By Michael Radu
Michael Radu, Ph.D., is Co-Chair of FPRI’s Center on Terrorism, Counterterrorism, and Homeland Security. He recently completed a book manuscript on Islamism in Europe.
To paraphrase Talleyrand, the invention and recognition of a “state” called Kosovo by the United States and Brussels in February was worse than gross ignorance, it was a mistake. Every Western political delusion since the end of the Cold War was at the root of the disaster, and, to make matters worse, those delusions have been shared by otherwise unlikely partners: the Clinton administration and George Bush, the usually anti-American Europeans, the “human rights” establishment and “progressive” media here and in Europe. A brief analysis makes it clear that there is and should not be a state named “Kosovo.”
- The initial motivation for NATO’s (read America’s) 1999 intervention in Kosovo, stopping “genocide,” was based on false premises and images, largely created by CNN and similar media outlets, and vocally supported by the “human rights” chorus led by Amnesty International and the like. There was no genocide in any serious definition. There was a massive, disproportionate Serbian military response to the sporadic and often indiscriminate attacks against authorities and civilians by a ragtag combination of Leninists, Maoists, thugs, drug runners and misguided members of the Albanian diaspora, going under the grand name of Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). It took a combination of overexcited CNN sympathizers of the Albanian secessionist cause, a mass exodus of scared Albanians, and a skilled Albanian lobby in Washington to convince a human rights obsessed Clinton administration that a new Auschwitz was in the making.
- Most Europeans at the time, even more influenced by their human rights lobbies and put off by the Serbs’ old-fashioned use of religious and historic arguments for their claim on Kosovo, supported the military intervention—mostly by holding our coat.
Kosovo, a bit larger than Delaware but, with 2.4 million people (in 2001), three times the population, has proclaimed its statehood, the newest and so far the latest “country” created on the ruins of the former Yugoslavia. Other than the stubborn support of the majority Albanians, it has none of the basic necessary qualifications of statehood—functioning institutions, human or natural resources, ethnic and historic arguments
Nonetheless, Washington and most European countries are prepared to take the bet that somehow Kosovo will be something else—say, a Luxembourg or Monaco. Is this serious? And if not, as common sense and experience suggest, why the pressure to take the bet, indeed why the decade-long encouragement of such development?
To begin with, as far as Washington is concerned, the blame is clearly bipartisan, with Democrats like Richard Holbrooke being and remaining staunchly and indiscriminately pro-Albanian for more than a decade, and the Bush administration mysteriously following the same misguided path. True enough, some Republican veterans of foreign affairs, such as former Secretary of State and former ambassador to Belgrade Lawrence Eagleburger, do know better and have made their opposition clear, but they remain a minority......FPI
SerbBlog: Disagree with the idea that "Kosovo should be joined Albania", because that will ultimately cause another war, but otherwise interesting article.