Sunday, February 11, 2007

Kosovan Indendence, get used to it guys

Check out the comment is free article for a study in ethnic pathology. I hope you will note that at no point in my article do I suggest collective Serb guilt for the atrocities committed in Kosovo. It was the government of Milosevic, and the Serb nationalists who were responsible. But most of the angry Serbs seem to assume that the Albanians collectively are guilty of everything done by any one of them. Blood guilt is the technical term. Albanians are crooks, illegal immigrants, nun-rapers, and have no riight to self determination. And of course, they are all also Islamic terrorists which is why they are not acccused of being drunkards I suppose despite the gallons of raki they regularly down.

If the Serb nationalists had said similar things about blacks or Jews, in most countries they would face prosecution for hate crime and in some for holocaust denial... sadly, in Belgrade they get elected to high office instead and complain that no one loves them.

No more on Kosovo
It's time to stop pandering to Serbian nationalists and give them a reality check.

Ian Williams

February 9, 2007 3:00 PM
In 2005, the UN heads of state summit accepted contemporary humanitarian standards of international law and accepted the "Responsibility to Protect", a doctrine which says that international humanitarian law trumps claims to state sovereignty. In effect, it takes up those words from the Declaration of Human Rights and says that sovereignty is a contract between a people and their state, and a state that massacres and mistreats its own people has broken that contract.

King George III tried to make the American colonists pay some taxes to fund the war that Britain had just fought to get the French out of North America.

The American response was that "when in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

One would have thought that opinions of mankind should know the causes impelling Kosovo's independence fairly well. The ten years of apartheid that Slobodan Milosevic's regime practiced upon the ethnically Albanian Kosovars, after he dissolved their government in 1989, followed by the intense attempt at ethnic cleansing in 1999 should make it fairly plain that the "political bands" had been stretched beyond breaking point.

It is clear that Milosevic's behaviour effectively renounced any claims to loyalty from and justified sovereignty over the vast majority of Kosovars. Instead, Serb nationalists were left with more traditional claims to sovereignty: Serbia conquered Kosovo just before the First World War.

Of course after Milosevic's overthrow, the Serbs could have said they are really sorry for what happened, and offered to make amends. They did not. Serb nationalist leaders blustered and tried to demonize their victims - although, to give them a bit of credit, they were forced to prosecute some of the perpetrators of mass murders in Kosovo when over a thousand semi-rotten Albanian cadavers turned up buried under police stations in Serbia and from under lakes where truckloads of them had been dunked. The post-mortem cleansing had been intended to remove the evidence of atrocities.

But while Zoran Djindic hoped that revealing the mass graves would help raise support in Serbia for extraditing Milosevic, the temporary enthusiasm of the Serbian security forces for apprehending war criminals rapidly returned to its normal low ebb. It took several years for the Belgrade authorities to identify the DNA and return the corpses to Kosovo, but as gestures go, returning the fetid evidence without too much in the way of returning indictments does not really send a strong signal of contrition.

So far, this is all Belgrade has done to woo Kosovo's Albanian majoirty. Instead, the nationalists have been posturing, running a referendum to declare that Kosovo is an inalienable and integral part of Serbia, while trying to detach the area north of Mitrovica, from which the Albanians were ethnically cleansed, and incorporate it into Serbia.

Amusingly, there was no attempt get the citizenry of Kosovo to vote in this referendum. It has about the same strength as a British referendum declaring the13 colonies to be an integral part of the United Kingdom. Which is to say, none.

It is time to stop pandering and give the nationalists a reality check. Because the international community came to the rescue of the Kosovars when Milosevic was killing them, it has earned the right to ensure the welfare of other minorities there. But, supervised or not, Kosovan independence is the only way forward. And then the Serbs and Kosovars can join the EU and concentrate on getting the Balkans working and making the frontiers there as irrelevant as they are in the rest of Europe. If the nationalists in Belgrade want to bluster and break off relations with their neighbours, the EU and the US, let them.

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