on a misunderstanding that arose in Korcula (he was captured in the battle that took place near Korcula between Venice and Genoa)...it is played up by the local tourism industry but seems like harmless nonsense. There are some scholars who think that the Croatian name may be originally Iranian (there was an ancient Iranian tribe with a similar name)--possibly an Iranian elite conquered a group of Slavs and left them their name, the way that the Bulgars did to a different group of Slavs (the original Bulgars were not Slavic, but not Iranian either).
The people of medieval Ragusa were Catholics and spoke Croatian or a local Romance language which later died out (known as Dalmatian). A lot of people in the Balkans didn't have a firm ethnic identity until the 19th or 20th century--would have spoken a particular language and had a particular religion, but if illiterate peasants may not have affiliated themselves with one of the modern names.
Again, some incredible BS. The AVNOJ is clear on that, the constituent nations had the right to leave and join the federation, as Yugoslavia was a federation of it's peoples. The Albanians were not constituent, nor a slavic nation and they did not had the right to self-determination according to the constitution. http://www.arhiv.sv.gov.yu/a100008g.htm
When Persia decided to call iself "Iran" or Ceylon "Sri Lanka", everyone followed suit. It didn't work with Finland ("Suomi") or Georgia ( "Sakartvelo"), but a change of name may take place when the independence of Kosovo is recognized at long last.
Yet the word is of Slavic origin. Although the Serbs only started invading Kosovo at the end of the 12th century, Slavic invaders had become a majority there by the turn of the 10th it was part of the Bulgarian kingdom of Macedonia. Yet it did have an Albanian, or proto-Albanian name in ancient times: "Dardania" from a word which gave the Albanian "dardha", "the pear" or "the pear-tree".
I was wondering.....none too bright either, it seems. Or have they finally destroyed all of the churches there?
So I guess you will suggest Michigan for the muslims who don't want to be part of our society? Or which state do you think we should let them have?
Spare us the bullshit. Fact is you want another Muslim nation in Europe. You are useful idiot for the Jihad
LOL! If you want to discover another poster with an agenda, look in the mirror!
If it had chosen to go further, it could also have explained why Kosovo was never legally part of contemporary Serbia until 1945: the treaties of London (1913) and Istanbul (1914), by which the Ottoman empire ceded it to the Kingdom of Serbia, were never ratified.
The legal status of Kosovo in the Kingdom of the Serbs, the Croats and Slovenes (SHS), called "Yugoslavia" after 1929, is even also in question. The Treaty of Sèvres, signed by the SHS Kingdom with Turkey in 1920, became null and void, and the Treaty of Ankara of 1925, which involved the mutual recognition of the states, made no specific mention of the territories taken from the one the other in 1912-13. You can only say that the recognition of such annexations took place, and only implicitely, when Ankara opened a consulate in Skopje.
Also, the second Yugoslavia was expressedly built on a rejection of the institutional principles of the first, which had failed because it was a centralized state according to the Serbian political tradition. However credible under Communist rule, the Yugoslav idea was conceived of in Croatia in the 19th century as a voluntary union of equal partners, not as an empire where some conquered peoples were subject to recurring policies of extermination.
You wrote: for this reason, Serbians consider Kosovo the cradle of their civilization. But you gave no reason at all, and there is none: Raska, as I have said, was what is now known as the Sandjak, not Kosovo; the claim by some Serbs that their medieval state was born in Kosovo is nothing but a lie. The Serbs started invading Kosovo, at the expense of the Byzantine empire, after the Nemanjid state had become independent, and the conquest actually took place in the13th century. Is the above slogan supposed to mean that, by their own admission, they had no civilization before?
And then, in 1459, every Serbian state disappeared into the Ottoman empire. The Serbs may be the only nation in the world who have managed to convince otherwise sensible people that a 250-year possession by successive medieval states half a millenium and half a century ago is a valid basis for a contemporary territorial claim.
The truth of the matter is that the Serbian state invaded Kosovo in 1912 and massacred 20,000 of its Albanian natives after it had liberated itself from the Ottomans, because it wanted an access to the sea through the Drin valley (also, because it would help them hold Macedonia). All the Serbian myths now peddled about Kosovo were then fairly recent, as they are re-writings of history from the 19th century, including the claim that the first Battle of Kosovo was of decisive strategic importance.
