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.
As an aside, I have an acquaintance that has gone to Croatia as an evangelist. From what I gather they have lovely, empty churches that they are very proud of, in the same way we are proud of a historic monument. He says it was one of the least evangelized areas in the world.
Croatia is a victim of 70 years of collectivism and 50 years of Communism.
Despite two generations in which Christianity was officially discouraged and often punished, one out of every three Croats attends Sunday Mass.
The Croats are thus one of the best evangelized people in Europe.
Cathedrals in large cities may be museum pieces, because city dwellers tend to be the most secular group.
Many small towns' parish churches are filled to bursting every week - but these churches are smaller and less architecturally exciting than Zagreb cathedral.
The match has been lit on the bomb know as "Greater Albania". Where will the Albanian terrorist explosion strike next? Macedonia? Montenegro? The Preshevo valley of Serbia? Greece? Fort Dix?
Or will the next blast be a uncivil war between the Ghegs and the Tosks for Albania itself?
And Moscow will be first to recognize Greater Azatlan when what is now the American Southwest breaks away and joins with Mexico.
The U.S. war on Serbia was unconstitutional, unjust and unwise. Congress never authorized it. Serbia, an ally in two world wars, had never attacked us.
Besides what Pat says above, in a round about way, 'Bill and Maddie's Excellent Balkan Adventure' was an illegal war. Clinton violated the US War Powers Act. He violated the NATO Charter and never had any UN approval - which the Dems seem to hold so dear. Not one UN Resolution exists that 'authorized' that war. And for sure it violated any 'International Law' (another Dem 'Holy').
As such it should have been Klintoon, Maddie Not-so-bright and BJ's personal General, Weaselly Clark, sitting in the dock at The Hague, NOT Slobodan Milosevic. Klintoon, Albright and Clark were the 'War Criminals' because if the indiscriminate bombing of innocent Serb civilians from 20,000 feet with 'dumb' bombs isn't a 'crime against humanity', nothing is. Whether other NATO members went along with this is irrelevant - the USA is NATO. And if Republicans wanted a reason to impeach BJ, this was it. Slam dunk - case closed.
But worse, what Klintoon an dhis goons set in motion and now with Dubya justifying by recognizing this 'new' country is gonna come back and bite us in the butt - big time. When the 'Ethnic Mexicans' in (cough) 'our' SW demand autonomy and declare independence all they have to do is use the Balkans as precedent. From Bosnia to Kosovo all they have to say to the U.N. is 'look at them, we want the same'. Naturally the UN loves us so much they'll back the USA against these rebels. And so will Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, etc, etc, etc. (/s)
Oh well, it looks like Clark will get his war with Russia after all. At least he'll be happy. The only problem will be that the war will be fought on US soil.
Almost every charge against the Nazis at the Nuremberg Trials could be used against BJ, Maddie and Clark in their illegal and aggressive war against Serbia and the Serbian people.
If I’m not mistaken, they never found the “mass graves” that we were told were the reason for the war. I’ve heard Republicans justify their silence about this war by stating that our differences stop at the water’s edge when force is used. I guess the same principal is ignored on the other side of the “isle”.
Rest assured, you're mistaken, as not only did we find mass graves containing Milosevic's victims in Kosovo, but the Serbs found one themselves on the grounds of their Secret Police training grounds in Belgrade, which contained 800 or so victims which were transported there by Serbian forces in a failed effort to hide the evidence of their crimes.
Further, the reason for our and NATO's involvement can be traced to Bush the Elder's warning to Milosevic not to use military force against civilians in Kosovo, he ignored our warning, we responded as we said we would.
Had the Serbs made a good faith effort to address the crimes perpetrated by their forces in Kosovo, independence would have been a much harder sell, but as it is, Belgrade is content to appeal to law and order only when their politicians perceive it to be in their interest, a short sighted policy which has cost them, and continues to cost them dearly.
It seems that everything I’ve read states the Albanians were the invading force, and while the Serb’s methods were anything but humane, they were defending themselves. Further, since the cease of hostilities the Serbs have been on the receiving end of the genocidal stick while the world stands by and watches. Again I will defer to many on knowledge of the issue, but all sources I have read paint this picture.
I think you're obviously referring to the following:
(William) Cohen Fears 100,000 Kosovo Men Killed by Serbs
"Up to 100,000 ethnic Albanian men in Kosovo of fighting age have vanished and may have been killed by Serbian forces, Defense Secretary William Cohen said on Sunday."
By Tom Doggett Reuters Sunday, May 16, 1999; 2:56 p.m. EDT
that is what I am referring to! I have not seen pictures (ala holocost pics) and it seems the pres would have been allover it, showing that the ethnic cleansing was actually taking place.
Yes, I know - it was obvious to me. However, I thought I would point it out because some others around here may misperceive what it was you trying to imply.
>>Up to 100,000 ethnic Albanian men in Kosovo of fighting age have vanished
They shoulda looked in the NYC area for them.
I find it hard to believe you'd knowingly defending ethnic cleansing as an appropriate response to anything.
If the world had simply stood by and watched, there would be no Serbs in Kosovo today whatsoever. That is not our aim, that was not our course of action, and therefore that is not the case today.
NO they never did because there weren't any!
But they have fulfilled their promises made with the Nazis and then the communists.
The Nazi lover Mustafa Kruja, the Prime Minister of Albania, was in Kosovo in June 1942, and at a meeting with the Albanian leaders of Kosovo, said:
"We should endeavor to ensure that the Serb population of Kosovo be Â the area be cleansed of them and all Serbs who had been living there for centuries should be termed colonialists and sent to concentration camps in Albania. The Serb settlers should be killed."
Bogdanović, Dimitrije. "The Book on Kosovo". 1990. Belgrade: Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, 1985. page 2428. Genfer, Der Kosovo-Konflikt, Munich: Wieser, 2000. page 158.
Nicely written for the ear (and not the eye). Remind me to hire you as a speech writer when I run for office. /s
When Clinton attacked Serbia for defending themselves against the Mohammedan terrorist invaders it was a war crime. We should be rebuilding Serbia and helping them defend their nation.