Sunday, March 2, 2008

On Kosovo's Fields -- Another Misinformed Opinion

Miro Copic responds to this Wall Street Journal editiorial:

March 2, 2008

Response to: On Kosovo’s Fields Editorial by Fouad Ajami

Dear Wall Street Journal Editorial Board:

Mr. Ajami is a respected scholar and a White House “go to guy” on Middle East policy but he is clearly giving Condoleezza Rice the wrong advice about Kosovo. In his editorial he mixes events, times and places and weaves an incoherent and revisionist story showing he is not well informed about Balkan history nor about what the issues are at stake today. The issue at hand is about Serbian sovereignty.

When the Kosovo conflict ended in 1999, UN Resolution 1244 guaranteed the sovereignty of Serbia and reiterated that Kosovo is a part of Serbia. There was no mention of autonomy or independence for Kosovo in the resolution.

Historically, Mr. Ajami fails to note that Kosovo was made into a semi-autonomous province by Tito after WWII to weaken Serbs politically. “A weak Serbia is good for Yugoslavia” he is quoted saying. Simultaneously, Tito began an open immigration policy encouraging economically starved and oppressed Albanians to move into Kosovo to mine the rich mineral wealth of the region —with full knowledge that the Albanians sided with the Fascists and Nazi’s during WWII and tried to expand their territory during the war. Prior to the WWII, Kosovo was part of Serbia.

Albanian separatist and terrorists group became prevalent during the turbulent ‘70’s and Tito added fuel to the fire when he revamped the Yugoslav constitution, giving Kosovo even more autonomy. During all this time, Albanian separatists groups threatened, intimidated and killed Serbs, setting off a mass exodus and leaving the Serbian province even more ethnically Albanian.

The New York Times has been reporting on Albanian atrocities against Serbs since the mid-1970s. From an article written on July 12, 1982, Marvine Howe interviewed Becir Hoti, executive secretary of the Communist Party of Kosovo who commented on the Albanian nationalists, “The [Albanian] nationalists [terrorist] have a two-point platform, first to establish what they call an ethnically clean Albanian republic and then the merger with Albania to form a greater Albania.”

An ethnically clean Kosovo has been the aim of the Kosovo Liberation Army’s (KLA) since it formed after the breakup of Yugoslavian. Until the bombing of Serbia in 1999, the KLA was identified as a top terrorist organization by the U.S. government. And now they are running the government.

The KLA has shown they cannot and will not run a multi-ethnic state. Since the NATO peace mission began in June 1999, over 150 Orthodox Christian churches have been destroyed, the pace of refugees has hastened, with over 300,000 Serbs, Roma and other minorities leaving the province while the rest live in enclaves, protect by NATO troops.

In 2005, Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Harandinaj (the former KLA top commander) resigned when he was indicted on 37 counts of war crimes at The Hague. Current Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci, was Harandinaj’s top KLA officer. The evidence cannot be more clear. Mr. Ajami talks about secular Muslims in Europe, indeed the record isn’t very clean or secular.

Currently countries representing over 50% of the world’s population formally REFUSED to recognize Kosovo. These not only include Russia, Spain and China, but Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country. On the other hand, Turkey, the same week it recognized Kosovo, launched its military action in northern Iraq against the Kurds, much to the embarrassment of the U.S. Unlike the Kurds that don’t have a homeland, the Albanians do. It’s called Albania. No country in the world has two homelands.

Ajami points to thuggish actions by Slobodan Milosevic as the framework for the way Serbs will act. Milosevic is dead. The new Serbian government has worked with the frameworks set by the west. The Serbs have been strong allies in both world wars and have lost millions defending western ideals. That can’t be said for the Albanians or even the Turks.

Shame on Mr. Ajami to read straight Albanian press releases. He should stick with his expertise on the Middle East.

Miro Copic

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