Thursday, April 17, 2008

Apocalypse Now

By Christopher Deliso

“When they attack, what should I do first?” a young Serbian KPS police commander says. “Should I try to evacuate my children, or fight back? We are twenty, thirty thousand. They are two million.”

The likelihood or not of such an imagined massive assault from Albanians doesn’t matter here in Mitrovica, the city divided between ethnicities by the River Ibar, up in Kosovo’s uncompromising north.

What matters is that Serbs fear it could happen and the siege mentality that has set in – as seen in the nationalist graffiti, the stern billboard warning that ‘those who live by the sword shall die by the sword,’ the muscular young men watching warily from cafés – is as real and as thick as the tension in this grand old dilapidated post-Communist city that refuses to recognize, as with the vast majority of the world’s countries thus far, that a living country has been hacked out of the Serbian body. That the phrase Kosovo je Srbija (Kosovo is Serbia) has been consigned to the history books by Pristina’s unilateral declaration of independence on February 17 is bitterly resisted here in the north...... Continued

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