Skip to comments.Another Failed State?
Posted on 02/17/2008 4:45:09 PM PST by Doctor13
Another Failed State? Kosovo's declaration of independence isn't likely to solve its many problemsor defuse tensions in the troubled Balkans.
Kosovo declared independence Sunday, but it's unlikely any time soon to become the world's 193rd country. What it will almost certainly be is a failed state, unrecognized by the United Nations, unable to govern itself, dependent on Europe for its police and NATO for its armed forces.
After eight years as an international protectorate and billions of dollars in aid and reconstruction funds, its economic prospects are grim. Unemployment is 57 percent, and among youths it's more like 70 percent; half the population is under 25. Small wonder then that its chief export is organized crime. It remains ethnically cleansed of its Serb minority, who only survive in the province under armed guard by NATO. And it has the potential of provoking a wider conflict as other powers try to work out just what to do about yet another intractable Balkan mess.
In theory, Kosovo has been self-governing since NATO bombed the Serbian province for 78 days in 1999, and the United Nations under Security Council Resolution 1244 declared it an autonomous province under U.N. protection but also confirmed that it was part of Serbia. Kosovo was never a federal part of Yugoslavia, as were the other parts that broke away from Serbia's domination; despite its majority Albanian population, its long historical association with Serbia, which regarded it as something akin to the nation's Jerusalem, put it in a different class.
But massacres by Serbian troops in the province led to NATO intervention, and a U.N. mandate. Since then, the U.N. Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), along with the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), has administered all of Kosovo's civil institutions, and NATO's Kosovo Protection Force (KFOR), has provided its military protection. Efforts by the United Nations to broker a deal with Serbia on transition to independence failed last year; with Russia's support, Serbia has been intransigent on giving Kosovo anything more than mere self-rulewell short of full independence.
Finally, Kosovo's elected Parliament met Sunday and Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaci read a statement declaring Kosovo "independent, sovereign and democratic." The move was expected, and Albanians filled the streets of their capital, Pristina, waving American and Albanian flags as well as the new Kosovo one (a blue banner with a yellow map of Kosovo under several stars).
But in any real sense, it remains a protectorate. There was no move to turn over U.N.-administered ministries to Kosovars, at least not so far. Because the status of the U.N. mandate is unclear, however, and the Russians will likely veto any extension of it, last week the European Union announced that it would send a 2,000-strong "police and justice" force to the territory, and NATO has said it will continue to provide security with KFOR.
In Serbia, the running joke was that the country was like Nokia: every year there was a new and tinier model of the state Slobodan Milosevic two decades ago sought to makeover into Greater Serbia. There was plenty of anger, as well. The declaration of independence provoked rioting on the streets of Belgrade, with hooligans and ultranationalists stoning police and throwing Molotov cocktails, trying to reach Western targets like the American Embassy and McDonald's outlets. Kosovo looms over the country's messy and unstable political scene; Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, an implacable foe of the EU and America, leads a shaky coalition including pro-Western elements; he called Kosovo's move "the illegitimate declaration of a puppet state on the territory of Serbia." In the recent Serbian presidential election, Boris Tadic, a pro-Western leader, only narrowly defeated the Radical Party candidate, Tomislav Nikolic, who was widely seen as a stand-in for the party's leader, an accused war criminal, Vojislav Seselj, now on trial at the Hague. Nikolic ran on a bellicose position about Kosovo.
No one expects even a more extreme Serbian government to try to invade Kosovo, at least as things stand now. But Serbs are furious about treatment of their minority in Kosovo, about 200,000 of whom have fled since the United Nations and NATO took over, and Albanian gangs began retaliating against Serbs wherever they could. Another massacre might well spark stronger reaction in Serbia, and perhaps even intervention. And unlike 1999, Serbia now has a strong ally in Russia, where President Vladimir Putin has been talking tough on the Kosovo issue; the Russians called for an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council to meet Monday. And KFOR is a much weaker force than it originally was, with U.S. troops drawn down for Iraq and other NATO partners worried about staffing Afghanistan. Richard Holbrooke, the former U.S. secretary of State who was America's point man during the Balkan wars, has previously called for reinforcing KFOR, especially if Kosovo declares independencewhich it has just done.
In the coming days, it's widely expected that the United States and many European countries will recognize Kosovo's independence. But Russia will certainly veto its admission to the United Nations. And even the EU will face difficulties internally, with six of its 22 member states unlikely to endorse the move; these include Spain, Romania, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Slovakia. For countries like Spain, with its restive Basque region, and Cyprus, where the Turkish north of the country has declared a rump state, Kosovo is a dangerous precedent. It's the first time since World War II that the internal borders of a European country are being redrawn, with the exception of course of Germany. But then, Kosovo is no Germany.
Mostly farming communities. A large mine. Maybe an oil or natural gas pipeline in the future. Various import businesses passing through.
