Sunday, December 09, 2007

Remember the Balkans?

Bal·kan·ize (bôl k -n z )
To divide (a region or territory) into small, often hostile units.

The best I can figure, the administration of George W. Bush has 406 days remaining. That is more than enough time to initiate any number of fresh foreign policy blunders. But our administration seems perversely intent on bringing to fruition a disaster left over from the Clinton regime. In fact, there is no daylight between the Bushies and the Clinton on this topic. Iran? Syria? No, Kosovo. Yes, Kosovo.

Ready or not, Kosovo is poised to declare independence from Serbia, and the U.S. and most of the E.U. seem likely to go along. Apparently, this is a bad idea whose time has come.Russia will oppose the move, but what they will do to counter such a unilateral declaration remains to be seen. It doesn't have to be this way, as Doug Bandow observes:

Thus, the European states and the U.S. should propose a new round of negotiations – genuine negotiations. No preconditions. No timetables. If the Albanians want independence, they need to come up with sufficient concessions, territorial or other, to win Serbian assent. If the Serbs want to maintain formal sovereignty over Kosovo, they need to come up with sufficient concessions, expanded autonomy or other, to win Albanian assent. Agreement might still prove impossible. But success would be far more likely than from the faux talks promoted by the allies.

What's another foreign policy crisis among friends? Maybe one too many. The best hope to avert a new, and possibly violent, breakdown in the Balkans is for both Washington and Brussels to realize that America and the Europeans are far too busy to deal with civil disorder and conflict in Kosovo. They must tell Pristina no to independence. And they must do so quickly.

Nicholas Kulish examines the plight and prospects of the beleaguered Serbian minority in Kosovo, here. The picture is of Mother Anastasia and a German soldier in the gutted St. Joanikije Monastery. “This monastery was always offering a comfort of healing, not only for Christians but for Muslims as well,” Mother Anastacia said.

Since the Albanians in Albania have their own country, and soon the Albanians in Serbia will have their own statelet, it will be interesting to see how long it will take the Albanians in Macedonia to begin agitating for more autonomy. Not long, I'd wager. It will also be interesting to see just how the lessons of our Kosovo experiment play out worldwide. For there is hardly any country of consequence today that does not have an enclave of some sort with an equal or greater claim to "self-determination" than does Kosovo.

And if you like Kosovo, you'll love Molvania.


The Scylding said...

What to say? Some problems seem too complex to contemplate - and too easy to forget. The world is not a warm, fuzzy place...

For instance, here are some facts many might find surprising: In the country of my birth, a quarter of a million people have been violently killed from 1994 to 2004. Nearly half a million rapes occurred. Over a million cases of serious assault (not petty assault) over the same period. And these are the OFFICIAL, probably underreported figures. A recent survey indicated that well over 30% of all girls between 14 and 18 have been forced to have sexual relations. All this in a country with a population approximately one-seventh of that of the US.

And there isn't even a war going on...

John said...

Those are sobering statistics (and I'm assuming South Africa?). The Balkans mess seems like just a school yard scuffle compared to the horror you describe, and similar situations in other parts of Africa. My point with Kosovo, apart from the human tragedy, is that it sets a terrible example, geopolitically. Also, our intrusion into the region--backing thuggish partisans fighting a thuggish regime--has ultimately made a bad situation much worse. And it is not over, by any means.

Death Bredon said...

The real outrage here is that, despite the hatred amongst the Catholic Croats, the Orthodox Serbs and Muslim Bosnians, they had worked a peace deal among themselves comprising a three-state solution to be implemented by a land and population exchanges trading. At the Eleventh Hour, Madam Albright rushed in to object, insisting along that Tito's cynical, artificially manipulated ethnic mixing must be retain because the US if perfect and the US believes in cultural diversity.

In short, after the US purely indeological and unwanted intervention under cover of the NATO banner, the violence continued and continues to this day, precisely because the only possible lasting solution -- a historical-based three-state solution -- has never come about.

Instead, the US and the EU (a/k/a the Fourth Reich) ae going to enforce an ahistorical four-state anti-solution. Stay tuned for more Balkan carnage.

John said...

Death Bredon--exactly!

The Scylding said...

John - yes.

Steve Hayes said...

Madeleine Albright did WHAT?

The USA did much to break up Yugoslavia, and Madeleine Albright wanted to break it up still further.

Max said...

Serbs may not have black skin, but they are being treated like white niggers of Europe. Every day. In the media. On the streets in Kosovo….Look, the pogrom and genocide against the Serbs in Kosovo has taken many, many forms. The theft of their land, the destruction of any means of economic survival, the ghettoization of the population inside barbed-wire fences, the destruction of their places of worship, the singling out and murdering of leaders of the community......The slow and systematic ethnic cleansing of Serbs and other minorities takes place in Kosovo every day......At the celebration of St. Vitus Day, the Serbian national holiday that is traditionally celebrated in Kosovo and Metohija, Serbs had their basic human rights violated.The police prohibited people from entering Kosovo, and those who did manage to enter were forbidden Serbian cultural markings, including Cyrillic script and Christian symbols.Banners and flags were confiscated and shirts were stripped away, thus the pilgrims were forced to attend the religious ceremonies half-naked.The police fired live ammunition at unarmed demonstrators, severely wounding three people. Buses that had passed the police checkpoints, including one with children, were met with stones and Molotov cocktails by the crowd, leaving 16 children injured.Women were forced to disrobe in public. Personal possessions were stolen and destroyed..... Obviously this entire picture of KFOR, and EULEX, is nothing but a camouflage to cover up the genocidal pogrom against every person and every thing Serbian in Kosovo. Not only are the people hunted down and killed like animals whenever that’s possible. If that’s not possible, they’re assaulted in broad daylight in front of thousands of witnesses to terrorize them. And if that’s not possible, then there’s an anonymous attack on buses and means of transport. And if that’s not possible, then the buildings which they used to inhabit are destroyed. And if that’s not possible, then they’re satisfied destroying their churches and signs of their religion.