I’ve already said at least once I’ve had second thoughts about Woodrow Wilson’s project to give every subethnicity in Eastern Europe an independent micro-state. (And you thought “Balkanization” had something to do with Slavicness or Christian Orthodoxy or “Byzantineness” or something like that!) In the case of Kosovo, of course, if the Serbs weren’t trying to exterminate the Albanians, the Albanians were trying to exterminate the Serbs. (And the foreign ‘protective’ forces that have been there have not done so well at preserving the peace for minority Serbs and their ancient churches and monasteries.) Though we must remember that we in the West have been the ‘beneficiaries’ of a decade and a half of professional PR against the Serbs, as well as amateur anti-Orthodoxy on the part of so-called human rights monitors. Were the militant Serbs saints? Of course not. But it seems at least some of the militant non-Serbs also fell short of canonization, during and since the wars that tore Yugoslavia to shreds (with foreign help), for good or for ill.
Nevertheless, ISTM the West was going through the motions when it seemed to be trying to bring about a genuine agreement regarding Kosovo between Belgrade and the Albanians there, treading water till “an opportune moment” to finally end it – they hoped – by just tearing Kosovo away from Serbia permanently. It seems the Republic of Kosovo will be an instant Haiti, with no economy. And if anyone thinks the substantial Serb communities in its north are going to take this lying down…. I’m not calling for more war, but I don’t see how it can be avoided without a miraculous conversion on the Western/Albanian side, toward more moderation, and listening to the needs and interests and ideas of the vast majority of Serbs who are not guilty of war crimes.
I have come to believe the ideal situation for most world states and peoples is not independent micro-statehood, but constructive engagement within a larger State that protects minorities, as well as individuals regardless of background. Maybe there was never going to be conciliation between the Serbs and the Albanians … but the evidence suggests the effort wasn’t even made by the parties with all the resources, the West – the US, UK, EU, UN – as well as the Albanians themselves.
In labor-management relations, we call that negotiating in bad faith.
Lord Have Mercy on all concerned in this matter … and the rest of us!