Once again Europe and the USA stand up for a defacto Muslim state in the heart of Europe, paying no attention to the persecution and ethnic cleansing of Orthodox Christians.
This was the Clinton’s Euro-Trash Albanian Terrorist Miracle. Albania was one of the absolute worst thug communist countries...with brutality and crime beyond belief...In order to create a war against a Christian nation, one who was a steadfast ally during WWII, the Clinton’s used the Serbia’s defense of itself against Islamofacism and called it “Ethnic Cleansing”...this to appease the muslim terrorists and take the attention off what was going with the attacks on US sites...I guess they thought if we supported the terrorist’s they would leave us alone...and be our friends....So now who’s going to support KOSOVO...bilk me baby...do you see it coming...more aid for the islamo’s...all because that coward Bill Clinton wanted to divert attention from his blue-dresscapades.The attacks on Serbia would have never happened if Bill Clinton became president...want to see his wife run things...all I can say is PRAY...it’s the end of the world....
This needs to be corrected. Massacres by Serbian troops in the province, excuses (lies) used to bomb the Serbs, have been discredited, such as:
- RACAK: A report that the Finnish forensic pathologists who investigated the incident on behalf of the European Union, say there was no evidence of a massacre. In an article published in Forensic Science International,the Finnish team writes that none of the bodies were mutilated, there was no evidence of torture, and only one was shot at close range. Furthermore, Racak was a KLA stronghole.
- "OPERATION HORSESHOE": KOSOVO FORGERY REVEALED. The eminent German daily Frankfuhrter Rundshau reported that Bulgarian and German secret services had forged a "secret Serb plan" that was used as justification for NATO air strikes on Yugoslavia.
- TREPCA MINES: Reports of 700 Kosovo Albanian bodies thrown into the Trepca mines proved to be a hoax.
I'm sure you can add more.
Well, Russia is right there to support Serbia and today the Russians are strong. If they don’t get their way, they can just shutdown the oil pipeline to Europe.
No good will come of this.
I suppose you prefer the former situation of ex-communist apparachick rule from Belgrade. KGB taught everything the Muslims know about terrorism. Once all the communists are rounded-up, only then I would proceed to deal with the Islamo-fascists.
Don’t “suppose” (i.e. “assume”) facts not in evidence. When I said “no good will come of this”, I was referring to what will be the inevitable confrontation between the Russians (who back Serbia) and the West.
The Balkans have always been a tinderbox for disorder and chaos, and one has only to have a passing familiarity with how World War I got started to appreciate that.
As for communists, ex-communists and islamofascists, I have no use for any of them, and neither should any alleged civilized society.
It was the United States that betrayed the Serbian people in World War II by supporting the communist Tito over Serbian nationalist General Draza Mihailovich. Now we have betrayed the Serbian people once again by supporting the Islamo-fascists in Kosovo.
It was the United States that did not support the tens of thousands of Serbs who braved freezing weather for months demonstrating against Milosevic, "A man we can do business with," Richard Holbrooke)when Milosevic stole elections in Bosnia.
When the Poles and the Czechs demonstrated against their communist oppressors, the U.S. government and U.S. labor unions were all in support of these countries, and therein lies the fault. Unfortunately, the Serbs were of the wrong religion in order to have gotten support from the United States and American labor unions.
BTW: Who do you think the Serbs were fighting in the first place? The Islamo-fascists! I suggest you get a copy of Professor John R. Schindler's book, "Unholy Terror, Bosnia: Al-Qaeda and the Rise of Global Jihad," not to mention Bosnian Muslim forces that were committing atrocities blamed on the Serbs for which the Serbs were bombed. Add on top of that, an American president, undoubtedly one of the biggest con men this country has ever seen, and in collaboration with a willing media, manipulate the American people into war against the Serbian people.
As an American, I am ashamed of what we have done to a Christian people in order to appease the Muslim world.
And believe me, we will regret the creation of an "overwhelmingly Muslim country in the heart of Europe," as one former, just recently deceased Congressman wanted. So don't lay this one on the Serbs.
Who are these idiots at Newsweak? This is more likely to make things alot worse.
The attacks on the US Embassy in Belgrade (21Feb08) speak for themselves. The only thing Americans should regret is the creation of the artificial state of Yugoslavia in the first place. A true Slavic state would have included the Czechs and Slovakians, but the Orthodox Serbians could not engineer that, so they settled on dominating the adjoining Roman Catholic and Muslim ethnic groups. Separating the Serbs from their communist leadership and greater-Serbian goals continues to be difficult as todayâs events so obviously point out. Note the salute to Putin earlier in the day by the same leadership.
sefarkas-—What a pathetic little agenda you have there bub...throwing out lies to get some bites.
None of what this pathetic excuse named sefarkas says has a bit of truth.
We should pay attention.. The U.S. is getting Balkanized big time.. i.e. Buchanans Book..
Pathetic garbage drivel. Unworthy of any response.