Skip to comments.Kosovo Precedent Prevails
Posted on 08/26/2008 1:49:38 PM PDT by DTA
When the United States and its key European allies ignored Russias protests and recognized Kosovos declaration of independence from Serbia in February, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice blithely insisted that the Kosovo situation was unique and set no international precedent whatsoever. Prominent members of the foreign policy communities in Europe and the United States echoed her argument.
Moscows August 26 decision to recognize the independence of Georgias separatist enclaves of South Ossetia and Abkhazia demonstrates the arrogant folly of that position. In just a matter of months, the Kosovo precedent has backfired on the United States and generated dangerous tensions between Russia and the West.
It is difficult to imagine how Washington and its NATO allies could have more egregiously mishandled the Kosovo situation. Western policy has been a debacle from its beginnings in the early 1990s. When Belgrade attempted to suppress the secessionist campaign by the Albanian majority in Kosovo, NATO intervened with air strikes to compel Serbia to relinquish control of the province to an international occupation force. NATOs actions ignored Moscows vehement objections and showed contempt for Russias long-standing interests in the Balkans. The Clinton administration also bypassed the UN Security Council (and, hence, Russias veto) to launch that military operation, exhibiting further disdain for Russias prerogatives as a permanent member of the Council and a major power in the international system.
Russian leaders fumed, but Moscow was too weak to do anything but issue futile protests. Ultimately, the NATO powers offered Moscow the sop of a belated UN resolution that professed to recognize Serbias territorial integrity, which included Kosovo, even though that province had been put under international control. How much that resolution was worth became apparent in 2007 and early 2008 when the United States and the major European Union governments pressed for Kosovos independence without Belgrades consent andonce againwithout UN Security Council authorization. Moscow warned at the time that such action would set a dangerous international precedent; countries as diverse as China, India, Indonesia, Spain and Greece expressed the same concern. Most ominously, Russian officials specifically cited Abkhazia and South Ossetia as places where the Kosovo precedent could apply.
Russia has now demonstrated that two can play the game of using military force against another country to detach discontented ethnic enclaves. And the United States and NATO are not able to do much about it.
Rather than escalate the already alarming tensions with Russia, Washington needs to walk back its policy on Kosovo and seek a deal with Moscow. The U.S.-EU position on Kosovo is untenable from the standpoint of both wise diplomacy and basic logic. American officials have put themselves in the awkward position of arguing that quasi-democratic Georgias territorial integrity is sacrosanct while fully democratic Serbias is not. Moreover, despite the expectation of leaders in Washington and Pristina that the vast majority of countries would quickly recognize Kosovos independence, only a meager forty-seven have done soand most of them are long-standing American allies and clients. The rest of the world still worries about the broader implications of the Kosovo precedent and withholds recognition.
Washington should propose a mutual diplomatic retreat to Moscow, in which the United States would rescind its recognition of Kosovos independence and urge the Kosovars to accept Belgrades proposal for a negotiated status of enhanced autonomy, which comes very close to de facto independence. Russia would be expected to adopt a similar policy with regard to Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
If U.S. leaders do not suggest this course, they will face the unpleasant prospect of further demonstrating NATOs inability to do anything effective to reverse Russias conduct in Georgia. American miscalculations have already underscored the alliances impotence; it is not a lesson that officials should want to reinforce. Moreover, if Washington and Moscow do not back off from their tenacious positions, relations between the two countriesalready in bad shapemay degenerate into a new cold war. Conversely, some common sense and flexibility on the twin secessionist issues could be a catalyst for repairing that important relationship.
Ted Galen Carpenter, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, is the author of eight books on international affairs, including Smart Power: Toward a Prudent Foreign Policy for America (2008). He is also a contributing editor to The National Interest.
Clintons’ Kosovo precedent is capable of projection to the US Southwest and the movements demanding its cultural or worse divorcement from the US. Open borders, and a two-party permissiveness and passive support for separatist movements (La Raza is consulted by both parties) begs the question in the future. Where is Lincoln and his party when you need the support? The Union is seemingly up for grabs, and Kosovo is just as potentially seminal as the Kelo Decision has been to property rights.
That pretty much says it. NATO, with its sanctimonious and false self righteousness had no business in the Balkans. This proved that the intentions of NATO and its eastward expansion were not benign and harmless.
Sure Putin is a thug and a predator. But now he holds the winning hand. Without US muscle, NATO is nothing. They will do nothing.
In truth, good relations with Russia is more important than our relationship with any so called NATO allie. That's only my opinion. But there was no reason for this to occur, except for the ineptness of the West. This phony self righteousness and sanctimonious fantasy that we have the right to bring "democracy", even if it puts mortal enemies of civilization in power will kill us.
The more our leaders talk regarding this situation, the more they embarrass themselves. The empty huffing and puffing puts us in greater danger. Because meaningless statements eliminate credibility and invite aggression.
Serbia fully democratic? Isn't Serbia run by Socialists including the party of the mass-murderer Slobodan Milosevic himself? Does the party who got the most votes in the last election run Serbia?
