You know, I sometimes wonder what color the sky is on the planet the editorial board of the New York Times lives on.
They have been advocating a strategy of defeat in Iraq and, I guess, one of preemptive surrender everywhere else. Their latest foray into the world of international policy is to advocate for the UN to legitimize the independence of Kosovo. Kosovo, for those who have forgotten (It was more than a week ago), was the province of Serbia that was rebelling against the Serbs with an eye to reestablishing the “Greater Albania” that they enjoyed during the Nazi occupation. Kind of like the “Aztlan” that the Hispanic “reconquista’s” talk about in California.
After Bill Clinton and NATO entered the war on the side of the “insurgents”, the Serbs ceded Kosovo to the UN after the bombing of civilian targets in Belgrade and Kosovo. The stories of “ethnic cleansing” against the Muslims turned out to be false. No “rape camps”, no flooded mines full of bodies, no mass graves. The primary victims of the bombing were civilians, not Serbian military. A former commander of mine was present when the Serbs removed their military from Kosovo and was part of the NATO force that entered the province afterward. He remarked that if the Serbian military had suffered more than minor damage they must have had the best cleaning women, “Putzfrau’s” as he termed them, in the entire world. They found no burnt out tanks, no bombed bunkers, in fact he said that if they had decided to fight, we would have taken massive casualties because of the extensive system of fortifications that they had built in to the hillsides.
It was another of those situations where neither side deserved to win. But in this case, though the Serbs did not deserve to win, the victory of the KLA might well come back to haunt us in the long run. The KLA has close ties to other Islamic terror groups as was noted in this Senate report in 1998.
A 1998 Senate report examining the goals, costs and motives stated following:
If the KLA, either with or without NATO intervention against Serbia, is successful in securing Kosovo’s independence, that success might itself be likely to ignite insurrections in neighboring Montenegro and, particularly, in Macedonia. The KLA has made it clear that its goal is to liberate not only Kosovo but ethnic Albanian-populated areas in Montenegro and in Macedonia – where the KLA already has a military presence, and where several recent bombings are attributed to the KLA. It is for this reason that the Macedonian and Greek foreign ministers in June put aside the squabbles between their countries and issued a joint statement opposing NATO intervention in Kosovo: “Once the bitterest of neighbors, Greece and Macedonia have united in the fear that a successful campaign by the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army could spell disaster for the Balkans. NATO strikes could bolster the KLA’s campaign. ‘Kosovo is a province of Serbia. Any change of borders will mean all-out war’ in the Balkans,’ [said Macedonian foreign minister Blagoj] Handzinski. ‘We condemn both the activities of the so-called KLA and Serb forces in Kosovo.’ [Greek foreign minister Theodoros] Pangalos added: ‘It is not by chance that the countries of the region represent the voice of logic. We have the most to win if there is a peaceful solution and the most to lose if there is a war'” [Associated Press, 6/23/98].
So far, with the UN occupation and the presence of UN peacekeepers, the KLA has not yet achieved the full victory in Kosovo. Even with the UN mission the Muslims have succeeded in driving out most of the non-Muslim minorities. While wanting to stop purported “ethnic cleansing” by the Serbs the UN has instead ended up supporting defacto ethnic cleansing by the Muslims.
Now the New York Times want the UN to grant independence to Kosovo. But, as the commercial goes, not exactly.
No More Delays for Kosovo – New York Times
After the 1999 war there has never been a realistic possibility of rejoining Kosovo and Serbia. Kosovo was supposed to earn independence by proving its willingness to govern responsibly and to protect its ethnic Serb minority. A lot more needs to be done on both those fronts.
But the United Nations has limited patience to keep administering Kosovo, and without the stability of statehood there will be no foreign investment and the beleaguered economy will not improve. Lack of economic prospects is feeding Albanian nationalism, and until Kosovo’s status is settled, anger will remain close to the surface.
Even as it moves Kosovo toward statehood, the U.N. should keep a substantial military and advisory presence there, both to ensure the rights of the Serb minority and to encourage democratic development.
Belgrade will always object to Kosovo’s independence. The best chance of moderating its reaction is the promise of eventual membership in the European Union and a clear warning that Europe will be watching how it treats its new neighbor. The Kosovars should be clear that donors and everyone else will be watching just as closely to see how they treat their own Kosovar Serbs.
They want Kosovo to be independent but still have UN oversight and “peacekeeping” troops. Why?
Because they know that as soon as the UN management and troops are removed the Kosovar Muslims will commence to ethnically cleansing the remaining non-Muslim minorities. Everyone might be watching to see how they treat their minorities, but that’s all they’ll do. Watch. And cluck in disappointment as the remaining Serbs and Gypsies are brutalized and killed. There won’t be any protection from the West for them.
When exactly did we see much concern by Muslim states for the welfare of their non-Muslim citizens? That would be never.