Monday, February 18, 2008

Marko Attila Hoare on Kosova Independence

The old cliche "I couldn't have said it better myself" was never more true:

Greater Surbiton Blog on Kosova Independence

I have nothing to add to his eloquent and comprehensive statement; except that I could not agree more about the 'flag issue.' I will always consider Bosnia's current flag to be an aberration. Same for Kosovo.

7 comments:

Srebrenica Genocide Blog Editor said...

It is always important to keep in mind that Kosovo was not created as a result of genocide against the Serbs. Quite contrary, it was occupied by Serbia and held against its will, while it's Albanian population was oppressed and subjected to the decades-long humiliation. In the 90's, Serbia's police beat up Albanians on the street and kill them at will. As a child, I remember TV footages of Albanians with their ears cut off and abused in all ways possible by the Serbian government.

bganon said...

'It is always important to keep in mind that Kosovo was not created as a result of genocide against the Serbs. Quite contrary, it was occupied by Serbia and held against its will, while it's Albanian population was oppressed and subjected to the decades-long humiliation.'

Excuse me but hogwash.

Kosova was created as a result of ethnic cleansing by any standard of the definition. Whats more the return of Kosovo minorities that were cleansed has been miserable, making the returns in Bosnia look like a haven of ethnic tolerance even. Its Albanian population was oppressed from 1990, as we all know, but prior to that Kosovo Albanians enjoyed their rights. Of course Kosovo has always been economically a problem, Serbs and Kosovo Albanians suffered this together.

bganon said...

Kirk one other comment about MAH's piece, parts of it I agree with but most not take this sentiment at the end:

'Why should the people of Kosova not be allowed a flag with their own beloved black double-headed eagle on a red background ?'

Answer: Only because its already the existing flag of the nation state of Albania. I sincerely wonder about the motives of some people sometimes as MAH must have know this when he wrote that emotional piece.

Kirk Johnson said...

Bganon, I think you're ignoring the first half of the 20th Century. Belgrade's policy towards Kosovo was rather less altruistic prior to the Tito years.

It is true that ethnic Serbs in Kosovo suffered the same economic deprivations as the Albanian majority; how sad that racism and nationalism has been utilized to keep these two groups from sensing their common predicament.

As for the flag, there's no reason why the Kosovo flag could not be the same as Albania's, or possibly slightly modified. There are other countries which have similar or nearly identical flags, and not only because of coincidence--three Central American countries have essentially the same flag with a different shield in the center; this is a legacy of the failed effort to create a "United States of Central America." The same is true for Egypt, Syria, and Iraq. Colombia, Equador, and Venezuela share the same flag 'motif' as well. And one would need a very keen eye to tell the difference between the flags of Luxembourg and the Netherlands from a distance.

Owen said...

Kosova as it is today was created by Serbia. Whatever the wrongs that were done post the return in 1999 anybody who fails to acknowledge that fact is simply standing the history of the last couple of decades on its head.

Daniel (Srebrenica Genocide Blog Editor) said...

bganon, I have stated the fact, and I will repeat it: Kosovo was not created as a result of genocide against the Serbs, but Republika Srpska was created as a result of genocide against the Bosniaks. We all know what happened in Srebrenica, we all know about mass scale ethnic cleansings, we all know about the concentration camps (Manjaca, Omarska, Trnopolje).

And most importantly, we all know about Radovan Karadzic's plans to destroy Muslims of Bosnia:

On October 12th 1991 he stated: "They [Bosniaks] will disappear, these people will disappear from the face of the earth"

A mere day later, on 13 October 1991, Karadzic, talking to Momcilo Mandic, said: "Within a few days there will be no Sarajevo, and there will be over 500,000 dead; within a month the Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina will be destroyed!"

Again, on 15 October 1991, Karadzic foresees the extermination of the Muslims in the event of war. Talking to Miodrag Davidovic and his own brother Luka, Karadzic said: "In the first instance, none of their leaders will remain alive, they will be killed within 3 or 4 hours. They will have no chance of surviving."

Nile Gardiner said...

It is important that the West remains united in fully supporting Kosovo’s independence from Serbia.
The Western powers must stand up to any threats from Belgrade and Moscow and support full membership for Kosovo in the United Nations.

At the same time, firm guarantees must be given by both the European Union and NATO that the Serbian minority will be protected and given full rights in a newly independent Kosovo, as already pledged by Kosovo’s Prime Minister.

It is especially important that there is no retribution by ethnic Albanians that would encourage increased nationalism in Serbia or even an attempt by Serbs in Republika Srpska to break away from Bosnia.

More than 90 percent of Kosovo’s 2.1 million residents are ethnic Albanians; Serbs make up a tiny minority.

There is no realistic alternative to independence for the province, a political reality that both Serbia and Russia must accept.