Posted by Peter W. Schramm
With his typical verve, Christopher Hitchens gets it mostly right. It’s a messy thing, talking about the "historical reasons."
On the other hand, here is David Warren's take on it. There is a problem with the US backing the nationalism of various Islamic ethnic minorities. By recognizing Kosovo, Bush et al. have validated exactly that: a deadly new round of Balkan troubles, ripe for Islamicization. He does end with this: We refuse to even think about the history. Yes, it is messy.
And here's George Jonas in the National Post on the topic.
It is "messy," in no small part, due to the fact that America has a history of opposing secession at the cost of over half a million lives. Lincoln knew that the "historical reasons" for opposing secession presented a problem which is why he, like those who are presently trying to make the world over again, resort to abstractions for justification.
I haven't read much on this (and the Jonas piece linked by CS Morrissey is over-the-top)but I fail to see how it was remotely in our interest to recognize Kosovo. Nor do I see some great moral case--Jonas is at least corrrect in predicting that this regime is going to be a crummy one. I supported the Clinton/NATO war, and still think it was the correct choice. But I never thought the final negociations made much sense, and here we are breaking our word on them, hurting our credibility for future negociations. Right? (Really, I haven't read that much...do school me if I'm wrong.) We have a whole host of issues very much in our interest to negociate with Russia. Nor have we any interest to contribute any fuel to the nutty conspiracy-fearing anti-American fire that burns in he minds of the Russian electorate. And for the sake of that compelling interest, we can't keep this rinky-dink ethnic county in diplomatic limbo for a few years more? Especially when the Euros are taking the initiative? The Kosovars broke the terms of the final agreement, right? And if Jonas is right, they're itching to ethnic cleanse the remaining Serbs, at which point Russia and Serbia will likely threaten to take military action.
Maybe we are looking for ways to be opposed to Putin's Russia, at this point.
If the Kosovars (ethnically Islamic Albanians)never liked the negotiated settlement then this was inevitable. Did they have much say in that negotiated settlement of the conflict or was this imposed by the NATO nations, the US and Russia?
Are these nationalistic conflicts difficult for Americans to understand? I know that a few weeks back, when a friend from Kenya was explaining the situation in his country to me, the aspect to the conflict that he had to make clear was that of the tribal nature of that conflict. I was thinking in terms of political parties, he was thinking in terms of blood. In fact, the blood shed over the issue did not particularly bother him. His tribe is of the opposition and he was speaking of the oppression of the major tribe as a key issue in the matter. This a churchman who I was speaking with. The corruption of the place is such that winning the election means a kind of spoils system is inevitable. Perhaps the situation is similar in Kosovo where the Serbian minority might life mighty uncomfortable for the majority Albanians.
However, David Warren's point of the problem of Islam in Europe and the control of that kind of religious/ethnic minority for the good of the whole is a good one. I thought about it while reading the Kissinger interview also mentioned on the blog. Is it prudent for Europe to let Kosovo be "a European refuge for radical Islamist cells, (that) threatens to become Europe’s terrorist safe house."?
It looks like this is getting messier.
I wonder WWOD?
Melanie Phillips says it's crazy to set such a precedent.
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