Historical parallels show EU ’s Kosovo policy is insane
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Tue Jan 8 14:14:45 UTC 2008
Historical parallels show EU's Kosovo policy is insaneBy: Jiří Hanák, 07. 01. 2008, More by this author
The new year begins under the sign of the infamy that the U.S. and theEuropean Union are committing against Serbia by supportingindependence for the Serbian province of Kosovo. In this relation, Icannot help but reach for a historical comparison. When, in October1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain defended the MunichAgreement with Hitler as offering "peace in our time", WinstonChurchill said, "The nation had to choose between shame and war. Wehave chosen shame. We shall get the war as well." To paraphrase—Washington and the EU have chosen between a restless Balkans anddishonesty. They have chosen dishonesty and will have troubles withmore than the Balkans.
But let us leave Serbia aside, injured and demeaned as it is. In itscurrent state of mind, it is imaginable that Serbia will turn its backon the EU and the West and will seek a safe harbor in Moscow. The ideathat Serbia may permit Russia to establish a base on its territory isnot as fantastic as it may seem. Desperate states do desperate things.When discussing Kosovo's independence, we cannot apply a nation'sright to self-determination. The Albanian nation already has itsstate. The Kosovo Albanians are thus merely a minority in Serbia, asthe Czech Germans were in pre-war Czechoslovakia. But there arefurther points. If the Euro-Atlantic alliance grants independence tothe Albanians in Kosovo, will it be able to consistently deny it toAlbanians in the Republic of Macedonia, where they form a highpercentage minority? And what about Republika Srpska inBosnia-Herzegovina? Would it not have the right to untangle itselffrom the (nonfunctioning) Bosnian double state and declare its o!
wnindependence as well? I am almost certain that an independent Kosovoand an independent Republika Srpska in Bosnia would fuse with their"mother" states in the foreseeable future, resulting in an entirelynew map of the region.
These matters are but a trifle, however, compared to the whole extentof what may come spilling out of the Pandora's box of Kosovo'sindependence. If the Albanian minority in Serbia can becomeindependent, why not the Hungarian minority in Slovakia? And inRomania? And what about Chechnya? And the Turks in Cyprus? And whatabout the 40-million strong Kurdish nation, with its own language andculture? Only because fate cast them into a cursedly sensitivearea—one by the way that has billions of barrels of oil?
And look at the icing on the cake: the KLA, supposedly the KosovoAlbanians' liberation army, was as recently as 1998 listed on theU.S.'s list of terrorist organizations. Only thanks to the magic wandof the U.S. State Department, then headed by Madeleine Albright, didthe terrorists and narco-barons change into respectable freedomfighters. I cannot judge how much a role was played by the charm ofKLA political leader Hashim Thaçi (also known as "the Snake"). What iscertain is the fact that we will be witnesses to a unique event—withthe declaration of an independent Kosovo, the narco-mafia will gainits own state.
The states of the EU will probably recognize Kosovo's independence;only Cyprus is holding out. In the case of Slovakia or Romania, theapproval will be either hypocritical or suicidal. For the CzechRepublic, it will be a living example of forgetting one's own history.I am sorry that, as a convinced backer of the EU, I have to say thatin the case of Kosovo, the EU has apparently gone insane.
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