Friday, March 19, 2004

'Kristallnacht is under way in Kosovo

Balkans > nationalism > everywhere
"'Kristallnacht is under way in Kosovo,' the [UN] official told B92 on condition of anonymity.
'What is happening in Kosovo must unfortunately be described as a pogrom against Serbs: churches are on fire and people are being attacked for no other reason than their ethnic background,' he added."

Also "deadly unrest in Kosovo", and latest news from B92 in Belgrade. Chris Deliso's Balkanalysis, has a full recap of events thus far and some obvious and valid points... he also links to this, rather ironic at the moment, Javier Solana article from 1999 titled "NATO's success in Kosovo". I would also remind people that bombing Yugoslavia back to the stone age was not really the only option present at the time...

I hate to say "I told you so", but let me emphasize this: confusing an extreme nationalism's military weakness with moral uprightness can only lead to disaster - and that's what you have here: 100,000 Serbs have been ethnically cleansed in Kosovo after the NATO bombardment (of radio stations and train coaches in Serbia and Montenegro), the remaining 100,000 are about to be, along with the remaining Roma, Turks and all other non-Albanian nationalities, obviously part of the clever NATO strategy for building a multi-ethnic Kosovo. At the same time, wait for attacks in Southern Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia (excuse me while I remain paranoid about the recent plane crash that killed Trajkovski, in light of recent events) and and the redestabilization of the area, particularly as these developments might propel the other viciously nationalist wingnut, Vojislav Seselj to the leadership of the Serbia (and possibly create further problems in the already divided Montenegro).
What will the "international community" (that means NATO) do now? What was the plan for Kosovo again? Was it independence? The Serbs (that's the democratic Serbs hand in hand with Milosevic) think not... Was it a new federal republic of Serbia, Montenegro & Kosovo? Sounds good but what do the Albanian Kosovars say about it?

So NATO, having installed as de facto rulers the UCK gangs, complicit in heroin trafficking and prostitution rings, having made Rugova a secondary player as far as real control over the country is concerned, is now faced with the options of either overseeing a massacre, or allowing Serbian troops in Kosovo, or increase their numbers to a full fledged occupation force liked by neither party and, eventually targeted by both.

So what to do? I still think, as I did then, that Misha Glenny had the right idea six months ago... For the moment I think it should be made crystal clear to the Albanian majority in Kosovo that slaughter makes the prospect of independence or autonomy less, not more, probable. Tirana, I'm sure, are not involved in all this and, unless the Pyramid Scheme King comes back to power, they'll stay out of it and exert a calming influence. At the same time some reassurance and protection of Serbs in Kosovo (along with a timetable for safe return of refugees to their homes) would go a long way in defusing the nationalist fervor in Serbia proper, which would be a good thing.

See also: some good points from Croatian blogger Dragan Antulov.

News stories from the ex-Yugoslav press (all the ex-Yugoslav countries) translated in English - albeit with some time delay...

The UNMIK website with the official communiques from the Kosovo administration.

Also while we're on the subject of former Yugoslavia check out this (long) E. Herman analysis of FY tribunal coverage by the NYT.

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