Among these, the claim that Albanians "immigrated" into Kosovo is a formal absurdity. Since the Albanians are the descendants of the Illyrians, the first known inhabitants of the former Yugoslavia (except Slovenia), the Kosovar Albanians could not, logically, "immigrate" into Kosovo, all the less so when the whole region was part of a single state. They became an absolute majority again in their own country in the mid-19th century, when enough Serbs had left for New Serbia, the principality in the north which offered better prospects as it was de facto independent from the Ottoman empire.
The only instance of a massive influx of Albanians into Kosovo which actually took place is the one the Serbs won't tell you about: when 100,000 Albanians who lived in the region of Nis, Pirot, Leskovac and Vranje were ethnically cleansed by the Serbs in the winter of 1878. All the other stories about Albanians "immigrating" into Kosovo are Serb fabrications.
And when and by whom was the occupation of Serbia and Kosovo&Metohija ratified? See, no one ratified the illegal occupation of Serbia, including Kosovo&Metohija in the first place, so why should anyone need anybody ratifing something when Serbia including Kosovo&Metohija was liberated. Serbs liberated themselves and got rid of those who occupied them for centuries. And you think they should have asked the Ottomans for permission and needed some sort of ratification for doing so.
Peace will only come to the region when the territorial claims of Serbia on foreign lands are at long last rejected. Only then will Serbia become a democracy, and address the real problems of the Serbs.
And of course, to say that Dubrovnik was originally "Serb" on account of the fact that it was founded on a territory invaded by the Serbs in the 7th century is only slightly less true than to say that the Ustashe were Serbs. For almost all of the Ustashe were Herzegovinian Croats and as such, the descendants of Serbs converted to Catholicism by the Franciscans in the early 15th century.
Branka Magas bases her reasoning on the 1974 Constitution, which recognized the "equal rights" of the Constituent peoples" and "nationalities".
No, you're thinking of the nation of cowards that is France where peace will only come when the territorial claims of the descendents of the Franks, meaning the cheese-eating surrender monkeys, are at long last rejected by their new Muhammedan occupants.
Peace in Kosovo, on the other hand, will only come alongside the Serb army, who will also restore justice.
The Muslims in the former Yugoslavia are invaders, not native people whose ancestors converted to a mild form of islam.
None of them is anything but an Islamo-fascist so that every violence meted out to them is legitimate self-defence
Those who defend their rights as innocent human beings are therefore accomplices of Islamo-fascism or in the pay of liberal do-gooders.
There is no objective truth: every statement by the member of a tribe is due to the fact that he or she is a member of that tribe. What my tribe says is true because it is my tribe, and therefore
Every territorial claims by the Serbs is legitimate, including countries which were never part of a Serbian state or where the Serbs are only a tiny minority.
Beyond those statements, every one of which is the opposite of the truth, you have nothing to say.
Why repeat yourself?
The political principle at the root of Western, and particularly American, civilization is that every human being naturally has rights to the extent that he does not violate the rights of others.
You are not part of that civilization: the principle which drives you here, that you may say anything you wish and do everything you want to others if you claim to have the right religion, that is if you belong to the right tribe, is the Oriental principle at the core of Islamo-fascistm.
That is why you cannot be an ally, but are actually a hindrance in the struggle against it, and your claim to defend "Christianity" is an embarrassment to all real Christians
Considering that you made each one of them up, monkey-boy, what makes you think you can make me claim any of them since they are not what I said?
Shouldn't you be surrendering to someone by now?
If you didn't agree with some those statements, all you had to to is indicate which ones.
Actually, I didn't have to do anything of the sort. Like seeing dog crap in the road, there's just no reason to get involved with it.
All of the statements were nonsense and the suggestion that any of our anti-Islamofascist posters said anything of the sort is pure dog crap.
Surrender now, monkey, and fulfill your destiny!
Actually, their ancestors were native people that converted to a very brutal form of Islam! Unless, of course, you consider having your children ripped from you and sent to Turkey as "mild"!
You really should educate yourself about the brutality of Islam in the Balkans.
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