The Kosovo aftershocks are playing out much as expected. The U.S. Embassy in Belgrade was torched--unfortunate, but hardly surprising. Bloody-handed pols from the Clinton era (Holbrooke, Cohen, etc.) are huffing and puffing on cue. Tensions are on edge in the fault line city of Mitrovica, see here.
And on top of that, Condeleeza Rice is losing patience with Serbia.
In Washington, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said it was time for Serbs to accept that Kosovo is no longer theirs. She also suggested it was time to drop centuries of grievance and sentimentality in the Balkans. "We believe that the resolution of Kosovo's status will really, finally, let the Balkans begin to put its terrible history behind it," Dr. Rice said Friday.
Oh, really. Her message to Serbia seems to be something like this: We are America and we know what is best for you. We have divvied-up your country in a manner we think best, and it is high time for you to stop your whining and learn to live with it.
But I have saved the best for last. Rice continues:
"I mean, after all, we're talking about something from 1389 – 1389! It's time to move forward."
With the President out of the country--last seen getting-down, so to speak, with some Liberian tribal dancers--this statement is easily the most inane commentary coming from the Bush administration in recent memory.
The American people have been told that Secretary Rice's expertise lay in the field of Russian--or to be more exact, Soviet Union--studies. Such petulant comments display an appalling ignorance of Slavic history, culture and sensibilities. Beyond that, it dismisses the very thing which defines a people, any people--their shared history.
It's worse than we imagined.
Lord, have mercy.