Skip to comments.Does Balkanization Beckon Anew?
Posted on 02/19/2008 7:35:00 AM PST by Billg64
On June 28, 1914, Gavrilo Princip shot the archduke and heir to the Austrian throne Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, setting in motion the train of events that led to the First World War.
Kosovo Albanians from France and Germany, waving their national flag, left, and wearing a t-shirt of a black double-headed eagle on a red background, celebrate in front of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, eastern France, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2008. Kosovo declared itself a nation on Sunday, mounting a brash and historic bid to become an "independent and democratic state" backed by the U.S. and key European allies but bitterly contested by Serbia and Russia. (AP Photo/Christian Lutz) Related Media: VIDEO: Kosovo Declares Independence
In the spring of 1999, the United States bombed Serbia for 78 days to force its army out of that nation's cradle province of Kosovo. The Serbs were fighting Albanian separatists of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). And we had no more right to bomb Belgrade than the Royal Navy would have had to bombard New York in our Civil War.
We bombed Serbia, we were told, to stop the genocide in Kosovo. But there was no genocide. This was propaganda. The United Nations' final casualty count of Serbs and Albanians in Slobodan Milosevic's war did not add up to 1 percent of the dead in Mr. Lincoln's war.
Albanians did flee in the tens of thousands during the war. But since that war's end, the Serbs of Kosovo have seen their churches and monasteries smashed and vandalized and have been ethnically cleansed in the scores of thousands from their ancestral province. In the exodus they have lost everything. The remaining Serb population of 120,000 is largely confined to enclaves guarded by NATO troops.
(Excerpt) Read more at townhall.com ...
A couple of years ago I read Mr. Buchanan’s book “A republic Not An Empire” and he was quite specific about this part of the world being the hotbed from where the third world war could possibly be launched.
Most newbies can’t tell the difference between “Editorial” from that of “Breaking News.”
The current Kosovo policy is confusing to me. We immediately recognized a Muslim breakaway region from a Christian nation in Europe. We are supposedly in a war on terror (Islamic terror). We traditionally have supported stability and national integrity. Serbia is allied with Russia, which may explain our “interest” but in regards to Islamic terror Russia and the USA have some common interests.
Now who would be the modern equivalent to the Arch Duke who could take a drive through Kosovo and be shot?
I may show more ignorance than knowledge when speaking about the subject, but it seems to me this move will do more to provoke Russia into arming further and our acceptance of this will feed into anti-American rhetoric in the government.
But no one would care.
I'm assuming that there is no separatist movement in Vojvodina.
What are the chances now of the Serb Republic of Bosnia forming a union with Serbia?
I’m ignorant regarding Balkan policy as well . . . I’m just reacting at gut level to supporting a breakaway Muslim state in Europe. It seems a little goofy. We could have opted to say nothing.
I am totally disenfranchised. All the talk about “stopping islamist extremism”....
now you allow terrorists to form brand new states. Great. Thanks Bush. Talk is cheap.
I’m relatively new to this forum, I am struck in awe at the intelligence I see in some of the postings on this site. I have seen many of the liberal “equivaleants” to this site and the discussion is much more superficial. I wonder if our president even had the presence of mind to ask some of these questions and consider the consequences before he went out glorifying these events.
Excellent opinion piece from John Bolton et al:
The last thing the EU wants to see is a repeat of the Bosnian war.
Kosovo is about 90% Albanian and they were determined to leave Serbia - there never was a question of Kosovo not separating: the only choices were a bloody war or a peaceful departure.
Serbia with 6.2M Serbs would have gone bankrupt policing an isolated population of 1.9M Albanians - let alone a population of 1.9M Albanians that share a border with their Albanian "motherland."
Russia, as the new leader of pan-Slavic nationalism - will always oppose any interaction between Slavs and non-Slavs that leaves Slavs on the losing end of the bargain.
If the USA, NATO and the EU sat idly by while the Kosovo situation descended into civil war, it would give Russia the opportunity to berate the US and NATO for allowing this to happen and would provide Russia with an excuse to deploy troops in active warfare in close proximity to NATO/EU members like Croatia and Bulgaria.
A horrible precedent that is far worse than Russia's current bitching and moaning.
And Russia's current posture of aggressive military buildup and posturing would continue whether Kosovo was resolved in Serbia's or Albania's favor.
Probably not. Remember the old admonition that "fools names and fools faces are always seen in public places?"
Neither a politician nor a bureaucrat can stand to have his opinion not heard, even when the opinion is wrong.
Thanks for the information. Bloody war against Muslims with Russian involvement or a Muslim state in Europe. Both bad choices. Playing Devil’s advocate why couldn’t it have been a bloody war against Muslims with American rather than Russian support for the Christian population?
I would, but I hold a grudge a really long time.
It’s none of our business now and it was none of our business during the Clinton administration. Let them do whatever they want. Settle or fight it out. Who cares?
People assume that since Serbs are nominally Christian (even though less than 10% of the population are practicing Christians) and since Kosovo Albanians are nominally Muslim (even though less than 20% of the population bothers to attend mosque services and most Kosovars are alcohol-drinking secularists) that this is the religious equivalent of backing Iran in a war against Ireland.
Both groups are largely post-Communist secularists.
What it comes down to is: should the US neuter NATO and go against the EU here? Will Russia really be gratified and begin a more constructive relationship if we do that? Of course not.
Russia would be gratified if every single Serb was slaughtered by Albanian nationalists as long as the USA agreed to dismantle NATO.
US foreign policy general tries to accomplish good while furthering US interests: this move does the good of avoiding an otherwise-inevitable bloody separation while furthering the US interest in preserving NATO's integrity.