Sunday, February 03, 2008

CounterPunch: The USA, New Europe and Kosovo

Excerpt:

"We ask: Is it possible to achieve the democratization of the region by supporting the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), a political organization of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA)? Is it possible to achieve democratization of Kosovo by supporting the former KLA leader, and now Prime Minister, Hashim Thachi? Are we not then supporting, instead of democratization, the continuation of the nationalist logic and a process of further ethnic cleansing of Kosovo? These are not academic questions. In March 2000, former UN Special Investigator for the former Yugoslavia Jiri Dienstbier reported to the UN Commission on Human Rights that "330,000 Serbs, Roma, Montenegrins, Slavic Muslims, pro-Serb Albanians and Turks had been displaced in Kosovo--double the earlier estimates. What that means is most of Kosovo's minorities no longer are in their original homes." In this respect, things have only deteriorated since Dienstbier's report was submitted. You will forgive our skepticism as to the fact that Thaci, a principal protagonist of Kosovo's flourishing industry of arms, drug and sex trafficking, will prevent the inevitable ethnic violence, or that he will strive for the restoration of democracy, multiculturalism, and the rule of law in the independent Kosovo.

And whose independent Kosovo is it going to be? Let us try to explain the western fascination with "thacism". Former Special Representative to the Secretary General of the UN in Kosovo, Sergio Vieira de Mell, was often quoted to complain: "Madeleine Albright is in love with Thaci. Jamie Rubin is his best friend. It's not helpful. Thaci arrived here with the impression that he has the full weight of the American government behind him. He believes he has earned the right to rule." In the past few years "thacism" was somewhat modified, so as to answer to a different reality, but only on the superficial level of rhetoric--with more or less successful distancing from ideas of a great Kosovo and/or Albania--meanwhile in practice it stayed more or less the same, with the usual mix of murders, kidnappings, and violent attempts to crackdown political opponents. But we should not overestimate Thaci, who, as his nickname suggests, is a reptile of minor importance. Thaci is important only as a metaphor of thacism, a form of colonial rule by way of support of local warlords whose job it is to destroy any inkling of anti-colonial protest."

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