Being an American of English descent, I've got that puritan work ethic ingrained, so it's not an issue.
But as far as Albania, considering where they were coming from, they'd have been hard pressed to worsen their economic condition. Fortunately for them, they've had leaders who haven't exacerbated their problems, unlike Serbia.
At some point in the future, I expect Serbia will regain its historical economic position in regards to its neighbors, but that isn't going to happen until it turns its back on the kind of simpleton thinking exhibited by you and those like you here on FR.
Quite frankly, I feel embarrassed for your ignorance, and saddened by Serbia's continuing plight - they're both tragedies in their own way.
"Quite frankly, I feel embarrassed for your ignorance, and saddened by Serbia's continuing plight - they're both tragedies in their own way."
I may have been mistaken about your ethnicity, for which you have my apologies. However, based on your advocacy of all things pro-Muslim, pro-Albanian in the Balkans and your obvious dislike of Serbs, it was an easy mistake to make.
No need for pitying me, Hoplite. I am an American Montenegrin Serb, for several generations.The last of my family arrived in the US over 80 years ago and my father was in the US Army during WWII. I have an MA, and am, financially, pretty much living the American Dream" my ancestors hoped for when they came to the US.
Has it ever occurred to you that the people who live over there, plus the people who live here (or in Europe) and have studied Balkan politics & history for many years before these wars started, may know more about it than you? Most Americans couldn't have located what "continent" Bosnia was on before 1992 -- but suddenly, they are "CNN experts"! Or they marry into it and think that they know it all. Give me a break!
I know who my people are, what their strengths and weaknesses are as a culture. They aren't perfect, they aren't all "saints", but they aren't "demons", either. And continual "humilation" doesn't tend to bring out the best in them -- or in anyone else, for that matter.
But when "the scimitar" is knocking at your door in smalltown USA saying, "Convert or die" -- trust me, you'll want a Serb on your side to protect you if you haven't killed or ethnically cleansed them all out of existence by then!