Actually, TGJ, the Red-Yellow-Green (communist-EU-groveling quisling-muslim) coalition that now governs Serbia is the result of meddling by the US State Department, the EU, and Soros. The results of the fully-democratic vote of the Serbian people, as in many parliametary systems, could have resulted in any number of governing coalitions. But because of outside meddling, that is what they got.
I would have preferred to see a patriotic governnmet of Kostunica’s party with the Radicals. But what I (or you) want isn’t important. What’s really needed is NO MORE MEDDLING by ousiders in government processes in Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia, etc. with the purpose of encircling and eventually breaking up Russia, as Brzezinski (Obama’s and Carter’s advisor), Soros, and all the globalists have schemed about for years.
Breaking up Yugoslavia—and Serbia—was the first step in this evil scheme. It is Russia’s reaction to this scheme that is the reason for the Georgian incident, not just the “precedent” of “Kosovo independence”.
Real democracy means no such outside interference. And saving our civilization means reuniting its Orthodox and Roman Catholic/Protestant halves in partnership and equality!!!!
Seriously....what are you, 12 years old? Calling people “fools” and making statements like...
“You Serbs are Russias bitches so you better do what Vlad says or hell have to pimp-smack you. Know your role, punks.”
“Thats right, nobody gives a crap about your shitty little country. You are Russias friend and our enemy so we are glad now about what Clinton did to you. We feel stupid for ever having sympathized with you. Now we are happy about your misfortune.”
...show you for your absolute ignorance and idiocy. You have real issues, amigo...GO SEEK HELP.
At which point did my country get taken over by nation building idiots? What happened to “friendship and open trade with other nations, entangling alliances with none”?
Albanians already have a country, why do they need Kosovo?
Good question. Annuling recognition of Kosovo and Osetia, Abkhazia is the only way to restitute World balance.
Even if Russia and America strike a deal and say “we will not do any more of this nonsense” the genie is out of the bottle and other countries can do the same. 10 000 ethnic groups, 200 countries, possibilities are endless. NATO is incapable to pacify Afghanistan. Imagine 10 flashpoints like this one, in countries where human life is valued less than an AK-47 or a cow.
I posted this earlier on the "Quiz" thread, but I just can`t resist:
List of active autonomist and secessionist movements
Just "target" next country /s.
As for a need to restore "World balance" I don't think that even exists. World politics isn't played by Marquess of Queensberry rules. We will certainly reap the consequences of our stupidity in Serbia in one way or another but there is no need to concede anything to Putin over it. I see only some moral equivalence between our actions in Serbia and Russia's actions in Georgia and no political equivalence.
And don’t forget that ity was Brzezinski in his book “Between Two Ages” in the 1980s who asked essentially “Can we not consider the Bolshevik Revolution a blessing for the world because it destroyed Russia?”
Tailgunner Joe, my fine-feathered friend, forgot to take your medication again? How in the world anyone with supposedly “conservative” credentials could come to the defense of Bill Clinton’s little wag-the-dog actions in Kosovo, to distract from Blowjob-gate and his impeachment, truly boggles the mind.
If you were an actual Tailgunner in WWII rather than the armchair soldier that you actually are, the Serbs would’ve been your best friends— it was the Serbs, more than any other USA ally, who put their lives on the line to rescue American and other Allied pilots. And the Serbs have always been on the front lines in defending Europe against Islamofascism, since the Battle of Kossovo against the Ottoman Turks in 1389.
But no, Bill Clinton couldn’t be bothered by actual history, since it was far more important to protect his sorry hide from political fallout over Blowjob-gate. Despite the confusing situation on the ground (with mutual atrocities), the Serbs were an easy target in the media, so Bill decided to bomb Serbia for 78 days and kill thousands of cilivians, even hitting a TV tower. Even now, Bill still has his bootlickers defending him for his war crime.
The biggest irony of all this, TGJ, is that your beloved little Kosovo Albanians demonstrated their gratitude for Bill Clinton’s war crime by helping to mass-murder 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001. The KLA has always had cozy relations with al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden, and in fact the 9/11 hijackers themselves had links to the region which helped them to train, and to plot the attacks in Europe. Even now, the KLA-led Kosovo is an unviable state led by drug-runners, and people and weapons-smugglers, still with connections to al-Qaida.
So you see, TGJ, you are effectively sympathizing with al-Qaida here, and in fact with al-Qaida operatives who murdered 3,000 Americans on 9/11. And you call yourself a patriot?
Yeah, in fact Aztlan in the US Southwest is next on the list. The Aztlan, Aleutian and Hawaiian independence movements are already citing Kosovo as the fundamental legal precedent for secession, and the irony is, they’re right— when the US government itself creates a precedent like this, nowhere is that precedent stronger than in our country itself.
Hey, if they wanna secede, more power to them. If our corrupt leaders are stupid enough to shoot ourselves in the foot over Kosovo, an Islamofascist-led al-Qaida allied narcostate that directly assisted in an attack on our own soil (9/11), then perhaps our government deserves the shock. And besides, Aztlan in particular will stop leeching precious tax dollars away from the rest of the nation. Let ‘em fend for themselves.